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What you need to know about living in a Class B Motorhome

| Updated Jul 23, 2016

Like all motorhome owners, we give a lot of tours.

It seems that whenever we’re on the road and stop, at a rest area or for fuel, someone comes over and starts asking questions. What they really want is a peek inside. So we oblige.

I bet, though, that because we travel in a Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL Type B, we give more tours than owners of other coach types. Folks are just naturally curious about how two people and a 50-pound dog can get around – let alone get along – in such a small vehicle. So we oblige, opening up the sliding door and inviting them inside.

We show them the rear sofa area that makes into two twin beds or a comfortable king with the push of a button. We open the door to the bathroom and point out the flushing toilet, the shower, the sink. We show the optional drop down storage cabinet in the back.  Jennifer always demos the galley, with the induction stovetop, the microwave/convection oven, refrigerator and various pantry and cupboard storage. And I talk about our solar power and a diesel generator and how we can be totally off the grid for days at a time, all self contained in remote areas where larger vehicles would fear to tread.

We give so many tours, in fact, that we put together a video version.

Here it is:

Last I checked, more than 80,000 people have taken that video tour!

But after we have done in person tours and enthusiastically shared our love of RVing in our little motorhome, probably the most common question we get is why a Class B?  Why not one of those giant Class A motorhomes? Or even a Class C.

I have a stock answer. I use it so much I had it printed on sweatshirts and T-shirts that we wear. It depicts a Type B motorhome and the four words that I think best answers the question.

smallhousebighomeSmall home. Big yard.

No offense to Class A or Class C owners, but we’re really hooked on small motorhomes and the Class B in particular because of the mobility it gives us to not just see the country, but truly be in it. We can go anywhere in our Class B RV and when we do, everything we need is with us. All I have to do is step outside and we have all the room in the world.

We don’t spend a lot of time in campgrounds. I’ve written here before about our love for boondocking, for camping in wilderness spots in state and federal forests, preserves, lakeshores, deserts and prairies.

That’s the inspiration behind the “Small Home. Big Yard” slogan.

We’ve driven about 1100,000 miles over the past five years in our Roadtrek.

We drove to to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado a few summers back – 14,115 feet above sea level. We were the only RV in the parking lot up there.

On that trip, we even hauled a 21-foot travel trailer with our Roadtrek so my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters had a place to stay with us. We unhooked the trailer for the ride up Pike’s Peak but we towed that travel trailer up and down the Rockies for the better part of a month, including the nefarious Wolf Creek Pass (10,856 feet) in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

My Class B parks in regular parking spots, which is a great convenience when hitting fast food restaurants or visiting national parks or places with limited parking for big rigs.

And I get between 16 and 17 miles a gallon. Sometimes as much as 19 under the right conditions.

It parks in my driveway. I don’t have to pay for storage when it is not in use. In fact, it is always in use. When home, I drive it around town as a second vehicle between trips.

There are some trade offs.

In Florida a couple of years ago, I came down with a case of the 24-hour stomach flu. This is never a good experience. But in a Class B, all I can say is Jennifer was really glad about the “Big Yard” part of our mantra. When one person is ill, the other person needs as much space as possible, Even the dog didn’t want my company. Fortunately, we had great weather and Jennifer and the dog had lots of things to do outside while I let the flu run its course. But if it had been rainy or cold and both of us were confined to the coach, our love affair with the Class B would have been seriously tested that day.

We also can’t bring as many toys as we would like. I carry a lot of photo and video gear with me as I travel. So much, in fact, that I bought a cargo box that fits on the back trailer hitch. The box was soon filled with a grill, a couple of chairs, our water hose and electrical cords and a bunch of other things for long stints on the road. But when we hooked up the box, I couldn't take our bicycles. Someone suggested I install a front hitch and mount the bikes there. I thought that sounded like a good idea. Jennifer nixed it right away, though, saying we’d look like the Beverly Hillbillies. Eventually, we sold the box and have learned to pack lighter.

And of course, we have no washer or dryer, no extras beds for guests and we often trip over Bo, who likes to lie in front of the bathroom door at night.

But those are the only downsides we can think. They're pretty minor really, considering all the freedom our Class B RV gives us.

It's a great life… and we're loving it!.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-07-23

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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