There are three types of motorhomes to choose from. These are Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes.
What is the difference between Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes? Class A Motorhomes are the largest motorhomes available. They are all longer than 20 feet and can be as long as 45 feet. Class B Motorhomes are the smallest motorhomes you can buy. These motorhomes are usually 18 to 24 feet in length. Class C Motorhomes are typically 20 to 30 feet in length.
Buying a motorhome for the first time can be confusing. There are different sizes, weights, and even laws to consider before buying one.
This being said, once you know the main differences between motorhomes, everything becomes much more simple.
Class A Motorhomes in Detail
- Typically diesel-powered engines.
- Over 20 feet long.
- Over 10,000 pounds.
- Full amenities.
- Ability to tow other vehicles.
- Most expensive.
A class A motorhome is built on the same platform that a bus or tractor trailer is built on.
It is usually a diesel vehicle with a very large engine. These vehicles are typically well over 10,000 pounds and if your state requires that RVs be weighed, you’ll have to stop at weigh stations.
These vehicles are always longer than 20 feet and they often offer luxury amenities.
Some class A motorhomes may have two bathrooms and both an indoor and an outdoor kitchen. People who plan on full-timing in their motorhomes will often choose Class A motorhomes to do it in.
Additionally, a Class A motorhome is large enough to tow a small vehicle behind it.
Many people will do this so that they can leave their large motorhome at the campground while they use their small towable vehicle to explore whatever city or state they happen to be in.
There are two main drawbacks to this type of motorhome. The first drawback of a Class A motorhome is its cost. These motorhomes are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, expensive to operate, and expensive to store. I’ve seen Class A motorhomes sell for well over a million dollars.
The second drawback is that the size of a Class A motorhome can create some restrictions. For example, some state and national parks will not have campsites large enough to accommodate a Class A motorhome.
3 Class A Motorhome Examples
The Bay Star Sport – This motorhome has a 6.8-liter engine and an overall length of 27 feet. It is a smaller Class A motorhome with two slideouts. It is a gas-powered vehicle and is priced at $172,000.00
The New Aire – This motorhome has a 6.7-liter diesel-powered engine. It is 33 feet long and has two small slideouts and one large slideout. It is currently selling for $371,000.00.
The King Aire – This motorhome has a 15-liter engine and a 200-gallon fuel tank. It is almost 45 feet long and holds over 105 gallons of fresh water. It has 1 and 1/2 bathrooms and a king size bed. There are two small slideouts and two large slideouts. Pricing starts at $936,000.00
Class B Motorhomes in Detail
- Smallest motorhome available.
- Can offer pop-up roofs.
- Easiest to store and maintain.
- May not have a bathroom.
- Under 25 feet long.
Class B motorhomes are the smallest motorhomes you can buy. These motorhomes are built on van platforms and can have engines as small as 6 cylinders. You can buy them in diesel models as well as gas-powered models.
The advantage to this type of motorhome is that you can often park it anywhere. In fact, Class B motorhomes can be built with popup roofs that allow the owner to easily bring their camper into parking garages and even home garages.
Because of their small size, the owners of Class B motorhomes usually don’t have to pay to have their motorhome stored and they can bring it to any campsite that allows vehicles.
The main drawback of a Class B motorhome is that it does not provide as much space as a Class A. Because of this, you may find that your Class B motorhome doesn’t even have a bathroom in it.
If it does have a bathroom, it probably does not have a bathtub or standard shower stall inside of it.
Class B motorhomes can still be costly, but they are much less expensive than Class A motorhomes.
Class B Motorhome Examples
The Winnebago Travato – This is a gas-powered motorhome with a 21-foot length. Its dry weight is less than 10,000 pounds and its freshwater tank is 21 gallons. This motorhome sells for around $100,000.00
The Airstream Interstate Nineteen – This diesel powered motorhome is only 19 feet long. A standard parking space in the U.S. is 20 feet long, so you can park this motorhome anywhere that full-sized vehicles can park. There is a full wet bath inside and sleeping for two. The price of this motorhome is $150,000.00
The Roadtrek Zion – This motorhome is 21 feet long. It has a gas-powered engine and a sleeping capacity of three. You can usually find this motorhome for less than $100,000.00.
Class C Motorhomes in Detail
- Usually larger than a Class B but Smaller than a Class A.
- Can be diesel or gas powered.
- Usually has a cab-over.
- Full amenities available.
- Can be over 10,000 pounds.
A Class C motorhome has a unique design in that there is usually storage space or a bunk overtop of the vehicle’s cab.
This cab-over provides extra space that you won’t find in a Class A or Class B motorhome. Because of this, sometimes a Class C motorhome will actually provide more sleeping areas than a Class A motorhome.
These motorhomes can be quite large and always have bathrooms inside of them. This being said, some of the smaller Class C motorhomes will have wet baths rather than full bathrooms.
The drawback to a Class C motorhome is that it is large enough that the average person is not going to be able to fit it in their garage.
Also, this type of motorhome clearly looks like a motorhome while a Class B can often disguise itself as a regular van.
Class C Motorhome Examples
The Winnebago View – This motorhome is 26 feet long with a 38-gallon freshwater tank. It has a diesel-powered engine with 6 cylinders. Expect to pay around $125,000.00 for this motorhome.
The Redhawk SE – This motorhome is 25 feet long and holds 43 gallons of fresh water. It sleeps over four people and has a full bathroom with a 24″x32″ bathtub. You can expect to pay around $60,000.00 for this motorhome.
The Jayco Melbourne 24k – This motorhome is 25 long and sleeps four to six people. It has a rear slideout as well as a slideout on the side. It is currently selling for around $85,000.00.
What is The Best Class RV?
The answer to this question really lies in how you plan to use the RV and what your intended budget is for buying one.
If you need a lot of space, you’ll definitely want to consider either a Class A motorhome or a Class C motorhome.
A Class A motorhome will cost more than a Class C, but it will provide some additional benefits.
For example, it is easier to tow another vehicle with a large Class A motorhome versus a Class B motorhome. Additionally, you’ll have more storage in a Class A motorhome as well as more headroom.
Class A motorhomes are also known to be more durable than a Class C motorhome. This means that a Class A can end up costing less to maintain than a Class C and you’ll have higher resale value if you ever sell your motorhome.
People looking to move out of their home and into full-time RVing often choose this type of motorhome. With a Class A, you have enough space to move around in and enough luxuries that you may not even notice that you’re not living your traditional home anymore.
A Class C motorhome will cost less and weigh less as well. You can buy a Class C with a bunk over the cab which will provide you with additional sleeping options. Class C motorhomes are often easier to work on than a Class A motorhome. Most Class C motorhomes can be found in gas-powered versions, so you don’t necessarily have to know how to work on a diesel engine to work on a Class C.
If you’re looking for something you can park in your garage, you’re better off looking at a Class B motorhome.
These motorhomes are small and can often go wherever your everyday vehicle can go. You can even buy 4×4 versions of Class B motorhomes to take into less accessible campsites.
People looking for a camper to take out on weekends or to their daily construction site may want to consider a Class B motorhome.
Motorhomes are broken down into categories based off of their size and construction.
There are only three types of motorhomes to choose from and each of them has their advantages and disadvantages.
The key to choosing the right motorhome is in finding out what you want to use your motorhome for and then finding one that fits within your budget.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.