Class B or Class C: Which Motorhome is Right for You?

If you’re wondering, “Is a Class B or Class C motorhome right for me?” you aren’t alone

Should I get a Class B or Class C motorhome? Whether you’re looking to buy your first RV or ready to move on to a new one, that’s the big question many RVers face when heading out to make that big purchase.

But how do you know which one is for you? 

Let’s start with Class Bs. 

Class B motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Class B motorhomes and vanlife

Two factors are driving the growth in Class B motorhomes. The first is downsizing with more people wanting to get into something a little more maneuverable.

The Class B motorhome is also referred to as a campervan. They have become so popular that they have spawned a movement called vanlife. 

The second big factor is technology. Lithium-ion batteries, solar panels, and more now make it possible to connect with the world as you’re driving and, well, work from anywhere.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Understanding the Class B motorhome

If you’re looking at a Class B, you’re talking about an RV that is built on a commercial van chassis. That includes the Mercedes Sprinter chassis, the Ford Transit chassis, or the Dodge ProMaster chassis.

So, it’s really the smallest of motorhomes. Yet, they still have sinks, stoves, refrigerators, holding tanks, toilets, house batteries, beds, sitting areas, and even entertainment features.

When it comes to engines, Class B motorhomes are either gas or diesel. A Class B generally get about 10-25 miles per gallon.

Class B motorhomes are designed in various lengths generally ranging from 18 to about 23 feet.

They also have different floor plans offering various combinations of sleeping arrangements whether traveling alone or with others. The different floor plans are a big attraction for many Class B owners.

Of course, you’ll wonder about storage and tank capacity in the smaller RVs and you’d be right if you suspect both are limited. However, what they lack in storage they make up for in compact agility because driving a Class B is like driving a minivan.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

That means fitting into smaller campsites and easier maneuverability when getting into or out of or visiting a town. The versatility, in fact, is one of the primary reasons many prefer Class Bs.

Many of these smaller rigs come with lithium house batteries and solar panels to maximize and extend electrical output.

However, if you’re thinking Class Bs are less expensive because they’re smaller, you will be disappointed.  Delivering the luxury features of larger coaches compressed into smaller spaces creates engineering and construction challenges which translate to higher costs.  In addition to the engineering challenge many Class B motorhomes use more costly higher-end components like lithium batteries in their designs.

Class C motorhomes

One of the most popular segments in the motorhome industry is the Class C. First off, Class C motorhomes have an instantly recognizable silhouette. Here’s what a typical Class C motorhome looks like.

Class C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The classic Class C motorhome cab is covered by an overhang or cab-over that in most models houses a bed. A short passageway leads into the body of the motorhome usually a step or two up from the driver’s compartment. They are built on a cutaway truck chassis.

But first, let’s clear something up.

You may have heard the term Class B+ motorhome. They are small motorhomes that do not have the front overhang. But a so-called B+ motorhome really IS a Class C motorhome. The industry just made up that B+ designation.

Here’s a picture of Class B+ motorhome.

Class B+ motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But for the purpose of this article, I’m talking about the classic Class C motorhome with that distinctive cab overhang.

CLICK HERE to read an article on the Class B + motorhome

The cutaway truck chassis a Class C motorhome is built on is able to carry more weight and that gives RV manufacturers the freedom to add more bulk.

As expected, everything is a bit bigger with Class Cs: a separate dining area, larger stove and refrigerator, and larger storage tanks for water, waste, and propane. The bathroom is larger and usually with a shower stall separate from the toilet. There are usually one or two slide outs for extra width when parked.

When it comes to storage, Class Cs typically offer plenty of cupboards and hiding spaces inside and several storage compartments outside.

In fact, some of the modern Class C motorhomes are so large that they rival the Class A or bus-style motorhome in space and amenities. They range all the way up to 41 feet in length though most are between 25-30 feet.

Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Super Class C motorhomes: When you need even more space

Yes, there is Class Cs that go beyond the 26-foot mark—some up to 45 feet. They’re the Super Class C motorhomes. They are built on a heavy-duty truck chassis and are able to tow huge loads.

The name pretty much says it all! Super C motorhomes are larger versions of traditional Class C motorhomes. More specifically, that extra space gives these unique RVs all the luxuries of a Class A Motorhome with additional safety features.

Here are some of the Super Class C motorhome advantages:

  • Wider wheel-base: This creates a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
  • Tons of exterior storage: Most Super C RVs have exterior storage running the length of the body.
  • Tow and cargo carrying capacity: Super Cs have powerful engines; some can tow up to 25,000 pounds.
  • Easier to repair: Using traditional large-truck engines, there are a lot more service shops that can work on your engine. Unlike Class As, the engine is easily accessible from outside thr RV.
Super C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

To be clear, Super C is really a made-up RV classification just like the B+ motorhome. Most of the Super Cs would be on the Ford F550 or the Freightmaster chassis. They have much more in common with Class A motorhomes than their smaller cousins including multiple slides.

Bottom line: It’s really big and yet somehow maintains the Class C classification. It’s pretty cool though.

So, Class B (or B+) or Class C (or Super C) motorhome?

Worth Pondering…

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.

—John W. Gardner