What is a Class B+ motorhome?
Most RV types are easily recognized. No one is confused about the distinctions between fifth wheels, Class As, and travel trailers, but when you get into the Class B RVs, understanding the classifications is a bit more unclear.
A Class B+ motorhome is a hybrid between a Class B and a Class C RV. The difference between a Class B and a Class B+ RV is pretty straightforward, but it is less clear what the distinction is between a Class C and a Class B+ motorhome.
Understanding Class B RVs
A Class B coach is essentially a van that has been equipped with most of the amenities of larger RVs. They come with sinks, stoves, refrigerators, holding tanks, toilets, house batteries, beds, sitting areas, and entertainment features.
Class B RVs come with either gas or diesel engines in various lengths and floor plans. One salesperson even stated that some Class B coaches have seating for up to 5 people and there are various combinations of sleeping arrangements for multiple people.
Obviously, storage and tank capacity in these smaller coaches is limited but what they lack in storage they make up for in their compact agility. Driving a Class B motorhome is very much like driving a minivan or truck. Most of them will fit in the smallest campsites, and they can easily be driven on crowded urban streets.
Camping long-term in a Class B motorhome is certainly possible if you have access to utilities, or are adept at conserving water and tank capacity. Additionally, many of these smaller rigs come with lithium house batteries and solar panels to maximize and extend electrical output.
If you’re thinking that these rigs may be less expensive because they’re smaller, you will be sadly disappointed. Class B motorhomes have all the luxury features of larger coaches compressed into smaller spaces which creates engineering and construction challenges. In addition to the engineering challenge, many Class B and B+ RVs use more costly higher-end components like lithium batteries in their designs.
Difference between a Class B and Class B+ RV
The difference between a B and a B+ class motorhome is the chassis weight, the width, and height of the coach, and the addition of one or more slides on the Class B+ motorhome. Like the typical Class B RVs, they can be purchased with either a gas or diesel engine, in various sizes and floor plans, but the B+ is larger in overall size and looks more like a Class C rig.
B+ coaches have an over-the-cab extension much like Class C rigs, but in the B+ this space provides extra storage and entertainment features. The heavier, bigger Class B+ coaches with one or more slides greatly expands the available living space within the RV compared to the Class B RV.
Additionally, the larger B+ RVs carry more fresh water, have more holding tank capacity and larger refrigerators. But like their smaller Class B counterparts, they are agile and compact, fit nicely into most campsites, and are easy to drive and maneuver.
Luxury Class B and Class B+ rigs
Both styles of RVs, the Class B and Class B+ rigs, are long on luxuries and both styles are very popular RV choices. Certainly, they are not for everyone, but the people who share their rigs and adventures on #ClassBRV on Instagram are enthusiastic about these stylish and nimble campers.
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They have most of the features of much larger RVs like showers, toilets, sinks, fixed beds, ample storage, refrigerators, air conditioners, flat-screen TVs, roof vents, stovetop and microwave ovens, bike racks, roof racks, and comfortable swivel bucket seats for both the driver and passenger, all contained in a much smaller vehicle.
Because of their restricted space, they also have some clever engineering features like laptop tables permanently mounted on swivel-and-stow hardware, and storage bins mounted on the ceiling for electronic tools like laptops, cell phones, notepads, etc.
And don’t forget about fuel economy. You can take all your camping gear with you in a 17-foot to 24-foot light and nimble RV that has amazing fuel efficiency.
Class B and B+ RVs get between 10 and 25 miles per gallon depending on the size, weight, equipment, and driving conditions, but whatever these smaller rigs are able to achieve in terms of fuel efficiency, it’s certainly going to be much better than any larger Class A motorhome.
The difference between Class B+ and C RVs
So, the difference between a Class B and a Class B+ motorhome is fairly obvious. The Class B+ motorhome is bigger, wider, and taller, with an extension over the cab, and with one or more slides, where the Class B is clearly smaller and shaped like a traditional van. A Class B RV may be longer and taller than a cargo van, but its general shape is still narrow, like a traditional van.
The real question is what’s the difference between a Class B+ motorhome and a Class C motorhome. That differentiation is much more difficult to discern. Both are wide-body RVs, both have slides, full bathrooms, come in either gas or diesel engines, both have a higher roofline, with an obvious extension over-the-cab.
The only truly unique feature that differentiates these two rigs is what’s happening in the over-the-cab extension. In the Class C RV, that extension is a bunk bed and in the Class B+ rig that extension is used for storage and an entertainment center.
Does the distinction really matter?
Can a casual observer see that difference from the outside? Maybe, but does it really matter? The people who own Class C or B+ RVs don’t buy them just to be seen as an owner of either. They buy the rig that meets their unique needs, and if it falls in the category of Class C or Class B+ RV, so be it.
I spoke to the person who owns the Class C shown above and asked her if it was a Class C or B+ and she had no idea. They bought this RV new in 2015, and the class of the RV was an irrelevant detail. What mattered to her was that the form and function of the RV met their particular needs.
I believe that is true for anyone shopping for and trying to understand the difference between a Class B, C, or Class B+ motorhome. When they look at, sit in, imagine camping in, and test-drive these vehicles, the only distinction that will matter is which one feels right, not its class designation.
Is a Class B+ RV right for your needs? Check out our previous article on What Is The Best RV For Your Lifestyle?Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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