Why Are Class B Motorhomes So Expensive?

Motorhomes are very expensive and can be extremely sought after, some of the most sought after are Class B Motorhomes, these are smaller motorhomes and perfect for solo or couple travellers. But why are they so expensive if they are the smallest?

Class B Motorhomes are more expensive as the supply and demand do not match, they also are made using a specific size chassis which is harder to create. Other factors include the materials of the motorhome which are needed along with the size being smaller and harder to produce.

Manufacturers find it difficult to produce them in large amounts because a particular type of chassis is needed to build these camper vans, but they are expensive and cannot be done without. Also, since the vehicle is small in size, there is limited space for workers to manoeuvre while creating it.

What Is A Class B Motorhome?

Class B motorhomes are passenger vans that have been converted to full living spaces. Class B motorhomes usually have a sleeping area, toilet (and bathroom), a kitchenette and is completely motorized.

They are also called camper vans and are the smallest of the three different types of motorhomes. Class B motorhomes offer the same convenient travel experience as a full-size RV would but has a significantly less size. They are streamlined, small, and ready to transport their occupants.

Also, the vehicles are more fuel-efficient than class C motorhomes and are ideal for a small group of people. Judging from the exterior, it would not be strange to call a class B motorhome a large van.

It is compact enough to be parked in spots fit for regular cars and is easy to drive. Its small size means that it does not have the best reputation when it comes to storage space for items, but it has enough if it is housing just one or two people.

This type of motorhome was not made to stay in one place for a long time. They are made for people that frequently go on outdoor adventures and want to be able from place to place with ease.

Class B motorhomes let a group of people move from the heart of busy cities to campsites with everything they will need on the trip. The vehicle allows them to set up a home away from home and usually has a raised roof, which gives its occupants enough space to stand whenever they feel cramped up.

For size comparison, class B motorhomes are larger than a pop-up camper or towable trailer and smaller than a class A motorhome. If need be, you could attach a trailer to this type of vehicle to make more room.

Since they are motorized, you do not need to back up the motorhome and attach it to a trailer hitch or a truck before moving it around. The vehicle is self-reliant, makes you save money on gas, and is not costly to maintain.

Why Are Class B Motorhomes So Expensive?
Why Are Class B Motorhomes So Expensive?

The small size of the vehicle has its obvious downsides, some of which are limited storage space both for camping gear and for the number of people that can occupy the RV at the same time.

The kitchenette that typically comes with a class B motorhome includes a sink, microwave, and cooktop. However, some manufacturers make their kitchenettes only include a counter-space where occupants can plug in their oven, electric cooker, or hot plate.

There would be cabinet spaces to keep cooking utensils, kitchen supplies, food ingredients (using paper plates would help manage space because they would be disposed after each use).

Additionally, these motorhomes’ kitchenette has a tiny refrigerator or space where you can install one. Coolers, iceboxes, and fridges that are pre-installed in a class B motorhome are placed by the sink.

Class B motorhomes also have a sitting slash dining area with a table attached to the wall and a couple of chairs or benches surrounding it. Some manufacturers make the tables able to be folded into a makeshift bed to create additional space for people to sleep.

There is an “official” sleeping area at the back of the motorhome where a queen-sized mattress can fit along with some cabinets to create more storage room.

In most cases, the vehicle would have a toilet or bathroom inside in a little closet for your convenience. Do not expect to have the same experience as you would while using your regular water closet at home because of its size and the fact that you are in a vehicle.

Some class B motorhomes have built-in sewage tanks attached to the toilet. For others, you have to buy a chemical toilet that does not need to be attached to the vehicle.

The class B motorhomes with pop-up roofs allow their ceilings to be raised, making the RV interior more spacious, bright, and accessible for fresh air. It is an ideal choice for one or two people to take on an adventure during the weekend or live on the road for a few days.

Class B-Plus Motorhomes

In recent times, RV manufacturers decided to roll out hybrid models, which are a cross between class B and class C motorhomes. These hybrid models are more conservative on fuel but offer more storage space than a base class B model.

Class B-plus motorhomes are built on truck chassis and have an over-cab, but they are more aerodynamic and not as tall as class C motorhomes. The cab-overs are usually designed as an entertainment center or storage space rather than a bed, as is the case with class C motorhomes.

The bathroom is also bigger than regular class B caravans, and the sleeping area at the back of the vehicle has beds or sofas convertible to beds on the side and a dinette that converts into a bed.

What Makes Class B Motorhomes Different from Other Motorhomes?

The way class B motorhomes have attractive features to some people is the same way other people are drawn towards the different two types of motorhomes.

Before the differences between class B and other motorhomes can be compared, the other types of motorhomes have to be discussed.

Class A Motorhomes

They are typically built on commercial bus chassis and designed to have a strong and heavy-duty frame, which can be found on 18-wheel trucks.

They usually have large 22.5-inch wheels to support the weight of the vehicle and are low fuel efficiency. Class A motorhomes are built with two slide outs unlike class B motorhomes, one on each side of the RV.

When using this type of vehicle, you get a spacious interior that allows you to store much more things than you would be able to in a Class B motorhome.

