10 Super Practical Reasons to Buy a Class B RV

 10 Super Practical Reasons to Buy a Class B RV

Call them campervans. Call their style Van Life. Whatever you call it, Class B RVs are very popular these days. Here are 10 reasons to buy a Class B RV.

The RV Lifestyle offers a lot of choices. From travel trailers, to fifth wheels to motorhomes, there is a vehicle to suit every style.

And when it comes to motorhomes, there are essentially three choices – a big Class A (as long as 40+ feet, usually with multiple slides), a ClassC (less than 30 but tall and wide, sometimes with slides) and a Class B, often called a campervan and anywhere from 20-25-feet or so in length.

You may know them as Class A, C and B. The industry thought the term “Class” sounded too elitist so it switched to the word Type instead. But real people call them Class B, Class A and Class C RVs.

Oh yeah, there's one more “Class:” The B+

That's the RV we are in now. It's technically a Class C because it is just a tad bigger than a campervan. But we identify in it more with the Class B crowd, rather than the Class C crowd. Another way to say it is that it is closer in size and function to a Class B than a Class C.

Class Bs are probably the hottest selling segment of the motorized RV market these days.

But is a Class B right for you?

After more than nine years of RV travel and nearly 250,000 miles climbing mountains, visiting seashores, National Parks and wilderness areas all over North America,

Here are 10 Reasons to buy a Class B RV:

photo about the many reasons to buy a class b rv
There are many reasons to buy a Class B RV

1) A Class B RV can go where pretty much where a car can go

A Class B is meant for getting you easily to wherever you want to go, be it a fast-food parking lot off the freeway or a remote boondocking spot in the middle of a national forest or BLM lands far off the commercial grid. It is maneuverable and easy to drive yet has all the comforts of home. Which figures, because it is your home.

2) A Class B RV is for those who like to tour

The bigger motorhomes are just that: Big. Very big. You need to be careful turning corners, changing lanes, going under things and once you get off the interstates, you will get the same looks a slow-moving tractor does on a two-lane in rural country. A Class B shares the road well with all vehicles, accelerates well, turns easily, and doesn't take up three car lengths of roadway.

3) A Class B RV actually gets good fuel economy

My first Class B got 22 miles to a gallon. The others averaged 17-18 mpg. At today's fuel prices, the fuel savings a B offers over the bigger motorhomes out there are considerable. Our current RV, a Leisure Travel Vans Wonderis a little bigger and is known as a Class B+. It gets about 12.6 mpg

10 Super Practical Reasons to Buy a Class B RV 1
This is one of our Class B RVs on the Beartooth Highway n Montana

4) A Class B RV can run errands as a second vehicle at home

I often have used our Class B RVs as a second vehicle. Jennifer has our car. I drove the campervan. Simple as can be.

5) A Class B RV can stay parked in your driveway in most places

Neighborhood and homeowner associations tend to frown on Class A and Class Cs being parked in driveways. There's not nearly the problem with Class Bs. I have never had to store my RVs in a lot, paying stiff monthly fees. Mine is right in my driveway, ready to take me across town or the country anytime I want.

6) A Class B RV simplifies the traveling life

It is so easy to go in a Class B. You learn very quickly that you do not need nearly the “stuff” you thought you'd need. You take what you need and are surprised to discover that, other than food, a few changes of clothing and some elementary camping gear, you travel light.

And that just feels so right.

Free and easy down the road you'll go.

Seriously, I think of my RV every time I hear that Dierks Bentley song. “A pair of boots and a sack of clothes, free and easy down the road I go. Hangin'  memories on the high line poles, free and easy down the road I go.”

Oops. Sorry about that.

Here is a video we did that compares the least to the most expensive Class B RVs

7) A Class B RV is for doers, not sitters

Nothing against Class A or Class C RVers but it's been my experience that Class B owners are folks who don't like sitting in one place very long.

They are very active hikers, bikers, explorers.

Yeah, we have a small house. But we have a big yard.

Class B RVers spend a lot of time outdoors.

Here's a video showing how well a Class B RV gets around places like Yellowstone National Park:

8) A Class B RV doesn't require a lot of set-up and take down

It's so easy to park in a camping spot. Even if you have to back in. Hooking up takes three minutes, tops. Same with unplugging and leaving. Leveling is seldom a problem. If it is, move a few feet. Try that in a Class A.

9)  A Class B RV is great for day trips and special events

Driving to visit relatives, attending a grandkid's soccer game, or parking along a parade route, there's nothing like having your own bathroom on board, a fridge and microwave for snacks, or a place to charge computers, smartphones, camera batteries, and the like. Because it drives so easily, it's handy and easy to take non-camping outings.

10)  A Class B RV can serve as a guest bedroom in your driveway

Plug in an extension cord and your Class B can serve as a spare bedroom for guests, giving them – and you – privacy.

I know of some Class B owners who use it as a dressing room while attending weddings or as a place to nap cranky kids.

Because most Class Bs also have generators or coach batteries to provide power, the Class B is also a great refuge in a storm when the grid supplying your neighborhood is interrupted.

Okay. Those are my top ten reasons why a Class B RV may be right for you.

I'm sure we could come up with ten more reasons. In fact, current Class B owners, please feel free to add to this list under comments.

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Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

14 Comments

  • Mike: My husband has been trying to talk me into buying an RV for two years. I keep telling him they are too big. Then I found this posy today via Twitter. I love your blog!!! You and your wife have so much fun. I want in! When Ted comes home tonight, I’m telling him we have to go visit a Roadtrek dealer. I just looked and we have one in St Louis, which is only a half an hour away. For the very reasons you mention, THIS Type B kind of RV appeals to me. My husband is going to be so surprised.

