When it comes to purchasing a motorhome, you want to make sure you are aware of the different classes and types in 2022. With this knowledge in hand, you can make the best choice as to what motorhome class will work best for you and your family’s travels.
Depending on where you live, the different motorhome classes and types will vary by name. For example, in the UK, they refer to Class B as panel van conversions and C motorhomes as coach-built motorhomes. Other towable RV classes include Travel Trailers, Pop-Up Trailers, Fifth Wheels, Toy Haulers and Truck Campers.
Continue reading to learn more about the different motorhome classes and types in 2022, the difference between UK and US classes, a description, as well as pros and cons of each motorhome class type, and more.
What are the Different Motorhome Classes and Types in 2022?
Your RVs will be classified as one of two types- either a motorhome or towable rig. Class A motorhomes are large and terrible, Class B motorhomes are more like camper vans, and Class C motorhomes have a truck front. While the titles of these classes can differ from country to country, the concept stays the same.
Towables, on the other hand, require a separate vehicle to tow them with, whereas motorhomes are self-powered RVs with their own engine and driving chassis.
Is There a Difference Between US and UK Motorhome Classes?
Like with most things, there is a slight difference in the way the US and the UK classify their motorhome types. For example, while both the US and the UK refer to class A motorhomes as class A, class B is referred to as panel van conversions and class C are referred to as coach-built motorhomes.
What Are Coach Built Motorhomes?
Coach-built motorhomes are perhaps the most popular form of motorhomes. Overall, they come in two styles: over-cab and low profile. They are also constructed on a chassis cab, so they keep the front cab while adding a motorhome body to offer enough sleeping and living space.
The over cab section provides additional sleeping space, which makes them ideal for families. Low-profile, coach-built motorhomes, on the other hand, are more likely to incorporate storage closets to compensate for the lack of room above the cab.
Due to their smaller, more compact size, these small motorhomes often handle better than their larger equivalents and are known to burn somewhat less gas.
What Are the Pros of Travelling in A Coach Built Motorhome?
Low profile and over cab Coach-built RVs have both benefits and downsides. The advantages of coach-built motorhomes are quite abundant. For example, the interior of these RVs is certain to be spacious, and they can even contain a full bathroom.
These coach-built motorhomes are, therefore, ideal for couples, grandparents, families, and even individuals who desire a dual-purpose vehicle since they also have plenty of exterior storage and can sleep a large number of people.
What Are the Cons of Travelling in A Coach Built Motorhome?
Unfortunately, going down narrow streets and pulling into tight parking lots can be more challenging for coach-built motorhomes. Additionally, a lightweight AL-KO chassis can have a limited user payload, which means you won’t be able to tow another vehicle.
When compared to an A-Class motorhome, coach-built RVs also have the disadvantage of not being able to use the cab seats in the living space. As a result, they will not have rotating cab seats, implying that the living area and the cab space will be kept segregated.
What Are Panel Van Conversion Motorhomes?
Tradesmen, labourers, and delivery drivers mostly use panel vans, which are ideal for this type of employment due to the large amount of room in the back of the van. For this reason, they are also the most popular vehicle for DIY campervan conversions.
When working on a panel van, the first step is normally to strip the inside of the van and then renovate the motorhome to your personal liking.
Available on the market today are a wide variety of panel van motorhomes based on Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen, Ford, and Mercedes commercial vehicles. Therefore, one should do their research before committing to a purchase to ensure they are getting the best travel vehicle possible.
What Are the Pros of Travelling in A Panel Van Conversion Motorhome?
Whether you constructed your panel van conversion from the ground up or bought one, the main benefit of these specific motorhome types is the large amount of space in the back. With the high roof models, you should also be able to stand up straight when in the van, with some wiggle room. In a panel van conversion motorhome, you should also be able to sleep width-ways.
What Are the Cons of Travelling in A Panel Van Conversion Motorhome?
The most obvious constraint of panel van conversion motorhomes is space. If you decide to buy a panel van, keep in mind that you will not have the internal width of a standard coach-built motorhome. This comes as a result of the fact that the sidewalls of a panel van camper remain the same as the basic commercial vehicle. As a result, internal layout options and facilities are severely restricted.
A coach-built or A-Class motorhome will also often have more internal headroom than a panel van conversion. However, some panel van modifications, known as ‘high tops,’ can provide higher head height. Take note, however, that access could be restricted with a taller panel van. For example, a high-top panel van conversion may be unable to get past a car park height limit barrier.
What Are the Different Motorhome Classes in 2022?
Class A Motorhomes
When you think of a celebrity’s tour vehicle, you may be thinking of a Class A motorhome, which is a huge, bus-shaped rig. They can range in length from 20 to 45 feet, or even longer, and some can accommodate up to 10 passengers.
These RVs can be diesel or gas-powered, but they also come with a large fuel expense in any case. After all, they aren’t the most fuel-efficient vehicles due to their size and weight.
Class A motorhomes also have a surprising number of clever storage features, and they can sleep up to six people in comfort—more if they’re youngsters or you’re willing to cram in for a while. These motorhomes also frequently feature interiors that can be mistaken for a tiny apartment in a house or flat.
