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Class B RVs are suitable for full-time living, provided you choose the right models. Motorhomes or campervans are perfect for temporary living. They can get a little limiting in due course of time. This is primarily why you should be meticulous with your assessment.
There are many manufacturers of Class B RVs but the specifications vary considerably. While a basic checklist is quite simple, full-time living has its fair demands and they must be satiated if you are to have a convenient experience.
Class B RVs do not require a separate vehicle for towing. They are more compact and can be easily maneuvered on road and service lanes, at gas stations and parking lots. You could opt for a temporary halt at one of the parks or you may very well drive up a serene hill and find a spot to be nestled in for a few days.
Class B RVs usually have a water system including sink and shower, a bed, heating and cooling including refrigerator, stovetop or cooking apparatus, a seating area that can be small, large enough or just sufficient and a toilet. Despite being compact, Class B RVs can be quite elaborate with various features, such as customized cabinets that will increase the cost.
Checklist to Buy the Best Class B RV for Fulltime Living
Class B RVs, also known as motorhomes and van campers or campervans, are costlier than the Class C RVs. The latter are larger so you are basically going to pay more for a compact design which inevitably means you will have less space. However, you will also be able to do away with a tow vehicle.
lass B RVs use different types of chassis such as that of Ford E, Mercedes Sprinter, Chevrolet, and Ram ProMaster. You will need to be familiar with the major manufacturers of Class B RVs. The checklist cannot just cover extensions, windows and doors, shower, fridge, television or entertainment system, microwave and cooking area.
Class B Manufacturers in the US
Ohio based Advanced-RV manufactures premium Class B RVs using chassis of Mercedes Sprinters. The company can customize a motor home or campervan for you.
Airstream is a popular brand specializing in vintage trailers and they are better known for the aluminum coaches these days.
Coachmen Galleria has an interesting inventory of Class B RVs built on chassis of Mercedes Sprinter 3500.
Also based in Ohio, Creative Mobile Interiors are an expert in converting Mercedes Sprinters.
Leisure Travel Vans
Leisure Travel Vans is one of the market leaders in Class B RVs.
Elkhart based Midwest Automotive Designs makes luxury Class B RVs. The company works with Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans. Their Weekender model is quite popular.
Troutdale based Outside Van specializes in Class B RVs and they cater to sports enthusiasts and adventurers.
Pleasure-Way is a Canadian company that works with Mercedes Sprinter and Dodge Ram ProMaster. The company has been making motorhomes for four decades now.
Roadtrek is another Canadian brand that only makes Class B RVs. Naturally, they have sufficient diversity in floor plans and specifications.
Safari Condo deals in Mercedes Sprinter, Dodge ProMaster and GM chassis for Class B.
Some other well-known manufacturers are Sportsmobile that works on Ford, Chevy, Nissan and Mercedes, SVO Group that works with Dodge Ram ProMaster and The RV Factory that has a modest inventory of Class B RVs.
Portland-based Van Specialties has an interesting inventory of Class Bs.
Winnebago is a name you have probably heard before. RV enthusiasts, outdoorsy adventurers and active campers love their RVs, especially Travato which is built on either Dodge Ram ProMaster or Mercedes Sprinter.
Tips to Buy the Best Class B RV
Class B RVs have a vast price range. The features vary widely and the experience will also be quite distinct depending on the model you choose.
Always test drive a few before you form an opinion. If you have any experience with RVs, regardless of class, then put that to good use while evaluating specific models.
Prioritize fuel economy. Test all devices in the vehicle. Check the outlets. You may want to prioritize an air conditioner, microwave, fridge, television and media player.
Assess the lighting, test the water system, inspect the shower and bathroom, try the furnace or the burner, run the generator and check out the storage spaces.
Always consider Class B RVs that you will be able to afford. It is unwise to take on a debt you may struggle to manage. It is not hard to fall in love with majestic motorhomes. However, you will have to pay a little more for a premium model if you are considering full time living. Those in need of temporary stays may still do away with some features and keep the cost in more stringent check.
7 Best Class B RVs for Fulltime Living
Off Grid Adventure Vans are among the more interesting options right now. These Class B RVs are priced around sixty thousand dollars but the cost can go up with custom features and luxuries.
