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Author Topic: Class B or Class C????  (Read 540 times)


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Class B or Class C????
« on: July 10, 2017, 12:55:23 PM »
Kind of new to RVing.  We had a 38’ class A for a while, but it was too big for my wife and me.  We are now comparing class B and some class C units.  I read an article that tried to explain the difference between these two classes of RVs.  But in looking at ads I can find the same rv (ex. Fourwinds Siesta 26BE defined as both a class B and class C).  I think a fairly new used unit about 26’ long would be good.  We want to travel the country and be somewhat comfortable while driving and/or camping.  I would think that a 26’ RV would be fairly easy to drive and/or park, and would give us a queen size bed.  I was hoping that somebody could answer some of the following questions.
1.    As I said, I read the technical difference between the Class B and C, but can someone tell me the ‘real’ difference between the two?  Has anybody experience the driving/traveling difference between the two?
2.   If we plan to travel in the mountains, what should we look for – (class B – C? size of engine? Any special features?)
3.   What should we look for if we wanted to pull a vehicle behind the unit? Which class would be better for pulling a vehicle?
4.   Is there any advantage for gas or diesel?
Any other information that we should consider would be appreciated. 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Class B or Class C????
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 06:46:46 PM »
Who cares? The only "real" differences are those you perceive when using it.  Just look for enough space for livability, cargo carrying capacity for your stuff, and a tow rating suitable for towing a vehicle or trailer if that's in your plans.

The difference is strictly technical, basically whether there is are body extensions or not.  A C usually has a wider body than the straight van body of the B, and also a cab-over extension on top.  Some rigs are called a "B+, but there is no such official designation.

As far as power and mountain climbing, weight to horspe power is the only meaningful measure. The fewer lbs per Hp, the faster you can accelerate and climb hills.

For towing, check the rigs GCWR and tow rating. GCWR is the max allowable combined weight of the coach plus whatever you tow. Subtract the coach GVWR from the GCWR and that's a practical limit on what you can tow.  Also check the rating of the hitch receiver, will will have a max weight it is rated for. If that is less than GCWR-GVWR, use that as the max.  Diesels generally get better fuel mileage in heavy vehicles, but they also cost more up front and the fuel is typically a bit more expensive. I'd forget about gas vs diesel per se as a buying criteria for a small coach, but do look at the estimated mpg as an indicator of your travel costs. If the diesel is enough better to tempt you into spending extra $$, go for it.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Class B or Class C????
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 07:19:16 PM »
I could not have explained it better than Gary.
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  • 2016 Winnebago Itasca Cambria 27k
Re: Class B or Class C????
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 05:33:51 AM »
We have a class C it is a Winnebago Itasca Cambria 27k we really liked the floor plan and we took out the dinette table and put in two leather recliners works well for us, it is 29 feet long and we just drove it 2350 miles home from Arizona and was a pleasure to drive, it is jut me and the wife and dog and it works well for us we plan to go to Arizona in the Winters and then head back home in Summers, but when we go to Arizona we will tow a Honda CRV and then one month in the Summer we will go to like Montana and we will just use our class C, it is small enough to go to a restaurant and park around back so we have the best of both worlds.


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Re: Class B or Class C????
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 01:29:42 PM »
Really appreciated the information.  I had the same thoughts about diesel or gas.  Better gas mileage overall, but you pay more for gas.  Upfront cost and general maintenance will run more for diesel, but may last longer.  Really appreciated the info on weight to horsepower, and the towing info. 

Any body have any insight on solar panels?  Are they worth the expense?  Same with leveling jacks.  I see some units come with leveling jacks and some don't.  Can they be added?


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Re: Class B or Class C????
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 02:49:07 PM »
You asked for comments form someone who has owned both Class A and Class C. We once owned a 31' Class C and now the 37' Class A.  My wife was more comfortable driving the Class C, I think mostly because it looked more like the pickup she used to drive.  I like the way that the Class A drives.  The primary reason we had a Class C was it had more beds, which is not an issue for you. Our Class C had no slide-outs so I am sure I would look at today's Class C in a shorter length quite differently that my old Coachman Santara C. Our Class A handles better in the wind than our old Class C, but perhaps because it has better designed antisway suspension that I could have added aftermarket to the Class C. For my Class C the rear wheels were much farther from the back end, so when I pulled out of a gas pump I had to think consciously about how much of a turn i made away from the pump to not swing my back end into an obstacle.  That is less the case for my Class A.

Gary gave you lots of good information for you to think about.  Class Cs can generally tow less from a GVWR standpoint and have smaller engines.  Typically diesels can provide more horsepower to weight ratio than gas and more torque, but I modified my C to add a Banks Power Pack that has added lots more torque and makes my Chevy Workhorse 8.1 climb the passes just fine, and at a cost far less than some of the diesel options I had considered. Another reason I didn't buy diesel was what I had foreseen as higher maintenance costs for fuel filters, oil changes, etc, but I expect there may be people who are actually experience with diesel who might argue with me.

Good luck with your hunting.  I hope you find something you like soon.
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy