One RV choice that is becoming extremely popular for its small size and stealth camping potential is the Class B RV. If driving a huge vehicle has kept you away from RVing in the past, it doesn’t need to any longer. Keep reading to learn all about this RV style and why a Class B RV might just be the perfect rig!
What Is a Class B RV?
People sometimes call Class B RVs campervans. This is because they have a van-like look and feel to them. They are also built using a full-sized van chassis. Class B motorhomes are small and compact, making them an excellent choice for RVers who still want amenities but none of the bulk of larger motorhomes (such as Class As or Class Cs).
Class B RVs are typically less than 20 feet long, weigh between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds, and rarely have slide outs. These specs make them the smallest motorhome option on the market. Given their small size, they are best suited for singles or couples. They usually sleep only 2 people, although some may sleep an additional small child or two.
Class B motorhomes also come with a lower price tag than other motorhome options. New Class Bs cost between $40,000 and $100,000 on average. As with any RV, though, you can save money by buying used, or you can spend a lot more for the absolute top-of-the-line models.
Class B RVs come in head and shoulders above Class A or Class C motorhomes for gas mileage. They average 18-25 miles per gallon. This average is quite impressive considering Class Bs still have a host of amenities. If you’ll be traveling long distances, and cost is a major consideration, you can’t go wrong with a Class B!
What Is a Class B+ RV?
A Class B+ RV is like a crossover between a traditional Class B and a Class C. They maintain the camper van appearance in the front but with a larger, boxier living area. Although they are smaller and shorter than a Class C RV, the Class B+ may have 1-2 slides. This addition gives you a much larger living area.
Features and Amenities
Despite their smaller size, Class Bs still offer plenty of amenities that will have you camping in luxury. Class B RVs usually have a small living area, bed, kitchen, and bath, but they look a little different.
For example, the bed may be convertible to serve as a seating area during the day. They also may have a wet bath to make the most of the space without forgoing the convenience of an onboard bathroom with a shower. The kitchen will probably be a smaller galley kitchen with only 1-2 burners for cooking. So, you still get all the benefits of an RV, but on a smaller scale.
Manufacturers often design Class Bs with non-hookup camping (or boondocking) in mind. That being said, they may come equipped with solar panels and will also include holding tanks for your fresh and waste water needs. Some Class B RVs may also come with a pop-top to give you some added headroom while you’re parked.
Advantages of Class B RVs
The small layout of a Class B is both to its benefit and detriment. The small space is great for a lot of things. For example, it’s easy to maneuver, and you can park it almost anywhere. The small size also get better fuel economy as we mentioned earlier.
Class Bs also take full advantage of every inch of space with very smart layouts. This means they still have most of the standard RV amenities, like kitchenettes, bathrooms, and seating areas.
Disadvantages of Class B RVs
Like we said before, size is also a drawback for Class B motorhomes. Given the small living area, it is easy to feel cramped. Class Bs also have less storage space than other RVs and are best for singles or couples only. If you have pets or kids, the small space will feel even smaller.
The lack of space is also reflected in some of the amenities. Some Class Bs don’t have bathrooms at all. And even if they do have a bathroom, it may not include a shower, or it might have only an outdoor shower. Although this lack of amenities isn’t a huge deal for staying at a campground, it can really impact your boondocking experience. Who wants to go days without showering?
While their small size makes it easy to go just about anywhere, to get 4×4 capabilities in a Class B, you’re going to pay a premium.
Another thing that is a huge downside for boondocking is that some Class B motorhomes lack built-in water tanks. You can bring water in jugs for cooking and drinking, but it is a hassle and takes up precious interior space. Most other recreational vehicles have built-in tanks, so this is one area where some Class Bs fall short.
Finally, in terms of square footage, it is the most expensive per square foot compared to all of the other motorhomes on the market.
Is a Class B RV Right For You?
If you’re looking for something small and inconspicuous that you can take almost anywhere, a Class B is definitely the way to go. You’ll have plenty of boondocking opportunities since you can get to places most other RVers can only dream of.
But unless you’re an ultra-minimalist, you might feel cramped with a Class B. So, if you have a lot of stuff or a lot of people to bring along with you, a Class B is probably not for you.
A Class B RV, or campervan, is a great choice for many people. It gives you all the benefits of a motorhome without the hassle of having a large fuel-inefficient vehicle. Campervans are all the rage right now too. So, if you opt for this type of motorhome, you’ll quickly find yourself part of the “van-life” community.
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