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What Is a Class B Motorhome: Features and Advantages

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Published : July 29, 2022
White RV parked near palm trees

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Knowing what is a class B motorhome before owning one provides ideal camping in congested urban environments or wide-open spaces. In addition, class B RVs are a considerable benefit. Compact and self-powered, these vehicles don’t require hooking up a trailer or towing a vehicle. But before you invest in such a motorhome, let’s learn more about them!

What Is a Class B Motorhome – Definition

What is a Class B Motorhome? The definition of class B RVs goes along these lines: small, streamlined homes on wheels that are always ready to roll. These vehicles operate with greater fuel efficiency than Class C motorhomes and provide many essential amenities like beds, restrooms, and compact galley kitchens like Class A RVs. Class B models are the smallest of the motorhome classes A, B, and C.

What Is a Class B+ Motorhome?

Before we discuss Class B RVs, we have to talk about the B+ subclass. B+ motorhomes are called camper vans because they’re still relatively compact but provide a larger chassis and more interior space than the standard models. That makes it possible for small families to sleep together and move about in relative comfort. Most B+ models use a larger van chassis, but some use a bus chassis for even greater interior space.

The advantages of B+ models over B models include room for more people, larger, more comfortable beds, greater cabin space, and full-sized bathrooms, which can be critical for travelers forced into proximity with little personal space. In addition, class B+ models usually come with larger standup showers, sinks, a toilet, and even storage for toiletries, towels, makeup, etc.

Class B Model Motorhomes: Features and Specs

Many people decide to create their motorhomes, but that option works well only for those gifted with superior mechanical skills and broad knowledge of vehicles, kitchen appliances, plumbing, and miscellaneous knowledge required when working on a project for a year or longer. That’s why most campers start with an all-inclusive model of motorhome instead of engaging in conversion projects.

Class B models range between 17 and 23 feet in length and 9 to 11 feet in height. The models are limited in width to fitting standard traffic lanes, which are about 8 feet. Motorhomes have passenger seats for several passengers, but those can be big concerns for families with small children because the seats aren’t always as secure as the seats in pickup trucks towing travel trailers.

Class B RVs Specs

Class B motorhomes drive similarly to other passenger vehicles. You can usually park them in most standard-sized parking spaces in crowded shopping malls, grocery stores, and on the street. The technical specs for standard models include:

  • Storage: Ranges from limited to moderate
  • Weight: 6,000 to 8,000 pounds
  • Gas mileage: Ranges from 10 to 25 miles per gallon
  • Sleeping capacity: Accommodate two to four adults and up to six in B+ models
  • Carriage type: Van chassis or sometimes a small bus chassis
  • Fuel: Tanks that range in capacity between 24 and 100 gallons of fuel
  • Other amenities: Wet/dry bathrooms with showers, various slide-out features including beds, sofas, plumbing hookups, generators, kitchenette facilities, and additional sleeping surfaces
  • Price range: Ranges from $40,000 to $150,000 for new motorhomes, which can vary based on manufacturer, size, and amenities

Class B Model Motorhomes: Standard and Special Amenities

Class B models often have decorative flourishes like extended ceilings, which increase living space, foster greater comfort and allow adults room to stand. Class B models make sense for frequent urban travelers, people who spend lots of time pursuing outdoor activities, and camping enthusiasts.

Adventurous people favor class B rigs because of their flexibility, ability to travel off-road, and ease of navigating in congested traffic, along narrow roads, and to out-of-the-way spots. Standard and special amenities of B models include:

  • Sleeping: Sleeping areas often convert from sofas to beds for extra space.
  • Kitchenettes: Class B RVs usually come standard with a sink, a small counter area, a built-in refrigerator, and a two-burner stove. You can get a B or B+ model with an upgraded kitchen with any cooking appliance available for small kitchens.
  • Dining Areas: Almost all dining areas in B models serve double-duty like a removable tabletop.
  • Bathrooms: Most manufacturers equip their B models with a bathroom, shower, and toilet.
  • Solar Power Setup: One popular upgrade many motorhome owners choose is outfitting the rig with solar power. This provides great benefits for people who enjoy traveling off the beaten track.
  • Off-road Tires: The optional feature of off-road tires ensures you’re ready to travel anywhere off-road vehicles can reach.
  • Storage Space: The areas dedicated for storage usually include areas for clothing, recreational gear and kitchen equipment, and tableware. Each manufacturer might offer additional storage space as standard or optional features.

Some of the best motorhome manufacturers include Winnebago, Thor, Cimarron, Newmar, Tiffin, Logan Coach, Forest River, Entegra Coach, and Jayco. You can outfit your Class B home with almost any feature you need for comfort when traveling as long as the items fit within the narrow spatial profile.

