Lots of people like us have been using their RV as an everyday vehicle. A Class B RV or Class C RV is perfect for running errands and making day trips. Here's how:
One of the great things about having a small RV – A Class B or Class C – is that it also can function as an everyday vehicle. Or a second vehicle, if you'd rather call it that,
Over the years I’ve used our various small RVs to run errands, drive to and from meetings and work-related activities, church, and – while Jennifer is shopping – a comfortable place to chill out while in the parking lot of the mall.
I’ve also used them for what I call mini-vacations, short day trip respites of a few hours to visit parks, lakeshores, and the like. Sometimes, I’ve put the bike rack on, drove to a big Metropark near my house, done a long bike ride, and then just chilled out for a few hours.
Traveling around with a refrigerator stocked with cold refreshments, some snacks, and food in the pantry, a TV and DVD, and, of course, a full bathroom, is surely something we can’t do in the family SUV.
Using Your RV as an everyday vehicle
If you’ve been thinking about using your RV as an everyday vehicle, here are my top seven tips to make it easy.
1- Be aware of your surroundings
Your RV is not only longer than most other vehicles, but it’s also taller. Look for low hanging limbs, utility wires, signs, and the like. Don’t even think about parking garages. Yes, it can go just about anywhere. But it is not a car. I was using an alley that paralleled the main street of a downtown near my home the other day and would have taken out a whole string of overhead wires that were sagging low over the alley. Cars easily passed beneath them. My 10-foot high RV would have not been able to Limbo underneath them.
2- In parking lots, choose the spaces that are at the ends of the lot
With nothing behind them except maybe a curb or six-inch parking barrier, I always prefer end spaces to back in. Because the rear wheels of my RV chassis are set back from the actual end of the coach I can back in a long way, until the wheels hit the barrier, I only stick out a little longer than the other vehicles next to me.
3- Watch out for very steep driveways.
Most Class B and Class C RVs have a lot of stuff hanging off the rear. They are also longer. And thus steep driveways pose the risk of bumping or scraping your rear bumper hitch, generator, hot water heater or battery holders.
4- Be considerate
I seldom park horizontally on city streets. Yes, maybe, in some spots, I really can squeeze between the lines. But for those in front or behind me, it will be very challenging for them to get out. Or me, too, for that matter, should you be hemmed in at both ends. Similarly, don’t run your generator in crowded areas where the noise can really irritate folks.
5- Watch out for potholes and broken pavement
City streets can be pretty messed up. And those streets can mess up your RV. A car can rattle over them pretty fast. A Class B RV or Class C RV sways and porpoises. Cabinets can pop open (don’t ask Jennifer about the stack of plates I broke on one such urban adventure). Bad roads are particularly bad for RVs when making sharp turns. Always take turns slowly at corners.
6- Lock your RV
That seems pretty obvious, I know. But thieves know motorhomes are very expensive and thus, chances are they have expensive things inside them, too. Just as you probably have a security system for your family car, get one for your RV. Don’t leave your GPS suction-cupped to your windshield. If you’re charging computers, cameras or cell phones inside the RV, hide them so no one can see be peering into a window. Think the inside is invisible because of window tinting? Think again. Put your face up to the glass and put a hand over your eyebrows to block the reflection. You’ll learn that you can see pretty good.
7- Be polite
You are an ambassador for the RV Lifestyle. The public is very curious about small motorhomes. It’s a very rare day that I am not asked about mine when I am in the city or a big parking lot. We gladly give tours. You don’t have to do that. But don’t be a snob, either. If you don’t want to talk about it, don’t drive it where people will naturally be attracted to it.
We love all the small RVs we've had over the year. We've used a Class B RV and a Class C RV for lots of traveling but lots of everyday use, too. Here's a video that we did on a trip from Michigan to the South where we used the RV to discover and try various regional foods:
And if you're curious about our current RV, a 2021 Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RTB, here's a complete video walkthrough tour:
You can see why we like small motorhomes – a Class B RV or a Class B RV – so much. They are small and maneuverable and thus a perfectly suited RV as an everyday vehicle.
Just in case you need some inspiration, I got to thinking in writing this article about all the ways we have used our RV as an everyday vehicle. I came up with a list of 12:
More ways to use a Class B RV or Class C RV as an everyday vehicle
- Tailgating before a football game
- A portable dressing room at weddings and funerals
- A guest room in the driveway
- A mobile production van for my video and photographic projects
- My own man cave
- A warming room in the winter when cross country skiing or snowshoeing
- A deer blind when photographing nature
- A comfortable bedroom for rest area naps while traveling
- Emergency power when a storm knocks out electricity to the neighborhood
- Extra refrigerator space for keeping things cold during family gatherings or parties
- A place for the grandkids to hang out watching DVDs between baseball and soccer games
- Our own private en suite bedroom in the driveway when visiting relatives
Most of this conversation has been about the Class B RV or Class C RV. But you may have heard about another type of small motorhome – the Class B+ If you're curious about that CLICK HERE for an article that explains the Class B+ RV
And if you are brand new to RVing, here's a helpful beginner's Guide to small Mororhomes from Consumers Reports.
Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?
On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page links to them. We update this all the time. CLICK HERE to go to it directly.