A Class B RV is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a compact camper, that will help them lead a more outdoorsy lifestyle. If you’re on the hunt for a motorhome, you may well have encountered the RV class system, which relates to the size and style of an RV. A Class B RV is the smallest of the lot, smaller than both class A and C RVs.
Featured Image Credit: Benchmark Vehicles
What Is A Class B RV?
A Class B RV is a campervan built inside the dimensions a panel van. Typically, we’re thinking anything created in a Mercedes Sprinter Van, Ford Transit, Ram Promaster or something similar. They range in size from 16-24ft and don’t have features such as slideouts or over the cab sleeping areas. A Class B RV is also commonly referred to as a campervan.
What Are The Benefits Of A Class B RV?
Easy To Drive And Park
One of the main benefits of having a Class B RV is that they are easy to drive and park. As they are built within the dimensions of a regular panel van, they are hardly larger than a big car and operate in the same way. As they are small, they are easy to manoeuvre, and you shouldn’t have any problems negotiating tight corners or narrow roads.
Parking is also easy in a campervan. These small and agile vehicles will fit into most regular parking spaces, so you don’t need to worry about finding a huge area. This means it is just as easy to park a Class B RV in the city or a supermarket as it is at a campground.
Can Double As Everyday Vehicle
As they are so easy to drive and park, a Class B RV can also double as your everyday vehicle. Being able to use your camper van as you transport to work and for other regular journeys means that you don’t need to own two cars.
Having one van that doubles as your camper and your everyday transportation is great as you only have to pay the bills associated with car ownership once. Cutting down on this expenditure means you can save more money for your next adventure.
Great For Stealth Camping
As a Class B RV looks like any other panel van from the outside, they make great vans for stealth camping. Stealth camping is where you stay overnight in areas that aren’t campgrounds, where you want to keep a low profile. This is useful for sightseeing in cities and towns.
It would be difficult to stealth camp in a Class A or C RV as these are more obviously motorhomes, and are often too large to park without being noticed. Being able to stealth camp opens up a range of places that you wouldn’t usually be able to see in a motorhome, expanding the areas you can travel to.
More Fuel Efficient Than A Larger RV
As a Class B RV is the smallest type of motorhome, they are more fuel-efficient than others. Being more fuel-efficient means you travel for more miles per gallon. This is not only good for your bank balance but for the environment too.
Can Travel More Off The Beaten Track
The ability to travel to beautiful, remote locations is one of the best things about vanlife. But, getting there in a larger RV is a challenge.
Class B RV’s are fantastic for taking on dirt roads and can even be upgraded to have 4×4 capabilities. If you like heading to quiet scenic spots and prefer wild camping compared to staying at a campground, then a Class B RV could be the best option for you.
Still Has Everything You Need
While they are smaller than other motorhomes, you will find everything you need for your camping trip in a Class B RV. Some people even live full time inside these tiny spaces. While you’re probably not going to have a 32” TV or massive fridge/freezer in a camper van, you will still find a full kitchen, bed, seating area, bathroom and gear storage.
With smart design, you don’t have to miss out on anything in the interior of your compact camper van. Class B RVs are roomiest when sleeping just two people but can often be designed to sleep and seat up to four.
Can Self Convert
If you want to build out your own camper van, then you will probably be looking at creating a Class B RV. By converting your own camper, you can make a design that is unique to you.
Buying an ex-panel van is the easiest way to build a camper and to have the freedom to add whatever is most important to you.
Different Class B RVs
There are many different Class B RVs out there to choose from, whether you want a factory build or a custom camper van. Here we’re going to look at five different models to show you the sort of thing that is on offer.
Airstream Interstate 19
The Airstream Interstate 19 is a fantastic example of what a Class B RV can offer. Built within a 19ft Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van, there is plenty of space for all of the essentials in the Interstate.
Inside you will find a full bathroom at the front of the camper with toilet, sink and shower. Opposite this is a kitchenette that comes complete with a two-burner gas hob, sink, fridge freezer and convection microwave. At the back of the van, a generous seating area turns into a bed at the push of a button, making a versatile space.
