Are Class B RVs Worth It? – 13 Significant Pros and Cons


Are Class B RVs Worth It sm

Class B RVs are great for those who don’t need a lot of room and want the convenience of driving something not much bigger than a truck. But they can be some of the most expensive RVs on the market. So are class B RVs worth it?

Here’s what I know and why they wouldn’t work for me:

Class B RVs are worth it if you do not intend to live full-time in your RV and don’t plan to travel with more than 1 or 2 other people. Additionally, they provide the ability to be driven and parked as easily as a car and can be set up quickly for camping.

For my family of 5, they just wouldn’t provide enough living space. But once our 3 kids move out, I can definitely see the advantages of a Class B for just my wife and me.

Buying an RV is not a quick decision, and you should not do it on impulse.

It is like buying a home. You should take it step-by-step and employ a methodical thought process to everything. That is why in this article, we are going to try and help you by highlighting everything you need to know about class B RVs.

Let’s get into it!

Why are Class B RVs so expensive?

Many Class B RVs are built on the Mercedes Sprinter Chassis, which is naturally costlier. Additionally, because Class B RVs have many of the features of larger RVs compacted into a much smaller space, this increases the manufacturing costs.

But it’s not just Mercedes that makes them expensive.

Other brands of chassis include the Ford Transit and the Dodge Ram. See, these are commercial vehicles that have been built to last. They are made to travel long distances.

Also, they are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and imperfect terrain while traveling those long distances.

We need to consider that the living area is built into the vehicle instead of the living space being attached to the vehicle.

This point is essential when talking about the cost of a class B motorhome.

A lot of modifications need to be done to build the living space in the vehicle. Those modifications take time and money to do. No, we are not just talking about adding furniture and appliances to the vehicle.

We are talking about modifications that get done to the body and interior itself.

Finally, when building the living area into the vehicle, the workers deal with small spaces relative to what they need to do. Again, this takes time which costs the manufacturer money.

All of this adds up. Together, these reasons significantly contribute to the cost of a class B RV.

Which is better: Class B or C RV?

A Class B RV is better for a solo traveler or a couple, whereas a Class C RV is better for a family of 3 or more people. Additionally, a Class C RV is better for those on a budget as they are often much less expensive than a Class B.

So in a way, a class C RV is not better than a class B RV. At the same time, a class B RV is not better than a class C.

They all have their pros and cons, and they are both used for different things.

Class C RVs are better for full-time living.

On most class C RVs, a camper is modified and then built onto the chassis. These are two separate components that are merged. It means that a class C RV will have more space and come with more amenities than a class B RV.

Class B RVs are better for vacations, road trips, and part-time camping.

A class B RV has everything built into the vehicle. This means that there is limited space; however, the RV is easier to drive, more convenient to maintain and does not take up a lot of space.

All of this makes class B RVs great for quick getaways and perfect for couples who are more interested in being outdoors on their holidays: vacationers that just need a vehicle to get them to their destination and act as a place to sleep, eat, and set up camp.

It is too easy to say that one is better than the other.

However, I find that when people do that, it is a bit disingenuous because it assumes that you are a particular type of person. The fact is, we are all different, and we all have different needs and wants.

Each RV class serves a purpose to different people.

What is the best Class B RV for the money?

The best Class B RV that perfectly combines features and value is the Airstream Interstate 19, starting at $165,143. It features a Mercedes chassis and a power sliding door and is only 19 feet long, making it simple to drive and park.

This RV is the number one selling Class B Diesel RV.

While it may be small and agile, it comes with the performance, safety, and durability that only Mercedes-Benz can offer. Its small size also means that it can park in any standard parking space.

You can control almost everything from your power sliding doors to the lighting to your air conditioner, all from one panel.

This RV boasts the biggest bed in its class.

The couches fold out to occupy almost the entire rear of the RV. If you have a small child, the cockpit doubles up as a single bed, which is a nice little touch.

Pros of Buying a Class B RV

Now we are going to take a look at the pros of a class B RV. These are the most important things that you need to look out for. So, let’s get into it.

1. Class B RVs are easy to drive and park

As we mentioned above in this article, Class B RVs are great if you want a quick “get-up-and-go” vehicle that acts as a camper as well. They are easy to drive and easy to park almost everywhere.

If you have ever driven even a small pickup truck, you should have no problem going and parking a class B RV.

2. Perfect for 1-2 people

Usually, if there are just one or two people on any trip, upkeep and maintenance become a lot easier. Also, you don’t need a lot of space when there are just two of you, and a class B RV is perfect in that sense.

You would have almost everything you need except maybe for full bathrooms in some cases.

3. Smaller wheelbase means they are safer

Safety is essential when you pick out an RV, and while I will say that most RVs are safe to some extent, class B RVs seem to be the safest way to travel in a motorhome.

A smaller wheelbase is dangerous on a large vehicle, but a small wheelbase on a smaller vehicle such as a class B RV is the safest way to travel.

4. Better gas mileage than other RVs

The fact that you have an RV means you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, well, at least I can safely assume so. Over time, the cost of your gas can become more significant.

This is where a class B RV truly stands out. We can give you the average mpg that you will get in most RVs based on their class.

