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What are Class C RVs? Popular compact motorhomes with lots of space

| Updated Jul 27, 2020

One of the most popular segments in the whole motorhome industry is the Class C RV. Of course, some of you may be asking: What is a Class C RV?

All these different RV Classes can be quite confusing. Don’t worry — we’re here to help!

The Class C RV: An instantly recognizable silhouette

First off, a Class C RV has an instantly recognizable silhouette. Here's what a typical Class C RV looks like.

photo of Class C RV
A typical Class C RV with the cabover bunk hanging over the windshield

The classic Class C RV cab is covered by an overhang, or cab-over, that in most models houses a bed. A short passageway leads into the body of the motor home, usually a step or two up from the driver’s compartment. They are built on a cutaway truck chassis.

But first, let's clear something up.

You may have heard the term Class B+ RV. Those are small motorhomes that do not have the front overhang. But a so-called B+ RV really IS a Class C. RV The industry just made up that B+ designation.

Here's a picture of one of them:

photo of our new Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RV on the 2020 Ford Transit cutaway chassis
This happens to be our Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RV on the 2020 Ford Transit cutaway chassis…It is sometimes marketed as a Class B Plus RV because it is sleeker, often a little shorter and has a less boxy shape than the cabover Class C… but the B Plus is technically a Class C


But for the purpose of this article, we're talking about the classic Class C RV with that distinctive cab overhang.

CLICK HERE to read an article on what is a Class B Plus RV

The cutaway truck chassis a Class C RV is built on is able to carry more weight, and that gives RV manufacturers the freedom to add more bulk.

As expected, everything is a bit bigger with Class Cs: a separate dining area, larger stove and refrigerator, and larger storage tanks for water, waste, and propane. The bathroom is larger, and usually with a shower stall separate from the toilet.

When it comes to storage, Class Cs are a dream, typically offering plenty of cupboards and hiding spaces inside and several storage compartments outside.

In fact, some of the modern Class C  RVs are so large that they rival the Class A, or bus-style motor home, in space and amenities. They range all the way up to 41 feet long, though most are between 25-30 feet.

Looking for an example of a Class B RV? Check out Tiffin’s Wayfarer 

An image showing the front part of a Class C RV.
The silhouette of a Class C RV includes a cab overhang, as seen here.

One of the known names in motorhomes is Tiffin, and not too long ago the company introduced a brand new line of Class Cs — a testament to the potential offered by the Class C market.

Trent Tiffin gave me a tour of the company’s new Wayfarer RV, which is a great example of a Class C RV.

Tiffin is in sales and marketing and a third-generation member of the company’s family.

He started by explaining the basics of the Wayfarer.

“It's built on Mercedes chassis (Sprinter 3500), no longer than 26 feet generally,” he said.

That means plenty of room.

There is storage everywhere,  starting with two compartments accessible from the outside (one is pass-through). There is also overhead cabinet storage in the bedroom, kitchen, and dining areas along with a wardrobe next to the bedroom and a pantry that slides out near the kitchen area.

When you walk in, the model I saw included a 70-inch couch with a trifold bed in it. The kitchen area offers a full countertop with a deep stainless steel sink, and two cooktop burners.. (Different floor plans obviously are available).

Additionally, there’s a two-door refrigerator (6 cu. ft.) along with a microwave.  

The sizable bedroom area offers enough room for a one-piece memory foam queen-sized bed that folds up and offers a bench area as well as…you guessed it…more storage. Another option is to have two twin size beds.

The bathroom is also a good size with a large shower (24” x 32”).

 All in all, there’s a lot of room in a Class C RV.

Super Class C RVs: When you need even more space

An image of Winnebago's Cambria "Super C" RV.Yes, there are Class Cs that go beyond the 26-foot mark. Some up to 41 feet.

They’re Super Class C RVs and measure in at well over 30 feet, with some up to 41 feet. They are built on a heavy-duty truck chassis and are able to tow huge loads.

To be clear,  “Super Cs” is really a made-up RV classification, too, just like the B + RV. Most of the Super Cs would be on the Ford F550 or the Freightmaster-type chassis. They have much more in common with Class A motorhomes than their smaller cousins, including multiple slides. But for some reason, they are included in the “small” motorhome grouping.

For example, we took a look at the Winnebago/Itasca Cambria, which, built on the F450 chassis and at 32 feet, is on the smaller end of the Super C classification but still way longer than its distant C, B-Plus, and B motor home cousins. (Winnebago calls it a basic Class C.)  

The spacious interior features a nice lounging sofa that will make into a bed and across from it is a dinette area that also makes into a bed.

The bedroom features a queen-sized bed with lots of dedicated cabinets and storage places for all of your clothes. It has a full standalone shower with plenty of room in its standalone bathroom with lots of extra room and storage space, which everybody appreciates.

Further, it's got a great kitchen. Full-fledged stove, lots of storage cabinets underneath.

Bottom line: It’s really big and yet somehow maintains the Class C classification. It's pretty cool though. We'd like to know what you think about this and invite you to submit comments below.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2020-07-27

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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