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5 Reasons to Avoid Class B RVs

When you’re looking for a Class B RV that fits your travel style, there are many factors to consider; size, drivability, amenities, and creature comforts. 

Are you wondering if a class B RV is right for you? It may be.

There’s no question about it – Class B RVs look great, can easily be used for stealth camping, and they drive like a normal vehicle. However, all great things also have their faults.

Today we’re sharing five reasons you might want to avoid a Class B RV.

What is a Class B RV? 

A Class B RV is an RV built on a van or truck chassis and the smallest of all drivable RVs or motorhomes. They come with both gas and diesel engines options. These units can vary in length but typically are small enough to fit in a regular parking spot and have minimal interior room to accommodate all the amenities of a typical motorhome. 

As for comfort, two travelers fit very well, but as many as four can sleep in most models..

Since class B RVs are the smallest of all motorhomes, they sacrifice on several amenities to accommodate things like a bed, cooking area, and restroom. The most significant sacrifice is space. 

What are the Best Class B RVs?

Don’t get us wrong, we love Class B RVs and have tours at least 100 different units over the past 10 years.

Here are a few of the most amazing Class Bs:

  • Airstream Atlas Touring Coach
  • Tiffin Cahaba
  • Winnebago Travato 59K
  • Coachmen Galleria
  • Storyteller Overland MODE LT

And, one more thing before we get to the bad new, Class B RVs often hold their value better than any other RV. If you choose to resell, you won’t be up a creek like you would with a standard travel trailer.

The 5 Reasons You Should Avoid a Class B RV

1. Class B RV’s Often Don’t Have Permanent Beds

RV manufacturers must make the most out of the tiny space inside the van, so most Class B’s do not have a permanent bed. The bed either folds up into a couch or a dinette. 

Taking down your bed every morning to have a living space and re-making it up at night can become a real pain, especially after a long day of driving. Also, the comfort of a transitional bed is minimal.

If the Class B does have a permanent bed, it will surely take up valuable living space during waking hours.

This is unless you get a luxury unit.

Luxury Class Bs often come with a great, permanent bed. However, the price tag will usually exceed $250,00.

2. Class B RV’s Have Tiny Bathrooms

The bathrooms in class B’s are very size restrictive and much more like a small closet than an actual bathroom. Almost all of the will have a wet bath – meaning the entire bathroom itself is also the shower. 

These bathrooms are much more suited to a small person. If you’re a little taller or a little wider than most people, you won’t be able to access it comfortably or close the door. 

Time and again, small-in-size couples sing the praises of Class B RV bathrooms. This can be very misleading.

Use our rule of thumb: step into the bathroom before buying one. Sit on the toilet. Pretend to shower. See if your elbows have free movement. Don’t simply look inside the bathroom and think, “oh, that looks sleek.”

3. You Can’t Easily Set Up Camp For the Long Term

If you’re in a class B RV, chances are it’s also your daily driver. This means you won’t be able to set up camp for an extended period because when you need to go to the store or explore, your RV is also coming with you.

Setting up and breaking down camp whenever you need to run out and get something can get old quickly. 

Hardcore Class B owners will disagree with this statement. But, here’s the deal, those owners are dedicated to the small motorhome lifestyle.

If you’re new to RVing, you probably don’t know your RV style yet. Personally, we like the idea of settling in and using a second vehicle for exploring the local area. But, to each their own.

On the other side of the coin, this “get up and go” quality makes Class B RVs ideal for overnight RV parking. You can easily pull into a Walmart, catch some sleep, and pull out without anyone noticing you.

4. Way Less Storage than Virtually Any Other RV Type

Class Bs are relatively tiny. Storage space is incredibly limited! Almost every square inch of a class B RV is used in some way, so there isn’t much space to bring along a lot of possessions. 

Kitchen and pantry storage is limited compared to Class A RVs and 5th Wheels. Outside storage can often be substantially less.

The lack of space can be okay for weekend trips. 

But if you want to have extended trips in a Class B RV, you’ll need to get creative with storage. 

Pro Tip: Here are 7 RV Storage Hacks to Know 

5. Cost Per Square Foot is Among Highest in the Industry

Since class B motorhomes are the smallest drivable RV, you might think that they’d also be the least expensive – they’re not. 

Despite their smaller size, they have among the highest prices per square foot in the RV industry and can be even more costly than some class A or class C motorhomes.

Many reasons factor into the higher prices of class B RVs: 

  • They are typically built on a more expensive chassis
  • The smaller workspace can make the build more difficult
  • Class B RVs aren’t as mass-produced as some larger motorhome models

But, remember, they hold their value better than virtually any other RV too!