The use of multi-functional furniture is common in Class B RVs and ensure you do not miss out on anything inside. The Airstream Interstate is finished off with plenty of storage, in the form of a wardrobe and overhead cabinets. This model has a starting price of $161,099.
Benchmark Vehicles are a custom conversion company, who specialise in building out either Ford Transit Vans or Mercedes Sprinter Vans. Going for a custom conversion is an excellent way to get a van build to suit your needs, completed at a professional level. Whatever you want your camper to look like, Benchmark Vehicles have the experience to make it for you.
This example is ‘Into The Wild’, a Ford Transit High Roof 250 conversion. Choosing a high roof Class B RV gives you that extra headroom, making the space feel bigger inside. It also provides more headroom for a raised bed and overhead cabinets.
This conversion example has a roof rack supporting solar panels for the vans interior electrics. There is also a light bar, useful for driving down unlit roads and pop-outs to give room for a lengthways full-sized double bed. As well as the bed, this camper features a kitchen, toilet, outdoor shower, cupboards and tonnes of gear storage. This van would be the perfect rig for any adventurous van dweller.
Tellaro Class B RV
Next up, we have the Tellaro Class B RV, a brilliant build by Thor. The Tellaro Class B RV is built on a Ram Promaster Chassis and has all of the external gadgets you could possibly need. This camper includes a bike rack, solar panel, skylight and awning. You can also choose to have a pop-top roof if you want some extra space inside.
If you do choose to have a pop-top roof, you have a choice between sleeping in the loft or downstairs on the seating that converts to a double bed. There are several different layouts to choose from when buying a Tellaro camper, but all come with a bed, kitchen, bathroom, seating area, swivel seats and table.
This is a great little camper with everything you need for a trip away. With a choice in layout, the Tellaro offers something for everyone. Pricing starts at $91,375.
Knaus is a German motorhome company that offers a great example of a European style Class B RV. This camper is built within a VW Crafter and can sleep up to three people. As it can sleep up to three, the Knaus BoxDrive is an excellent choice if you want to bring your child on the road with you.
Instead of a seating area that converts into the double bed, this camper features a fixed bed. This design makes space for lots of storage space below the bed for more substantial items of outdoor gear. The bed can lift to allow better access to the under bed storage when inside the van.
As well as the double bed, the dinette seating and table area can convert into a single bed. Opposite the dinette is the kitchen, and next to this is the bathroom with toilet shower and sink. The Knaus BoxDrive is ideal for an adventurous young family and comes in at around $72,850.
Lastly, we have Outside Van, another Class B RV custom conversion specialist. With extensive experience ranging from utilitarian and practical gear-hauling machines to cosy tiny homes on wheels, Outside Van can make your dream come true.
‘Rough and Tumble’ is a great custom conversion, with a stylish design and unique features that make this camper feel like home. The fixed bed allows for lots of gear storage on the road, and it is great to have a separate seating area. There is also a kitchen, cabinet storage and a hidden toilet.
Outside Van also sell some ready-made vans. These builds are still one of a kind but can be purchased without waiting for the build to be completed. This is a good option if you want a unique camper but need something as soon as possible. Custom vans can be pretty expensive, expect to pay anywhere between $90,000-$300,000.
There are so many benefits to owning a Class B RV; they are the perfect adventure wagon. If you’re an outdoorsy person and expect to spend most of you trips away outside, then there is more than enough room in these compact campers.
However, even though they are the smallest option, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re any cheaper. The only way to get a cheap motorhome is to buy second hand and complete the conversion yourself!
More Content From The Van Clan Team
- Take a close look at an Outside Van Sprinter Van conversion to see if they could be the custom company for you.
- Want to complete your own conversion but not sure whether to go for a Mercedes or Ford van? Find out which is best, Sprinter vs Transit.
- Planning on converting your own Class B RV? Check out these 30 custom van ideas for some inspiration.