I currently drive a Class B motorhome but during my search for an RV, a Class C was on my list and was one of the first types of RVs that I was interested in.
The Class C offers a few advantages over the class B but in the end, I chose a class B for a few simple reasons.
Deciding on a class of RV to purchase can be a difficult decision. Many of them offer benefits over the other. With the Class B and the Class C being the smallest types of motorhomes, these two compare well to each other in many ways.
What Is A Class B RV?
A Class B RV is the smallest of all types of drivable motorhomes. Essentially, it is a van that has been converted into a camper and has all of the amenities that you would normally expect from a camper.
Although small, a Class B RV can provide you with an excellent living space for camping and traveling. Some people even live full-time in a van (down by the river, of course).
The beauty of this type of RV is the places that you can go to and the ease of which you can go with it. These are small but they are very nimble and can be driven on almost any road and can be parked in nearly any location.
Unlike larger RVs, you do not have to worry about the rig being so large that you can’t pull into the parking spot that you want.
These types of RVs come in different sizes but most range from 19 feet to 25 feet long in total length. Most of them have high roofs that allow you to walk around inside just as you would any other living space.
Even those who may be a bit taller can enjoy a Class B since the headroom in these is sufficient for most people of average or slightly above average height.
What Is A Class C RV?
A Class C RV is larger than a Class B but not quite as large as a Class A. Although, some large Class C motorhomes can be larger than the smaller Class A motorhomes.
A Class C is usually made up of a van front end with a custom living area built onto the rear.
The cab opens up to a living area that is much larger than what a van could provide. This space is often increased by the use of slide outs which allow even more room to be gained when the RV is parked.
A Class C RV can still be quite easy to drive around although not quite as convenient as the Class B. These are often much taller than a van would be so driving them might take some extra care versus what you would have when driving a van.
The class C is perfect for a family that needs more living as well as more room for sleeping areas.
They can provide adequate living space for 3 to 4 people or more depending on the size of RV that you have. One of the benefits of a Class C is that it contains multiple sleeping areas and usually has a nice sleeping area over the front cab of the vehicle.
This area makes a great sleeping space for children and can provide a family with a spacious camper that can allow the whole family to enjoy the trip and comfort.
Class C RV’s range in lengths from about 26 feet up to 35 feet for the longest ones.
Are Class C Motorhomes Hard To Drive?
Since these types of RVs are larger than vans, it would make sense that they are probably a little more difficult to drive.
The front end of the RV is the same as you would find in a standard van. They utilize the same cockpits as most popular Class B RVs do.
The difference is that with a Class C, the back end of the vehicle is much larger. This can make it more difficult to park and maneuver around in small spaces.
Even though they are larger, they are still fairly easy to drive around. As with anything large like this on the road, you must be careful and alert because it’s much different from driving a small passenger car.
These RVs have all of the comforts of driving that you would expect from a modern-day vehicle and are often equipped with cameras to allow you to maneuver more easily and help to reduce blind spots.
With back up cameras and other fields of view cameras, Class C RV’s can become very easy to drive.
Are Class C Motorhomes Safe?
Class C RV’s provide you with a safe and fun way to travel and camp while giving you a maximum amount of space. They provide all of the safety features that you would expect and can be safer than other types of motorhomes specifically the Class A.
Most modern Class C motorhomes have airbags and other safety features that give you peace of mind when out on the road.
How Much Do Class C Motorhomes Cost?
On average, you can find a brand new Class C motorhome in the $50,000-$100,000 price range. However, some models exceed this amount such as the 2020 Winnebago Navion, which is a small, 25 foot long RV.
This is a significant amount of money to spend on an RV but it is the cheapest option on the market if you choose to have a drivable coach such as this.
Besides the super expensive ones, most are offered at a reasonable price considering what you are getting.
Compare this to a camper van where you would pay anywhere from $70,000-$150,000 on average for a brand new one. These numbers are for the MSRP and can usually be purchased for less than this on sale from a dealer.
Advantages Of Owning A Class B Motorhome
Easier to park
A camper van is going to be easier to park then a larger motorhome would be. This makes it very convenient when you are pulling into RV parks or campgrounds that have limited space.
It also makes it easy when you are parking in standard parking lots. With a Class B, you will generally fit into a standard spot but a Class C will likely not fit and will take up multiple spaces.
A van can be easily parked or even parallel parked in city locations that have limited room for maneuvering.
Small and easy to drive
Since a Class B is so small, it is very easy to drive around. It is similar to driving a passenger vehicle and can make the experience much more pleasant if you are not used to driving large vehicles.
When I drive my camper van, it feels similar to driving my pick-up truck and never makes me feel like I am driving something large.
Better fuel economy
Class B RVs are among the best in fuel economy of all of the motorhomes. These RVs get around 18 to 22 miles per gallon. My camper van typically gets about 20 miles to the gallon depending on where I am traveling and how much weight my van is carrying.
With a Class C RV, you can expect to get anywhere between 12 and 18 miles per gallon. This is still better than the largest Class A motorhomes but not quite as efficient as a van.
Try taking a class C motorhome into a parking lot and parking without being noticed. It likely will not happen because of the size and look of the RV. On the other hand, a van parks nicely nearly anywhere and can blend into the environment without being noticed.
A Class B doesn’t usually have the RV look to it. Although some have designs and brand names on them, they are a bit more subtle than Class C’s.