Class B RVs Aren’t All Bad

Class B RVs work perfectly for some people and can be an especially great choice if you are using them for part-time road-tripping and weekend adventures. 

There are definite advantages to owning one.

First and foremost, Class B RVs are great for security.

DID YOU KNOW: Many other RV types come with the same keys from the manufacturer? This means, you might be able to open another travel trailer with your keys! Read about it here.

Its a huge security problem.

Class B RVs are super flexible and can get into many locations that bigger motorhomes and travel trailers can’t access due to their size. You can take a class B on just about any road in the US that has length restrictions!

These mobile-units can access remote campsites that aren’t suitable for other RVs or travel trailers. Almost any campsite accessed with a car, can be accessed with a Class B RV. 

Another advantage is that they are super easy to drive and easy to park! Since it’s also likely being used as a daily driver, this is important. It’s almost as easy to park a class B as it is to park a car, and most will fit in a regular parking space.

This makes it easier to enjoy a city while you’re passing through because you won’t have to worry about where to park your home.

Here are the Most Popular Class B RVs in 2023:

  1. Winnebago Travato: The Winnebago Travato has been a popular Class B RV for several years. It features a comfortable living space with a full bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping accommodations for up to four people. It is also known for its fuel efficiency and compact size.
  2. Roadtrek Zion: The Roadtrek Zion is another popular Class B RV. It has a sleek and modern design and features a spacious interior with all the amenities needed for a comfortable trip. It can accommodate up to three people and has a full kitchen and bathroom.
  3. Pleasure-Way Plateau: The Pleasure-Way Plateau is a luxurious Class B RV that has recently gained popularity. It features a spacious interior with high-end finishes and can accommodate up to four people. It also has a full kitchen and bathroom and plenty of storage space.
  4. Airstream Interstate: The Airstream Interstate is a Class B RV that combines style and functionality. It has a modern design and features a comfortable living space with all the amenities needed for a relaxing trip. It can accommodate up to six people and has a full kitchen and bathroom.
  5. Coachmen Galleria: The Coachmen Galleria is a Class B RV recently gaining popularity. It features a spacious interior with all the amenities needed for a comfortable trip. It can accommodate up to four people and has a full kitchen and bathroom. It also has plenty of storage space and a sleek and modern design.

Remember that the popularity of RVs can vary depending on various factors such as price, features, and customer preferences, so it’s always a good idea to do your research before making a purchase.

Despite the Cons, They are Ideal for Free Camping

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy). You should give it a try! As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours.

Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

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  1. Chuck Gunning says:

    You obviously haven’t met Christine and Aaron of Irene Iron Fitness who travel in an Airstream Interstate and have figured out how to boondock for extended periods. We are fans of the two of them and their YouTube videos. Check them out!

  2. Scott Sitler says:

    Love you guys, your videos, etc. We have a small (on a Mercedes 144 inch wheelbase) Class B. We are not full time but have traveled for 3-4 months at a time. All your points are true but small works for us. Thankful there are many different options! Keep writing & vloging. Best regards to you and your lovely family!

  3. Maggie says:

    There are pros and cons for all types of RV’s of course, but it is not necessary to fork over $150,000 to $185,000 for an Airstream Interstate to boondock for any length of time. 😁

  4. Nancy Brinkmann says:

    That’s an interesting take on Class B’s . We’ve had Class C, Airstream, 5Th Wheel and now an old Foretravel Bus and. Class B Van.

    We built our Class B because we did not like any of the “Factory” layouts. We pretty much addressed the negatives you mentioned.

    . We built a super comfortable Full Sized bed with a killer mattress. We sleep east to west.

    Our “Bathroom“ is a work in progress, we used ideas from looking at so many van builds and took the ones we wanted. We use a teak tray mounted on 500lb slides which comes out from under the bed, in the tray is our urine diverting toilet and converts to a shower pan, plus we have an outside shower. We found after 12,000 miles this works well for us.

    For long term camping, well I guess the purpose of the van is you don’t typically set up for that long as it’s all contained and quick to leave, but when we’ve parked for a week bicycles/ evokes service the transport needs and also ride sharing.

    We built in a rather huge garage under our bed along with storage under the bench seats and upper cabinets, lower cabinets. We don’t find ourselves needing any more storage.

    We purchased a barely used 2019 high roof van and we’re all in for about 55K we did not look at cost per sq foot, we looked the ability to travel more nimble than in our Coach. So for us we now have our monster coach as our home base and used as a base for the areas we want to be in. The van is our scout vehicle from home bases, it’s been awesome on a cross county tour, and locally.

