- Mon, Nov 18, 2013
If you’re new to the world of recreational vehicles, you are probably lost when you hear motorhome enthusiasts discussing the merits of Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes. Whether you are interested in finding the right motorhome for your entry point into the RV lifestyle or you’re just interested in learning more about the different types of available motorhomes, here you’ll learn about three different types of RVs and the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
And if you’re looking to buy your first recreational vehicle – or upgrade to a higher-end motor coach – this guide may be a helpful starting point for you.
What is a Class B Motorhome?
Well, first off, you’re probably wondering why we’re starting with the Class B – it’s because they are the smallest of the three classes of motorhome. A common misconception is that Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious, Class B motorhomes are the middle-of-the-road option, and Class C motorhomes are the smallest. But the Class B motorhome is actually the most limited in both size and its offering of amenities.
A Class B motorhome is built using a cargo or camper van as the base. They are often called “conversion vans” or “camper vans.” However, it has a raised roof and is much larger than a typical van; most are built with a high enough roof to allow its occupants to stand up inside.
Disadvantages of Buying a Class B Motorhome
While there is a range of available options, most have relatively limited amenities. They typically have a very small kitchen, living room, and bathroom. The sound system, television, and other entertainment options are extremely limited. Everything is very small inside: occupancy is usually limited to between 2-4 people, and they generally feel cramped inside. Their bathrooms generally have the shower and toilet in the same space, which is called a wet bath.
Advantages of Buying a Class B Motorhome
Many manufacturers of Class B motorhomes don’t manufacture other types of motorized RVs, meaning they have the advantage of specialization. They get much better gas mileage than other types of motorhomes, and they can even be used as a full-time family vehicle because they are small enough to park in most normal parking spaces or even garages.
What is a Class C Motorhome?
Class C motorhomes usually use a van or truck chassis built specifically for motorhome use, with an attached cab. They provide many of the luxury amenities of the more extravagant Class A motorhomes, but are less expensive. They provide a midpoint between the very stripped-down Class B motorhome family and Class A luxury motor coaches.
The Class C motorhome is known by many people as a “cab-over” motorhome. Most have an overhang, an area that hangs over the cabin, with a bed. They also sometimes have an additional bedroom at the rear.
Disadvantages of Buying a Class C Motorhome
Because they are balanced between Class A and B motorhomes, they offer better gas mileage than the Class A but poorer fuel economy than the Class B. Another disadvantage is their sheer size – they will not fit in garages, and because they are so long, they won’t fit in some driveways, either. While they offer superior interior amenities to Class B motorhomes (and more options for add-ons), if you’ve seen the inside of a Class A diesel or luxury motorhome like the Dutch Star or King Aire, you’ll realize why they are in a separate class. They just don’t offer the same luxury as the next class of motorhome.
Advantages of Buying a Class C Motorhome
Because they are built on a more powerful chassis than Class B motorhomes, they have the ability to offer more amenities. They feature small dining areas, stoves, refrigerators, storage tanks for water and propane, and higher-end electronic and entertainment equipment. They have more storage than a Class B, and more room for families.
What is a Class A Motorhome?
The Class A motorhome is the most luxurious classification of RV available. They are built on heavy-duty frames like a commercial truck or bus chassis. Some, like the King Aire, are built on a customized chassis built specifically for its design. They are equipped for vacations or short trips, but they are also commonly used by full-time RVers.
Disadvantages of Buying a Class A Motorhome
Class A motorhomes are large, powerful, and expensive. Many are very difficult to drive, especially on long, cross-country trips. They also get poor fuel economy when compared to a Class B motorhome or your own family motor vehicle. Choosing a Class A motorhome takes commitment, because it is a purchase that should fit your lifestyle.
Advantages of Buying a Class A Motorhome
Owning a Class A motorhome is like owning a very nice home, only you can take it on the road with you. They are large enough to accommodate a full family, and luxury motor coaches like the Mountain Aire, Essex, or King Aire have top-of-the-line electronics, entertainment options, master bedrooms, full bathrooms, and offer a variety of floorplans to match your lifestyle. They offer a feeling of openness and home.
If you’re looking for the best recreational vehicles in the world, you are looking for a Class A motorhome. And because they are offered in many different styles, someone enjoying their first foray into the recreational vehicle lifestyle can start with a gas motor coach and later move up to a diesel or luxury motor coach.
But all three classes of motorhome offer their own advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully this guide has helped serve as your starting point – or your knowledge base – and has helped you determine which motorhome is right for you. Whatever your needs or tastes, welcome to the recreational vehicle lifestyle.