Analysts predict 2023 will see some 429,000 RV shipments before the year’s end. While many consumers are eager to become first-time owners, many don’t know the difference between motorhome classes.
If you’re struggling to find the right RV for your specific needs, the following guide can help. It will cover the most common types of motorhomes and their advantages.
Read on to learn everything you need to know before purchasing an RV and hitting the road this summer.
Class A Motorhomes
If you’re looking for the biggest motorhome possible, look no further than Class A types. They’re typically between 21 to 45 feet long and weigh between 13,000 to 30,000 lbs.
Because of their large size, these RVs get built on the same chassis as a commercial truck or commercial bus. The durable chassis is similar to what you’d see on a standard 18-wheeler.
Different class A RVs use different layouts that can sleep between 2 to 8 people without the interior feeling too packed. Their designs put comfort first and let owners maximize their interior living space while they’re traveling.
A class A motorhome essentially functions as a complete home on wheels. Because of this, they make an excellent choice for family vacations or longer travels on the road.
Most class A RV options come with a towing capacity of close to 5,000 lbs. So if you intend to tow a vehicle on your trips, they can get the job done easily. Check out the class A motorhomes found here for some good examples.
Class A Amenities
Class A motorhomes come with a full kitchen and a space reserved for eating. If you want to cook on the go, this type of RV is a foodie’s dream.
They also come with a full bathroom which is a big help during long travels. You don’t have to make as many stops with your own bathroom and it offers more privacy.
You’ll find several sleeping spaces for your fellow travelers and a surplus of storage space. If you’re not one to travel light, a class-A RV can accommodate your needs.
They also have heating and cooling features to keep you comfortable while you explore. Most have speaker systems and TVs if you want some on-the-go entertainment, too.
These motorhomes have LED lighting throughout so that you can do things like read or cook no matter the time of day.
Class A Drawbacks
If you choose a class-A motorhome, expect to spend some extra time and money at the pump. They get about 8 to 10 miles per gallon which is the lowest gas mileage of all classes.
If you buy or rent a class A motorhome on the larger side, you might need a special license to drive it. Keep in mind that a lot of states require a commercial driver’s license if the vehicle weighs more than 26,000 lbs.
Other than weight, some states base their licensing requirements on the length and passenger capacity of RVs. You can contact your local DMV to figure out the laws and requirements in your state.
If licensing seems like too much of a hassle, you might consider a smaller class of motorhomes.
Class B Motorhomes
Class B motorhomes are the smallest option you can choose at a length of 17 to 25 feet. Their appearance resembles a full-sized van that’s customized for road trips. That’s mostly because they get built on van a chassis which forms their van-like exterior shape.
They differ from traditional vans because the inside has a customized living area. Because of their small size, they’re much easier to drive, park, and maneuver compared to other RV options.
Because they look like vans, you can blend into your surrounding and camp without looking like you’re camping. You don’t have to worry about crowding gas stations with a large vehicle and causing problems for other motorists either.
They get about 18 to 25 miles per gallon which make them a very cost-effective and eco-friendly option. They’re also the most affordable option whether you buy or rent them for a trip.
You might also hear class B motorhomes referred to as “camper vans”. Keep in mind that you can purchase a used van and convert it yourself to add your own personal touch or to save money. They’re lightweight and don’t require any special licenses to drive.
Class B Amenities
As you might have guessed, class B motorhomes don’t have as many amenities as class A options because of their smaller size. However, they still boast the essentials needed for shorter trips.
While amenities vary greatly from model to model, most camper vans dedicate space for a kitchenette. They also have a dinette or seating area to enjoy motorhome-cooked meals.
They also have a bed to sleep on and often times the dinette converts into a sleeping area to save space. There’s usually plenty of room left for storing gear as well. Like class-A options, you’ll find LED lighting throughout camper vans.
Class B Drawbacks
Plan to pull over for your restroom breaks because camper vans don’t have their own bathrooms. You’ll need to scout out rest areas ahead of your travels for things like showers.
Because of their limited size, you won’t have swivel seats or tables inside. For some, this isn’t an issue but for others, it might seem cramped and uncomfortable after a few days.
If you choose a class B motorhome, you’ll need to get your creative juices flowing to save as much space as possible. If that kind of pre-planning isn’t your thing, consider a larger type of motorhome.
Class C Motorhomes
Class C motorhomes aren’t quite as big as class A types, but have a much larger size than camper vans. They’re usually between 20 to 35 feet long and weigh around 10,000 to 12,000 lbs.
They have a classic RV shape and use an overhang for the sleeping area that sits above the main cabin of the motorhome. They’re built on a cutaway van or small truck chassis which makes them easier to drive than class-A options.
You can achieve much better gas mileage by scaling back from a class A RV to a class C RV. Also, most states won’t make you get a special license to drive a class C motorhome despite their larger size, but it’s still important to check your local laws.
Class C Amenities
You’ll get just about all the same amenities of a class-A motorhome if you buy or rent a class-C motorhome. Although, they might have a slightly smaller size and lack some of the luxuries of class-A amenities.
You’ll still get a full kitchen with a dinette and seating areas to cook, eat, and relax. They have several sleeping areas and larger models can sleep up to 8 people.
You’ll find much more storage space than camper vans provide, which makes them great for extended trips. LED lights illuminate the interior and they also have entertainment systems just like class-A options.
They often have full bathrooms so you get much more privacy than camper vans provide and won’t lose time making stops. Finally, they have excellent heating and cooling features to help you and your guests feel comfortable on your journey.
Class C Drawbacks
Because they’re not as large as class A motorhomes, you might find some class C models that don’t have showers. Some might not have enough space for large families when compared to class-A options either.
If you only plan to travel alone or with one other passenger, it might not make sense to choose class C over a camper van. While they get better gas mileage than class A, a camper van is much more efficient.
Class C motorhomes work best for specific needs so evaluate your travel plans and choose wisely. It’s common for class C drivers to wish they had spent a little more money on a class A model for extra space.
On the other hand, some couples and solo travelers find that their class-C model was more motorhome than they needed. remember that their length makes things like parking more difficult if you don’t have much experience driving large vehicles.
Choosing Types of Motorhomes
There are types of motorhomes for every situation, so consider the length of your trips before you make a purchase. Factor in the number of travelers you’ll have and the most important amenities you want as well.
Check out our site’s auto and lifestyle sections for more vehicle and camping tips to make your summer unforgettable.