21 Pros and Cons of a Class C RV


It can be so incredibly hard to choose the right class of RV for your family. It’s pretty shocking, but studies have found that the average buyer of a brand new RV will only keep it for an average of 2.4 years. Why? Because so many of us (me included), often buy something that they later learn doesn’t quite suit their needs how they’d hoped.

So in this post I hope to show some of the positive AND negative aspects of owning a Class C RV so that you can make the best long-term decision for your family.

Pros

1. An Extra Bed Area Above the Driver’s Seat

In a towable or in a Class A, there is no room above the driver. In a Class C, the “bump” out over the cab area provides one extra large bed that almost no other type of RV offers. While this is changing a bit with some Class A’s now offering a drop down bed here, it’s still primarily a benefit of the Class C.

Class C RVs range from 20 to 35 feet in length. This length, although it may seem the same length of a teardrop travel trailer and its towing vehicle, allows for a lot more use of the space provided.

A Class C RV comes with all of the amenities of a classic RV- a kitchen, bathroom, living room, a bedroom, and a driving area- while still staying small enough to be easy to drive and maneuver.

2. Motorized and Easily Serviced

One of the main features that lead people to tend to prefer Class C motorhomes over a towable alternative is the motorization of the Class C motorhome. Having a mobile home that is completely motorized is a huge advantage. It means that you only have to worry about one vehicle at a time.

Since you only have to worry about one vehicle, you end up getting the most space possible with the smallest length. There is no wasted space with hitches or any other gizmos you need to buy and attach in order to tow a trailer.

This also means that you save money when you buy a fully motorized RV. You don’t have to buy all of the attachments that come with buying a camper or other towable option. For example, when you buy a camper that goes in the bed of a truck, you have to buy a lot of extra gear in order to attach it and make sure that it is safe while you drive. Here is a list of things you would have to make sure that you have:

  • a hitch
  • a hitch extension
  • turnbuckles
  • a front tie down
  • a rear tie down
  • really good suspension

Because a Class C motorhome is completely motorized and all in one piece, you don’t have to worry about any of that and get to save money for the adventure instead.

3. You Don’t Need to Purchase a Large Towing Vehicle in Addition

RV’s can only be pulled by trucks or SUVs, so when you buy an RV, you have to make sure that you have a vehicle that can properly and safely tow it. Most people, when they begin to shop for RVs, don’t already have a vehicle they can tow the RV with. That means that they already have to shell out money for an RV and then they have to pay an additional arm or leg for the towing vehicle (leaving them with only two remaining limbs if you do the math).

Class C motorhomes, on the other hand, are completely motorized and o away with the need to purchase an additional towing vehicle. Below is a table listing the prices for the most popular vehicles to tow an RV with and the price when you add the cost of an RV:

PricePrice in Addition to
Buying a
Travel Trailer
2019 Chevrolet Colorado (truck$21,300$36,300 – $51,300
2019 Mercedes Benz Sprinter (van)
$33,790$48,790 – $63,790
2019 Chevrolet Suburban (SUV)$50,800$65,800 – $80,800
2019 Ford Expedition (SUV)$52,130$67,130 – $82,130
2019 Nissan Titan XD (truck)$32,890$47,890 – $62,890
2019 Toyota Land Cruiser (SUV)$85,015$100,015 – $115,015
2019 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel (truck)$31,695$46,695 – $61,695
2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty (truck)$80,440$95,440 – $110,440

As you can see, buying a travel trailer and then buying a vehicle to tow it with adds a whole lot more stress onto your budget. You should be planning for the next adventure, not planning how on earth you are going to keep up with the payments.

When you buy a Class C motorhome, you really buy a way to eliminate that stress. You no longer have to worry about maintaining or paying for two vehicles. Because the Class C motorhome is completely motorized, you only have to worry about it and nothing else.