    Everyone has their needs, a Class B was the best decision for us now.

  5. Ronald W Worth says:

    I would say the Roadtrek is the most popular class B motorhome. It has all the appliances of a class A or C with less space. You can only sit in one chair at a time, who needs extra seating. The bed can be left down when traveling, so you don’t have to make it up to have a lie down. True the bathroom is tiny, is why I bought a Roadtrek 210 with a door I can close. The fridge is larger with a freezer compartment that will take a tub of ice cream. There is lots of storage under the bed and lots of outside storage compartments. You have to adjust to what is necessary when you travel or boondock. The 210 is built on a GM chassis, reliable, easy to service and not costly. Too bad GM has discontinued building the van. It will go down in history like the GM motorhome of the 70’s and will be sought after by RV enthusiast. Ronald William Worth.

  6. Judy Sterling says:

    All good points, though I love my class B and fixed bed.

    For anyone new to RVing, it’s SO important to consider your personal needs and travel plans. I’d bet choosing a rig is the hardest step for all but the most impulsive shoppers!

    I visit family in big cities, so the ability to parallel park is high on my list. And I can comfortably go two weeks off grid and shower every day, but not if a friend is with me.

    Great articles like this really help newbies to narrow down the options. Each class of rig has many pros and cons.

  7. Greg says:

    Permanent queen bed, huge garage for 4 bicycles, large wet bath, shoulder belted seating for 4, 2 refrigerators, good gas mileage, under 21 feet, easy to park, and great resale value. What’s the downside?

  8. Bob says:

    I full time for the 6 months of winter in a Roadtrek 200 popular. 20′. It has two twin beds and works out perfectly for me as a single person who has occasional guest who are friends only, hence the twin beds. My bed is made up permanently. Plus, most of the real class b, not some van conversion, have a table up front beside the rear one so people with the big queen bed when set up can also leave it set up. The reason I love the small toilet is I only use it for storage anyway, so want the room for the living area. How much time do you spend in the toilet daily that you want to waste that space? I just use the toilets at campgrounds. State parks have showers and I have gym membership that gets me in to many places around the country. Plus I use my outside shower which doesn’t create any cleanup like the inside one. Never stay at RV parks with full hookups having solar and generator.I probably would have a bigger one, which I could have gotten cheaper, if all I did was stay at RV parks or real campgrounds, but I love boondocking back on roads you just can’t get into with anything bigger, including your current Airstream! As for couples, I do think they have to be very well suited to one another to live in the small space permanently. I’ve even a couple with two large dogs! That is amazing to me! Lol!

  9. Betsy says:

    Love our class B – a Winnebago Travato 59 GL all the time!
    Yes it is an investment but as you noted, they hold value fairly well for a vehicle.
    The murphy bed is made up and left made. You decide if you want it down or put it up for more space in the back hall/garage. We do NOT make up or unmake our bed daily – just when we are changing the linens. Plus we find we sleep together very comfortably and we have no issues if one of us needs to get up in the night to use our bathroom.
    We enjoy our hot showers in this bath – spacious enough that we stand and turn about (and do not sit on a toilet as in some B’s). My husband is well over 6′ tall and he loves it. I was a very large woman when we first purchased and have since gotten back to my normal size, but at any size I have not had any issues.
    We enjoy enhanced storage within the van – thanks to inspriation from the owners group. We find we use what we use and periodically subtract excess. I think that is a good habit anyhwere.
    We love the Travato kitchen – great refrigerator & freezer, microwave, double burner cooktop, sink and pantry space! With storage for our instapot, omnia oven, toaster oven, extra portable induction cooktop and typical pots and pans.
    We also love the front lounge, spacious table, great views. It’s great to have a quiet, private back zone for a nap or reading while the other person can be busy upfront spread out and working on a project.
    We love the lithium set up and enjoy the freedom from needing full hook-ups. Our biggest limit – tank sizes – but you learn to manage resources and know your limits. Always leave your site (anywhere) better than how you found it.
    A typical warm weather setup for us is to carry two kayaks up top, 4 bikes on the back and plenty of adventure gear for hikes, picnics, snorkeling, etc. My concession to class B space is not having one of my full keyboards along but pondering options…And we are full-time so yes we both have complete wardrobes on board.

