RV & Motorhome Types: A guide to Class A, B, C & more

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Choosing the right type of motorhome for you and your family can be tough. With so many different types and classes of motorhomes and RVs, there are seemingly endless options. 

If you’re planning to purchase a motorhome or RV but aren’t sure which option is best, you’ve come to the right place. By using the tips and tricks in this article, you’ll be able to make the right decision and enjoy your RV for years to come. 

Key Takeaways

  • Different motorhome classes, such as Class A, Class B, Class B+, and Class C, have different pros and cons, such as price, sleeping capacity, amenities, maneuverability, and more.
  • Test driving or renting are great ways to get firsthand experience with different types of motorhomes before purchasing.
Infographic about the different classes of motorhome/RV - Class A, Class B, Class B+, Class C

Understanding Motorhome Classes

Motorhomes come in various shapes and sizes, catering to a vast array of preferences and needs. There are three primary motorhome classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C, each offering unique features, benefits, and drawbacks.

If a motorhome doesn’t sound right for you, towable RVs provide a good alternative for those seeking the flexibility of a separate vehicle. By understanding the nuances of these RV classes and types, you can find the perfect match for your next adventure.

Class A Motorhomes

Class A motorhomes take the crown when it comes to luxury and large living spaces. Often built on a commercial truck chassis or commercial bus chassis, these motorhomes range between 21 and 45 feet long and provide all the amenities of a small apartment. 

However, because of how big Class A motorhomes are, they don’t fit at all campgrounds and are difficult to maneuver on the highway. Once you get the hang of them, however, Class A motorhomes are an excellent choice thanks to their spacious and lavish interiors. 

Class A Motorhome

Image courtesy of Coachmen RV (Model Pictured: Mirada Class A Gas Motorhome)

Class B Motorhomes (Camper Vans)

Class B motorhomes are ideal for those seeking a more compact and fuel-efficient option. Also known as camper vans, Class B RVs are small vehicles that get great gas mileage and offer a surprising range of amenities such as galley kitchens, beds, and a restroom. 

The biggest advantage of Class B motorhomes is their ease of maneuverability. Because of their size, it’s easy to drive, park, and set up Class B motorhomes, regardless of your experience level. 

The biggest downside is that they have limited storage space and can’t comfortably house more than 2 to 3 people. 

Class B Motorhome

Image courtesy of Airstream (Model Pictured: Airstream Interstate Nineteen SE)

Class C Motorhomes

If you’re looking for a balance between Class A’s opulence and Class B’s compactness, Class C motorhomes are the answer. These mid-sized motorhomes are around 30 feet long, making them very manageable on the road, and can hold up to 8 people. 

Class Cs offer more space than Class B motorhomes while boasting most of the same amenities as those found in Class As. Therefore, if you want a happy medium between Class A’s size and luxury and Class B’s fuel efficiency and affordability, Class C is the way to go. 

Class C Motorhome

Image courtesy of Forest River (Model Pictured: Forest River Forester Classic)

Class B Plus Motorhomes

Class B Plus is a mix between a Class C and a Class B. This class, however, it’s a technical class but rather a marketing tactic. These Class B Plus (or Class B+) motorhomes are actually classified as Class C vehicles. There are many features and benefits of the Class B+ RV, including a smaller capacity than a Class C but better maneuverability.

Class B Plus (B+) Motorhome

Image courtesy of Winnebago (Model Pictured: Winnebago EKKO 22A)

Towable RV Options

While motorized RVs offer the convenience of an all-in-one vehicle, towable RVs present another option for those seeking flexibility. Towable RVs are trailers that require a separate tow vehicle and come in various forms, including travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, and toy haulers. 

Each type has its own unique features and towing requirements, providing even more options for finding the perfect RV to suit your needs. Additionally, towable RVs are often more affordable than motorized RVs and can be a great investment.

Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are a versatile option for those who want the freedom to hitch and unhitch their RV easily. With many sizes and layouts available, these trailers can be towed by various vehicles, from robust SUVs to light-duty pickup trucks. 

Because travel trailers are typically on the smaller side of towable RVs, they’re fairly easy to set up and manage. Additionally, they come with all the amenities and luxuries of motorhomes, including slide-outs, air conditioning, and more. 

Fifth Wheel Trailers

Fifth-wheel trailers, also known as fifth wheels, are the largest and most luxurious type of towable RV. Fifth-wheel trailers offer ample living space and amenities, making for a comfortable and enjoyable RV experience.

