(Cover photo courtesy of Esplori)
There’s nothing more exciting than deciding to pack up and hit the road; the stress of modern life left behind and nothing but adventure ahead. But all that excitement might come with some trepidation.
Deciding to live or travel in a Class B RV is just the first of what might come to seem like infinite decisions.
No matter where you’re heading, you’re at a good starting place. Before making any decisions, it’s important to learn everything you can about small RVs.
We’ve laid out below just about everything you need to know about the best Class B RVs available, and feel free to check out some of our other awesome resources about Class C motorhomes.
What is a Class B RV?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a Class B RV? A Class B RV, commonly known as a campervan, is either a converted passenger van or a van chassis that’s designed to function as a small Class B motorhome.
While the small size of Class B RVs might scare off some potential buyers, their interiors are often both surprisingly spacious and luxurious.
You definitely won’t get all the amenities you might find in larger motorhomes, but most of the best Class B RVs manage to pack in decently-sized sleeping areas, kitchenettes, wet baths, and more.
The best Class B RVs for sale
Starting at: $163,292
Length: 19’ 7”
There’s a reason Winnebago almost always seems to top our lists, these guys know their stuff. As one of the oldest RV manufacturers, they’ve had decades to perfect their designs and offer consistently innovative and thoughtfully built motorhomes.
The Class B RV “Revel” is no exception.
The full-sized power lift bed offers a comfortable and somewhat dedicated sleeping area that lifts away to offer an incredible amount of living or garage space.
The all-in-one gear closet and wet bath just confirms that this small Class B RV is designed with adventurers in mind.
It’s suitable for up to three sleepers, making it the perfect option for couples or small families.
Starting at: $100,000
Hymer Activ 2.0 Class B RVs are a popular option for a couple looking to live the van life.
Erwin Hymer Group North America, which manufactures Hymer vans, shut its doors in February of 2019, but you can still find used Hymer Activ’s on the market.
The Hymer has everything you need for life on the road, including a full galley, wet bath and comfortable bed. Dodge Promasters are also known to have an exceptionally good turning radius and are wider than other vans, making it possible to sleep across the width of the van.
Check out why these van lifers loved their Hymer Activ:
Starting at: $114,455
Another great option from Winnebago, the Travato small Class B RV offers four floor plans that each offer a unique use of space maximized to sleep up to 4 travelers.
Two of their layouts utilize twin beds with an overhead flex bed system, making the absolute most out of a small space and opening up the rest of the van to be much more usable.
This Class B RV is a great option for small families.
Starting at: $159,124
Airstream has been going crazy in popularity, mostly due to their unique style and thoughtful designs.
The larger, classic Airstream Interstate is the best selling Class B diesel motorhome on the market, so you can imagine that its little brother, the Interstate 19, is pretty amazing. You’d be right.
This Class B RV is designed for solo or couple travelers and only sleeps 2, so if you’ve got a family this is definitely not an option for you. But if you don’t need the space, this luxurious layout might just be perfect.
Starting at: $101, 681
The Roadtrek Zion is a sleek Class B motorhome built on the sturdy and wide Dodge Promaster chassis.
This luxurious coach features an open floor plan so you can pack your adventure toys (bikes, kayaks, etc), down the center aisle.
This small Class B RV has a permanent bathroom, spacious galley, large refrigerator and a comfortable sofa and bed.
We’d say the Roadtrek Zion is perfect for couples look for outdoor adventure.
Starting at: $70,850
Length: 17’ 9”
The Pleasure Way is one of the most affordable small Class B RVs on our list, but its smart design makes it feel anything but cheap.
The biggest drawback to this Class B RV is that it doesn’t include a wet bath. While this may be a drawback to some, it’s actually a benefit to others.
Many van dwellers are adamant that a wet bath, or van life shower and toilet, is only wasting precious space that could be better utilized elsewhere. This is a personal preference.
If you see yourself traveling near campsites or other facilities that you might enjoy showering in more than a campervan wet bath, you might find yourself drawn towards a layout without one.
Starting at: $134,210
Length: 25’ 1”
This Class B motorhome hardly feels like a van. While it may only be a few feet longer than some of our other recommendations, just looking at the floor plans quickly shows how far those few extra feet can take you.
Most floor plans divide the space into two, offering either a spacious dedicated bedroom area, or a lounging/entertaining space.
If you’re planning to spend a lot of time on the road, having comfortable living spaces can make a world of difference.
Starting at: $265 per night
This Coachman RV might only sleep 2, but its comfortable and spacious interior can fit much more for day travel.
The Coachman is built on an extended Mercedes Sprinter chassis with a BlueTech turbo-diesel engine.
You’ll find luxury in this Class B RV, which a Truma Combi furnace/water heater system and maple cabinetry handcrafted by a local Amish cabinet maker.
This Class B RV also features a sleek central kitchen and ample seating area, making it perfect for large groups not necessarily looking to camp out every night.
This Fleetwood RV was designed with living space in mind. Both layouts feature a comfortable and large sofa living area, which is perfect for people looking to spend time in comfort and indoors.
Unfortunately, this model also only sleeps 2, so while it may be ideal for traveling with more, it’s only suited for daytime use beyond 2 people.
Want something more customized? Plenty of companies create custom Class B camper vans:
Outside Van prides themselves as being the trailblazers of van conversions, and they have a track record to back it up. Taking a look through their gallery is evidence enough of their craftsmanship and ability to transform spaces to match their clients dreams.
If you’ve got a good eye and a big imagination, this team will work tirelessly to help bring the campervan in your head into reality.
Sportsmobile has over 50 years of experience turning vans into beautiful and functional camper vans. That much experience is enough to give anyone peace of mind when building with these guys.
Taking a look at some of their previous builds gives you a good idea of their capabilities, which are seemingly endless. They’ve built camper vans for mobile disabled clients, search and rescue teams, ambulances, emergency vehicles, dog vans, and more.
If you have extremely particular needs or limitations for your Class B RV, these are the people to talk to.
Townsend Vans might not have decades of experience, but their newness to the market gives them a certain freshness over their competition.
Offering a streamlined process between their design studio and computer-made digital models, this modern process has churned out some stunning conversions.
Their Class B RV builds tend to feel airy, light, and spacious, while still teeming with amenities and useful features.
These Colorado-based campervan custom builders stand by their van conversions, offering an impressive 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty on all builds.
When it comes to your home away from home, the peace of mind that comes with a warranty like that can be priceless.
During the design process, their team of engineers provides full 3D renderings of each build, eliminating miscommunication and ensuring every client is getting exactly the van they want.
They also offer a more affordable Classic conversion option if you’re not desperate for specific features.
Esplori builds rugged and environmentally conscious Mercedes custom van conversions, perfect for those that want to love the land and be kind to it, too.
Their custom build process starts with a conversation about your wants and needs, after which they’ll offer suggestions and solutions based on their expertise.
This is great if you don’t have a great visual imagination or just aren’t particularly familiar with the various features and space-saving layouts available to you.
Once you and the team have finalized your design, these campervan conversions can be ready in as little as 30 days.
Small Class B motorhomes are quickly growing in popularity, with custom conversions becoming even more popular.
That means more and more custom camper van companies are popping up to meet the demand. If you still don’t think you’ve found the Class B RV, just search around to find the perfect custom van conversion.
Pros and cons of the best Class B RVs
Small Class B motorhomes are not ideal for every type of traveler.
Large families or those that enjoy ample space and amenities might not be thrilled with the limited space of a campervan-sized rig, but they can be a dream for solo or couple travelers looking to explore.
Here are some pros and cons to think about before investing in a Class B RV.
Accessibility. Small Class B RVs are extremely maneuverable, providing the most accessibility of any type of motorhome. Since the chassis is a van, these RVs can go anywhere a van could go, offering unlimited potential for people wanting to explore.
Driveability. If driving a giant rig gives you major anxiety, a class B motorhome might be the perfect solution. Especially if you get a newer model, they drive extremely smoothly and easily, giving you a much more comfortable driving experience.
Storage/Parking. Since these don’t take up much more room than any other large vehicle, you can park or store your Class B RV almost anywhere. Being able to tuck your RV into a garage or parking spot can be a huge time and stress saver on the road or off.
Mileage. Class B RVs are the most fuel-efficient of the bunch, and a lower MPG can save you a whole lot of money at the gas pump in the long run.
Toys. While the smaller space of a Class B RV might seem limiting, when it comes to toys, it’s anything but. Whether you’re looking to throw some kayaks on the roof or tow another camper unit, Class B RVs can do it all.
Modern. Class B RVs are the fastest-growing RV class, which means manufacturers are scrambling to keep up with demand. That means these things are packed with all types of nifty features and modern tech elements, from solar panels to sound systems, Class B RVs are a techie’s dream.
Space. You guessed it. Class B RVs are small, and their limited size can be limiting on your experience, too. If you spend a lot of time inside or have a large group/family, you might end up feeling cramped inside a Class B.
Price. While a Class B motorhome might be more affordable than a massive Class A, or even some larger Class Cs, small Class B RVs are pretty pricey compared to any type of towed trailer or camper. You get what you pay for with these, and their builds are typically impeccable with great design and engineering.
On-site exploration. A Class B RV is going to take you a whole lot more places than a Class A or Class C, but unless you’re towing another vehicle, once you get to your destination you’re limited to where you’re van can drive in terms of exploring.
Small tanks. While minimal storage and interior space might not be a huge drawback for some travelers, a small tank almost always is. Without large water and waste tanks, Small Class B RVs might limit some travelers’ off-grid adventures. For that, you may want to consider a 4×4 off-grid van.
Dedicated beds. The best class B RVs are experts at multi-functioning space, often including dual, or even triple purpose appliances and spaces. This is great for maximizing space, but if you’re the type of person that craves a dedicated bed or bedroom, you might struggle to find a floor plan that works for you.
Q & A about Class B RVs
A: A Class B+ RV is still in the B class, but is built on a larger van chassis than a standard Class B. Some are even built onto a bus chassis, making it much longer and more spacious than a Class B.
A: This answer will vary from van to van, but usually, yes! Most Class B RVs can tow 5,000 lbs or more, so you might not be able to bring the largest vehicle, but towing a car is a definite possibility.
A: Nope. You don’t need a special license to drive any type of RV.
A: Class B RVs are no more difficult to drive than a van, and they are the easiest RV class to drive, handling much more like a luxury van than a larger Class A or Class C RV.
Conclusion on the Best Class B RVs
Class B RVs are an amazing way to get out and explore, bringing along only what you need and leaving everything else in the dust.
While #VanLife isn’t for everyone, it’s exploding in popularity, and manufacturers are responding with a huge range of expertly crafted and designed vans suited for just about anyone’s needs.
If you’re still on the fence, or just have some more questions before making the leap, ask away! Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to help get you the answers you need. We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best Class B Motorhomes!
Check out our other posts on RVing: