The best Class B RV isn’t what you might think it is.
Class B RVs are often called camper vans. When most people think of camper vans, they typically think of the rusty vans their hippie uncles used to drive. They’re cramped and creaky.
That’s no longer the case. The best Class B RV models these days have gone through a rapid evolution.
If you’re drawn to live the nomadic lifestyle, you might be surprised to find that you have everything you need in a Class B RV.
What’s a Class B RV?
A Class B RV is a full-size van built with living and sleeping quarters. Unlike regular vans, they have enough headroom to let you stand upright.
These are the most compact vans on the market. They’re smaller than both Class A and Class C RVs. They’re also the most affordable.
Despite their size, these compact motorhomes have all you need for a cozy camping experience. The best Class B RV models use robust platforms and powerful engines.
Their interiors include luxury amenities, such as queen-size beds, flat-screen TVs, and full-standing showers.
Why You Should Consider Buying a Class B RV
Class B RVs have advantages over bulkier motorhomes.
Aside from the lower upfront costs, they also save more in terms of fuel and maintenance costs.
They’re easy to use and maneuver as well. You can park them in most spots and make your way through traffic with little difficulty.
Buy an RV, keep your house
On the lower end of the price range, you’ll find conversion vans. These often have nothing more than a sofa bed, a small wetbath, and a bit of storage.
On the other end, top-of-the-line camper vans have lavish interiors and powerful engines. Many of them have shower stalls, slide-out areas for larger camping space, and a full suite of cooking equipment, among other features.
Even the best Class B RV brands are more affordable than Class A or Class C motorhomes.
Travel more for less
The best Class B RV models offer more miles per gallon (mpg) than other RVs.
The mpg ratings differ. For example, a five-year-old RV with four-wheel-drive is less fuel-efficient than a brand new camper van that’s used for city driving.
Other factors also come into play. Heavier vehicles usually use up more fuel. If you’re towing a boat or another vehicle, you can also expect a lower mpg.
On average, the best Class B RV units are pegged at 20 to 25 mpg. That makes them two or even three times more fuel-efficient than other RVs.
Come and go as you please
There’s no confusion when it comes to a Class B RV. You can simply get in and drive off. Whether you’re at home or at a campground, you can enter and leave with not much trouble.
Anyone with a driver’s license can get behind the wheel. You don’t need to learn new skills to operate a camper van.
There’s also no need to worry about fitting into parking spots, driveways, or garages. Also, you’re not driving a bus so it’s easy to navigate traffic during rush hour.
What You Should Look for When Buying a Class B RV
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best Class B RV for you.
You need to look at factors such as the size of the RV, its floor plan, and the features you’re looking for.
Three's a crowd, sometimes
The size of a Class B RV can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it’s easy to drive. On the other hand, there’s not much room inside to walk around in. Most of the best Class B RV models are 17 to 22 feet long and 8 to 9 feet high.
That’s only just enough space for a small living area, sleeping space, and a wetbath, which is a combined toilet and bath.
If you’re thinking of selling your house to live a van life full time, even the best Class B RV money can buy could be too cramped for comfort.
But if you’re a weekend warrior, a camper van may be enough for a fun trip with the family.
A van that feels like a house
A camper van needs a floor plan that makes the most out of the available space. Look for space-saving furnishings.
For example, a Murphy-style bed can be stood upright against the wall when not in use. Sofas and dinettes can also be turned into beds at night.
You’ll also want design elements that make the interiors feel more roomy, such as a pass-through wetbath.
The best Class B RV units often have large windows and skydomes to bring in more light and help create the illusion of space.
The best Class B RV brands offer all you need for a hassle-free trip. That includes a kitchen equipped with at least one stovetop, a sink, an oven, and even a small fridge.
Most models have queen or king-size beds. Some even have extra twin beds to accommodate more people.
You don’t have to worry about doing your business in a public restroom. The best Class B RV models come with their own toilet and bath, often with a water heater and sewage system.
Other creature comforts include full-screen HDTVs, surround sound systems, and USB ports for charging your gadgets.
10 Best Class B RV Units You Can Buy Right Now
After looking at user reviews from people who love their Class B RVs and professional reviews by trusted RV publications, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Class B RV units available now.
Built on the Ram ProMaster chassis and a 3.6L V6 engine, the Winnebago Travato combines power and fuel efficiency.
It's one of the best Class B RV models with the most reviews and highest ratings. On RV Insider, the Travato has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.
Winnebago’s Froli sleep system converts the cushioned seats into comfy beds to provide plenty of sleeping space.
The Corian countertop, two-burner stove, and convection oven allow you to prepare home-style meals inside the van.
There’s plenty of overhead cabinets to store condiments, utensils, and cooking appliances.
The ergonomic front-row seats are made of soft, strong Ultraleather. And they can swivel 180 degrees to become part of the dining area.
You’ll also find two bench seats, which can be turned into twin beds or a queen bed.
Airstream Interstate Grand Tour
It has a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 chassis and comes with a suite of safety features. These include Mercedes’ Parktronic easy parking system and rear and side-view mirrors.
The 3.0L V6 turbo diesel engine provides better fuel mileage. If you’re down for all-terrain four-wheel driving, you have the option to upgrade.
The galley houses a two-burner range. There’s also a microwave for heating packaged meals. The 7.6 cubic feet fridge lets you store fresh foods, leftovers, and a few bottles of beer.
Food is prepped on a Corian countertop. The hand-crafted cabinets made of imported Italian wood add a touch of class.
When you’re ready for downtime, close the blinds with a push of a remote button, dim the LED lights, and relax in the heated Ultraleather seats.
Off-Grid Adventure Vans
Off-Grid Adventure Vans is a young company with a mission. That’s to provide eco-friendly conversion vans for the budget-conscious.
