Motorhome Classes – What Is a Class A, B, and C Motorhome?

If you are planning on buying a motorhome, it is important to learn the different types or classes of motorhomes. What are the different motorhome classes?

The three motorhome classes are Class A, Class B, and Class C.

  1. Class A motorhomes are large, boxy, and a very commanding vehicle on the road. 
  2. Class B motorhomes are the smallest and would probably be a tight space for two people to share. 
  3. Class C motorhomes are a mix between Class A and Class B, making them the choice for most consumers.

All three motorhome classes fall under the category of recreational vehicle (RV). On the surface, you can easily differentiate them by looking at their make and build.

In this article, we’ll answer the following:

  • What is a Class A motorhome?
  • What is a Class B motorhome?
  • What is a Class C motorhome?

Read on to learn more about the different motorhome classes – Class A, Class B, and Class C – and the differences between each.

motorhome classes

Motorhome Classes – What Is a Class A, B, and C Motorhome?

The three motorhome classes are Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A motorhomes are the biggest motorhome class. Class B motorhomes are the smallest class. Class C motorhomes are the most popular class as they are a mix in size between Class A and B.

Motorhomes, sometimes called motor coaches, are among the many types of recreational vehicles (RV) that offer living accommodation while on the road. Motorhomes also have three category types: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Many people dream of spending their retirement days traveling around in a comfortable RV. Still, these same people are not too keen on what to look for in a recreational vehicle for it to be a worthy investment.

This article can help narrow down your choices by providing the benefits, downsides, and features unique to a Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhome.

Below are the different motorhome classes defined. Let us look at the features and specific examples of each motorhome class. 

What Is a Class A Motorhome?

What is a Class A motorhome
What is a Class A motorhome?

What is a Class A motorhome? If you have a knack for luxurious living and traveling, then a Class A motorhome is the right choice for you. It is considered one of the most expensive of all vehicles. In fact, all of its features scream extravagance and style. Basically, this motorhome is considered the best since it closely resembles an actual home based on its offered amenities.

Class A motorhomes are really large and boxy since they are built on a larger chassis often used on buses or trucks. But they can be custom-made. In like manner, think big tour buses of famous musicians or celebrities while touring to promote new movies or music.

But Class A motorhomes are not just for the rich and famous. Those who prefer to be full-timers in RV life also choose this class since it provides everything you need in a home plus more.

Benefits of a Class A Motorhome

  • Can accommodate 6 to 10 people comfortably
  • Can have a separate master bedroom as well as bunk beds
  • Generous storage spaces
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Larger bathrooms

Downsides of a Class A Motorhome

  • May be difficult to drive due to its large size
  • Poor fuel economy compared to other classes
  • Difficulty in finding parking spots that would accommodate a big vehicle
  • Can be really expensive to maintain

You can consider Class A motorhomes as ‘bus conversions’ because their build and mechanical features are similar to those of a bus. These features make Class A motorhomes heavy-duty vehicles. And understandably so since it carries complete household amenities.

Since a Class A motorhome is like a full house on wheels, it can be overwhelming if you are just starting out in RV life. Most people who want to try it out at a laid-back pace can opt for a Class B or Class C motorhome.

Features

Here are the basic features of a Class A motorhome: 

  • Cost: $90,000 to $400,000 or more for larger premium models
  • Measurement: 20 to 45 feet in length (but typically 30 to 36 feet long)
  • Build: Much like a regular bus with a flat or vertical front end
  • Fuel: Gas or diesel (depending on the engine)
  • Camping Style: Best for full-time RV life or extended stays in a single area 
  • Sleeping Space: 6 to 8 people
  • Lounge Space: 6 to 10 people
  • License: No special license needed

Some of the best Class A motorhomes in the market are as follows:

  1. Best Small: The Forest River FR3 25DS
  2. Best Value: Holiday Rambler Navigator
  3. Best for Kids: Fleetwood Discovery 39G
  4. Best in Luxury: The Newmar Dutch Star
  5. Best for Long Term Stay: Thor Motor Coach Palazzo

What Is a Class B Motorhome?

what is a class b motorhome
What is a Class B motorhome?

What is a Class B motorhome? Class B motorhomes are the smallest RV class but are the best when it comes to fuel economy. It has basic amenities, such as a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and sleeping quarters. But all are tiny, to say the least. Two adults could fit in a Class B motorhome, but they would find it a tad difficult to move around due to limited spaces.

Also called coach-built, this type of RV is usually built by adjusting a standard van’s roof. Additionally, states such as California require specific features before considering an RV a Class B motorhome. It must have at least four of the following features:

  1. Water system
  2. Cooking area
  3. Air conditioning
  4. Refrigerator
  5. Toilet 
  6. 110-volt electrical system

Benefits of a Class B Motorhome

  • Way more affordable than a Class A motorhome
  • Better fuel economy
  • Easier parking just about anywhere
  • Has the best resale value of all RV types

Downsides of a Class B Motorhome

  • Limited amenities and storage space
  • There is little room to move about; can feel very cramped
  • Only affords space for a wet bath (shower and toilet share the same space)

While Class B motorhomes are not the best in terms of moving space, they are quite useful for trips, provided there are only one or two riders. The best part is that you can purchase a Class B motorhome for a good price.