4. It’s Easy to Tow a Secondary Vehicle (TOAD) Behind

If you do want to have another vehicle with you, then you are still in luck. A vehicle that you tow behind an RV, travel trailer, or motorhome is called a toad. A Class C motorhome, while still being relatively small, is large enough to tow a toad behind it.

Toads are usually fairly small cars that don’t weigh very much, that way the travel trailer can easily tow them along. Below is a list of some of the most popular toads, their weights, and their prices.

Weight (lbs)Price
2016 Chevrolet Spark2016 Chevrolet Spark< 2400 lbs$14000
2016 Jeep Wrangler< 3900 lbs$24500
2016 Nissan 370Z< 3300 lbs$42000
2016 Scion iM< 3000 lbs$19000
2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid< 3650 lbs$25400
2016 FIAT 500 Abarth< 2550 lbs$15000
2016 Buick Enclave< 4725 lbs$40000
2016 Toyota Corolla<2825 lbs$18000
2016 Ram 1500< 4525 lbs$27000
2016 Chevrolet Colorado< 3950 lbs$23000

If you want to find out more about each of the vehicles mentioned about, then click here to visit roamingtimes.com, the website that explains exactly why each one is a stellar pick for a toad for you.

Most people bring along toads because it allows more access to more adventures. Class C motorhomes are a little too unwieldy to bring along when you want to go off-roading, and they can even be cumbersome in the city. But with a toad, you can simply unhook and go driving.

5. You Don’t Have to Worry About Hitching or Unhitiching Your RV

As an avid RVer, I know that the most difficult, the most time consuming, and the most un-fun part of RVing is hooking the rig up and unhooking it when you’ve reached your destination. You constantly have to back up, drive an inch forward, back up again, move the right, inch forward, and then you’re too far right. Plus you have to have another person off to the side yelling instructions to you that you can’t even hear over the wind and the truck engine. It’s a mess.

Well, the nice thing about Class C motorhomes is that you don’t have to worry about any of that. Because it is completely motorized, there is no need to hitch up the RV to another vehicle.

If you did chose to take a toad along with you, you would have to worry about hitching that up to your Class C motorhome, but hitching up a toad is much easier than hooking up and unhooking a RV, travel trailer, or motorhome to your towing vehicle.

6. Easily Serviced if You Have a Ford Chassis

Your RV, travel trailer, or motorhome is going to break down. It will. That’s just the long and the short of it. No matter how well you take care of your vehicles or how new they are, they are going to break down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Welcome to the realities of life on the road.

The good news is that if you are traveling in a Class C motorhome, then getting it serviced and fixed is a piece of cake. Class C motorhomes are built on Ford chassis, or frames, which are very familiar to car mechanics. Ford service centers are also located everywhere in the United States. Below is a map detailing the locations of over 300 of these Ford service centers.

Obviously, this is not an inclusive list, it’s not even half way there. The point is that you can find a Ford service center probably within walking distance from your home, campground, or major attraction. Just drop off your Class C motorhome and go on a little mini adventure for a few hours before you have to pick it back up again when it’s in working condition.

Even if you don’t use a Ford service center, any car mechanic is going to be familiar with a Ford chassis and can help you out when there is domething wrong with your Class C motorhome.

7. More Affordable Than Many Motorized Options

When you’re looking to purchase an RV, you can expect to pay quite a bit of money, and there isn’t really a way to get around that fact. However, when it comes to a fully motorized RV or motorhome, a Class C motorhom is going to give you the most bang for your buck.

Class C motorhomes are more expensive than travel trailers, but they are much cheaper than many of the other motorized RV options. Below is a table with the average prices of motorized RV options.

Average Cost
Average RV$100,000
Class A Motorhome$75,000
Class B Motorhome$60,000
Class C Motorhome$65,000

In the table above, you’ll see that the Class C motorhome is actually on average $5000 more expensive than the average price for the Class B motorhome. However, for only $5000 more, the Class C motorhome provides more room, more storage, more ammenities, and more comfort, so many people think it’s a price worth paying.

