Generic Description: RV Class B Motorhomes are the smallest self contained vehicles. They are built on a traditional Van, HD Van or small truck chassis.
The majority are gasoline engine with an overall body between 16’ to 24’. Some will be just a roof added to the “Family Van” while others are manufactured from the chassis up – just like a Class A.
Most are as wide as the “typical” van, however, some are now incorporating a larger and wider fiberglass body to the rear area. A Class B will not have a bed area over the cab portion of the vehicle (Class C will).
The front driving area will be typically “untouched”, compared to the rear area being outfitted with living amenities.
Foundation (Chassis): This will depend on vehicles “origin”. A “converted” family van will not have as much extra strength incorporated within it.
Class B manufacturer will purchase a HD chassis assembly and then
improve its ability to handle more weight and improve drivability. Be
sure to compare the different weight limits per manufacturer, on a
Body: This really depends on the manufacturer. Today’s modern Class B may have a one piece fiberglass shell made for a specific chassis – fits better, no leaks, wind noise, etc.
Others will still use the basic body and improve that with its own amenities.
Here's a great link to Articles, Information, Blogs and Stories having to do with the Class B RV
The classic VW Camper Van has been all over the world since the 1960's and enjoyed a very unique spot in true camper's hearts! There are many types of vehicles that are converted, but this is the classic one!
Even better, their slanted roof is perfect for a solar system!
Engines: Many manufacturers of the RV Class B will have a very specific engine/chassis brand that they will utilize. Engine Emission methods are very important in a new modern vehicle.
Gasoline engines will be self-maintaining, while some brand specific diesel engines will require regular maintenance and additional purchases of a special liquid (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) to clean their emissions, per new EPA regulations.
Amenities: Since an RV Class B is smaller and lighter, basic amenities only will be available. A more than capable refrigerator will be standard, but not a large 4 door one!
Stovetops may only
have 2 burners, no dishwasher, King Bed highly unlikely, much smaller
bathrooms, minimal counters, less storage and closets. Slide outs are
Utilities: Built in storage tanks for propane, fresh and waste water are standard. However, all are smaller in capacity.
Due to size and costs, generators, solar panels, etc. are not standard.
Accessories: Again, these are restricted due to weight and overall size of vehicle. Side awnings will be available, but not always Electric, No air brakes, suspension, or jacks.
Usually park them on “blocks” to level best possible for overnight parking. Propane hot air furnace only type available.
Nicknames: Mini’s, Mini Motorhomes
Cost - New: $40,000 - $200,000
Pros: The RV Class B Camper is very affordable; easy to drive, maneuver and park; have all the basics; city friendly, ideal for one, economical & non-specialized maintenance
Cons: Limited utility storage – must refresh/dump liquids more often; very small “living” area; basic amenities only.
Just as in any other type of RV Motorhome, you must look at Motorhome ratings and motorhome reviews before any purchase is started.
Trade Shows are also an excellent method of seeing all types of RV's, without extreme pressure to purchase!