Jayco 2020 Melbourne Prestige Class C Motorhome

7 Best Diesel RVs Under 30 Feet: Class C & Class B

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The typical diesel RV isn’t exactly compact – they are often sized well larger than their gasoline counterparts. As a side effect, diesel motorhomes also tend to be heavier than comparable gasoline motorhomes.

Does this mean though that you are only stuck with huge diesel motorhome options? Actually, no, there is a good number of quite compact diesel RV models out there.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of diesel motorhomes but don’t have too much garage area or towing capacity, then our overview of 7 best diesel RVs under 30 feet may be of interest to you.

7 best diesel RVs under 30 feet

Jayco 2020 Melbourne Prestige Class C Motorhome

Jayco 2020 Melbourne Prestige Class C Motorhome

Starting at $145,793

FloorplanLengthWidthInterior heightGVWR
24AP25’2”96”80”11,030lbs
24KP
24LP

Key features:

  • 3.6KW LP generator.
  • 1KW inverter.
  • 6 cubic feet refrigerator.
  • 15,000BTU AC.
  • 30,000BTU furnace.
  • Porcelain toilet.

When you are looking at numbers, all three floorplans in the Jayco Melbourne Prestige class C motorhomes seem to be identical. And while you are essentially getting the same features in all floorplans, there are some significant differences between their layouts.

Those differences can be mainly seen in the rear end of the Melbourne Prestige RVs where the bedroom and bathroom are located. Depending on what your needs are, each floorplan could offer something interesting.

For example, if you wish to have a full bathroom, then the 24LP floorplan would be the best. This floorplan’s bathroom has a shower cabin, a porcelain toilet, and a sink, while the other two floorplans only have a shower and toilet. 

The sink in the 24AP and 24KP floorplans is situated right outside the bathroom, which may or may not pose inconveniences to some people. However, the 24AP floorplan’s bathroom has the largest shower cabin among them all – 24 by 36 inches, while the other two are sized at 24 by 32 inches.

The differences between the bedrooms in this line are a bit subtler, but they are still noticeable. In the 24KP and 24LP floorplans, you are getting the same 60 x 70-inch bed, but the bedroom orientation is different. 

In the 24AP floorplan, the bedroom looks like a bunk area, and the bed itself is sized a bit differently – 50 by 80 inches, a little narrower yet longer than in the other floorplans. Beyond the bathroom and bedroom, we wouldn’t say that there are many noticeable differences to mention.

With all floorplans, you are also getting many goodies like a 3.6KW LP generator, a 1KW inverter, a 15,000BTU AC, a 30,000BTU furnace, a 6 cubic feet fridge, and many other items to make your pastime more pleasant. This is quite a generous selection of equipment for a sub-30 feet diesel RV, especially compared to some of the other diesel RVs on our list.

Jayco 2020 Melbourne Class C Motorhome

Jayco 2020 Melbourne Class C Motorhome

Starting at $121,268

FloorplanLengthWidthInterior heightGVWR
24K25’2”96”83”11,030lbs
24L

Key features:

  • 3.6KW LP generator.
  • 8 cubic feet refrigerator.
  • 13,500BTU AC.
  • 30,000BTU furnace.

The Melbourne class C motorhome line is built on the exact same Mercedes 3500 wheelbase 170-inch wheelbase as the Melbourne Prestige. However, there are some significant differences that make the non-Prestige line cost around $24,000 less than the Prestige series.

First of all, there are some differences in the exterior build – Melbourne Prestige had a fiberglass roof, a fiberglass front cap, and overall a little more fiberglass here and there to make the RV stronger without adding too much weight.

Secondly, there are some very noticeable differences inside, and we aren’t just talking about layout. There are a few features that regular Melbourne class C motorhomes don’t have.

For example, remember that the Prestige line cam with porcelain toilets? Well, Melbourne RVs come with more typical plastic toilets, which bring the price down a little, but with the tradeoff of lower durability.

Another thing that this line doesn’t have is a 1KW inverter, but it still comes with a 3.6KW LP generator.

With that being said, Melbourne RVs have a little more headroom inside – that’s because their interior height is 83 inches vs the 80 inches of the Prestige line. A small difference, but it may be important for some people.