It can be ideal for people who want to live on the road in comfort and luxury. Contrary to class B motorhomes, where the space is sufficient for just one or two people, up to 4 people can cohabit comfortably in a class A motorhome.

Some couches can be folded into makeshift beds in the living area, and in the bedroom area (at the back), you can fit two queen-sized beds and a double, which is significantly more than you can in a Class B motorhome.

This type of motorhome is for people that have space and quality as a big priority on their outdoor adventures. However, its large size makes this type of caravan somewhat challenging to drive. It is a stark contrast to the mobility that class B caravans offer. Class A motorhome users tend to spend a long time on their trips when compared to class B motorhome users.

Also, when using a class B caravan, you would spend a lot less on gas than you would in this case if you cover the same distance during your trip. There could be some complications if you want to park at a campground because of how large the vehicle is.

It is best to research the place you want to visit before leaving home to ensure the available parking spaces would accommodate you. Users of class B motorhomes would not go through this trouble because their vehicle would be significantly less in size in less.

Class C Motorhomes

These motorhomes are built with cabin chassis, making them able to bear more weight and have a unique over-cab sleeping area, which is absent in class B motorhomes.

This sleeping area gives more room for people to rest in the sleeping area. Up to eight people can use the sleeping area simultaneously in a class C caravan as opposed to one or two in a class B one.

A class C motorhome can be used to tow another car on the way to a campsite in case you want to leave the motorhome parked at a spot while you drive the car into the city. Gas does not drain as fast as it does in a class A motorhome, but it drains more quickly when compared to a class B motorhome.

Class C motorhomes can accommodate two queen-sized beds, two double beds, and cabinets to store all the times you need for your outdoor expenditure.

The type of caravan also has two slide outs on each side, whereas a class B motorhome does not have any. The kitchen area is significantly larger than in class B vehicles.

The refrigerator and stove or the space for them are much bigger. Also, there are bigger water, waste, and propane tanks in this vehicle.

The shower is separate from the toilet and more spacious, as opposed to class B motorhomes where those two units are either together, or there would be no bathroom inside the vehicle.

It is ideal for a family trip or a semi-large group of people who may or may not want to tow a car. However, the bigger size means it might not be easy to park in a regular spot.

Class C motorhomes are already tall the way they are – taller than their class B counterparts – but when satellite dishes, vents, and rooftop air conditioners are added to the vehicle, it makes it almost impossible to fit into a car garage.

Some campsites have size limitations, making it impossible to use class C motorhomes in them, unlike class B motorhomes that fit into almost every campsite size limit.

Why Are Class B Motorhomes Expensive?

After looking at the difference between all the three types of motorhomes, it is obvious class B motorhomes have the smallest size. With that knowledge, it would not be a surprise if anyone assumes class B motorhomes would be relatively cheap because it is logical for the price to reduce with size.

However, this is not the case as class B camper vans are often expensive and sometimes more so than other types of motorhomes.

The main reason for their high cost is because the supply for them does not meet the demand.

Some campers want to use class B motorhomes, albeit not a large number when compared to the number of people that favour other types, but manufacturers do not mass-produce them as much as other variants.

Manufacturers find it difficult to produce them in large amounts because a particular type of chassis is needed to build these camper vans, but they are expensive and cannot be done without. Also, since the vehicle is small in size, there is limited space for workers to manoeuvre while creating it.

The materials and components used to make class B motorhomes are high-end and are expensive therefore driving up the cost of production. It takes the handiwork of skilled personnel to put the pieces of the vehicle together because they are challenging to build.

The cost of this skilled labour significantly drives up the production cost per unit.

If you try to build your own class B motorhome yourself, you would discover the tough experience for yourself and would most likely give up and hand the job over to an expert to finish it up for you.

Most campers interested in class B motorhomes order pre-builds instead and are prepared to bear the cost of getting a high-quality vehicle that will last long, be economical on fuel and serve its intended purpose. The most common chassis used in the production of class B camper vans, such as the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter, are not by any means cheap.

After factoring in the cost of the expensive chassis – which is essential in supporting the camper van’s weight – used, the price of the other components, the workmanship, expertise, and man-hours used in producing the entire vehicle, the numbers justifiably rise, making it easy to see why class B motorhomes are costly.

Chassis for camper vans like the Ram Promaster, which has a 159-inch wheelbase and a high roof, has an asking price of $36,000; the Mercedes Sprinter is also a high roof camper van but with a 170-inch wheelbase and costs around $40,000.

Do not be carried away by the vehicle’s size and assume it will cost less because it is relatively small. A top-quality class B motorhome from a reputable manufacturer can cost anywhere between $72,000 and $180,000, depending on the chassis used and the features of the vehicle.

Not everyone that wants a class B motorhome to pay the price it costs to get a brand new one. People in this category can enter the market for a used camper van.

Please make no mistake, this is not a cheap option, but it will go some way in reducing the burden on your bank account since every vehicle drops in value as time passes. It is also slightly risky because you do not know the real reason why the seller is ready to give up their vehicle.

In most cases, the owner does not need the motorhome anymore and is opting for something bigger, which is a good reason for selling.

If you are ready to get a used class B motorhome, thoroughly inspect it to ensure it has been appropriately maintained, and if it is all good, you would be getting yourself a superb vehicle for a reasonable price.

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