Which RV is Bigger, Class B or C?
If you’re considering joining the 11.2 million households that own recreational vehicles, you might find yourself overwhelmed with all of the available options. Or perhaps instead, you are part of the 9.6 million households that are looking to buy another RV. Wherever you might be on your RV journey, selecting the perfect RV that checks all your boxes can be challenging.
A great place to start is by asking the right questions. How many family members and friends will be joining you on your adventures? Are you planning on towing or driving your RV? Will your destinations mostly be RV parks or off-the-grid dispersed camping? If you're not sure which questions you should be asking, Jayco’s My RV Selector can guide you through common factors to consider and help narrow down your search.
One aspect of RVs that can trip up new and experienced RV owners are the different types available. While an RV class chart can give you a general idea of what the different RV types have to offer, let’s look at some specifics of RV options and sizing.
Which RV Class Is the Smallest?
In your RV research, you will come across many different types of RVs, but these are some of the more popular styles:
- Class A Motorhomes
- Class B Motorhomes
- Class C Motorhomes
- Toy Haulers
- Fifth Wheels
- Travel Trailers
Focusing on motorhome sizing specifically, a Class B RV is generally the smallest. The next in size order are both the Class A RV and Class C RV, which will vary in size depending on the floor plan. As far as costs go, Class B motorhomes are usually the most expensive per square foot, even though they are the smallest. If you’ve ever searched for a Class B RV for sale, thinking a small Class B would be the least expensive route, you may have realized this and felt the same confusion many new RVers experience.
Why Is Class B More Expensive Than C or A?
Manufacturing costs are one of the reasons Class B motorhomes are sometimes more expensive than the other classes per square foot. Demand also plays a major role in the occasionally higher cost of these smaller RVs. However, Class B motorhomes can at times cost less than certain Class A and C motorhomes, so it truly depends on the models being compared. Let’s further explore the demand and manufacturing process behind Class B RV pricing.
Costs of Manufacturing Class B RVs
Consider, for a moment, building a house. You start with the foundation, build the framework, install utilities, put up drywall and so on. The skeleton of the house is built around how the homeowner wants the interior of the house to function, such as the placement of bathroom fixtures or cabinets.
Now consider building a similar house, but being told you have to do so inside a small, prebuilt box with immovable curves and ridges. Having that limitation would make the house-building process significantly harder, forcing the builder to consider unique ways to suit the interior of the house to the set exterior.
These are the exact challenges facing manufacturers of Class B motorhomes. Class A and C motorhomes are built starting with the living space, and then the living space is attached to the chassis (which is the base frame of motor vehicles). Keeping the living space open and separate from the chassis allows easy access to all parts of the RV during the building process.
For Class B motorhomes, the van body shell is already built on the chassis, meaning the living space aspects must be designed to suit and fit into the van chassis. This limits the tools and methods manufacturers can use to build out a Class B motorhome, which ultimately drives the cost up.
Other factors in manufacturing that raise the price of Class B RVs include:
- The chassis usually costs more.
- Fewer people are able to work in the enclosed space.
- Smaller components generally cost more.
- Fewer parts per each Class B unit means a high cost for the manufacturer and no volume discount.
- Custom parts are required to fit the van contours.
Demand for Class B RVs
The popularity of Class B motorhomes has spiked over the past decade, in large part due to the trending hashtag #VanLife on Instagram. As the trend gathered steam, people began selling their houses and opting for van life to reduce costs and enable more exploration. The beautiful travel photos shared across Instagram with this hashtag enticed more people to join the lifestyle. And when COVID-19 shifted the world to a work-from-home model, the ability to travel while working made RVs even more appealing.
Many in this growing population of RV enthusiasts are new to the world of RVs. Because of this, the smaller, sometimes more manageable size of a Class B motorhome is extremely appealing. As a result, Class B sales have boomed, increasing demand. At the beginning of 2022, #VanLife reached over 12 million posts. We have no doubt that Class B RVs will continue to be a desirable method of travel and living.
Make New Memories with Jayco
If your internet search history is filled with phrases such as “best Class C RV” or “What is a Class A motorhome?” look no further than Jayco. With over 50 years of experience, we have earned our expert reputation by consistently producing high-quality, long-lasting RVs. Our customers also enjoy the benefit of our 2+3 warranty, which is twice as long as any other RV manufacturer, along with 15 additional warranties from our supplier-partners. We offer this because we believe in the integrity of our products, and we consider all our customers part of the Jayco family.
Memory-making expeditions are right around the corner with the purchase of a Jayco RV. If you’re still in the browsing stage, we have put together detailed descriptions and floor plans of all our models for your review. Ready to get behind the wheel and take one for a test drive? Contact a Jayco Dealer to get started.