Owning an RV needs to be done in a clear mind, as you will buy an entire vehicle here for your needs. There are many RVs available in your market, each claiming to be the best RV for your needs. However, for someone relatively new to the RV world, you may think that owning a Class A RV would be the best option for you. The catch is it is the most expensive type of RV available, so settling to a Class C RV would be the best option. Do not look down on the Class C RV because it has so much to offer; you might end up telling me reading this article is the best thing you did.

Owning a Class C RV means you will have enough space for yourself; it is much cheaper yet does not scrimp on features and amenities. It is also much easier to drive, use, and maintain.

RV TypeProsCons
Class CMost affordable RV type
Maximizes space
Slide-outs used well
Perfect for solo campers, couples, and small families
Accepted in most RV parks and campgrounds
Can tow smaller vehicles
Easiest to drive and maneuver
Low maintenance and running costs
Smaller space for big families
Rocky and louder when driving
Poorest gas mileage among all RV types
Class BBigger than Class C but smaller than Class A
More comfortable driving experience
Fits in most garage spaces easily
Accepted in most RV parks and campgrounds
Has multiple uses
Can tow a travel trailer
Can bring a bike or kayak
Many convertible bed spaces to accommodate more people
Space smaller than Class A
More expensive than Class C
Limited floor plans
Lesser storage space
Smaller tank capacity
Class ABiggest space and size among RV types
Can accommodate more people
Perfect for big families or groups
More space in the cabin for the driver
Larger tank capacity
Smooth driving experience
Dedicated laundry spaces
Smarter floor plans
Perfect for all seasons
Best gas mileage of all RV types
Most expensive RV type
Too big for solo travelers
Driving can be hard for beginners
Rejected by most RV parks and campgrounds
Higher maintenance and running costs
AirstreamOffers big windows for better ventilation and natural lighting
Some have separate bathrooms and showers
Easier to clean due to smaller space
Great towing aerodynamics
Expensive
Quite delicate exteriors subject to many repairs most of the time
Very limited exterior storage space
Poor floor plans
Limited interior space
Can be challenging to add solar panels on the roof due to the curved surface
Propensity for leaks
Extremely high maintenance
Fifth-wheelEasier to tow and hook up
Much safer than other RV types
More interior storage space
Better amenities
Perfect for full time RV living
Taller ceilings
More modernized structures
Needs to be towed to a bigger truck; otherwise immobile
Requires more maintenance
Heavier to tow
Struggle to travel in larger cities

Class C RVs: What Do They Offer?

Class C RVs offer basically the same as the other RVs, but what makes them special are some features that you do not normally see in other RVs. Class C motorhomes contain most of the amenities and features in a typical coach, with the space being the main difference.

The Basic Amenities

You can still get the basic amenities and features offered in all RVs, regardless of the class and the size.

Some of those include a full bathroom separate from the other rooms in the RV, a full kitchen, a living room, a convertible dinette, the awning outside, and a queen or king-sized bed, depending on the RV model.

One standard feature in Class C RVs is slide-outs, which can expand the bedroom or living room space, depending on the needs. If you have visitors stopping by for a day, these slide-outs will provide them a space to sleep comfortably without minding the space constraints.

Class C RVs typically have a separate bathroom, contrary to other campervans with a wet-bath style. Most models also have glass-enclosed shower cubicles, some with overhead skylights. However, these are still smaller in size compared to Class A RVs.

The sleeping spaces in a Class C RV include the back of the RV, the cab-over area, the side bunks, optional folding sofas, and the pullout or fold-out beds or convertible dinettes.

You will not be fooled into buying a cramped RV when buying a Class C RV because you can expect many cabinets and drawers for your storage needs. It also has an external storage bay which is typical in all the RV classes.

Other Expected Features and Amenities

Aside from those mentioned above, there are other expected features and amenities for Class C RVs.

These include front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive capabilities in most Class C models, automatic leveling jacks and stabilizers, and gasoline or diesel engine options, with some rare cases offering propane engine options.

Class C RVs can also easily tow a smaller vehicle or a trailer, making it an advantage for being such a smaller RV. Lastly, most Class C RVs can accommodate four to eight people, thanks to their surprisingly spacious living and sleeping spaces.

The Downside: Smaller Spaces

Even though Class C RVs have spacious interiors, which is a surprise given its small size, it is still smaller than other RV models and classes.

It is the smallest of the three classes of RVs, which makes it not ideal for bigger families to live in, in case someone plans to live in a Class C RV with eight members of the family inside. The storage space is smaller than other RVs, so it will be perfect for solo RV campers, couples, and maybe a small family with one or two kids.

Nevertheless, it still serves its purpose. Many RVers have expressed contentment in living in a Class C RV, which is enough to persuade newbies to explore the world of RV life with a Class C RV.

Reasons Why A Class C RV is Better

Now that you are made aware of the standard features of a Class C RV, here are some of the reasons why choosing to own a Class C RV is much better.

Size and Space

Class C22 ft. to 44 ft.
Class A29 ft. to 45 ft.
Class B17 ft. to 19 ft.
Airstreams16 ft. to 33 ft.
Fifth-wheel25 ft. to 45 ft.

