ABCs of RV shopping: Motorhomes (pt. 2)

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

For those shopping for their first RV, it helps to have an understanding of types. We previously discussed two popular motorhome classes, Class A and Class C. Now we’ll talk about two other kinds of motorhomes.

Class B motorhome

Class B Motorhomes: Often called a van conversion or van camper, a Class B motorhome looks like a large van, often with a raised roof. These rigs are built using a manufactured van or panel-truck shell, but what a difference after the conversion! Ranging from 16 to 22 feet, and costing new between $60,000 and $130,000, they may be small, but they still offer plenty of conveniences.

Compared with other types of motorhomes, the Class B unit is scaled down. Still, you’ll find a galley, beds for sleeping, and a bathroom, even a shower in some. Storage will be on the light side, and sleeping is limited to a maximum of four in most units. You’ll usually find heating and air conditioning included.

Class B units are easy to drive and maneuver well in the city. You can park them just about anywhere you can park a car or pickup, and this makes them a favorite for city sightseeing. No special license endorsement is required to drive these diminutive motorhomes. Small though they may be, most all have plenty of headroom through the courtesy of a raised roof, a dropped floor, or both.

Bus conversion

Bus Conversions: If you have plenty of ready cash or a tall line of credit, bus conversions are viewed by some as the end-all for motorhome ownership. As you might guess, a bus conversion is just that: a specialized, customized RV built from a bus. Some companies specialize in the construction of all-new conversions on a bus chassis, using their specialized shell. Other conversions have had a prior life as a Greyhound or other transit vehicle.

Bus conversions are specialized beasts, and it would be difficult to say much more about them other than that from commercial producers, luxury is the operative word. Prices can be all over the map, but suffice to say, dropping a million or more in a commercially produced conversion isn’t uncommon. Buy it new, and you can draw your own floor plan and choose your decorations and amenities.

Next time we’ll delve into towable RVs, and make more comparisons to help you get a feel for what kind of RV best suits your needs.