What Is the Difference Between Class A, B, and C Motorhomes?

There are three classes of RVs – Class-A, Class-B, and Class-C. 

While there are many similarities between these three classes, there are some distinct differences and pros and cons to each.

So, what is the difference between Class A, B, and C motorhomes? 

Let’s break each class down into more detail, learn the pros and cons of each, and answer a few frequently asked questions to help you decide which RV class is right for you!

What Is a Class-A Motorhome?

Class-A motorhome

Class-A motorhomes are the largest of the three main RV classes. They are built on a heavy-duty commercial truck or bus frame, similar to what you’d find on an 18-wheeler.

Class-As offer one of the most spacious, luxurious living of all the RV classes. They offer everything you would need for life on the road, whether you have access to utilities or prefer camping off-grid. They are truly self-contained RVs.

Most Class-A RVs can also tow 5,000 plus pounds, which is a great feature if you need to tow a personal vehicle, boat, or another type of vehicle.

You can typically sleep up to 8 people comfortably, but it depends on the size and layout of the particular RV.

Of course, Class-A RVs aren’t without their downsides.

Due to their overall large size, they tend to get very poor gas mileage, usually between 4 to 8 mpg. At $3 per gallon, a 2,000-mile road trip will cost roughly $1,000 in gas. However, that might be cheaper than flying for a family!

They can also be difficult to navigate unless you have a lot of experience driving vehicles of this size.

And expect to pay higher insurance premiums than both Class-B and C RVs.

Class-A Specifications

  • Length: 21 to 45 feet
  • Weight: 13,000 to 30,000 lbs.
  • Chassis: Commercial truck or bus
  • Sleeps: 2 to 8 people
  • Price: $$$$$

Class-A Amenities Include:

  • Full-sized kitchen with appliances
  • Dinette
  • Full bathroom
  • Multiple sleeping spaces, with some featuring a queen bed, bunkhouses, etc.
  • Storage space
  • HVAC system
  • Entertainment systems
  • Slide outs
  • And more

*Amenities will vary by manufacturer and model.

What Is a Class-B Motorhome?

Class-B motorhome

A Class-B motorhome is typically the smallest of the RV classes. These recreational vehicles are built on a van chassis, hence why they are often called campervans.

In fact, you might not be able to differentiate a large van from some Class-B’s, as they can look very similar. This is partly due to the popularity of converting large conversion vans into Class-B motorhomes with functional living spaces.

Because of the smaller size, Class-B’s lack the space and amenities found in larger Class-A and C models.

Class-Bs will typically feature a small kitchenette and sleeping area, and some may even feature a wet bath, which is basically a tiny bathroom inside a shower.

While most Class-B vehicles do not contain slide-outs, there are a few models, sometimes referred to as Class-B+, that have them.

Class-B campervans come with a few advantages, including:

  • Affordability: Class-B campervans are more affordable than Class-A’s. And not just in upfront cost, but the total cost of ownership.
  • Gas Mileage: Since Class-B’s are smaller, they typically get better gas mileage than both A and C RVs. Depending on the make and model, you can expect around 12 to 25 mpg. If you think of the money saved in fuel costs over the total time of ownership, that can really add up!
  • Driveability: Another advantage of being smaller is that Class-B’s are easier to drive, maneuver, and park than the other classes of RVs. Plus, there’s no need to tow a car behind you.

While the smaller size of Class-B’s comes with many distinct advantages, it also has a few drawbacks, mainly a cramped living space, lack of storage, and a surprisingly higher price tag than the larger Class-C.

It can also be a hassle to constantly unhook your hookups every time you leave the campground.

But, if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, then a Class-B may be the perfect choice for you! Check out our guide titled What Is a Campervan? (And Is It Right for You) to learn more about Class-B campervans.

Class-B Specifications

  • Length: 17 to 24 feet
  • Weight: 6,000 to 8,000 lbs.
  • Chassis: Van
  • Sleeps: 1 to 2 people
  • Price: $$$$

Popular Class-B Amenities Include:

  • Small kitchenette
  • Sleeping area (which may double as seating or a dinette)
  • Wet bath
  • Storage space
  • And more

*Amenities will vary by manufacturer and model.

What Is a Class-C Motorhome?

Class-C motorhome

A Class-C motorhome is the middle ground class of RVs. They are smaller than a Class-A but typically larger than a Class-B. They sit on a cutaway van or truck chassis and are recognized by their over-the-cab sleeping quarters.

To many RVers, Class-C RVs hit the sweet spot in size, amenities, and price!

They have the same amenities as a Class-A, in a smaller size (but still more room than a Class-B), and typically at a cheaper cost than both.

Class-Cs typically have multiple sleeping quarters, full kitchens, good-sized bathrooms, and plenty of storage – similar to a Class-A.

They are easier to drive than a Class-A, as well. Not because they are shorter in length (which does help), but because they are built on a familiar truck chassis, which is why many campers find them less intimidating and easier to maneuver than a Class-A.

You still get the towing capacity required to pull a car behind you, which will come in handy, as they can be tedious to navigate around town when running errands or sightseeing.

Class-C’s do, however, typically have worse gas mileage than Class-B’s. But it’s still better than your typical Class-A at roughly 10 to 18 mpg.

Class-C Specifications

  • Length: 20 to 35 feet
  • Weight: 10,000 to 12,000 lbs.
  • Chassis: Cutaway Van or truck
  • Sleeps: 4 to 8
  • Price: $$$

Popular Class-C Amenities Include:

  • Full-sized kitchen with appliances
  • Dinette
  • Full bathroom
  • Multiple sleeping spaces, with some featuring a queen bed, bunkhouses, etc.
  • Storage space
  • HVAC system
  • Entertainment systems
  • Slide outs
  • And more

*Amenities will vary by brand and model.

Which Class of RV Is Best?

The best class of RV is the one that best fits your needs and closely aligns with your camping style. For example, frequent or Full-time RV’ers will enjoy the comfort and amenities of a Class-A. A shorter and more affordable Class-C might be a better option for families that only camp a few times per year. If it’s just you and one other person and ease of driving is most important, then a Class-B will be the right choice for you.

In other words, match the class of RV to your camping needs to find the best choice for you!

RV Class Chart

RV class chart

FAQs

Which Is Bigger: Class C or Class B Motorhome?

A Class-C motorhome is typically bigger than a Class-B campervan. Class-B campervans typically range from 17-24 feet long, while Class-C motorhomes range from 20 to 35 feet.

Do Class B Motorhomes Have Bathrooms?

Class-B motorhomes will typically have a wet bath instead of a full bathroom. This means it will have a small shower with a toilet, mirror, and sink inside the shower.

Which RV Is Easiest to Drive?

A Class-B RV is the easiest to drive by a long shot. They sit on a van chassis, so they drive and feel like your typical van. And since they are smaller in size than Class-A and B’s, they are easier to maneuver and park.

Which Is More Expensive: Class B or Class C RV?

A Class-B RV is typically more expensive than a Class-C, even though they are smaller and contain fewer features. But why? The more complicated manufacturing process, higher demand, and stricter automotive standards for Class B’s contribute to their higher price tag.

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