  • In a class A RV, you have the lowest mileage per gallon, averaging at around 13mpg.
  • In a class B RV, you can get a whopping 25 mpg. That is significantly higher than the other two types of RV.
  • In a class C RV, you will get around 18mpg. While this doesn’t seem bad, it’s not that great.

5. Class B RVs don’t require paying for a storage facility to park it at

Because a class B RV is a vehicle that has had its interior modified to fit everything inside the vehicle, you can park it pretty much anywhere that you would park a vehicle.

This also includes in your garage or your driveway.

With most of the other RVs, they are too big to fit in your driveway, and they are also too big to fit in the garage. In some cases, some homeowner’s associations prohibit vehicles such as buses, trucks, and any large vehicle from being parked outside of your house.

This is another reason why a lot of people choose class B RVs. They don’t want to pay for the extra storage space required when owning one of the big boys.

6. Can fit into any campsite no matter how small

Class B RVs are quite literally the “go anywhere RV.” If a campsite can accommodate a vehicle, you can be 100% sure that you will get your RV in there.

You can even have everything you need to set up a campsite in your RV, including tents and so on.

At the same time, you could sleep in your RV but set up your camp around the RV and do everything outside during the day, and when you want to go to bed, just sleep in your RV

It doesn’t hurt to phone the campsite before you get there just to make sure that they can accommodate your RV. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a campsite that does not allow you to use your RV.

Cons of Buying a Class B RV

1. They don’t usually come with a full bathroom and shower

This con is quite significant.

One of the biggest selling points of an RV is the convenience of having all the amenities with you on the road. However, class B RVs often lack sufficient space to include a full bathroom and shower.

With all of that being said, most campgrounds have the necessary facilities such as showers and bathrooms.

I should add that some class B RVs, especially more premium ones, manage to fit small bathrooms in them; however, this does sacrifice some space.

2. They are often more expensive than Class C RVs

We briefly touched on this at the beginning of the article when we were discussing why class B RVs are so expensive.

Just because an RV is smaller than another one does not mean that it will be cheaper.

This point is the case when it comes to class B RVs. They are built on chassis such as Mercedes Benz vehicles, but a lot of time goes into making them.

A lot of modification goes into the interior and the body.

3. They don’t have regular beds, just fold-up couches

Yes, this is a con when you want to sleep.

However, I don’t see it as so much of a con because at least you can sit when you want to sit and use that area as a living room but then use it as a bedroom at night.

There is no alternative in this situation: You either sacrifice not being able to sit on a couch or, as it is in most cases, your couches will fold out into beds.

This is making the best of limited space.

4. You can’t tow a vehicle

Not being able to tow a vehicle means that you will have to break camp every time you want to drive. Constantly having to break camp can become somewhat of an inconvenience.

There will be times where you can take a quick drive to the grocery store without having to break camp, but if you spend something like half a day away from your site, you might find that you will have to keep packing up your campsite.

Look, I always try to find a positive from a negative, and in this case, I would say that with the emergence of apps like Uber, we can find a positive.

You can travel a long distance in your RV, leave it at your campsite and catch an Uber if you need to go to a grocery store or have a day out. So, while this is a con, there is a workaround.

5. Limited storage space

When you get a class B RV, you might have to learn how to adapt to having limited storage space. You will also have to learn to only take with you what is most important.

Everything is smaller such as the refrigerator, so it’s not just about taking less with you.

It is also the fact that you won’t be able to store as much food in the RV as you would with a class A or class C.

With all of that being said, some people are like wizards when it comes to maximizing the amount of stuff they can fit into small spaces.

If you are efficient in this regard, then the limited amount of storage space shouldn’t play such a significant role in your decision to get a class B RV.

6. Small holding tanks for fresh, grey, and black water

Grey and black water tanks will be much smaller than you would find in a class A or class C RV.

This means having to dump tanks more frequently and fill up your freshwater tanks more often too. Not a problem if you’re at a campground with full hookups, but it does make boondocking more of a challenge.

That is why it might be a good idea to use the bathrooms provided by campgrounds when you can and only use the bathroom in your Class B RV when you have to.

7. Not a great option for families of 3 or more

A class B RV is perfect for two people, especially for using it on weekends or extended vacations.

Now, if you have a newborn or toddler, that’s not a big deal.

But it’s really not great if you have a family with older kids. This is because space is limited.

Once you have packed everything you need for your trip, you will find it very difficult to fit a third person into the RV, and if you do, your privacy will be heavily infringed upon constantly.

If you have a small dog, you should have no problem taking him/her with you in your Class B RV. I say this because a lot of the time, our family’s third member is our dogs.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, any type of motorhome will be a blast and get the job done.

That job is to allow you to explore the country in a way that you just cannot do in a standard car or especially flying around.

But a Class B is extra special because of its ability to pack many of the features of larger RVs into a tiny package.

That makes them easy to park, easy to drive, and simpler to set up and break down at your campsite. You also get significantly better gas mileage too.

But they aren’t a great option for 3 or more people.


Photo which requires attribution:

Nueva Mercedes Benz Sprinter by Galeria de Fan Bus, difusión y prensa is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, color-adjusted, with a text overlay added

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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