Purchasing a Class C RV is a significant investment that requires a lot of time and research. Class Cs combine the best features of both Class As and Bs into one versatile and (relatively) affordable mid-size motorhome.
These RVs are built on existing truck or van chassis and typically range in size from 20 to 33 feet. Sometimes called “mini-motorhomes,” Class Cs are smaller than Class As but offer many of the same amenities, including ample sleeping quarters and storage.
Class Cs are also more agile and maneuverable than their larger cousins, although not quite as easy to drive as Class Bs. Many owners end up towing the family car along to make errands and excursions easier once they reach their destination, though confident drivers may eschew this option.
But is a Class-C motorhome right for you? Here are some answers to some Class C motorhome frequently asked questions:
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER PURCHASING A CLASS C RV?
Class C RVs are perfect for families that want more space than a camper van but better mobility than a Class A motorhome. Since most Class C RVs range anywhere from 25 to 35 feet, you are still able to access most national and state parks. Many Class C motorhomes are built on Ford chassis, which offers easier access to automotive dealerships and service centers throughout the United States. Additionally, Class C RVs are easier to drive than some of the other, larger motorized RVs—they have a tighter turning radius and less wind drag compared to Class A motorhomes. Lastly, Class C RVs have decent towing capacities and can usually pull an average, mid-size vehicle.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHEN LOOKING TO BUY A CLASS C RV?
While this list doesn’t cover everything, here are some important questions to ask when looking at buying a Class C motorhome:
- How many miles per gallon will I be able to get, including both city and highway?
- Is the engine gas or diesel?
- How often will I need to replace the tires?
- How many people can comfortably sleep inside?
- Does the RV come with a warranty service package?
- How large is the propane tank? How many hours of use can I get out of a full propane tank?
- What size are the black and gray tanks?
Additionally, you should always ask if the dealer can give you a complete walk-thru of the RV and all of its features and amenities. If you discover anything that needs to be fixed or updated, ask that the dealership fix these items before you take your RV home.
WHAT IS THE BEST CLASS C RV ON THE MARKET?
There are many different styles, layouts, floorplans, and sizes to choose from when it comes to Class C RV's. Class Cs are a great middle-ground when it comes to size, price and amenities offered, making them an ideal fit for a wide variety of campers and RVers. Class C motorhomes are ideal for families or campers who want something a bit more compact and easy to drive, but offer more living space and amenities. However it will be up to you to decide what make and model will best fit your needs and wants.
WHAT UPGRADES SHOULD I MAKE TO MY CLASS C MOTORHOME?
Driving your brand new rig off of the lot for lots of RVers is just the beginning of turning their newest purchase into a home on wheels. Once RV owners have purchased their new rig, it is very common for owners to begin making changes to the interior layout, the exterior, the decorations, etc. Upgrading your rig and making modifications is a very personal choice that will depend on the needs and wants of the owner. One upgrade we recommend all Class C motorhome owners make sooner than later is upgrading their door handle to an RVLock. The manufacture locks that come on your rig when you purchase it are unreliable and can be opened with a master key. RVLock is the only company on the market that makes a keyless entry lock for Class C motorhomes. Upgrading your locks to maximum security with RVLock is essential to keep you and your belongings safe.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLASS C AND A CLASS A MOTORHOME?
The main difference between a Class C and a Class A is size—Class C RVs are typically shorter in both length and height compared to Class A RVs. Due to their smaller size, Class C motorhomes can fit into more parks and campsites, get better gas mileage, and are easier to maneuver. However, a smaller size also means less space. Class A motorhomes typically have more sleeping and storage space when compared to a Class C. Additionally, Class C RVs have a front-end engine under the hood, just like a truck or SUV, whereas the engine in most Class A motorhomes is only accessible through the RV’s interior or underbelly.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLASS C AND A CLASS B RV?
Just like with a Class A, the main difference between a Class C motorhome and a Class B camper is the size. Class C RVs are larger than Class Bs, and are built on heavy-duty truck chassis as opposed to van chassis. Class C RVs also have more sleeping and storage space, come with a full bath, and typically have at least one slide-out. Class B camper vans often only come with a wet bath and no slide-outs. However, Class B RVs get better gas mileage and are able to park in more places than a Class C due to their smaller size.
ON AVERAGE, HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN SLEEP IN A CLASS C MOTORHOME? WHAT ARE SOME COMMON SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS AND LAYOUTS?
On average, a Class C motorhome can comfortably sleep between four and eight people, depending on the floor plan and length. Some of the larger Super C RVs can even sleep 10 people. Most Class C RVs have a queen-size bed that can sleep two adults, a convertible dining table that can sleep two children or one adult, and an over-cab bunk space that can sleep two additional adults.
CAN A CLASS C RV TOW A CAR? HOW CAN I FIGURE OUT IF MY CLASS C CAN TOW A VEHICLE?
Yes, it is common for a Class C to tow a small car or vehicle. Most Class Cs can tow anywhere between 3,000 and 8,000 pounds.
The first thing you need to figure out is your RV’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This is the maximum weight that your RV can carry, without anything hitched to it. You also need to figure out your RV’s Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), which is the maximum weight of your fully-loaded RV with a car or vehicle attached. You can usually find both of these numbers on a sticker in the driver’s side door or in your owner's manual. Once you have these two numbers, subtract the Gross Vehicle from the Gross Combined and you’ll have your tow weight. To be safe, the car or vehicle you plan to tow should weigh less than the tow weight.
Another important thing to keep in-mind is if your vehicle can actually be towed by an RV. Pulling a car directly behind your RV is referred to as towing flat, or flat-towed. Some vehicles are not designed to be towed this way due to the transmission and steering systems. Always check with your car’s dealer or manufacturer to confirm if your vehicle can be flat-towed. If not, you may have to tow your car with a dolly. With this set-up, the front wheels of your car are loaded and locked onto a dolly, which prevents the front wheels from spinning while being towed.
WHERE CAN I PARK A CLASS C RV?
Since most Class C motorhomes range from 25 to 35 feet, there are plenty of options for parking and camping. Smaller Class Cs can fit into most national and state park campgrounds. There are also standard campgrounds, RV resorts, national forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, rest stops, and select public parking lots that can accommodate any size Class C. If you’re a veteran or Department of Defense employee, you may be eligible to park at a military base as well.
HOW MUCH DO CLASS C MOTORHOMES COST? WHAT IMPACTS THE PRICE?
Class C motorhomes can vary greatly in price depending on a few different factors. Overall, the smaller Class Cs with basic amenities can cost $50,000, while the larger Super Class C RVs with luxury features can cost upwards of $200,000. Here are some other factors that can impact the price of a Class C:
- The overall size and length
- Number of bedrooms
- Exterior materials (rubber, fiberglass, aluminum)
- Interior materials (marble countertops, hardwood, stainless steel)
- A diesel or gas engine
- Size of holding tanks
- Size of batteries
In addition to the RV features and amenities, there are a few added costs to also be aware of, including sales tax, insurance, dealer fees, and registration fees.