Class B RVs are becoming very popular. In fact, they are one of the fastest growing segments of the RV industry.
But what is a Class B RV anyway? Well, usually they are built on a van chassis. For instance, either a Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, or Ram ProMaster frame and chassis.
That means that they are often about 15 – 20 feet in length. And they can come in either gasoline or diesel powered versions.
So you may have seen plenty of Class B RVs on the road and just didn’t know it. That’s because they tend to blend in more with passenger vehicles because of their size and shape.
But like all RVs, they have pros and cons that you should know about before buying one. So let’s talk about those advantages and disadvantages of Class B RVs now:
The Pros Of Class B RVs
- Easiest RV to drive – in fact they drive pretty much the same as a passenger van. This is great for newer RVers and those who find Class As and Class Cs too much to handle.
- Great gas mileage for an RV – Much better than a Class A or Class C motorhome. And much better than most tow vehicles that pull either a 5th wheel or travel trailer too.
- Class Bs can go places that larger RVs can’t – if you like boondocking in nature, this is a big plus. They also travel well on almost any kind or size of road.
- They can fit in most campsites – their size allows them to fit into almost any campsite out there. This is especially great for National Park and National Forest campgrounds.
- Often have the latest technology – they can come with equipment like a solar system installed. Also lithium batteries, instant-hot water heaters, and more.
- Repair facilities are easy to find – this is because they are built on a common passenger vehicle van chassis. So the engine and drivetrain can be repaired almost anywhere.
- Can be stored in your driveway – this is a big plus for some. Class A and Class C motorhomes are often prohibited from being parked in a home’s driveway. But Class B RVs look pretty much like any another passenger vehicle.
- Can be used for stealth camping – they fit in so well that you can even stay in them overnight on many city streets.
The Cons of Class Bs
- Smallest living space of any RV – very tight living quarters for more than two people.
- Limited storage space – you won’t find many storage compartments on these RVs. Most of your storage is inside the RV.
- No tow vehicle – this means that if you go anywhere, you must disconnect your campsite hookups whenever you leave. And when you return, you have to connect them again.
- More expensive per square foot than other RVs – this is due to not being mass produced yet. As time goes on and they gain in popularity the prices may moderate more.
- No permanent bed – in most cases the bed is often used as a sitting or dining area during the day. So every night the sitting or dining area must be changed into a bed.
- Small bathrooms – these truly are tiny bathrooms. And that could be an issue with larger or older RVers with health issues.
- Tiny kitchens and refrigerators – there just isn’t much room for counter space or a larger fridge.
- Small fresh and waste water tanks – there just isn’t much room for them either. So you will have to refill the fresh water tank and dump the waste water tank more often.
Who Should Consider a Class B RV?
Class Bs are a great choice for solo RVers or couples that get along well in small spaces.
They do not work nearly as well for more than a couple. As you add more people, the available living space shrinks dramatically.
They are also good choices for RVers who don’t need many luxuries or amenities to be happy. There just isn’t space for lots of extras in these RVs.
They can also be great for weekend campers and tailgaters at sporting events. In fact, lots of people use them for shorter camping trips and overnights with great success.
Who Might Not Be A Good Candidate For A Class B?
RV couples that are fulltimers or part-timers should probably think twice about getting a Class B RV. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible.
But I have seen several couples who started out fulltiming in smaller RVs decide that more space was needed. And this seems to become more apparent as they spend more time in the rig.
Also, maybe you really like things like washer/dryers, residential sized refrigerators, larger showers. Then maybe a larger motorhome like a Class A will fit your needs better.
It is good to remember that there are no hard and fast rules about who should buy what kind of RV. There are just too many variables in people’s preferences to make that kind of call.
So if you still aren’t sure whether a Class B RV should be in your future after reading this article, that’s understandable.
Perhaps the best way to know for sure whether a Class B fits your style best is to try before you buy.
There are many RVers that rent out their RV during the times of year that it isn’t in use by them. So you could rent a Class B through a site like Outdoorsy.com and try it out first.
Go camping in the rental for a while. Get to know the little quirks of using a Class B RV on your own. Then you’ll have a much better picture of what it’s like to travel and camp in a Class B.
You can also ask other Class B owners that have similar traveling and camping styles to your own. See what they say about their rig and what they like and dislike about it.
By doing your homework in advance, you can put your mind at rest and determine whether or not a Class B RV is right for you.
As always, have safe and happy travels out there ……