Some of them do not even look like an RV and if you choose to convert a van yourself, you can make it completely stealthy. This means that you will be able to park in more places and sleep for the night without being noticed.
I wrote a post about stealthy camper vans, click here to read more.
Easier to store or cover
When the time comes to store your RV for the winter or during downtimes, a large RV is going to be more difficult to store. Since it is larger, it will be a larger eyesore sitting in your driveway and if you intend on covering the RV with a cover, it will be more difficult to put on and then remove when it is time to use again.
Although a camper van will likely not fit into a standard garage, it will not be as unsightly as a large box-shaped RV sitting in the driveway.
In my research, I have learned that Class B RVs depreciate less than other types. These van conversions are typically higher quality and there is less supply than are the other classes of RVs.
Camper vans are usually outfitted by skilled workers and more time goes into creating one than RVs that are built on an assembly line. You can see this quality if you go and look at different models.
Some of the Class C motorhomes that I have looked at have been terrible in quality. I would hate to pay the price that was asked for some of the quality that I have seen done on some of the ones that I have looked at.
I am not saying that all of them are like this because they certainly are not. I have seen some very high-quality ones and some brands that maintain a very high quality of work throughout.
I am just noting that out of the two classes of RVs that I have looked at, the Class B gives you a more quality product.
No need for a towed vehicle
When you drive a van, it becomes your everything vehicle. Besides being your home on wheels, it is also your vehicle for getting you from point A to point B. Other RV types require that you tow a vehicle so that you can use that vehicle as your personal get around car.
The van is small enough to serve this purpose and there is no need to tow anything when you travel or camp. You will have all you need in one small package.
Advantages Of Owning A Class C Motorhome
If you are looking for more room in an RV, a class C has you covered. There is substantially more room in one of these types of RVs than you will find in a class B. This can be great for those who need more room and don’t mind having the larger vehicle to drive around.
These feel more like being at home than a van does. The space included inside is enough for multiple people to move around comfortably without bumping into each other. These are great for spending time in and can be a nice home away from home that you can live in comfortably while out on the road.
Since they are larger than a van, they are more family-friendly. They can typically hold 3 to 4 people with no problem and there is plenty of seating and bedding.
Although it could be done, a van is very small to haul a family of more than two people. It would get pretty tight inside and moving around would be a chore. The space of a larger RV such as the Class C makes for a much more pleasant experience when the family is involved.
More Interior Height
If you are tall, you will appreciate the ceiling height in a Class C. They are typically much taller than a van ceiling would be. It is common to find ceiling heights of around 7 feet tall.
This allows people of above-average height to move around comfortably.
More sleeping area
One of the main features of a Class C is the additional sleeping area over the cab. This makes for a great place for children to sleep or anyone else who needs their own personal sleeping area.
Besides this, there is typically a queen size bed and other areas such as sofas that pull out into beds that can be slept on. This makes it much easier to accommodate multiple People and larger families so that each one can sleep comfortably in their own space.
Sometimes one of the most annoying things about my camper van is the sliding side door. It often becomes a problem when I’m parked in a campground. It can be a bit loud slamming the sliding door and can often cause more noise than I would like to.
I feel like I am bothering my neighbors every time I have to close the door so I sometimes avoid opening and closing it.
With a Class C, you will typically have a side door that opens just like a standard door so that there is no noise involved. Unlike the sliding door that I have, this door closes and locks with a latch rather than having to be slammed shut by sliding it.
Some sliding doors aren’t as bad as the one I have but the RAM Promaster that I built my conversion van on, has a stubborn sliding door that often becomes a problem.
Class C motorhomes are more readily accessible than camper vans are. This is mainly because they are more popular since they offer more space for people to live in.
Since they are more accessible, supply is higher so the cost is going to be less for an RV like this. You can purchase one of these for between $50,000 and $100,000 brand new and much less than this if you consider purchasing a used one.
These types of motorhomes are the cheapest types of drivable motor homes on the market and provide a great option for those looking to get into the RV life.
A used Class C RV can be a great value since many people buy these and realize that they don’t want them any longer and seek to sell them.
Larger capacities for longer stays
If you expect to stay longer in boondocking situations, you will need to make sure that you have large storage capacities for freshwater and gas. You will also want larger grey and black water holding tanks.
The larger RV provides a greater capacity for the storage of these types of necessities. Since vans are smaller, they cannot carry the number of supplies that a larger RV can.
These typically have water holding tanks for fresh water in the 30-60 gallon range and can provide you with clean water for longer than a camper van can.
This may be important if you stay off the grid and have a family that uses more water. Also, the gray water and black water holding tanks are generally larger so they can go for longer periods without being dumped.
Both classes of motorhomes mentioned in this article make fantastic options for those looking to have a drivable RV. They are convenient and can take you on adventurous trips that will allow you to get out and explore the great outdoors.
In the end, it comes down to how much space you need. For those who would like to have more space or have a family that they travel with, a Class C will be a better choice.
Those who are single or are traveling as a couple can easily make do with a Class B camper van. These will provide enough space to travel comfortably in and then have a place to do all your essential activities such as cooking and sleeping.
Both of these are expensive options when purchased brand new. If you are interested in one of these types, I would suggest looking at used options first. A used one can be purchased at a much lower cost than a new one can.
Whichever you choose, either one will make a great RV that will give you many years of enjoyment.