Not only that, but Melbourne motorhomes come with a larger 8 cubic feet refrigerator, which is going to come in handy during longer journeys.

In the end, a bit less luxurious than the Melbourne Prestige line, Melbourne RVs still have a couple of things going for them.

Thor Motor Coach Compass RUV

Thor Motor Coach Compass RUV

Starting at $115,425

FloorplanLengthHeight (w/ AC)WidthInterior heightGVWR
23TW23’6”10’8”90”80”10,360lbs
24TF25’11’11,030lbs
24SX26’10’10”

Key features:

  • Combines the driving experience of an SUV and an RV.
  • Bedroom, living room, and exterior TVs.
  • Full bathroom.
  • Flip-up queen bed.
  • 3.6KW LP generator.
  • 13,500BBTU AC.

The Compass line by Thor Motor Coach is quite unique. Compass RVs technically are class C motorhomes, but Thor has employed an interesting design in them – they have combined the smoother driving experience of an SUV with the visibility and comfort of an RV. The result of this is a hybrid called RUV, or a Recreational Utility Vehicle.

All this means that at this price point, you could expect better driving comfort from Compass RVs than from other class C motorhomes.

What about the interior of Compass motorhomes? Well, there are many good things, as well as a few not so great points that you need to keep in mind.

The thing is that Compass RVs do not come with any furnaces, so they aren’t suitable for traveling in colder seasons or full-time living by default. You can, of course, install a furnace on your own, but this is going to cost you some more money.

With that being said, Compass class C motorhomes have a lot of interior room to offer. This is mainly thanks to the flip-up queen bed – when in their upper position, the queen bed frees a considerable amount of space, as well as unveils a cushioned seating underneath. 

And given that Compass RVs come with TVs both in the living room and the bedroom, you are getting two entertainment areas to spend quality time in.

The bathroom in this RV line is also notable – it is a full bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet in all three floorplans, which is going to be a plus if you highly value bathroom comfort.

In conclusion, while not the most comfortable RV on our list, Compass RUV line does boast a few interesting features – mainly, the driving experience of an SUV and the comfort of an RV.

Thor Motor Coach 2020 Synergy Class C Motorhome

Thor Motor Coach 2020 Synergy Class C Motorhome

Starting at $135,300

FloorplanLengthHeight (w/ AC)WidthInterior heightGVWR
24MB25’10”10’10”90”80”11,030lbs
24SK
24SS24’11”
24ST25’10”

 

Key features:

  • Bedroom, living area, and exterior TVs (apart from 24MB which doesn’t have a bedroom TV).
  • 3.6KW LP generator.
  • 15,000BTU AC.
  • Wide range of bedroom configurations.
  • Porcelain toilet.

The Thor Motor Coach Synergy line may not be able to boast the unique SUV + RV combo of the Compass RUV, but it does offer a little bit more when it comes to luxury and interior comfort. In this sense, Synergy RVs are very similar to Jayco’s Melbourne Prestige line, but Synergy may offer even more.

The first thing to catch the eye in the Synergy class C motorhome line is its variety of sleeping configurations.

The 24MB floorplan has a murphy bed with a 67-inch sofa beneath. The 24SK floorplan has the familiar full-size flip-up bed with cushioned seating below. The 24SS has a regular queen bed, and the 24ST floorplan has twin beds which can be converted to a king bed, plus a sofa bed in the living area.

In addition, all floorplans have a bunk area above the driver’s cabin, which is a standard feature for class C motorhomes.

So whether you want additional sleeping spots or more free room during the day, the Synergy RV line should have a few interest things to offer.

The bathrooms of Synergy motorhomes are also remarkable – in particular, they feature a durable porcelain toilet, just like Melbourne Prestige RVs did. Aside from that, all floorplans other than the 24SK offer full bathrooms with a shower, toilet, and sink. In the 24SK, the shower and toilet compartments are separated, which may be a thing that some people are looking for.

These were the main differences between the Compass RUV and Synergy class C motorhome lines. In the end, Synergy RVs are excellent if you want comfort and luxury, but they again aren’t equipped for colder climates out of the dealership.