The point still stands that a Class C motorhome is much less expensive than most motorized options.

8. They are Better Equipped for Boondocking

To many people, the main attraction of RVing is the opportunity for them to camp and travel completely off of the grid while still being about to sleep in a real bed at night and cook dinner on a real stove and then shower in the morning.

Class C motorhomes are much better equipped for boondocking than other towable units. Class C motorhome have bigger water tank capacities and larger generators. They are also more sturdy than some towable and they are smaller than a truck towing a travel trailer so they can get to a lot of bookdocking sites that would be unavailable to those in travel trailers.

More power in the generator and more water in the tank means you can stay out in the boonies for a whole lot longer and have a whole lot more adventure.

9. The Master Bedroom is Bigger Than Other Towable Options

A Class C motorhome is bigger than a travel trailer or a Class B motorhome, so it does have more room to fit a bigger master bedroom. Below is a table that shows the different mattress sizes for the different RV options:

Mattress Size
Class A MotorhomeQueen
Class B MotorhomTwo Twins, Full, or Queen
Class C MotorhomeQueen
Travel Trailer3/4, Short Queen, or Full

A lot of the RV options have a queen sized mattress. However, because of the extra room in the Class C motorhome, there is room for more than just a mattress in the master bedroom. In a lot of Class B motorhomes or travel trailers, the master bedroom consists solely of a mattress. In a Class C motorhome however, there is usually room for two nightstands and walking space, making it much more pleasant.

10. Safer than Class A RVs

Even though Class C motorhomes are much smaller than Class A motorhomes, they are much better prepared for crashes than Class A motorhomes are.

Class C motorhomes are equipped with a large crash box in the front of the RV that is designed to take on the impact of a head on crash, like one that would occur if a vehicle in one lane drifted to the other (that happens a lot with drivers who drive of long periods of time like truckers or RVers).

There are also more airbags in a Class C motorhome than there are in Class A motorhomes. And if one of the exits ends up getting blocked in a crash, the Class C motorhome comes with more exits than a Class A motorhome, meaning you are much safer in the event of a crash.

11. Easier to Drive

Class C motorhomes are completely motorized and condensed, meaning that they are far easier to drive in the city and to campsites. Without a travel trailer, there is no danger of trailer sway, where your trailer (or travel trailer or RV) starts to sway back and forth across the road. You don’t even need a special license to drive the Class C motorhome because it is that easy.

12. Gas Mileage is Better than Class A RVs

It’s a sad fact that RVs and motorhomes have pretty bad gas mileage. However, Class C motorhomes have pretty good gas mileage, especially when compared to Class A motorhomes. Below is a table that details the gas mileage between the three different classes of motorhomes.

Average Gas MileageAverage with a
Diesel Engine
Average with a
Gasoline Engine
Class A RV10-12 mpg12-14 mpgaround 10 mpg
Class B RV18-25 mpg20-27 mpgaround 20 mpg
Class C RV17-22 mpg19-24 mpgaround 20 mpg

The Class B motorhome does get better gas mileage than a Class C motorhome. However, the gas mileage only improved by a few miles to the gallon, and if you get a diesel engine, you will get much better gas mileage.

13. You Can Transition from Driving to Living Without Stepping Outside

One of the biggest pros people love about Class C motorhomes is the fact that they don’t have to step outside at all to transition from driving to cooking to sleeping to showering. Everything is completely compacted into one space.

This also means that you are going to be safer. I know from experience that having to get out of your truck in the middle of the night in a seedy Walmart parking lot to go to the bathroom or park the car to go to sleep is a a little frightening. If you have a Class C motorhome, all you have to do is turn off the ignition, lock the doors, and bed down for the night.

