At Guaranty RV, we love Class C motorhomes. All right, we love RVs in general, but the family friendly, economical Class C’s have a special place in our hearts. We’re not alone in our love affair with these iconic motorhomes and their distinctive cab-over profile; they’ve been a popular favorite among RVers in North America for a long time now, and for good reason. They offer the average RVer advantages in driveability, safety, gas mileage, flexible use of space, sleeping capacity and more. And as RV manufacturers continue to add residential style furnishings and amenities, as well as upgrades in design and technology, RVers are finding a lot of new options in style, livability, size and price. This is all good news for RVers who want choices in how they travel. A Class C is a great way to hit the campgrounds at the coast or Central Oregon with the kids or grandkids, and it is also a comfortable and affordable way for a couple of friends to make a cross country roadtrip. But the shorter models are also good vehicles for urban adventures, and are often compared to campervans in their driveability. For individuals, couples and families who want or need a motorhome somewhere in between the super economical but very small Class B campervans, and the much larger but less economical Class A motorhomes, a Class C is perfect.
Motorhomes in general have some advantages over towables in regard to ease of travel. For instance, they offer easy access to the bathroom and fridge without having to get out of your vehicle, so quick snack stops are easy. This is especially good news if you’re travelling with children or elders. With motorhomes, you also don’t have to own a separate tow vehicle or deal with the driving challenges that might come with towing a large trailer or fifth wheel. And if you use your RV regularly, the ability to spread out in a motorhome makes the trip more comfortable. A Class C gives you all of this, and more.
In this two-part blog, we’re going to look at what makes the beloved Class C’s so special, and we’re going to talk about some of the brands and models that have stood the test of time and proven their long term value.
Why America Loves Class C Motorhomes
Some benefits of a Class C are obvious, but there are other positives that people rarely consider:
- Drivability & Parking—Compared to a Class A motorhome, larger travel trailer, or fifth wheel, the shorter length of a Class C gives them much better driveability, particularly on winding roads and in bad weather. The cab is generally lower to the ground than a Class A as well, which makes these smaller motorhomes feel more truck-like, and takes the intimidation factor out of the equation when you’re behind the wheel. The size also means easier parking in urban areas, parking lots and older campgrounds that were built before the advent of today’s big RVs.
- Safety—Unlike Class A motorhomes, Class Cs are built on “cutaway” chassis. The entire front of the RV is built like a standard utility van or truck that is designed for commercial use. This front end and cockpit construction means they have standard, built in safety features that give the driver and passengers superior protection in a front end collision. Equally important, the cab is made with a steel cage construction that offers RVers the best protection if a motorhome rolls over in an accident.
- Fuel Economy—Looking for the best fuel economy is a no brainer when you’re considering a motorhome purchase. We’ve been fortunate to have a few years of low gas prices recently, but we all know that the cost of fuel fluctuates over time. Fuel economy is going to matter more in 2017, as gas prices are expected to creep higher. Class B campervans get the best gas mileage, but only sleep two to three adults. If you want more room, or you’re travelling with more people, a Class C is your best gas saving option.
- Sleeping Capacity—The large cab-over bed that comes with a Class C, combined with a master bedroom, sofa bed and dinette bed make this the motorhome to have if you regularly travel with family and friends. Even the shortest models (about 24 feet long) will typically provide comfortable beds for six people, and when you move up into the larger models, you can find convenient sleeping options for as many as 12 people.
- Kid Friendly—Children LOVE the cab-over bunk for its fort-like feel, where they can perch above the adults in their own territory. The most family friendly models also sport bathrooms with tubs, central kitchens that are the hub of the family, and great entertainment systems for family movies and music. Bluetooth and wifi options also open up new entertainment choices.
- Flexible Floorplans for Couples or Singles—Some of the best RV manufacturers have started building what we call a Class B+ motorhome. This is a Class C in which they replace that over-cab bunk area with storage or an entertainment system. This makes these modified Class Cs ideal for couples or singles who want more living space than a campervan can give them, but don’t need the extra sleeping area of the bunk. Alternatively, if you don’t mind using the cab-over bed as your primary sleeping area, you can turn the rear bedroom into work, play or studio space.
- Cost—On average, Class C motorhomes are significantly less expensive than Class A’s (although you can get top-of-the-line, luxury Class C’s that compare in price). Additionally, there are a lot of high quality, pre-owned models on the market to fit your budget.
A great way to get a sense of whether or not a Class C is for you, is to spend some time walking through different makes and models. Obviously, not every Class C RV manufacturer is the same, and some are much better than others. After more than fifty years in RV sales, we’ve seen manufacturers come and go. Next week we’re going to take a look at some makes and models that we think are the best built and have the best lasting quality. In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, or come on over to Junction City and explore the Class C options.