Due to their size, fifth-wheel RVs are a favorite of full-time RVers and those with large families. However, because you’ll need a large truck and a special hitch to tow a fifth-wheel trailer, these already-expensive vehicles cost a pretty penny. 

Toy Haulers

A toy hauler is the perfect solution for those wanting to bring their recreational toys along for the journey. These towable RVs combine comfortable living spaces with a dedicated garage area, allowing for secure transportation of recreational vehicles like motorcycles, ATVs, and bicycles. 

Toy haulers come in all styles, shapes, and sizes, and you can choose from travel trailers and fifth-wheel options. The downside of toy haulers is that they’re priced on the high end, require lots of RV maintenance, and the garage area takes up valuable living space. 

Custom and Converted Motorhomes

In addition to traditional options when it comes to RVs and motorhomes, you can also go the untraditional route and build your own! For example, you can take an old school bus, ambulance, luxury coach, or any other type of vehicle and retrofit it into a livable motorhome. 

Going this route will allow you to fully customize your rig and add features that wouldn’t otherwise be available. Be advised, however, that building a custom or converted motorhome is a ton of work, and you’ll need lots of creativity, ingenuity, and handyman skills. 

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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Motorhome

As you can see, there are lots of options to choose from when it comes to motorhomes and RVs. The key to making the right choice is to take your budget, needs, and priorities into consideration. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision and find the ideal rig that fits your needs and preferences.

Function and Purpose 

Functionality and purpose are two of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a motorhome or RV. If you value size, luxury, amenities, and the ability to house many people, Class-A motorhomes and fifth-wheels are the way to go. 

If you want something smaller, fuel-efficient, and easy to navigate, camper vans and small travel trailers are ideal. For those who want a happy medium where you get a little bit of everything, Class C motorhomes, larger travel trailers, and toy haulers fit the bill. 

Budget and Priorities

As with all things in life, your budget and priorities will significantly influence your decision. Motorhomes and RVs are a lot of fun, but they also aren’t cheap, and you should never spend more than you can afford. 

Therefore, you should determine your motorhome budget and list the features you want to be included, putting them in order of importance. Once you know your priorities and budget, you can compare the two to find the right option for you

Frequency of Use

Finally, how often you plan to use your motorhome is important in making your decision. If you only use it for occasional weekend getaways, you can survive without all the bells and whistles. However, if you’re purchasing a motorhome as your full-time residence, you might want to pay a little more to ensure it fits your needs perfectly. 

Test Driving and Renting Motorhomes

In the same way that it’s a good idea to job shadow someone if you’re interested in their profession, you should always try out motorhomes and RVs you’re thinking about buying. A good way to do this is by renting one for a weekend or taking it for a test drive.  

Test Drives

Test drives provide an invaluable opportunity to experience the handling and maneuverability of different motorhome classes firsthand. During the test drive, you can evaluate the performance of various components, such as buttons, lamps, mirrors, and the overall driving experience. 

RV Rentals

Renting a motorhome is another excellent way to try different types and layouts before committing to a purchase. RV rentals allow you to experience different living spaces and amenities, helping you determine which motorhome best suits your needs and preferences. 

Final Thoughts 

While choosing the right motorhome is tough, it’s possible when you consider your budget, needs, desires, and intended purpose. In addition to considering these factors, you should perform diligent research and test drive multiple RVs before making your final decision. 

Once you’ve purchased the motorhome of your dreams and need temporary or long-term storage, consider Neighbor for your RV storage needs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes?

Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious motorhome options. A class B motorhome, also known as a camper van, is much smaller and more maneuverable. Class C motorhomes are a happy medium between Class A and Class B motorhomes. 

Which is better, a Class A or C motorhome?

Class A motorhomes are best if you value living space, luxury, and all the amenities of a home. If you want a motorhome that’s cheaper, more efficient, and easier to drive while having decent amenities and living space, Class Cs are better. 

What is the difference between a Class B motorhome and a Class C motorhome?

Class B Motorhomes are smaller vans, while Class C Motorhomes are built on a truck or van chassis with an attached cab section. Because of their size, Class Bs are more fuel-efficient and easier to drive, but Class Cs have more living space, storage, and amenities. 

What are the main types of towable RVs?

The main types of towable RVs are travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, and toy haulers.

What are the advantages of renting a motorhome before purchasing one?

Renting a motorhome before purchasing one is advantageous because you can explore the layout, handling, and maneuverability to discover if it’s what you really want.

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