The interior houses a full-size Murphy bed with a 6-inch mattress.
The kitchen has a double-burner stove connected to a 5-pound propane tank. It has a sink and an 80-liter refrigerator with freezer for storing frozen meats and fresh produce.
The bathroom has a fully-functioning stand tower, with the option to add a toilet.
Pleasure-Way has a reputation for making some of the best Class B RV models. The manufacturer has a rating of 4 stars out of 5 on RV Insider.
The 17-foot, 9-inch Pleasure-Way Tofino has a Ram ProMaster chassis. Under the hood, it houses a 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine.
The main sleeping area is in the overhead bunk, which opens when the pop-up roof is raised. You can reach it using a folding ladder.
You also have a rear sofa that turns into a double bed.
Underneath, it opens up to 70 cubic feet of storage space. Here, you can keep surfboards, bicycles, and outdoor gear.
Hymer Aktiv S
The Hymer Aktiv S builds upon its predecessors, the Hymer Aktiv and Hymer Aktiv 2.0. Both are honorable mentions in this list of best Class B RV units.
Built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the Aktiv S comes with an on-demand four-wheel-driving option.
The built-in assistance systems help you maneuver the RV in and out of tight spots, prevent collisions, and park with ease.
The spacious interior has a queen-size bed at the rear. The bench seats also transform into a second bed.
The galley is equipped with appliances you need to cook meals from scratch. You’ll be surprised to find a tall 90-liter refrigerator with freezer.
The wetbath has a permanent cassette toilet. It comes with its own black water tank so you don’t have to buy a separate tank yourself.
When it comes to luxury and style, the Coachmen Galleria is one of the best Class B RV models.
The heated Ultraleather reclining chairs and memory foam sofa help you feel comfortable in transit or in camp.
All second-row seats have child safety restraints.
The custom cabinets are built by Amish cabinet makers. They use North American hardwood maple, radius doors, and soft-close axes.
The wetbath has split doors that let you extend the space into a changing room. You can also save as much as 40% of your water thanks to the built-in water miser.
This camper van is installed with a 100-watt solar panel. You can use it to charge the coach and the chassis batteries.
The Coachmen Galleria is based on the extended platform of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500. It has a robust V6 diesel engine.
With 4 stars out of 5 on RV Insider, this camper van has proven to be a favorite among RV lovers.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based Winnebago Revel is an all-terrain RV that runs on a powerful 3.0L turbo diesel engine.
Its four-wheel-drive system includes a high, low, and full descent mode to help you navigate steep mounts, rocky regions, and soft sand dunes.
It sleeps two on a power-lifted bed at the rear and comes with 140 cubic feet of under-bed storage. This is more than enough for storing tents and camping gear.
The wetbath comes with a cassette toilet and a bamboo shower mat.
There’s plenty of food prep space on the laminate countertop with flip-up extension. Cooking is done on a single-burner induction stove. The refrigerator can store up to 2.1 cubic feet of goods. You also have a pantry for storing dry goods.
This is the second RV from Winnebago to make it to our best Class B RV list. It’s not surprising, given how the Winnebago brand has an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5 on RV Insider.
Gulfstream BT Cruiser
Built on a Ford 350 rig and a massive 6.8L V-10 engine, the BT Cruiser is one of the best Class B RV models, according to RVers. It is rated 4 out of 5 by RV Insider reviewers.
The interior of the BT Cruiser has easy-clean vinyl floors, Griffith maple cabinets, and overhead reading lights.
The spacious galley has a two-way, double-door fridge and a massive home-style three-burner stove with an oven. A fire extinguisher and a gas leak detector are at hand.
There’s plenty of sleeping space thanks to the sofa that converts into a Murphy bed.
The wetbath has its own power vent and skydome to bring in more natural light and ventilation.
RoadTrek CS Adventurous
The CS Adventurous is another RV built on the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. It’s billed with a fuel economy of 18 to 22 mpg.
RV Insider reviewers give it a perfect rating of 5 out of 5.
The interior has in-floor radiant heating. Both the driver and passenger seats are heated too.
The sleeping quarters include a leather sofa that transforms into a king-size bed. You can also opt for an add-on dinette that converts into twin beds.
There’s a 24-inch flat-screen TV complete with surround sound for entertainment.
The bathroom has a stand-up shower with an on-demand water heater powered by a propane tank.
You can opt for a 4WD system and an extra-large chassis. The upgrade includes a 600-watt solar panel, dropdown rear cabinets, and a removable headboard with shelf.
The Modvan CV1 is a modder’s dream come true. It can take on the role of a camper van, a family van, or a work truck.
It powers up on a high-tech twin-turbo engine by Ecoboost and is built on the Ford Transit 350 base.
This van has plenty of sleeping space for four adults and two kids. The main bed is in the pop-up roof. There’s another bed downstairs fitted over the cabinets.
The second-row seats can face forward for passenger comfort or against the walls to open up space when camping.
The kitchen has an extra-large two-burner propane stove and an under-mount deep sink to avoid splashes.
The regular-height toilet is accessible from inside the van or an exterior door. You can also mount your own custom toilet.
How to Choose the Best Class B RV for You
Ultimately, the best Class B RV for you is the one that suits your needs, tastes, and budget.
Will you live in your RV full time or just for the occasional weekend? Do you plan to ply through rough terrain or cruise on highways?
Are you a couple with not much need for space or do you have kids, pets, and extended family members tagging along?
And how much are you willing to spend on upfront and ongoing costs? Keep in mind you’ll also need to pay for fuel, maintenance, and campground fees.
Answering these questions will help you zero in on the best Class B RV for you.
Which among our list of best Class B RV models has caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below.
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