RVing

Finding the Right RV: Class B RVs

Camper van on campsite connected to electric hook up in NorthWales United Kingdom

The idea of driving a large vehicle or towing a trailer gives you anxiety, then a Class B RV might appeal to you. Class B RVs are the smallest type of RV you can buy.

Built on full-size van frames, Class B RVs aren’t all the much more difficult to handle on the road than a typical full-size van. They can easily sleep between two and four people and range in length from about 16 to 24 feet.

Because of their small size and overall compact nature, class B RVs come with some desirable positive aspects. However, this type of RV isn’t for everyone, and the small size also comes with a fair number of downsides. Let’s take a closer look.

Positives of Class B RVs

A couple inside a class B RV

Like I mentioned above, many of the positive aspects of Class B RVs stem from the vehicle type’s construction. While Class B owners might have a million little reasons why they love their RV, the three main reasons are versatility, drivability, and favorable fuel economy.

Versatility

Because Class B RVs are smaller, they work great for people who frequently move. There isn’t as much to pack up and prepare in a smaller RV, so many people who move and travel often, find Class Bs fit their lifestyle well.

Also, Class B RVs can usually fit in standard driveways, parking spots, and roads, opening up possibilities that larger RVs get excluded from. In most cases, Class Bs will fit just about everywhere a full-size van will.

In addition to offering versatility in terms of travel, you’ll also find Class B RVs can have different systems than a Class C or Class A RV.

One example is a cassette toilet system installed on some models. This is a system that forgoes a typical black tank and replaces it with a smaller portable black tank that you can empty at any toilet, adding yet another way Class B RVs can do something a larger Class C or Class A can’t.

Drivability

In terms of drivability, you won’t find a better option. If you can drive a full-size van, you can drive a Class B RV.

The RV’s smaller size and lighter weight mean it will feel more like a standard vehicle and making the transition from driving a car or SUV to a Class B RV isn’t an issue for most people.

Class Bs will also fit under bridges and overpasses easily and on smaller two-lane roads without issue. The same can’t be said of all Class C or Class A RVs, which can require you to take alternative routes due to their large size or weight.

Fuel Economy

As you might expect, Class B RVs do the best of the motorhome classes when it comes to fuel economy. They’re lighter, smaller and more aerodynamic. The engines for Class B RVs can be smaller and less powerful, too, because they don’t have to move as much weight.

While you can’t expect a Class B RV to get as good gas mileage as a typical car or SUV, you can expect fuel economy in the mid to high teens, depending on how you drive.

Negatives of Class B RVs

Class B Motorhome interior

At this point, you may be wondering why anyone would buy anything else other than a Class B RV. Well, the vehicle does come with downsides. Those downsides are related to its size and overall construction.

Class A and Class C RV lovers can probably list numerous reasons why they don’t like or can’t use a Class B RV, but most complaints will fall into a few different categories: limited space, RV equipment, and price point.

Limited Space

The most obvious downside of a Class B RV is the fact that it isn’t as spacious as other RVs. That might not be too big of an issue for a single person or a couple, but if you have a family, you’re probably going to need more living space than a Class B offers.

Living space isn’t the only concern when it comes to Class B RVs. Storage is an issue as well. Class B RVs are notorious for their limited storage spaces. If you plan to spend long periods of time in your RV, you may find that there simply isn’t enough storage room for your clothes, gear, and other personal items.

RV Equipment

The equipment in Class B RVs is often different than in a Class C or Class A. it’s really a matter of opinion as to what’s better, like with the cassette toilet mentioned in above.

One thing some people will take issue with is the wet bath found in most Class B RVs. A wet bath is a bathroom that has the toilet and the shower in the same space. In Class A and Class C RVs, there will usually be a separate space for the toilet and shower.

The wet bath is just one example. In Class B RVs the refrigerator, stove, and other household appliances will be smaller and just a little different from the ones found in larger RVs. For some people, that’s a turnoff.

Price Point

The last major negative point for Class B RVs is the price. Smaller usually equals less expensive, but in the case of RVs, that isn’t always the case. Class B RVs aren’t the most inexpensive option.

You can often find a comparable Class C RV with just a little more space for less money. Because of this, many people often opt out of the Class B RV market for one of the other types of RVs out there.


What are your thoughts on a Class B RV? Leave a comment below.

Finding the right RV - Class B RVs

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