Winnebago 2020 Boldt Class B Motorhome

Winnebago 2020 Boldt Class B Motorhome

Starting at $198,614

FloorplanLengthHeight WidthInterior heightGVWR
70KL23’4”9’9″/9’11”86”74”11,030lbs
70BL

Key features:

  • Rugged design.
  • 4-season insulation.
  • Ample sleeping space.
  • Optional 4×4 chassis.
  • Compact.

If you care about ruggedness more than about interior comfort, then the 2020 Boldt class B motorhome line by Winnebago is a very interesting option. Don’t get us wrong, Boldt RVs are quite well-equipped and comfortable inside, but their aim isn’t at providing you with the most interior room.

Shorter, lower, and narrower than all other diesel RVs on our list, Boldt motorhomes have a bit limited wiggle room. Perhaps the best manifestation of this is the bathroom – in this motorhome, you are getting a compact wet bath system which does its job but isn’t the best in terms of comfort.

In spite of its limited size, the Boldt RV line is quite space-efficient. Namely, it features Winnebago’s Flex Bed system which allows you to quickly convert the living and bedroom areas into various sleeping configurations. Depending on your needs, you could leave the twin beds as they are or convert them into one larger queen bed.

The strongest side of the Boldt line, however, is its rugged build. First of all, this line features extensive 4-season insulation paired with a non-ducted AC and an electric heating system to keep occupants comfortable throughout the year. This RV thus is great for all-year travel, but maybe not as great for full-time living due to its small size.

Aside from that, Winnebago offers a 4×4 chassis option, which is going to come in handy if you will be off-roading in this thing.

In the end, certainly not the largest and comfiest RV on our list, Boldt class B motorhome provides ruggedness and all-year performance unachievable by many other class B RVs.

Winnebago 2020 Navion Class C Motorhome

Winnebago 2020 Navion Class C Motorhome

Starting at $154,715

FloorplanLengthHeight WidthInterior heightGVWR
24D25’5”10’8”90.25”80”11,030lbs
24J
24V

Key features:

  • 2KW inverter.
  • 3.6KW LP generator.
  • Thermally and acoustically insulated front bunk.
  • A wide range of sleeping configurations.
  • 15,000BTU AC with heat pump.
  • 20,000BTU furnace.
  • Porcelain toilet.

The Winnebago Navion class C motorhome isn’t as rugged and thermally-isolated as the Boldt Class B line, but it offers much greater interior comfort at a noticeably lower price. Navion RVs are longer, taller, and wider than Boldt motorhomes, which allows them to be better-equipped inside, but at the cost of requiring more garage space from you.

A particularly notable feature in Navion class C motorhomes is their isolated sleeper deck above the driver compartment. It is designed acoustically and thermally insulated, which should make the bunk more relaxing and easier to sleep in for the occupants, especially for drivers.

The sleeping capacity of this RV overall is great as well. All 3 floorplans offer 4 sleeping spots along with a variety of sleeping configurations. The 24D floorplan offers a murphy bed, the 24J floorplan boasts a more regular 50 x 79-inch bed, while the 24V floorplan features the familiar Flex Bed system which allows you to convert the two twin beds into a single queen bed. Combined with the cab-over bunk, this allows for sleeping space for 4 people.

The off-grid capacity of Navion class C motorhomes is also remarkable – they all come with a 3.6KW LP generator, a 2KW inverter, as well as 2 deep-cycle RV batteries. This makes Navion RVs excellent for travel, no matter how long. Navion class C motorhomes may also be great for full-time living!

Coachmen Prism Class C Motorhome

Coachmen Prism Class C Motorhome

FloorplanLengthHeight WidthGVWR
2150LE25’1”11’4”95”11,030lbs
2200LE
2300DS
24EE24’11”10’9”94”
24EF
24EJ
2250LE25’11’7”95”
24EG24’11”10’9”94”

Key features:

  • Wide range of floorplans.
  • 3-burner cooktop.
  • Composite/porcelain toilet (Prism and Prism Elite floorplans respectively).
  • 13,500BTU AC.
  • 18,000BTU furnace.
  • 3.6KW LP generator.

And the last diesel RV line on our list is the Prism class C motorhome series by Coachmen. Not necessarily the most remarkable on our list in terms of comfort, this line does offer a wide array of floorplans to choose from.