14. More Widely Available Than Class A or Class B RVs

If you’re looking to purchase a Class C motorhome, then you are in luck, because you are more likely to find a Class C motorhome for sale than you are to find a Class A motorhome or a Class B motorhome for sale.

The table below depicts the RV shipments compared and contrasted between December of 2017 and December of 2018. You will find that compared to Class A motorhomes and Class B motorhomes, Class C motorhomes have significantly more shipments. This is because there is a bigger demand for them. And if we all learned anything in economics class senior year of high school, it’s that the bigger the demand is, the larger the supply will become.

YOY stands for Year Over Year, which is the measurement of the rate of how much the sales of a certain motorhome have increased or decreased in the current year versus the year previous. We’ve also used “Com.” to stand for “combined,” or basically how many RVs were shipped out in the combined year.

Dec
2017
Dec
2018
YOY
Last
Year
Com.
2017
Com.
2018
YOY to
Date
Conventional
(Type A)
1,8331,215-33.7%23,34321,719-7.0%
Van Campers
(Type B)
3703854.1%5,2495,88112.0%
Mini (Type C)2,4831,556-37.3%34,04629,985-11.9%
All
Motorhomes
4,6863,156-32.7%62,63857,585-8.1%
Total RV
Shipments
36,22728,363-21.7%504,599483,672-4.1%

The information in the table can be found in more detail on the website rvia.org, which provides RV statistics from across years and models. For more information, you can visit their site here.

Cons

15. More Expensive Than Other Towable Options

When it comes to small RV options, Class C motorhomes are among the most expensive. Below is a table that details the average costs of some of the most popular small RV options.

Average Cost
Average Travel Trailer$15000 – $30000
Tear Drop Trailer$12000
Off-Road Travel Trailer$8000
Class C Motorhome$65,000

As you can see, the Class C motorhome is the more expensive than the average cost of the average travel trailer. The tear drop travel trailer, one of the most popular travel trailers on the market, is even less expensive than the average cost of travel trailers.

If you decide to purchase a Class C motorhome, you will get more room and less hassle, but you will have to spend a lot more on your rig than the person buying a tear drop travel trailer.

16. The Gas Mileage is Horrible

As RVs go, the Class C sits right around middle ground when it comes to gas mileage. They usually get an average of about 17 to 22 miles per gallon. Although this is not as good as the gas mileage you would get in a Class B (around 18 to 25 miles per gallon), it is much better than the gas mileage you would get in a Class A (around 10-12 miles per gallon).

The gas mileage depends on the terrain, how hot or cold your Class C RV is, and the kind of fuel you get. Below is a table with more information on gas mileage in RVs.

Average Gas MileageAverage with a
Diesel Engine
Average with a
Gasoline Engine
Class A RV10-12 mpg12-14 mpgaround 10 mpg
Class B RV18-25 mpg20-27 mpgaround 20 mpg
Class C RV16-22 mpg18-23 mpgaround 18 mpg

When you live your life on the road, or even if you just chose your adventures on the road, gas money and gas mileage become some of the most important things on your list, and they are certainly the things you end up worrying about the most. Because the Class C motorhome does not get as many miles to the gallon, you will end up having to worry more.

17. The Cockpit is Louder and More Rocky

In a Class A RV or in a travel trailer, you can drive in relative peace and smoothness. However, in a Class C motorhome, the cockpit of your rig tends to be louder and a bit bumpier. You feel the potholes on the road more and you can definitley hear the engine and the air conditioner over the raido.

Because the Class C motorhome is all one condensed piece, the suspension suffers slightly, and because it is so big (compared to a truck you would tow a travel trailer with), the engine is bigger and louder. So your drive is going to be louder and rockier than it would be in a truck or Class A motorhome if you decide to go with a Class C motorhome.

18. Travel Options can be Limited

When you travel with a travel trailer, you have the option of unhooking your truck and leaving your trailer while you go on a separate adventure without it.