Overall, Class A motorhomes are best suited to big families with two or three children. These Class A motorhomes, on the other hand, can also seem as roomy and comfortable as an apartment for couples who appreciate space or are considering living in a motorhome long-term.
Class B Motorhomes
Class B motorhomes, sometimes known as sleeping vans or campervans, are one of the smallest RV classifications. This implies that while these vans are more manoeuvrable than Class A or Class C trucks, they aren’t built with the same amount of inside room. Despite this, they normally have everything you need, including a tiny kitchen, toilet, bed, and storage. When it comes to gasoline, they’re also a lot more cost-effective.
Overall, Class B campers are considered adventure vehicles since they can be parked to allow you to camp in places where Class A’s cannot. As a result, you’ll never have to be concerned about being able to back up or manoeuvre down a steep or gravel road.
Class B motorhomes are also smaller than Class A motorhomes. As a result, they are ideal for couples and singles, but larger families may find them too cramped.
Class C Motorhomes
Class C campers could be ideal for you and your trips if you want a motorhome that’s easy to drive, a touch more fuel efficient, but still comes fully equipped with all of the comforts a motorhome can offer.
Since these RVs are built on a conventional truck chassis, some people find them to be far more pleasant to drive than large, bus-style Class A motorhomes. On the positive side, they’re also frequently less expensive, despite the fact that they normally provide all of the same amenities.
The most recognizable feature of a Class C motorhome is the overhang on top of the driver’s cab, which generally includes a sleeping platform. It’s also worth noting that the sleeping platform is typically a double, and the cabin is rather large. As a result, despite the vehicle’s small size, four to six people can sleep aboard in decent comfort thanks to this spacious sleeping area.
Class C motorhomes, often known as Coach Built motorhomes, are typically also bigger than Class B models but smaller than Class A models; they are a compromise between the two, offering greater room than a Class B without the size and weight of a Class A. As a result, these motorhomes can accommodate both families and couples.
Are Caravans Considered a Type of Motorhome?
A camper is a broad phrase that encompasses any pull-type RV, such as travel trailers or fifth wheels, truck campers, pop-up campers, and variations thereof. As a result, drivable RVs are commonly referred to as motorhomes.
Campervans, on the other hand, refer to any recreational motorhome that is classified as a Class B vehicle. In the motorhome categories, these Class B motorhomes are the simplest to drive. They are also the most fuel-efficient, and due to their compact size, are also quite easy to park when travelling.
Other Towable RV Classes
Let’s move on to towable trailers now that we’ve covered the various sorts of motorhomes.
The first thing to understand about towable trailers is that each one needs its own tow vehicle. Keep in mind that this vehicle should usually be rather strong. Large trailers and fifth wheels, for example, will almost certainly require at least a half-ton, if not a one-ton truck to get the job done safely.
Even the smallest towable trailers normally require at least a large SUV to tow them. Therefore, don’t be deceived by the lower price tag on the rig if you don’t already have a suitable towing vehicle. After all, you’ll need to buy or hire a tow car as well, which can then add up to be more expensive than the RV is worth.
The most common sort of non-motorised home on wheels is the caravan. Caravans, after all, are the typical box on wheels trailed behind another vehicle. When you arrive at a campsite, you unhitch the caravan and drive about in a ‘regular’ car to explore.
Pop-up trailers are precisely what their name implies. While extra space is required, a pop-up camper expands, and when moving or storing the camper, it collapses.
When compared to its collapsed size, this trailer type provides a lot of interior space when set up. Pop-up trailers are also reasonably priced, making them a popular choice among most campers. Pop-up trailers are also easier to tow than many other motorhomes or campers due to their small size.
A fifth-wheel travel trailer is a big trailer that has to be towed using a fifth-wheel hitch. Fifth wheels are large and heavy, necessitating the use of a full-size, one-ton vehicle to tow them.
Fifth wheels are extremely popular motorhomes for a variety of reasons. They can be a lot heavier due to their super-duty hitches, which means they have a lot more usable space and weight rating for luxury amenities and sleeping space. Most fifth wheels now also have several slide-outs, allowing you to expand the room even more once you’ve set up camp.
A toy hauler can be a travel trailer, fifth wheel, or even a motorhome, with all of the advantages of each, but with one significant advantage: a garage in the back for your toys, as well as a huge ramp entrance to make loading and unloading a breeze.
Even if you don’t plan on towing four-wheelers or motorcycles, many toy hauler owners like the big cabin and several options. After all, toy haulers have been developed as open concept living areas with multi-purpose functionality.
Teardrop trailers are distinguished from other types of motorhome trailers by their characteristic teardrop aerodynamic design. Teardrops come in a variety of sizes, with the smallest offering little more than a dry, secure place to sleep, and the largest offering all of the conveniences of a typical travel trailer.
Some have no cooking facilities, while others feature an outside kitchen that can be accessed by opening the clamshell hatch in the back. Like a ‘regular’ camping trailer, larger teardrops can also feature inside kitchens.
