Most of our RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers know there are Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes, but did you also know there is a Class B Plus RV?
It’s confusing, though.
A Class B Plus is really a Class C RV.
B Plus is a made-up term. But the term Class B Plus RV is so widely used now that people and RV salespeople commonly refer to them that way. Whether accurate or not, the Class B+ RV is the choice for many who want something bigger than a B but smaller than a C.
They are for Jennifer and me. We've owned two of them: One, a Leisure Travel Vans Unity FX built on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter cutaway chassis.
And our brand new one, a 2021 Wonder RTB (Rear Twin Bed) model built on the Ford Transit cutaway chassis. (That's Jennifer with ours, pictured above.)
Before we got the B Plus RVs, we owned several Class B motorhomes built on the Sprinter van chassis. So we've had both Bs and B Pluses.
Why did we choose a Class B Plus RV?
Because a Class B Plus RV has more room than the Class B RV but is still a small enough motorhome to be easily maneuvered.
Class B RVs are known as campervans. They consist of a van body. The RV stuff is built and formed inside the walls of the van. It can get pretty close quarters in a B van.
A Class B Plus RV (and the traditional Class C RV) is built on cutaway chassis. A cutaway chassis consists of the engine and cab and, behind that, just the rails and wheels without walls. That back portion of the cutaway chassis is what RV manufacturers build the RV part on. Think of the RV part as a box, attached to rails and outriggers to that cutaway chassis.
The box is a bit bigger and has more living room than the B van.
What is with the Class B Plus RV designation?
In short, a Class B Plus RV is an unofficial industry classification that refers to a Class C size (chassis/body) RV, minus the cab overhang at the front that typically is used for sleeping on Class Cs. For registration and insurance purposes, in fact, Class B+ RVs are listed as a Class C.
“People said, ‘Well, I want something that doesn't have that overhang,” said Dean Corrigal, territory sales manager, Leisure Travel Vans “And so (the industry) came up with the name Class B Plus RV.”
In other words, it's a marketing term. Totally made up.
A Class B Plus RV is built on the same cutaway chassis cabs used for Class C RVs, typically from Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, or Ford. The living space of the Class C RV — or any class for that matter — is built by a third-party RV manufacturer. Leisure Travel Vans builds on the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter chassis.
Extra info on the Class B Plus RV
- CLICK HERE to read an article on why we chose a Class B+ RV on the Ford Transit cutaway chassis
- CLICK HERE to see a video on how Leisure Travel Vans builds its various Class B Plus RV models
Advantages of a Class B Plus RV
Because the only real difference between a Class C and Class B Plus RV is the absence of the traditional overhang associated with Class Cs, A Class B Plus RV offered more space and amenities than Class B campervans.
Space: For example, the 2021 Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RTB (Rear Twin Bed) model Jennifer and I now have is a Class B Plus RV built on the Ford Transit chassis. It is a little bit wider (7 ft, 10 in.) than Class B and also a little bit longer at 24 ft., 9 in. The height is just under 10 ft., meaning it will be able to fit into some garages. The length is just under 25 feet.
With a size like that, there’s plenty of room.
Our Rear Twin Bed model has a rear “garage” that has a massive pass-through space that can hold bicycles and all the gear you'd ever need.
Other Wonder models don't have the “garage” but have six different storage bays accessible from outside of the RV.
Of course, there’s plenty of additional storage inside, as well.
A Big Class B Plus Benefit: The Bathroom
With a Class B RV, you don’t always get a full bathroom. And if they have a shower, it's usually a wet shower, meaning the entire bathroom gets wet when you shower in it. Most Class B RV showers share space with the toilet and sink.
Most Class B Plus RV models, however, offer an enclosed dry shower separate from the toilet and sink, which stay dry as you shower. In our case, the enclosed shower on our Wonder has a skylight and is plenty roomy for a person who is 6'1″ or even a bit more to be able to stand up without stooping.
Here's a video we did a couple of years ago with Dean about the Class B Plus RV:
Another Plus for the Class B Plus RV
There’s one last thing: Because the Class B Plus RV is not quite the size of a Class A RV, they are easier to drive and park. From my experience, I can pretty much take our B+ motorhome anywhere I could take our B. It can even fit in a parking spot at most fast-food restaurants.
In fact, when we are at our sticks and bricks home in Michigan, I use our Class B Plus RV as a second vehicle, running errands, shopping, doing everything we would with the family car.
I asked Dean Corrigal why he thinks Class B Plus RVs are so popular.
“I think it's because the big Class As are big and…some of the smaller Class Bs are a little bit too small for first time owners,” he said. “This is like Goldilocks and the Three Bears…she found the exact right one. I think that's what it is. It's not too big, not too small.”
That's a great definition. We wanted a little more room than we had in our Class B campervans. I didn't like those traditional Class Cs with the cab-over bunks. And Most of the regular Class Cs seemed a bit more challenging to use as a second vehicle. For us, a Class B Plus RV is the perfect choice.
The one drawback of a Class B Plus RV
The Class B Plus RV is best used by just two people. There are seatbelts for only two people. And while you could rig up a way to sleep a small adult or child by putting a platform of sorts across the two seats in the front, a Class B Plus RV is usually designed to sleep just two people.
A Class C with the overhang can usually sleep three or four.
Jennifer and I almost always travel with our 65-pound Norwegian Elkhound, BO. We sleep on the beds. Bo gets the floor unless we're not looking. For us, the maneuverability and ease in driving we get with the Class B Plus RV is worth losing the extra sleeping capacity of a Class C.
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