However, with a Class C motorhome, you cannot disconnect anything. That limits your travel options, because a Class C motorhome cannot fit everywhere that a truck can.

You can choose to travel with a toad to widen your travel options. However, with a toad, the smoothness of your ride will suffer and you have more vehicles that could need maintenance, along with the potential for trailer sway. A Class C motorhome can usually only tow a toad that weighs around 6500, so there is that limitation as well.

19. Less Floor Plan Room Than Other RV Options

Class C motorhomes are right smack in the middle when it comes to size when you are talking about the different classes of motorhomes. They usually end up averaging between 21 and 40 feet in length. Travel trailers average from 10 to 36 feet in length. While this may look like Class C motorhomes have more room, they actually have less usable floor plan room than many travel trailers.

In the pros section, we talked about how Class C motorhomes have more room in a small space that travel trailers do. That was when we were taking the whole set up into consideration, including the towing vehicle. In that light Class C motorhomes do give you more bang for your buck.

However, when you are talking strictly about floor plan room, then Class C motorhomes can’t beat most travel trailers. Excluding tear drop travel trailers, which are the smallest of the bunch, many travel trailers are around 25 or 30 feet in length. That is roughly the same size of a Class C motorhome, but a Class C also has to include a driving area, which travel trailers do not have to include.

Because travel trailers don’t have to worry about including a driving area, they get to have more space for sleeping, cooking, and lounging that Class C motorhomes don’t have the luxury or the space for in the floor plan.

Below is a table that details the size of just the motorhome or travel trailer, not the whole set up including the towing vehicle. You will see that travel trailers and Class A motorhomes (and even some Class B motorhomes) have more floor plan room than Class C motorhomes do.

LengthHeight
Class A Motorhome20 ft7-9 ft
Class B Motorhome21-35 ft10 ft
Class C Motorhome21-40 ft10 ft
Travel Trailer10-36 ft10 ft

20. Less Storage Space as Compared with Class A RVs and Travel Trailers

Going along with the previous con, another con of Class C motorhomes is that they have less storage space than Class A motorhomes and a lot of travel trailers. Because they have more floor plan space, Class A motorhomes and travel trailers also tend to have more storage space built into the floor plan.

Class A motorhomes have a lot of “basement” storage, or space in the undercarriage to store items. Travel trailers with bigger floor plans have more cabinet and drawer space. Class C motorhomes do have more storage than a Class B motorhome usually, but they fall short compared to other options.

21. Requires More Parking Space Than a Class B RV

One of the big cons about buying any kind of rig in general is the fact that you are going to have to park it somewhere when you are not using it. The bigger the rig, the bigger the space you are going to need to park it.

Class C motorhomes take need more space to park because they are bigger than a lot of other rigs. They need more space than pop-up campers, light trailers, some travel trailers, and Class B motor homes. Below is a table that details on how much space you are going to need to park your rig, and then the prices for the most popular sizes of RV garages.

WidthLengthHeight
Class A Motorhome16 ft50 ft16 ft
Super C Motorhome24 ft48 ft16 ft
Class C Motorhome26 ft36 ft14 ft
Class B+ Motorhome10 ft25 ft14 ft
Class B Motorhome20 ft24 ft14 ft
Travel Trailer30 ft40 ft14 ft
Pop-Up Camper24 ft24 ft24 ft
Light Trailer20 ft20 ft12 ft
WidthLengthHeightApprox. Price
20′25′14′$7,250
20′30′14′$8,700
20′35′14′$10,200
20′40′14′$11,600
20′45′14′$13,100
20′50′14′$14,500

The information on the prices of the RV garages is found on the buildingsguide.com. You can visit their site here and learn more about building, customizing, and buying your own RV garage.

Parking a Class C motorhome is going to require a lot more space to park and therefore a lot more money. Remember to take that into consideration before you make the leap to purchase your new Class C motorhome.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

Recent Content

outdoortroop-21 outdoortoop-20