If you are looking to by a motorhome and can’t figure out what to get, you probably have some questions about what exactly a Class B Motorhome is. Well, I did some research on it myself, and I hope this article will be able to help you a little bit with your questions.
So, what is a Class B Motorhome? A Class B Motorhome is like a passenger van that has been converted into a fulltime living space. There is usually a kitchenette, a sleeping area, and oftentimes a small toilet or bathroom. It is completely motorized as well.
There are a few things that go into knowing about and purchasing a Class B Motorhome. You have to know what the most common ammenities are; how, where, at at what cost to buy one; and how to travel in one.
Lucky for you, I will be going into each of these areas to give you the best, well rounded, article chalk full of information about Class B Motorhomes.
The Class B Motorhome: The Basics
Class B Motorhomes are a really happy medium between a Class A Motorhome and a towable trailer or pop up camper. They are often called conversion vans or camper vans because they are basically just a passenger van that has been outfitted for full-time travel.
So if you are looking for a motorhome but are not yet willing to commit to a Class A Motorhome, or need more space than a towable trailer or camper will give you, then a Class B Motorhome seems like your best bet. Class B Motorhomes can also pull trailers for additional storage.
Class B Motorhomes are fully motorized (and usually front wheel drive), which means that you won’t have to spend an eternity constantly trying to back up the truck to attach something to a trailer hitch or make sure the camper is level on the bed of your truck.
Because they are smaller, Class B Motorhomes have a much better cost associated with them. They are cheaper to purchase, cheaper to fuel, and cheaper to maintain. They also get a much better fuel economy and are easier to maneuver than Class A Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, and gooseneck trailers.
They are a great beginner RV because you won’t have to break the bank to purchase one, and you can easily learn how to handle one on any road setting.
Of course, the benefits of the size of Class B Motorhomes also come with a cost. The smaller your motorhome gets, the less additions, perks, ammenities, and plain old stuff you can put in your motorhome.
Class B Motorhomes typically come with a small kitchenette. Kitchenettes include a sink, a small cooktop, and a microwave if you’re a lucky customer. Some kitchenettes don’t even have a small cooktop or a microwave, just a bit of counterspace where you can plug in a toaster oven or hotplate.
There will be some cabinet space as well to store your cooking supplies, ingredients, and utensils, but be sure to pack light (paper plates are a godsend if you ask me).
Your kitchenette might also include a small (and I mean really small, like really tiny) icebox, cooler, or fridge. Or just a place where you can install one. Iceboxes or coolers that come already installed in the Class B Motorhome will likely be by the sink with a small cover that you can use as additional counter space. Small fridges will likely be next to the sink.
In addition to the kitchenette, there is a sitting slash dining area. This area usually consists of a small table set into the wall with two or so benches circling it. The table might fold down to create a makeshift bed for sleeping. You will likely be hitting your knees on the table in the dining/sitting nook as you cook in the kitchenette; there is very little room.
Besides the small makeshift bed that you might be able to get out of the sitting slash dining area, there will be a sleeping area, likely in the back of the Class B Motorhome. Expect a full or (cross your fingers) a queen sized mattress with a few cabinets for storage.
Some Class B Motorhomes manage to squeeze a tiny little toilet or bathroom area inside. It will probably be in a small, out of the way, closet. Unlike your porceline throne at home, you won’t want to spend much time in there browsing the Reader’s Digest or People’s magazine.
Depending on the kind of Class B Motorhome you purchase, your toilet may be hooked up to a black tank or you might have to purchase an additional toilet and either install a black tank or get a toilet that doesn’t have to be attached. Cassette toilets and self composting toilets are popular choices among full time RVers.
There are some Class B Motorhomes that have roofs that pop up, raising the ceiling and helping the interior of the motorhome feel more spacious, light, and open.
There is also a sliding door for easy entrance, exit, and loading. You can purchase additional features like iceboxes, awnings, and, of course, decorations.
And, that is about it for your Class B Motorhome. These motorhomes are made for light living on the road or for weekend adventures (alone, with your dog, with your significant other or family member, you choose).
Buying a Class B Motorhome: Where, When, Why, and for How Much?
One of the biggest questions people tend to have when buying an RV is when to buy it. Just like with the housing market or the stock market, people try to gauge how the market is doing and will attempt to “land” a sell or a purchase at just the right time in order to reap the most benefits.
Well, it’s not like that.
It’s true, you can pick a smarter time to buy an RV, but you’ll never be able to gauge it “just right.”
At the beginning of RV season (around late spring, or around the end of May) is probably not the best time to buy an RV because that is when everybody is trying to buy an RV. Of course, you might find that the beginning of the RV season is the best time to buy used RVs because people will be trying to sell what they could not at the end of last RV season.
The end of RV season is typically seen as the best time to buy an RV because dealer and owners will be wanting to get rid of their extra stock or of unwanted or unused RV’s. However, why would you buy an RV at the end of the RV season? You want to use the RV, right?
Another time that is seen as a good time to buy an RV is when the fuel prices are skyrocketing. Because deisl fuel is so much more expensive and because RVs cost so much to fill up, people wont typically buy an RV when the fuel costs are up. Cue the sales on RVs and your chance to swoop in and take a deal.
You can buy an RV new from a dealership or you can buy a used RV from somebody on rvtrader.com or craigslist.com. If you buy from a dealer, you will be getting an RV in great condition, garaunteed to run smoothly, and sans bug infestations and carpet mold.
However, if you buy a used RV, you will be getting a much better price, and a lot of those RVs are still in good condition as well. Pick your poison.
The bottom line is: you can buy an RV from a dealer or from the guy down the street, and you can buy the RV in the spring or fall, but you are never going to find “just the right time.” Everyday is a good day to buy an RV. Just find one you like and go search for deals.
Even if you buy a Class B Motorhome (the unofficially recognized cheapest motorhome on the market), you will have to brace yourself for some pretty hefty expenses. Class B Motorhomes can go for anywhere from $22,000 to $110,000. You are going to have to decide how fancy you want your motorhome and how much you are willing to pay for it.
Besides the initial costs, you are going to have maintenance costs, fuel expenses, insurance payments, and an adventure fund. You should probably count on shelling out around $20,000 a year on living the RV life.
There is a great table at winniebagolife.com that goes over the business approach to buying and owning an RV that I recommend you go look at.
Traveling in a Class B Motorhome: Tips and Tricks
If you are going to be living full time in a Class B Motorhome, then you need to start researching a little bit on how to make that work.
The number one rule is that you will not have very much space. At all. Especially if you are going to be living in a Class B Motorhome. The thing people seem to have the hardest time with is getting rid of their clothes.
I promise you that you will be okay with only two sweaters instead of five (okay, I jest, I do understand how hard it can be to chose which clothes to get rid of).
This also means that you are going to have to be conservative with your kitchen supplies. Go back to your college days where you only had salt, pepper, and cinnamon as seasonings; used the same frying pan to cook eggs and heat up soup; and ate a whole lot of dry food (beans and rice saved my life Sophomore year).
The better prepared you are kitchen is, the less money you’ll have to spend on the road and the less hectic your life in the motorhome will be.
Speaking of kitchens, the lack of a dishwasher means that you are going to have to wash all of your dishes by hand. All of them. The entire time you are going to be living in the RV. You are the dishwasher now.
Make sure that you don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink. Because you live in such a small space, it is easy to get dirty, and you can end up attracting a lot of bad smells and insects.
It is worth stressing the importance of cleanliness when you live in an RV. There isn’t a lot of space, and you are going to be walking back and forth in the same area and sitting, sleeping, and eating in the same spot every day.
Take off your shoes at the door, wash your sheets and counters, be careful where and how you eat and sweep every day (twice). The nice thing is that your space will be tiny, so you won’t have to spend a long time cleaning.
When you drive and live in an RV, you always have to be aware of how much the weight restriction is on your RV. The weight restrictions will dictate how much stuff you can carry in your RV and help you with your downsizing decisions.
When you are driving, make sure to secure everything. Place loose kitchen supplies in the sink and make sure all of the cupboards are latched. I made the mistake of leaving my lucky bamboo plant on the counter on the day we drove through a rocky, bumpy, mountain pass. That was not a fun night, plus now I miss my bamboo plant.
There is no point in driving around with full tanks. Empty your gray and (if you have it) black tanks. You can add a few chemicals and a little bit of fresh water to your empty tanks so it can slosh around while you drive and clean it out a bit.
When you drive, be sure to shut and secure all of your vents and windows so they don’t rattle or break when you’re on the road. If you have an awning, be sure that you roll that in as well.
This typically is not a concern for most Class B Motorhome drivers, but be sure that wherever you are driving, you can easily get in and out again. The Class B Motorhome is probably a bigger vehicle than you are used to driving, so you need to be extra careful that you don’t try to squeeze through a hole or take a turn that your Class B Motorhome cannot complete.
If you are going to be living full time in an RV, chances are that you will still have to find some way to earn money. Many full-time RVers work online during the day and then go on adventures and driving trips in the afternoons and evenings.
If you work online, you are going to need to have access to WiFi. Many full-time RVers park their rigs and work inside of a coffee shop. Other purchase a WiFi dongle.
Since WiFi can be tough to get ahold of when you live full time in an RV, there are other ways to make money. Some people will sell original photographs to stock photo companies or book photoshoots of their own. Others will sell crafts on Etsy.com or get involved in selling oils, makeup, or Scentsy.
Great Class B Motorhomes to Consider
Below are three of some of the most respected, most loved Class B Motorhomes on the market:
- Airstream Interstate– Everybody loves the classic Airstream. The Airstream Interstate is built for the road and is known for being smooth, adaptable, reliable, and easy to handle. There is also a tankless water heater, which is great news when you have to wash all of your dishes by hand. And the shiny exterior is definitely a bonus.
- Winnebago Revel– The Revel has 4X4 drive, which is something you don’t often get with a Class B Motorhome. There is also a full wet bath, so you have a little more room in the bathroom. It is a very powerful model and will be able to take you wherever you want to go.
- RoadTrek CS Adventurous– With a name that includes the word “adventurous,” you know this Class B Motorhome will be a good one. It has an awning, a heater, a small shower, and can fit up to six sleepers. It is built with the same chassis as the Winnebago Revel, so it is powerful enough to go offroading and sleek enough to cruise uptown.
What is a Class A Motorhome? A Class A Motorhome is built onto a bus chassis, so it is huge. There is usually “basement” storage, a bathroom, a full kitchen, and seperate sleeping areas. You can get one with slidouts that give you more room when parked. It is fully motorized, but harder to maneuver places and more expensive to maintain.
What is a Class C Motorhome? A Class C Motorhome is much like a Class B Motorhome but with a small overhang containing a bed that extends above the cab of the van. Otherwise, the Class C Motorhome is very similar (though slightly more expensive and difficult to maneuver).