    • We visited Van City in St. Louis a few days ago. Seemed to have every model of Roadtrek on their lot. Plus other manufacturers offerings. Nice folks! We looked over everything and decided our Chevy 210 Versatile still fits our needs better than anything else we’ve seen from anyone.

  • We just purchased a Roadtrek versatile 210 and went on our first family vacation in it. We went to Panama city, FL, and Savannah, GA. It lived up to every expectation.

  • We had been into boating, until my wife pointed out I’d never retire if we kept spending on boats. So, we sold ours. Now that I’ve retired, I was looking to get back in when my wife pointed out that we could drive a Type B to New England (from the Mid-Atlantic region) to visit relatives but she’d NEVER let me go there by boat! We now have a 2014 Roadtrek 190 Popular with solar panels . . . and lots of dreams!

  • Correction: number 10 is not proprietary to type B’s

    Also, you throw in the bad sides like type B’s have about as much living space as a walk-in closet, and there are never heated bays so you can’t take a real shower in below freezing temps

  • Have no idea what rv17 is complaining about…
    Bad sides? Heated bays???
    Haven’t a clue.
    But I do know my wife and I and our dog do just fine in our RV. We do very little camping in below freezing weather but when we do, we do not use the shower because the water system has been winterized. He is obviously not a Type B RVer. That’s fine. Type B camping and RVing is not for everyone. Some people like to RV in vehicles the size of 18 wheelers. That’s not our preferred style. We’d buy a condo if it was. For the reasons cited in this post, a Type B is for us.

    • Probably just sour grapes at seeing what fun you are having in your B. Or maybe he just had to fill his RV’s 150 gallon diesel fuel tank!

  • Mike.

    Number eleven. A type is good for us old folks. You can’t find a “hear’s Johnny” every where.

  • Hello Jennifer and Mike,nice post,reading the comments justs as informative,my question is when you were looking at different rv,s,what other type would you have bought,ex type c,or perhaps small a.My wife and I,and this is just are opinion,and please folks give your input,think type b,like roadtrek would and could really use a slide,this would make a big impact on the layout,and if big Jim and roadtrek is reading this,would make a very positive move into the type b market.

    • Not all class A’s are huge. Have you looked at Safari Trek? You can get them as short as 24′ and without slides. Most of them have a large bathroom and a kitchen because the bed is stored in the ceiling! The last year that Monaco built them was 2008 and they did grow to as long as 31′ with 2 slides.

      • We purchased a Pleasure way excel,Ford 6.8?l,we looked and drove all types,including diesel pushers,read and researched many models,could have gone either way,Roadtrek is a great product,and would not hesitate to purchase one of their products,however liked the floorplan of the excel,and the larger engine was a asset for us,time will tell

  • We have met folks with the type B who went to a type C as they camped longer and more often. If it was just me, I would LOVE a smaller rig. We have a Class A diesel pusher 35 ft that really works for the two of us, plus pets. You are right that we do get restricted in campgrounds due to length . We tow a mid size sedan. Would love to tow a small tractor. But anyways we get 10 to 12 mpg with our rig. I do miss pop up camping which we did for 10 years. I really would love to at least read your pod casts. I am limited on the number of gigibites per month, so with all the howdys and such using up such a limited resource I can not listen. I know you have to do what you do for your supporters, but, well I can not listen like I would like to. I do enjoy what you have posted. We also have the camera up front recording the trip. Something you may not have heard about, but last year we had damage done to our tow behind while parked in a road side rest. I was up and about, spouse napping. Someone attempted to steal our car off of the tow dolly. Broad daylight at a picnic / rest area for trucks and the like. Just the drivers window busted., and straps cut. We had a second set. Will keep the rear camera on in future stops. This was in Mississippi, near Merdian.

  • This is always such a lively discussion 🙂 As Mike mentioned, he was throwing out reasons a type B MIGHT be right for you. Near as I can figure, there are thousands of different models of RV out there, because there are thousands of different people, with tens of thousands of different preferences. 🙂 Aint it a beautiful world?
    Personally, I spent some time in a class B by myself, and then with a partner years ago, and both experiences marked the best times of my life. The freedom, drive and park ability, convenience, lower operating costs, and ability to access different locations can not be touched by large motor homes. Obviously, there are trade offs; and the luxury and comforts of bigger rigs are … well… bigger. It’s all about your personal style. I’ve seen large rigs with up to FOUR televisions, some wall sized home theater types! In my opinion, that’s crazy :-), The first thing I did in my last two vans was REMOVE the television, as I had no use for it. White leather interior and carpet? Not to well suited to a lifestyle of hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, canoeing… For me, even slides and awnings are unnecessary, high maintenance items I’d rather do with out. It’s all about choices.

    Now that I am a little older …OK, allot older…. I am planning my retirement, and trying to find the perfect rig for this next venture out in an RV. This time, I plan to spend longer intervals on the road, need to carry some work supplies with me, and would like room for a visiting child or two once in awhile. I’m not sure a Class B will cut it. I’m looking at these rigs they call Class B+’s, and the smallest Class C’s I can find. 24 feet seems really excessive to me 🙂
    It’s all about Choices.

  • I’m planning a trip this summer starting at Grand Canyon and working my way to Yellowstone and was thinking of renting a camper van. I’m a 53 woman – in decent shape, but not overly strong. Will I be able to set up and take down whatever I need to for the campervan?

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