What is a Class B Van Camper?
A Class B Van Camper is a type of small RV that looks like a van with an extended roof.
They can sometimes be slightly longer than a traditional van as well.
They offer all the amenities of a larger motorhome in a compact vehicle space.
Advantages of a Class B Van:
1. Compact, all in one. Many amenities.
Van Campers are around the same size as a traditional van, usually with an elevated roof. This means the living space in the back of the van is very compact, in order to fit all the amenities of home in a small space.
Van campers have sinks, microwaves, stoves, refrigerators, sleeping beds, small bathrooms and TV’s, all in the back of the van. Everything you need for comfortable living, in a vehicle you can drive and park easily.
Because of the small size, they are designed to have no wasted space. Most models allow the driver and passenger seats to swivel around and become part of the living area of the van.
2. Easy parking and maneuverability
Because Class B RVs are roughly the same size as a normal van, they are easy to drive and can be parked in most any parking spots.
This is a huge advantage over other types of recreational vehicles, which require careful maneuvering through parking lots and finding extra large parking spaces for your rig.
3. Can be used as an everyday vehicle.
Van Campers look so similar to regular vans that many people use them as a day to day vehicle as well as a camper.
The profile and look of the van campers is as inconspicuous and non-RV as possible; something the Class C motorhomes can’t offer.
4. Smaller than Class C so they get better gas mileage than many RVs.
Van Campers are built more aerodynamically and are smaller than Class C motorhomes so they often get better gas mileage. This makes travel more affordable, while offering many of the same amenities.
5. Passengers can ride in the van while driving.
A big benefit of the Class B van campers and the Class C motorhomes is that passengers can safely ride in the back of the RV while it’s being driven. They come with seat belts strictly for this purpose.
Some people will try to sneak their passengers into a travel trailer or other towable RV while they’re driving down the road. This is actually legal in about half of the states in the country, and illegal in the others. Regardless of the laws, it’s a dangerous idea because the trailers aren’t equipped with seat belts to keep your passengers safe.
The Class B and Class C small RVs remedy this problem.
6. Can tow a boat or other trailer behind on the ball hitch.
Van Campers can have an exposed ball hitch on the back of them, giving you the opportunity to tow additional items like a boat, or a trailer with ATV’s on it.
Because the vans aren’t all that long to begin with, people are able to keep the overall length of their rig down while still bringing along their boat or other toys.
Disadvantages of a Class B Van:
1. Very small
Class B Van Campers usually don’t offer slide outs on the sides of the RV like Class C motorhomes do. Some models have a slide out in the back, but most traditional Class B van campers only have as much space as you see from the outside of the van.
Therefore, a lot of amenities are being squeezed into a very small space. People may find the confines of the van a little TOO small, if it’s going to be used for any extended camping stays.
Compared to towable small RVs, van campers are much more expensive. Granted, no additional truck or tow vehicle is needed, but Class B van campers are usually well over $100,000, even if they’re used.
The investment might prove to be prohibitive for some people looking into a small RV.
3. More to go wrong – the engine is part of your camper.
Because the van includes both the living amenities as well as the driving engine, if something goes wrong with the mechanisms of the van, your home suffers as well. They aren’t two separate parts like a truck and a travel trailer, where you could leave your home behind as the truck goes to the shop. Your home will be in the repair shop too.
Styles of Class B Vans:
There are many options for the layouts and amenities in the inside of a Class B van camper. Overall, the shape and appearance from the outside is very similar – with variations in color and some variations in size.
Exterior and interior images of this van camper:
There is a subclass of Van Campers called Class B Plus [B+] which are extended van campers. They offer more interior room, while still keeping the aerodynamic shape and easy driving and parking abilities of a traditional Class B van camper.
Class B Van Campers are well loved for their non-RV appearance and easy driving and parking. They offer a great option for people who want to have a compact home on wheels, and have the necessary funds to afford one.