If you have started shopping for an RV, the lingo can be a bit confusing at first. Especially when it comes to all the different “classes” of RVs.
So, what exactly is the difference between a Class-B and a Class-C RV?
The short answer:
The main difference between a Class B and a Class C RV is that the Class B is built on a cargo van chassis while the class C is built on a truck or mini-bus chassis.
Other differences are size, price, and features. Class B RVs are usually referred to as a campervan and for good reason. Class B RVs are not technically considered an RV but a van. This is because it is built on a traditional van chassis. The Class C RV, however, is a small to medium-sized RV that is built on a mini-busor truck chassis to provide more cabin space and overall weight cpacity.
You can spot the difference between a class B and class C RV just by looking at the vehicle. The class B will look almost identical to a van, while Class C can be recognized by its over-cab sleeping quarters.
Continue reading further to learn more about the differences between Class B and Class C RV’s, the cost of each, and which one you should choose if you are in the market for an RV.
What Features do Class C RVs Have?
The Class C RV is one of the most recognizable classes of RVs on the market. Smaller than a bus with no slide-outs, the Class C RV is the most popular class for small families. This is because Class C can fit up to 5 people comfortably.
Class C RV’s feature a kitchenette and dining area, shower and toilet combo, small sitting area that usually folds out into a bed, and plenty of storage space. The Class C RV also features an over-cab sleeping area that houses the larger of the two beds. If you have a 5th person, most Class C RV’s allow room to bring another small cot for sleeping.
Class C RV’s have an option to pull a vehicle behind the camper as well. This is a bonus for those who want to travel in comfort but have a smaller car to tour the area instead of a large, gas-guzzling camper. There is also no special licensing requirement to drive a Class C RV.
What Features do Class B RVs Have?
Class B RVs have been around since the 1970s but there has been a renewed interest in them since the mid-2010s. Class B RVs, though considered an RV, are actually closer to a van than a camper. Class B RVs are built-in van chassis and are taller than normal vans to provide walking room inside the back.
Class B RV’s come standard with a bed, full or single, small kitchenette and table, and a combination shower and bathroom. There is enough storage space inside of a class B RV to hold camping and traveling gear for 2 people.
The Class B RV has gained popularity for its ease of use. Almost anyone who can legally drive can maneuver a Class B RV with ease. There is no special licensing requirement to drive a class B RV and this class is the cheapest class of any other RV available.
Which Class of RV is Better?
It depends on what you want it for! If you have one to two people who want to travel quickly and lithely across the country, then choosing a Class B RV is most likely going to be the best choice. While it doesn’t provide a ton of room, the gas is cheaper, the parking is easier, and you can take it just about anywhere as it doesn’t come close to any weight limits you might come across.
However, if you have a small family and are planning on extended camping trips, the Class C RV would be the option for you. Class C RV’s not only can fit a bigger group of people, but it also provides much more comfort on longer trips. Another plus is that you can bring a regular car with you instead of driving your camper everywhere.
Why do Class C RVs Cost More than Class B?
The short answer to this is the ease of use and demand. Many people get intimidated with driving larger vehicles and do not feel comfortable driving a Class B RV. The Class C campervans, however, are much more familiar to drive for most people.
The main reason that Class C RVs cost more is demand. In the last 5 years, Class C RV’s have rapidly gained popularity with the influx of travel bloggers for social media. The demand for these vehicles has never been higher than right now. Most Class B RVs are also made from luxury brands, which automatically add a ‘luxury tax’ to the cost.
Class C Cost and Longevity
If you are looking to purchase a class C RV, you can expect to shell out anywhere from a few thousand dollars for a used one to tens of thousands of dollars for a new one. The demand for RVs has increased over the past few years across all classes and the Class C is no different.
With proper care and maintenance, however, you can expect a Class C RV to last up to 300,000 miles or more depending on the make, model, and terrain conditions that you expect to take it on. A well-cared-for Class C RV will last much longer driving in a flat desert than crawling up steep mountains.
Class B Cost and Longevity
The Class B RV will most likely cost more than a Class C. While it may seem strange, given that Class B is much larger, the demand for Class C RVs has skyrocketed recently. Brand new Class C RV’s can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The wide range is due to the complete customization that many Class B RV manufacturers offer.
Used Class B RVs are not much cheaper at the current time. The pandemic has caused a shortage in chip manufacturing which has affected the cost of all automobiles, whether standard or an RV. If you are looking for a Class B, be prepared to fork over a lot of money, more than you probably expect, for a good one.