The vans feature full-size Murphy style bed, there is a living area and dining space. The models are environmentally sustainable and reasonably priced. There are bench seats in the rear that is used as the living and dining area. The table is removable. Six people can be comfortably seated at the table.
There is a bathroom with an optional toilet. It has a shower as a standard feature. The models typically have wooden panel walls, roof vent, hardwood floors, storage cabinets, and solar power. A hundred watts solar panel is sufficient and you can always have a generator.
Off Grid Adventure Vans have base and custom models. There are two base vans. Buyers can also go for custom models. The company is not as old as some of the other major manufacturers but it is quite reliable.
They have designers, electricians, and carpenters who can work on your campervan from scratch but of course using a chassis they work with. The company claims it can deliver a durable motor home converted from a reliable chassis for around twenty thousand dollars less than what other manufacturers can deliver.
Going by the prices of Off-Grid Adventure Vans, the claim is not an overstatement.
Winnebago Revel is priced around a hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. The Revel is a four-wheel drive and the first mass-produced Class B RV using the 144” Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter as its base. The motor home has one 3L turbo diesel engine. The adventure rig has all-terrain tires.
The four-wheel drive has three modes: low, high and hill descent. There is a wet bath and a full kitchen. The bed is mounted in the rear and has a power lift feature. It is large enough for two people.
When folded up, there is enough space for surfboards and bikes. You can also carry other gear you need. The space available is around a hundred and forty cubic feet.
Winnebago is in the business of making motorhomes for over five decades now. It is a popular brand. The Revel has heating and air conditioning. There is a living area with a flip-up counter, water filtration system, induction cook-top, and sufficient storage.
There is a flip-down sink, shower head and toilet in the wet bath. Users can convert the bathroom to a closet with hangers and removable shelves. The seats in the cab can swivel so they are more utilitarian when the van is stationed to accommodate more people in the main cabin.
There is a foldable table between the dinette and the seats in the front. This can become a single bed when needed.
The Revel has an entertainment system with a six-inch touch screen. There is a rearview camera. Winnebago offers keyless remote entry, solar panels mounted on the roof capable of generating two hundred watts of power, there is integrated LED lighting and electric awning.
The sides and the rear have screen doors. The rack on the roof can be accessed using the moveable ladder. The Revel is definitely not among the more affordable Class B RVs. Many adventurers may consider a fully customized campervan for the price but Winnebago is a credible brand so the quality is assured.
Hymer Aktiv is priced just over ninety thousand dollars. Hyper is a European brand. It has not always made Class B RVs but it has introduced the Aktiv in the United States and Canada. Hymer Aktiv 2.0 is now available.
Built on Ram ProMaster, the Aktiv can sleep as many as four people on the queen bed at the rear and the dinette that can become a sleeping area. The motor home has a kitchen, bathroom, entertainment system and storage under the bed. The bathroom has a shower. The kitchen is well equipped.
Hymer Aktiv 2.0 is built on the chassis of Ram ProMaster 3500. It is powered by a 3.6L V6 engine capable of generating 280 horsepower and a torque of 260 lb-ft. The gross weight of the motor home is 4,241 kg. This is not a premium motor home so you should not expect luxurious amenities.
The capacity is advertised as four people but it is ideal for two adults and one child. Two children can be accommodated if they are quite young. Two adults and one or more teenagers in the motor home is an unrealistic scenario.
Hymer ensures heated seats, rear camera, a fridge with 3.1 cubic foot capacity under the counter, 700 watts microwave, a stove with two burners that can be powered by propane and a sink hooked with a freshwater tank having a capacity of 114 liters.
There are glass covers that can be lifted to make more space available on the counter if you are not using the appliances. Hymer has a ceiling height of six feet and an inch. There is a segmented mattress that can be turned into a king-size bed when unfolded in the hallway.
The Aktiv 2.0 is compact but has sufficient functionalities in most parts. The design is appreciable since there isn’t much sense of cramping due to the headroom.
The Airstream Interstate Grand Tour is priced around a hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars. The manufacturer is known for amazing designs and comfortable layouts. This is what you can safely label as a luxury Class B RV.