Features

Here are the basic features of a Class B motorhome:

  • Cost: $85,000 to $150,000 (better value for money)
  • Measurement: 20 to 26 feet long and 7.5 feet wide 
  • Build: Based on a commercial van body shape (i.e., Mercedez-Benz, Ford)
  • Safety & Stability: Equipped with stability control and front and side airbags
  • Seating Capacity: Up to seven people
  • Sleeping Space: 2 to 4 people
  • Camping Style: Best for quick weekend getaways
  • License: Special license not required

The leading Class B motorhomes in the market, according to Consumer Reports, are as follows: [1]

  1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – Longest available body length, four-wheel drive with diesel engine
  2. Ram Promaster – Front-wheel drive layout, dual-clutch transmission diesel engine, and more affordable
  3. Ford Transit – 3.5-liter gas-powered EcoBoost V6 engine, has advanced safety features, and the best-selling van in the U.S.

What Is a Class C Motorhome?

what is a class c motorhome
What is a Class C motorhome?

What is a Class C motorhome? If you’re looking for an RV with adequate living space but still at a reasonable price range, then a Class C motorhome might be the right one for you. Class C motorhomes are a cross between the ultra-luxurious Class A RV and the affordable Class B motorhome.

Class C motorhomes are built on a custom-made van or truck chassis, specifically designed and fitted for a motorhome. A cab is attached to the structure, and most designs have an overhang that extends over the cab. This area is used mostly for storage but can also be used as a sleeping area.

The cab-over profile is a distinct feature of the Class C motorhome containing the sleeping area, entertainment area, and storage space. It is equipped with a kitchen and dining area, complete with a fridge, microwave oven, and table seating.

Other features include a bath shower, furnace, water heater, a generator, roof-mounted solar panels, and a sunshade.

Most Class C RVs run on automatic transmission and are powered by diesel, gasoline, or propane. Older versions were constructed using a wooden frame covered in a thin sheet of metal. But the structure of newer versions is made out of plastics, composites, fiberglass, and other lightweight metals.

Benefits of a Class C Motorhome

  • Offers similar amenities with a Class A motorhome
  • Budget-friendly price tag
  • Mid-range fuel economy; not better than Class B but way better than Class A
  • Can fit more people and items than a Class B motorhome
  • A wide selection of floor plans

Downsides of a Class C Motorhome

  • May still be too large to fit a standard garage; some designs will not even fit a driveway
  • Not for full-time RV living
  • Limited options for moderately priced engine/cab

Features

Here are the basic features of a Class C motorhome: 

  • Cost: $70,000 to $200,000 
  • Measurement: 22 to 35 feet long
  • Build: Frame & front area from a van/truck; RV builds the other half 
  • Manufacturer: e.g., Ford cutaway chassis + V10 or V8 engine
  • Fuel: Gas, diesel, or propane
  • Sleeping Space: 4 to 8 people
  • Camping Style: Versatile enough for an extended getaway or a quick vacation
  • License: Does not require a special license

Some of the best options for small Class C RVs are as follows:

  1. Entegra Odyssey – Only 26 feet long, contains a queen bed, sofa and dinette, bunk bed option available, E-Z Drive design
  2. Gulf Stream Conquest 6237 – Handcrafted cabinets & RV walls, over a dozen floor plans available, compact & easy to drive, family-friendly RV
  3. Jayco Melbourne – Three types of floor plans based on sleeping preferences, living room slide, separate bedroom slide, 25.2 feet long, walk-around queen bed & sliding door

So what is the difference between Class A and Class B RV and motorhomes? Class A motorhomes are more luxurious and bigger. What is the difference between Class B and Class C RV and motorhomes? Class B RVs are smaller and more affordable. Class C RVs are in between Class A and B.

We’ve answered the questions: “What are motorhome classes explained?”; “What is a Class A motorhome?”; “What is a Class B motorhome?”; “What is a Class C motorhome?” Next, let’s look at some tips before purchasing a motorhome or RV.

Tips on Purchasing a Motorhome

Follow the below tips to find an motorhome that is best for you:

1. Do Your Research

Make sure you read up all about the pros and cons of the motorhome or RV you are considering to buy. These things include upkeep requirements, how easy it is to find replacement parts and other essential details.

2. Safety First

Take the overall weight into account when considering which one to buy. Motorhomes are generally not crash-tested, so not all can meet the safety standards the same way as regular passenger vehicles.

3. Ask for Professional Help

Asking for professional help is especially important if you want to buy a used motorhome. In addition, an independent RV mechanic can greatly help assess which components need fixing, replacing or if the RV is still fit for the road in general. Just because it only has a few miles on it doesn’t mean it is still in the best shape.

4. Try Renting

If you are not 100% invested in a particular motorhome class or type, try your hand at renting a motorhome for your next vacation. This way, you can have a feel of living the motorhome life without the commitment that comes with shelling out a fortune on a new motorhome or RV.

Conclusion – Motorhome Classes Explained – What Is a Class A, B, and C Motorhome?

What are the different motorhome classes? The three motorhome classes are Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A motorhomes are the biggest motorhome class. Class B motorhomes are the smallest class. Class C motorhomes are the most popular class as they are a mix in size between Class A and B.

In this article, we answered the following:

  • What is a Class A motorhome?
  • What is a Class B motorhome?
  • What is a Class C motorhome?

The difference between these three motorhome classes are as follows:

1. Class A Motorhomes

  • Ultra-luxurious and expensive bus-like vehicles 
  • Have everything you need in a standard home
  • Best for seasoned RV passengers who value comfort and luxury

2. Class B Motorhomes

  • Affordable, entry-level choice if you want to try out RV living
  • Smaller moving space but makes it up on fuel economy
  • A great choice for couples or solo travelers

3. Class C Motorhomes

  • The choice of many seasoned travelers and beginners
  • Great for families and group of friends who travel together
  • Best of both worlds when it comes to comfort and affordability