All About Class B Motorhomes

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It may look like a van, and it's commonly called a "van camper," but the true Class B motorhome isn't really a van at all. Actually, the Class B RV is a customized panel truck. And while it sleeps up to four people, the Class B motorhome ranks as the most maneuverable and economical of all the motorhomes.

The Class B RV takes the best features of a full-sized motorhome and puts them onto a smaller chassis. Just like a Class A motorhome, the Class B is a self-contained unit in which the driver's compartment flows contiguously into the living area. Most Class B RVs contain a sofa that converts to a bed, a dining area (often with a dinette that converts to an additional bed), kitchen (galley) and bathroom. These small motorhomes may also boast built-in televisions and stereo systems. As an added benefit, Class B RVs come equipped with a powerful gasoline engine that enables them to tow trailers loaded with recreational toys such as jetskis, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

When shopping for a new or used motorhome, especially within the "RVs for sale" section of your local paper, don't confuse the Class B van camper with a van conversion. In that type of vehicle, the interior of a standard van has been remodeled to provide amenities such as a television, sound system, plush seating and extra cargo space. However, van conversions don't usually include bathrooms or kitchens.

On the other hand, Class B RVs not only provide both of these features but offer plenty of headroom. Unlike a van conversion, Class B RVs have a raised roof (and sometimes a lowered floor) in order to allow you to stand upright inside.

When shopping for a new or used Class B RV, you may encounter the term "Class B Plus." These motorhomes fill a gap between standard Class B motorhomes and the Class C vehicle. A Class B Plus RV more closely resembles a Class C motorhome, with a cab-style front and attached camper "box." However, the Class B Plus RV is smaller than a standard Class C RV and doesn't include a sleeping compartment over the cab. Class B Plus RVs are as easy to maneuver as their van camper cousins. If you prefer the 'mini motorhome' look to the van look, then a Class B Plus RV might be right for you.

When you shop for a new or used Class B RV, look for offerings from manufacturers like Gulf Stream, Roadtrek, Airstream and Pleasureway. These makers offer a variety of floor plans, designer window treatments and wood-framed cabinetry to give your motorhome a truly homey feel. Used Class B motorhome prices begin at about $35,000. Expect to pay up to about $70,000 for a new Class B RV, depending on how much you decide to customize it.

The compact size of the van camper makes it perfect for use as a second family car, and its fully equipped interior makes it the ideal choice for family camping expeditions. Use our handy search tool on the main page to find new and used Class B motorhomes for sale from many reputable dealers.