A truck camper is a detachable recreational vehicle that can be loaded and unloaded from a full-size or mid-size pickup truck’s bed. The ability to detach the camper from the vehicle is a typical feature.
Since a truck camper is one that fits into the bed of a truck, the additional space may be used to create a tiny house with a bathroom, bed, and kitchen. Truck campers are also the tiniest motorhomes available.
Hybrid Travel Trailers
One of the more unusual camper types is the hybrid travel trailer. They combine many of the advantages of a traditional travel trailer with the extra benefit of additional sleeping places provided by pop-out portions like those found in a pop-up camper.
They, therefore, allow more people to sleep in them, allowing you to bring a bigger family on a camping vacation without having to pull a large motorhome.
However, take note that because the pop-outs simply have canvas or fabric walls, they provide minimal protection from the weather and don’t provide the same level of privacy as a regular trailer.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Motorhome
If you’re new to the world of motorhomes, it’s vital to take some time to consider all of your alternatives before making any major decisions. One should first consider the many features, pricing ranges, and special details of your new vehicle. After all, finding a motorhome that matches all of your requirements is crucial.
Considering Your Budget
Your preliminary research will provide you with more precise budgeting advice. A budget that is appropriate will serve as a beginning point for your caravan purchase. A fast internet search will show you what is possible within that budget. Remember that this is the listed price; with automobile transactions, there is usually some space for haggling.
How Often Will You Use Your Motorhome?
Some lifestyles are better suited to motorhome ownership full-time than others. The frequency with which you utilise your motorhome will also influence which type of motorhome will best suit your needs.
Recent retirees, for example, will most certainly have plenty of time to enjoy a motorhome to its full potential. Entrepreneurs that need to be near to their offices, however, may not be able to do so.
This is why the frequency with which you want to use your motorhome can have an impact on your overall purchase. After all, you don’t want to be paying more on storage fees than your adventures.
If you’re a first-time caravan owner, you’ll want to be sure your present vehicle can pull your new caravan. You’ll also need to know if you’re restricted to certain weights due to the car you drive. After all, you don’t want to buy a caravan that exceeds the maximum towing capacity of your towing vehicle.
How Much Space Do You Need?
Consider how you want to use your motorhome and how many others will be accompanying you on your adventures since this will help you rapidly determine the appropriate amount of space.
Ensure that your sleeping accommodations are both comfortable and durable. If you have children, for example, make sure the bunks aren’t too small, since children grow quickly, and you don’t want to have to sell and upgrade your motorhome in the near future if you can prevent it.
Where Do You Plan on Travelling?
For most individuals, a motorhome will suffice on most adventures and will be able to withstand any extreme weather conditions encountered along the way. Take note, however, that if you want to do anything more adventurous, like off-roading, you’ll need a trailer that can withstand more punishment.
As a result, you’ll need to think about your trip plans carefully, and bear in mind that if you intend to travel anywhere with challenging terrain, you’ll likely need a heavy-duty, off-road motorhome.
Where Are You Going to Store Your Motorhome When It’s Not in Use?
Buying a motorhome, caravan or campervan is a thrilling experience, and the promise of the wide road, family holidays, solitary travel, and independence is something many people dream of. Regardless of intended use, all motorhome owners must consider a number of factors in order to properly care for their investment, including where to keep the new vehicle.
While the cost of motorhome storage is a major worry for new motorhome owners, the cost varies based on where you live, the type of storage facility you pick, and the amount of storage space that will fit your new vehicle. Therefore, before committing to your purchase, make sure you research storage prices in your region and devise a strategy.
Keep up with our full-time van life travels over on our YouTube channel! If you enjoy our videos, please give us a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel 🙂 – Three As A Bird – Vanlife Travel – YouTube
You can take a look at some of our other van life posts which include lots and lots of hints and tips on all things van life here – Van Life – Travel Information, Hints, Tips and Advice (threeasabird.com)
If you’d like to follow more of our adventures or keep up to date with our travel hints and tips, please join our Facebook group, we’d love to connect with you all! –https://www.facebook.com/groups/309295536220437
Also, if you have Pinterest, please give us a follow for your van life travel inspiration! –https://pin.it/770Cq1Q
I have always wanted to travel and luckily I always got to travel to some amazing countries while I was growing up with my family and this really encouraged me to continue this and get out into the world on my own when I was older.
My goal growing up was really to see as much of the world as I could, but then I started going to work and really concentrating on my career and travel took a back seat. I still tried to get away a few times a year but I always knew there was an end goal which was to travel as much as possible.
So I got my head down and worked as hard as I could as an e-commerce manager. I have always been techy, I love computers and websites, so that’s where it gave me the idea to start this blog and also have my own web design agency. If you want to check it out or need any help then please take a look rrwebdesign.co.uk (shameless plug there)
But after covid, we both knew this was now the right time to take the leap and go and see the world after being trapped inside our house and working from home for a couple of years. We realised more than ever that you only get one life and you really need to make the most of it and do what you love!