Sufficiently spacious for two adults, the RV has a premium kitchen, heated seats, adjustable lights and shades that you can remotely control. The vehicle can easily drive seven people buckled on the seats.
There are two-floor plans. The vehicle is twenty-four feet long. Built on the chassis of Mercedes Benz Sprinter 2500, the RV packs in over fifty features that are available as standard and hence do not spike the price. There are a side view and rearview cameras.
Airstream packs in Parktronic parking system, air ride suspension, Corian countertops, handcrafted cabinetry, a quiet generator, tankless water heater, climate control with heating and air conditioning, BluRay player and Samsung television.
ModVan CV1 is priced at sixty-five thousand dollars. It is a full campervan at an affordable price. The motor home can seat five people. Built on a Ford Transit T350 chassis, the RV can sleep as many as four adults or two adults and two kids.
The campervan is equipped with a propane stove having two burners, a sink, fridge, air conditioner, furnace, toilet, and cabinets. All the components in the ModVan CV1 can be removed.
You may come across claims that the Class B RV can sleep as many as four adults but it could get somewhat uncomfortable, especially if you try to accommodate two kids too.
ModVan has a battery-powered fridge. There is a solar panel with a capacity of three hundred watts. There is LED lighting and pop up roof. The height inside is around six and a half feet, which provides enough headroom. The CV1 is easily one of the most affordable Class B RVs right now.
The Coachmen Galleria 24FL blends function and space in an aesthetically and ergonomically satisfying fashion. The design is both functional and unique, providing more space than you might first think.
Providing comfort is a comfortable sofa at the rear end of the van, followed by a couple of jump seats with an easily removable small table in the middle.
Included in the design is a well-equiped kitchen, which should allow for all but the most complicated meals to be prepared in relative comfort.
In addition to the usual fittings, this 24FL comes complete with a refrigerator, shower, toilet, sink and even a wet bath.
Given what’s included, we think this is an intelligently thought out van that will provide a comfortable way of life for any full-time traveler.
The Platinum line of Class B motorhomes are simply gorgeous, each and every model provides more space than you’d think would be possible in a Class B. Any full-time traveler would be delighted to have one of these to transport them around the country.
Comfort is extended to every feature, including the generously proportioned queen-sized bed taking up the rear of the van. Some clever engineering has allowed bedside tables and ample under bed storage to be squeezed in without sacrificing looks or room.
In the rest of the bedroom, you’ll find a set of drawers and even a wardrobe.
The bathroom is fitted with plenty of overhead storage, toilet, sink, and a full shower. It’s not a large space, but it’s big enough for life on the road.
If you like to prepare home-cooked meals, you’ll be glad to find that the kitchen is well equipped with both a microwave and a 3 ringed stove. It’s big enough to prepare nearly any meal with the minimal of fuss.
Completing the Class B is the bed-dinette area that has been fitted with plenty of extra storage, including a recliner and a large flat-screen TV.
What is a Class B RV?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Class B motorhomes are just oversized vans. Another name for a class B motorhome is a camper van, so it’s very easy to see their ancestry. Most class B’s are large enough to stand up in and will contain many of the amenities you’d expect, including bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. The downside is that these rooms are often much smaller than you’d get at home.
Class B’s generally come without any sort of slide-out, which may limit the internal space slightly. However, in terms of costs, they are one of the most affordable options available.
As they are generally small RVs they are fairly simple to drive and they offer decent fuel economy. The reduced size also means that parking is also simple.
It probably goes without saying, but the smaller size also means that there is less room for stuff on people. If you have a small family and like to travel lightly, then a class B motorhome is a great choice.
We think that Class B’s are one of the best small RVs for full-time living, offering enough space for most people while being light on the wallet.
Best Used Class B RV – What To Look For
While any of the choices above would be absolutely perfect to buy new or used, there are some things to look for when buying used.
- Rust – rust can be an issue in any vehicle but tend to be more prevalent in well-traveled vans. Be sure to check in wheel arches and at the bottom of day frames for early signs of rust.
- Electronics – Make sure the electronics all work, test every single light switch, socket or anything else that draws current.
- Hire a Professional – When making a large investment such as a used class B RV, it’s sometimes worth getting a professional to look things over. Especially if you have no experience of engines or wear and tear.