  10. Peter E Zettler says:

    Didn’t read all the feed back,but my take away is, that if you start as a tent camper by the time you get to Class B you are in heaven. 25 yrs with a Slide in truck camper( same one) and my 32 yr old Ford F250 diesel can’t be beat for flexibility.Made a living with the truck when we were not camping. Finding the right truck and camper that fit together and suit you ,is the trick.Maintanance ,also is a must. Hook a small van trailer to it and you can stay out a month easy.55yrs of enjoyment and still at it! PZ

  11. Ed Hibbs says:

    The biggest obstacle that I see to Class B motorhomes is that I can not stand up in one nor could anyone in my family. Yes, I’ve tried to stand up in numerous Class Bs so that’s why I have a Class A with 7′ ceilings…..perfect. I like NOT hitting my head on things like the lights, air conditioner and other items that RV builders like to place in the walkway. But, then there are the many other reasons (lack of storage, bathroom space, etc.) some of which are mentioned in this article. There is a place for Class Bs, just not for tall people.

  12. Geoffrey S Schrader says:

    I lived in a Roadtrek 190 Popular for several years. To add space, I pulled a utility/motorcycle trailer behind with a Honda touring bike, a bicycle and spare parts in it. Some of the finest memories of my life.

  13. Jacqueline says:

    It is no big deal if one needs to pack up and leave in a Class Be, i.e., five minutes and you are out of there. Also, if you plan well you stop and get what you need on the way in. I have never stayed at a campground for more than two nights unless I am at a rally and even then that is rare. Costs of campgrounds have gotten to be ridiculous, so I enjoy boondocking or COE campgrounds the best.

  14. Judy S says:

    Yes, the only B tall enough for you would be built on a Ford Transit high roof. My custom Promaster, with heated floors and R16 insulation (both of which take interior space) has a 6′ 2″ interior height. I met someone with a Transit who put the bed on pulleys and lowers it from the ceiling.

  15. Judy S says:

    My other post was for Ed Hibbs above.

  16. BillMacy says:

    So I have owned a medium sized 5th wheel a nd a large 5th wheel. I have also owned a smaller cl a ss A and a large class A. I traveled all across the US, most of the best national parks. I now own a 1 ton extended Hightower GMC van that I converted myself. Nothing fancy but nice and cozy. Unless you intend to full time, smaller is better. My biggest class A was 38ft, had three tvs, two bath rooms and a king bed. True luxury. But we were not full timers and it sat in storage way more than on the road. Save your money and have a daily driver van that can also go anywhere easily and way more cheaply. Want to full time get the biggest RV you can afford!

  17. Mark Weiner says:

    All the things you said are pretty much true, but, setting up the bed or folding down back to a sofa takes maybe 5 minutes. It’s not a PIA. Here’s something easy, get a mattress topper and pin the sheets to the pad, then roll it up every night and store that in the overhead cabinets. You’ll have the sofa in the daytime and the bed at night. We love our 23 foot Roadtrek RS Adventurous. It’s very convenient on any trip, short or long distance.

    Yes, space is limited; we just take less stuff. What I’ve discovered is “less is more”…. you don’t need your entire house with you. If we want more space, we just stay home. This is a camper, not a permanent residence.

    Weight is never a problem on our Class B. It’s on a 1 ton chassis with dual rear wheels, very stable. Many RVs with the “big box” in the back are top heavy and prone to leaning. This is never the case with a streamline van. And, it’s aerodynamic with 18 plus MPG… something your large Class A’s and Class C’s can only dream about. They are more like 7 or 12 MPG…it really adds up in fuel economy.

    Sure, the bathroom is a wet bath… the entire room is designed to get wet. Here’s something….a valve in the back of the toilet started leaking… very inconvenient, but, it was leaking into a room that’s designed to get wet anyway and has a drain…no big deal. Try that with a “dry bathroom”… that’s an emergency.

    I didn’t buy this for “resale value”, but, heck, these Class B motorhomes are the fastest growing segment in the RV industry right now and everyone wants one.

    Bottom line is… yes, know the limitations of these units and make an intelligent choice. Maybe rent one and see if it suits you.

    We can park it anywhere; it’s just the length of a car and a half. No wider than a full size truck.

    Glad you mentioned “security”. Class B motorhomes have doors and locks like any car, they are very secure and the locks are not keyed alike. Class C’s have flimsy doors and locks that are more easily broken.

    YES, on a square foot basis Class B motorhomes are the most expensive. You get what you pay for…. good things come in small packages.

    It’s going to cost a lot more with the Class A or C if you don’t take it on trips…. these vehicles are not driveway ornaments. If you can’t afford to take it out because fuel is expensive, you won’t be using it.

  18. What is your opinion on Leisure RVs? They seem to have quality construction methods and advanced manufacturing techniques.

  19. Chris Both says:

    I pull a Toyota Yaris behind my 24’ AI. That also solves the problem with packing space.