The Prism line is divided into two subseries – Prism and Prism Elite. They have the same basic features, but there are some small differences between them that make the Prism Elite more luxurious. Among these features is the porcelain toilet, as well as the 32-inch TV with a stereo soundbar in Prism Elite floorplans.

Interestingly, the kitchen capacity in all Prism RVs is better than in all other diesel RVs on our list. This is mainly thanks to the 3-burner cooktop, which delivers increased cooking capacity to allow you to prepare more food at once.

When it comes to overall equipment and comfort though, we wouldn’t say that Prism RVs drastically differ from other Mercedes-based RVs on our list. As we mentioned above, perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Prism line is that you have much more floorplans to choose from. 

If you have very specific needs, it’s more likely that you will find the desired feature in the Prism line than in other diesel RV series on our list.

Gas vs diesel motorhomes

Whether powered by gas or diesel, motorhomes can offer some remarkable comfort to you. However, when it comes down to specifics, there are significant differences between gas and diesel motorhomes that you should keep in mind.

If you are confused and overwhelmed by the gas vs diesel debate, then let us introduce you to the key differences between the two motorhome types.

Price

If you’ve done some research already, then you’ve probably noticed that diesel motorhomes tend to cost quite a bit more than gas motorhomes. What may particularly confuse you here is that diesel motorhomes don’t seem to deliver that much added comfort for the price difference.

One reason for the higher price of diesel motorhomes is the wide array of advantages of diesel engines over regular gas engines. Among those benefits are reduced emissions, increased reliability, and noticeably longer lifespan.

Diesel motorhomes also tend to retain their value longer, which will come in handy if you one day decide to sell your RV.

However, diesel engines have one downside – if you don’t run it often, it is going to break down. Diesel engines require frequent operation to stay intact, due to which diesel motorhomes would be more suitable for individuals who travel a lot or are going to live in an RV full-time without staying in one spot for too long.

Torque

Diesel RVs tend to have better low-end torque, which is very important when towing or climbing steep roads. In a diesel RV, you will be able to maintain a steady speed without too much pressure on the throttle (which is taxing on the engine) when going uphill.

Fuel efficiency

Diesel motorhomes are also more fuel-efficient than gas motorhomes. Part of the reason for this is the higher energy value of diesel compared to gasoline – diesel allows for around 10% better fuel economy by volume than gasoline.

This certainly is an excellent benefit since a primary concern for any vehicle owner is fuel efficiency. One thing to keep in mind though is that diesel is more expensive than gasoline, but in the long run, its higher fuel efficiency can allow for much cheaper RV operation.

This, by the way, is also another reason why diesel motorhomes are better for those who intend to travel a lot – you are going to feel the benefits of diesel quicker if you drive the RV frequently.

Comfort

In a general sense, it is more likely that a diesel motorhome will offer better comfort and fewer flaws. Well, paying several hundred thousand dollars, you’d expect to get a motorhome that does its job better, right?

Overall, if you are mainly looking for comfort, then either gas or diesel motorhomes can work. Again, at a higher price point, diesel RVs may have more, but high-end gasoline motorhomes can also offer luxury at a lower price point.

Due to this, the decisive factors in your purchase will be your traveling style – if you are going to travel a lot, then a diesel RV would be a more efficient choice.

Questions to think about

If you are unsure which motorhome type to go for, then the questionnaire-guide below should give you a little helping hand.

Travel style

  • Do you intend to RV full-time without long stops at parks or campgrounds? If the answer is yes, then a diesel RV may be a good choice.
  • Will you travel just on vacations and weekends? If so, then a gasoline RV would be a better choice.
  • Will you travel in flat areas or mountainous regions? For the former, a gasoline RV would be better, while diesel RVs are going to shine in less flat areas.
  • Do you plan to tow? If so, then a diesel motorhome may be a better choice.

RV size

  • Do you prefer a smaller RV? If so, then a gasoline motorhome may be a better choice. Diesel motorhomes tend to be quite large, which is going to be a problem if you have limited garage capacity.

Budget

  • How big is your budget? If you want to enjoy the benefits of diesel motorhomes, then be prepared to spend a few hundred thousand dollars.
  • How important is fuel efficiency for you? If you care more about the upfront price of the RV rather than its long-term efficiency, then a gasoline motorhome is going to be better.

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