Last time, I wrote an article about the pros and cons of solo RV camping and living, which you can read here if you are interested. I did not mention that Class C RVs serve the purpose well for solo campers without any hassles on their end.

Class C RVs have enough space for solo travelers because sometimes, having a Class A RV when you are solo can be a bit burdensome, mainly because you have a huge space to maintain and clean even if you are alone.

A Class C RV can give you enough living space to eat, watch TV, lounge around, and do chores. It also gives you more than enough sleeping space because most RVs of the same class usually offer queen or king beds, obviously bigger for a solo traveler.

Lastly, you do not have to clean all day if you want to because of the smaller space. Cleaning your RV might take several hours, but since it is smaller than the other types, your cleaning time would be shorter, allowing you to rest more.

Saves You More Money

RV typeAverage Price (new units)
Class C$50,000-$100,000
Class A$50,000-$200,000 ++
Class B$91,000-$178,000
Airstreams$47,900-$164,000
Fifth-wheel$25,000-$100,000

Obviously, buying a Class C RV can save you so much more money than buying either a Class A or a Class B. Even the newest Class C RV model can be much cheaper than a used Class A RV, which speaks a lot about its affordability.

Class C RVs are perfect for those who want to give RV living a try since they do not have to start by living in an overwhelmingly huge space, especially if they are alone. You can also save money for maintenance since you do not have to buy many things just to keep your Class C RV spic and span and in tiptop shape.

Engine Access and Maintenance Are Much Easier

One thing you must know is that Class C RVs are built on truck chassis. This means that your RV has a typical engine bay, which is much easier for you to work on compared to a Class A RV.

If you have prior experience repairing trucks, then repairing and maintaining a Class C RV would be much easier for you since you are already familiar with what the setup is for the RV.

You can change it the usual way you do with a regular car or truck for basic maintenance, such as changing air filters, by popping the hood. However, suppose your RV has major repairs. It is best to bring them to the experts since even though they have the same structure as trucks, the overall size can also play a role in the problems.

Much Easier to Drive and Bring

Class C RVs are lighter and smaller in overall size and weight among other types of RVs existing, even though they have the same lengths as a Class A RV. Sometimes, Class A RVs can be a bit of a hassle to maintain, drive, and bring to places, so some people avoid it and stick with either a Class B or C instead.

A Class C RV offers a good medium to those who want a motorized RV larger than a Class B camper van without the budget to buy a Class A RV.

In addition, many RV campgrounds and parks have limitations in terms of length, so having a Class C RV makes you eligible to enjoy your membership to an RV park or campground of your choosing.

However, keep in mind that some Class C RVs are large, so it can be a problem sometimes, though I have yet to find out someone who got kicked out of a campground because their Class C RV is too large.

Lower Running Costs Compared to Others

Class C RVs are much cheaper to maintain than other RV models and classes because any Ford mechanic can help you with repairs, replacements, and overall RV maintenance.

Most normal garages can cope with a Class C style RV because Class A RVs require specialized garages due to their sheer size and length. Class C RVs also use lesser gas in the long run, such as the Itasca Navion Class C Motorhome. which uses only up to 18-20 MPG on longer trips.

Lastly, the parts can also be cheaper than other RV types since it is closer to normal trucks and regular vehicles, which most spare parts hardware stores can provide.

Much Easier to Drive

Since Class C RVs are much smaller and lighter than other RV types, beginners will not find it hard to maneuver or turn tight corners in streets and roads. Going to Walmart is not a problem, as the Class C RV can fit into the parking spaces. Take advantage of the chance that you can park for a night at Walmart for free.

Driving a Class C RV is similar to driving an old Ford-style truck, which can be scary to beginners but much better than those driving a 45-foot coach. Also, a lower ceiling height means less wind drag, which will keep you from overcorrecting at some points. Lastly, the RV virtually hugs the pavement when you turn a corner closer to the ground, eliminating any chances of toppling.

The Abundance of Storage and Living Spaces

When people hear that Class C RVs are much smaller than Class B or Class A RVs, they get a little hesitant because of the size and the amount of space they can get from them. While it is true, and manufacturers never hid that fact, it is still more comfortable to move around than a Class B campervan smaller than the Class C RVs.

It offers a lot of hidden sleeping spaces, such as the cabin above the driver’s compartment. It offers an extra sleeping area, which also frees up more space in the back of the RV. Convertible dinettes and extra beds are also incorporated in modern floor plans, allowing more sleeping space for you and your family. The extra beds in the cabin can also be used as storage if not in use.

The kitchen in a Class C RV will also provide the same appliances as the Class A RVs but with much smaller yet manageable countertop space. Slide-outs also offer more space in the living area, providing more seating or sleeping space and even providing a larger bathroom complete with a shower.

Smaller Families Will Love This

Aside from couples and solo travelers, Class C RVs can also be a good RV for a small family. By a small family, we mean a family of three or four, maybe five. Smaller families tend to appreciate the smaller size of the RV because it allows them to be much closer, literally and figuratively.

