Class B Motor Homes
The class B was born in the 1970's when the RV industry decided to classify van campers as a new motor home type. This worked because vans were versatile, compact, economical to drive, and easy to convert.
Production of Class B motor homes doubled from 9,000 in 1971 to 23,000 by 1972. The fuel shortage of the early 1970s may have contributed to this increase because by 1977, over 40,000 had been built. Over the years, more choices of other RV types and a manufacturing trend toward bigger RVs brought a drastic decline in the production of the Class Bs. Their numbers have continued to fluctuate, driving some manufacturers out in the lean times.
Today's Class B motor home is a modified Chevrolet, Chrysler or Mercedes Benz van. Conveniences include: sleeping, kitchen, toilet facilities, 120-volt hookup, freshwater storage, and city water hookup. Many have a top extension or lowered floor to provide more headroom.
Class B motor homes have sleeping space for two, though some can accommodate up to four people. They are best suited for short trips and do not work well for snowbirding or fulltiming. Much of their appeal is economy, maneuverability, and safety - and the fact that they drive more like the family car than a truck. Over the years the design of the class B motor home has evolved from a rough, homemade look to a polished, sophisticated, and aerodynamic design, giving the consumer a highly improved product.
Check out the class B motorhome brands/models in our Brands Rated List. These are the motor home brands and models that appear on our current RV Ratings Guide.