If you’re in the market for a new motorhome then there is a lot of jargon that you’ll need to get used to. Aside from your home, buying a motorhome is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. It’s essential that you take the time to weigh up your options and decide on the right type of motorhome for you.
One of the things that tends to confuse new motorhome buyers is that these vehicles come in varying classes; Class A, Class B and Class C. But what is the difference between these classes?
When looking at the differences between Class A, B and C motorhomes, it all comes down to the chassis of the vehicle. A Class A motorhome is built around the same kind of chassis as a large commercial van or bus whereas a Class B model is a retro-fitted van and is more compact. A Class C motorhome is a mid-sized RV and is based around the same chassis as a small truck.
Understanding the difference between each type of motorhome will help you make a more informed decision. In this guide, we will be explaining the difference between the three types in greater detail.
Class A Motorhome
The Class A motorhome is the most common type and what makes them so special is that they are built around an incredibly heavy duty frame. This is normally something similar to the chassis of a bus or truck but there are some that have a specially designed frame. In any case, if you are looking for a very large recreational vehicle, then this is likely what you would opt for.
While sizes can vary depending on the make and model, you will find that they typically range between 21 and 45 feet in length and can weigh more than 9 tonnes! They’re big and are ideal for people who want the luxury of extra space while on the road. However, because of their large size, the Class A motorhome may feel a little scary, especially if you’ve never driven this kind of vehicle before. If you have to navigate narrow roads, tight turns and other obstacles, this does come with a risk. Not to mention the fact that parking your motorhome can be a nightmare. For this reason, a lot of people decide to pitch their motorhome but tow their car to allow them to get about more freely once they reach their chosen location.
Again, the number of people that any particular Class A motorhome can sleep will depend on the model but generally speaking, you can expect to comfortably house up to ten people. What’s great is that these motorhomes usually have a separate, and very luxurious, master suite with its own bathroom. The living spaces can normally be expanded using slide out sections and the kitchen in your Class A motorhome will be difficult to tell apart from the one at home!
If you want a highly accessorised kitchen and utility when on the road, you may find that a Class A motorhome is the perfect choice. The kitchen may come equipped with several features including, but certainly not limited to, washing machines, an ice maker and full cooking facilities. There’s a reason that these are known as luxury motorhomes.
We are sure that you will have already guessed that, owing to their size and luxurious design, Class A motorhomes are generally a lot more expensive than other types. You should also keep in mind that they will cost more to repair and will get through a lot more fuel. The vehicle insurance will naturally be higher so it’s important to ensure that you are able to maintain the running costs of such a pricey vehicle.
That said, for people who want to spend a lot of time on the road, it’s a wise investment as you’ll have all of your creature comforts while also having the freedom to explore the world!
Class B Motorhome
You may sometimes hear a Class B motorhome being called a campervan. While that is the brand name for a VW, there are other small RVs that fall into this category. The reason that they earned this name is because of the way that they drive; it’s incredibly similar to a regular van. So then, it won’t surprise you to learn that the chassis of the Class B motorhome is pretty much the same as a van; the only difference being that the roof is higher to allow users to stand up and move freely when inside.
One of the great things about the Class B motorhome is that it is much kinder on your bank account. Not only is the initial purchase cost far cheaper than a Class A but the maintenance and running costs of the vehicle are also lower.
Now, if you’re thinking about investing in a Class B motorhome you will need to consider that these are more suited to smaller groups, perhaps a couple as they are incredibly compact. The plus side of this is that they are much easier to drive and maneuver than a Class A motorhome so even if you’re new to this hobby, you won’t feel as intimidated.
The living quarters of a Class B motorhome are also smaller and generally have just one large bed to sleep two people. You’ll also have a small kitchen and a kind of bathroom that combines a sink, toilet and shower in one. Storage in the Class B motorhome is, of course, much less than their Class A counterparts but there’s more than enough for a day trip or a weekend excursion.
Class C Motorhome
If you like the sound of the Class A and Class B motorhomes but wish that some features from each could be combined, then a Class C motorhome may be the right choice for you. These vehicles combine the best of the other two and the result is a mid-sized RV that offers versatility and doesn’t break the bank.
The size of a Class C motorhome falls somewhere just below that of a Class A; depending on the model you go for, it may measure anywhere between 20 and 33 feet. For this reason, you might sometimes hear them being referred to as the mini motorhome. This is because, while they are much smaller than the Class A, they still have many of the same luxuries and amenities. The chassis of these vehicles is similar to that of a large van or a smaller truck.
It may come as a surprise to learn that buying a Class C motorhome is, for the most part, actually cheaper than the upfront cost of a Class B. But once you own the vehicle, the running costs are typically a lot more, particularly when it comes to fuel and insurance. That said, the cost is nothing in comparison to a Class A.
If the idea of trying to drive a massive Class A motorhome fills you with dread then you’ll find the Class C to be much more driver friendly. They’re much easier to get through tight or winding roads and can be parked more freely. Of course, you don’t have the same level of maneuverability as the Class B but there has to be some sacrifice for that extra space. In any case, there is still an option to tow your car, if you wish to.
Class C motorhomes have lovely, spacious living areas and can generally sleep between 6 and 8 people, depending on the model. The storage space in these vehicles is extremely generous and this can sometimes be the deciding factor for people who want to spend a long time on the road.
How To Decide On The Right Motorhome Class
When you make the decision to purchase a motorhome, it can be difficult to weigh up the pros and cons of each type. We hope that this guide will have given you a much greater insight into the pros and cons of the different classes, but to make your decision easier, you should think about the following things.
How Many People Are Travelling?
One of the most important things to think about is the number of people that you intend to have staying in the motorhome. If you have a large family of eight people, there is absolutely no point in trying to cram them all into a Class B motorhome. While these vehicles can, in theory, sleep up to four people, even this can feel cramped.
Be sure to buy something that is large enough to comfortably accommodate all travellers and that provides enough storage space.
Your Level Of Experience
We have discussed that each type of motorhome poses different problems when it comes to driving and maneuverability. If you’re a complete novice to the RV lifestyle then throwing yourself in at the deep end and trying to drive a Class A motorhome, may prove to be very difficult.
That said, if you require something this large, then you probably don’t have any other choice but it’s good to keep in mind some of the difficulties you might face. This may mean ensuring that you have a car suitable for towing to make getting around much simpler.
Length Of Excursion
If you are more of a spontaneous person that likes to indulge in a random weekend getaway with the other half, then a Class B motorhome might be perfect for you. It’ll give you enough freedom to explore and just the right amount of space for a couple of days.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on heading across to Europe and exploring for weeks on end, a Class A or a Class C will provide you with the right amount of space to remain comfortable on your trip.
Buying a motorhome isn’t an affordable investment. You have to be willing to part with a significant amount of cash. That said, how much you spend will depend on the class that you go for. If you’re on a very tight budget then the running costs of the Class B might appeal to you. But keep in mind that the upfront cost of these vehicles is often more than that of a Class C.
It’s a good idea to compare your budget with how frequently you intend to use the motorhome. If you’re going to be running a Class A and using it very often, then naturally, it will need servicing and potentially repairing more often.
When considering buying a motorhome, you must make sure that you purchase something that is going to meet your needs. One of the things that confuses a lot of new buyers is the different motorhome classes.
In the simplest terms, the Class determines the size of the vehicle and the chassis it is built on. Of course, there is a little more to it than that and you’ll notice that the different classes also have various features that suit different types of users.
When choosing your motorhome, keep in mind how many travellers there will be, the length of your journeys and your budget.