The spaces provided by the RV are also enough for them to freely move, sleep, eat, and do whatever they want. Suppose they are also amazing in storage and organizational skills. In that case, they can easily get extra space thanks to their great storage tactics.

Class C RVs vs. Other RV Types

Of course, Class C RVs are not the best RV type in existence. There are other RV types available, and we cannot help but compare each other to see which type would give us the return of investment we want in our RV. Here are some of the things that Class C RVs lack in terms of different categories compared to other RV types.

Size

Class C22 ft. to 44 ft.
Class A29 ft. to 45 ft.
Class B17 ft. to 19 ft.
Airstreams16 ft. to 33 ft.
Fifth-wheel25 ft. to 45 ft.

As you can already see in the table, Class C RVs are bigger than Class B RVs and most airstreams, which means you will have enough living space inside your RV. However, it does not mean that it is the biggest RV type, as Class A RVs easily dwarf Class C RVs with its average size of 29 feet to 45 feet.

Ease of Driving

Class CYes
Class ANo
Class BYes
AirstreamsYes
Fifth-wheelNo

The table above shows how easy driving these RV types are for beginners. The Class C RVs are the easiest options to drive for those who are still starting in the RV game, as this is designed the same as local trucks and even smaller vehicles. It is said that a Class C RV is similar to driving a Ford car.

On the other hand, the Class A RVs may be overwhelming to newbies, since they were not designed similarly to cars or trucks. Fifth wheels are immobile unless attached to another truck, so you cannot drive on it. Also, fifth-wheels would be hard to navigate especially if the roads and streets are not wide.

Price

Of course, it goes without saying that Class C RVs are way cheaper than Class A RVs or any other RVs. Fifth-wheels are cheaper too, but without the driving capability, buying a Class C RV is much better. If you are someone who wants to give RV living a try, then buying a Class C RV is the best choice.

Accommodation to RV Parks and Campgrounds

Class CYes
Class ANo
Class BYes
AirstreamsNo
Fifth-wheelYes

This is another important factor to consider, because many RV campgrounds and parks have size limitations in terms of the RVs they allow inside their premises. They have to do this because they must accommodate as many units as possible without cramping them or crowding them. Class C RVs are most likely to be welcomed by all RV parks and campgrounds as it fits their size requirements.

Class B RVs have no issues getting admitted to many RV campgrounds and parks. However, Class A RV owners should have a list of RV parks and campgrounds ready to accommodate them as most of them would be rejected due to their size limitations. 

Airstreams might experience the same ordeal as most of them are as big as Class A RVs. Fifth wheels would not have any problems as long as they are attached to the RV or truck that fits the requirements of the RV park or campground.

Features and Other Amenities

Class C RVs might be small, but it has features that will surely maximize the small space it has, and you would be surprised that it would fit more people than expected.

Class C RVs are known to have slide-outs, which maximizes the living spaces you have in your RV. It can be converted into more sleeping spaces or living room space, depending on your needs. Some Class C RVs have slide-outs aside from the master’s bedroom, and even sofas can be turned into decent sized beds in case you have more people sleeping with you.

However, Class C RVs pale in comparison towards Class B RVs and even Class A RVs. Most Class A RVs provide outdoor entertainment by means of having an outdoor TV, which Class C RVs would not have due to its sheer size. Class A RVs have bigger awnings too, which would accommodate more people in case you want to do outdoor barbecues or picnics.

Due to the size difference, it is obvious that Class C RVs might have to compromise not having a permanent living room or a dining room, compared to Class A RVs that have permanent rooms for lounging and dining. If a Class C RV has both, chances are one of them is convertible.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are so many things that you might want to ask about buying a Class C RV. I know how that feels, so let me answer some of your questions about this.

Should I Buy A Used RV Or A Brand New RV?

It depends on your choices, but always ensure that when you are buying a used RV, check if any major repairs or replacements need to be performed as soon as possible.

Ask the seller if there is anything that you should change or repair beforehand to prepare for the expenses if needed. Some used RVs have new features that brand new ones might not have, such as upgraded countertops, newer appliances, or other features.

However, with new RVs, you can be sure that you are the first one using them in all their new and unspoiled glory. Again, it depends on your choices but always be vigilant and have a sharp eye for detail, which will come in handy for used RVs.

Should I Use Gas or Diesel For The RV?

Some models run on gasoline, while there are ones that run mostly on diesel. Gas-powered RVs are much cheaper compared to diesel-powered ones when bought, but in the long run, diesel-powered ones are much more efficient. Owning a diesel-powered RV can offer much better fuel economy by volume, up to ten percent. Again, this depends on whether you are planning to travel long distances or just okay with shorter travels.

Conclusion

Owning a Class C RV may be the best choice for you if you are someone who values ease of use, adequate space for yourself, and lower maintenance and running fees in the long run. Class C RVs do not scrimp on features and amenities, with size and length the only difference separating them from the other RV classes and types. If you are a solo traveler or a small family, owning a Class C RV is perfect for you and your family’s needs.