Class B Model Motorhomes Pros and Cons

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Some drivers crave extra space and scare easily at the prospect of using what is nicknamed a camper van. Despite many fears, Class B models rank as one of the fastest growing segments of the recreational vehicle industry and one of the most popular RV types to get. The small footprint can be viewed as a negative and positive point, depending on your perspective.

Small, stylish camping vans instantly provide easy access to all types of roads and readiness for travel. RVs offer the comforts of home, privacy, and the ability to provide guests with a mobile guest room. The pros of choosing a B Class model include:

  • Drivability comparable to regular passenger vehicles
  • Comfortable driving just like driving a van
  • Greater selection of potential campsites
  • Towing capacity to attach a trailer or motorcycle
  • Ease of use because of its ready-to-travel design
  • Alternative uses include day tripping, tailgating, sporting events, and carrying equipment for outdoor activities like fishing, camping, boating, hunting, etc.
  • Favorable gas mileage when compared to larger classes of RVs
  • Easy to park and store like standard passenger vehicles
  • Advanced technologies like lithium batteries, solar power, continuous water heaters, and premium sound systems
  • Options for carrying bicycles, kayaks, or jet skis
  • Comfortable living with options like electronic sofa/bed conversions

There are also some serious drawbacks because size matters to many people. You could check out a Class B+ RV Model, which is larger. Other drawbacks of Class B models include:

  • The limited space can prove frustrating over time when fighting with a friend or partner
  • Limits to what you can do to rearrange your space
  • Less storage than you might expect
  • Smaller tanks for gas, water, and other supplies
  • Lack of dedicated sleeping space
  • The necessity of making your bed daily before converting it or moving out of the way
  • Relatively high prices for small spaces can range upward of $80,000

It all boils down to your personal preferences or whether you can live more flexibly. Those who successfully adopt the lifestyle of Class B camper van living can find the models invaluable for their simple driving, easy navigation, and expanded ability to see the world.

Who Should Use a Class B Model Motorhome?

Class B models provide great flexibility to travel down the narrowest roads and visit hidden spots not readily available to larger RVs. In addition, class B mobile homes provide access to all national parks, which makes them ideal for passionate campers and retirees trying to visit key U.S. attractions and trendy spots. The vans also work as second vehicles, so they’re the perfect choice for families who need multifunctional vehicles for busy shared lifestyles.

Class B camping vans prove great for hunting, fishing, boating, and sports lovers. In addition, they can be used for unusual tasks like prospecting, treasure hunting, scientific expeditions, and myriad adventures.

What Are the License Requirements to Drive a Class B RV?

The simple answer is a standard driver’s license. No special license is necessary to drive any RV camper under 26,000, and most B Class RVs weigh only between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds. This is true in all 50 states.

What to Look for in a Class B Model RV?

You should consult your budget and decide between a new or used motorhome. If buying used, ensure the engine is sound and that all features operate as intended. Hiring an experienced mechanic proves effective in these cases.

Check to see whether there’s enough space for your needs. Test everything regardless of whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle.

What Is a Class B Motorhome? Bottom Line

We hope you learned more information now that helps you answer the question, “What is a Class B motorhome?” The bottom line is that you will have to adjust your expectations because you won’t get a 5-star resort experience in a camping van. Instead, you will enjoy access to more places like bohemian attractions, out-of-the-way treasures, easy driving, parking, and storage.

Class B Model RVs: FAQs

The following answers to the most common questions provide information that most people want to know.

What does a class B model motorhome look like?

Most Class B RVs appear like streamlined but oversized vans.

What is the best class B model of motorhomes?

Most users rank the top B RV class models as follows:

  • Winnebago Solis
  • Thor Sequence
  • Roadtrek Zion
  • Airstream Atlas
  • Pleasure-Way Plateau TS
  • Coachmen Galleria
  • Winnebago Boldt

How much does a class B motorhome cost?

Prices range from $60,000 to $240,000 for decent brands.

What is the difference between a class B Model RV and a conversion van?

Conversion vans usually have two highly maneuverable captain’s chairs and a sofa for the third row of seating that converts into a bed. Class B campers are small RVs with all amenities like a bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area.

What is the lifespan of a Class B Model RV?

The average lifespan depends on usage, how far it is driven, and maintenance, but most Class B models last between 10 and 20 years.

Where do you park a Class B model motorhome?

You can park almost anywhere based on height and length limitations. However, ironically speaking, you can forget about most parking garages.

What to do with an old Class B model motorhome?

You can try selling it online or selling it directly to us. You could also convert an old motorhome into a guest room on your property.

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