Conversion vans are not what they used to be. Many new buyers consider the Class B the very best class motorhomes. In fact, many people are switching from travel trailers to a class B RV, four season RV or luxury camper van. Today’s models feature everything from showers to Bose built-in speakers to ambient LED lighting. Most options are also customized to a certain degree, even if they’ve been ordered from a brochure. Buying an RV that’s smaller and easier to drive has again become a popular purchase with eager travelers who are reluctant to purchase a large rig.
Class B Vans are all over Instagram and blogs about RV life are also prevalent. This is no doubt fueling popularity but so is the new “gig economy;” millennials and even Boomers who prefer travelling full time to punching a time clock. Class B motorhomes and camper vans are helping them become full time RVers.
Are you also looking to live in an RV full time and edging toward a sleek Class B conversion van? If so, keep reading for helpful tips when it’s time to choose your vehicle.
Let’s begin now with our guide on how to buy a Class B motorhome.
What Are the Best Small RVs?
If you Google lists of the best small RVs you’ll run into models like the Coachmen Galleria or Thor Motor Coach models. But don’t overlook smaller customizers or newcomers to the Class B market like Embassy RV. Everyone offers their own unique floor plans, cabinetry design, perks and features. Be sure and do extensive research before committing. There enough variations on the market to ensure the perfect small rig for every lifestyle, be it for vacations only or full time RV life. Check out an example of the great features from Embassy RV below:
Simple is Best to Start
If this is your first attempt at hitting the road in a converted passenger van it’s best to start with the basics in the beginning. Along the way as you take road trips or stay in national parks you’ll make a list of things you wish your van had or could do. Maybe you’ll wish you had bigger holding tanks (water tanks) or a better heat system. These are things you can add or put on your wish list when you upgrade. Things like snazzy captain’s chairs might not be as important as an awesome dvd player when you actually live in your van full time.
How Much Does a Class B RV Cost?
While perusing for sale motorhomes and deciding where to buy a class B RV you will run into ads for “inexpensive Class B RV”, “Class B camper van for sale!” and “most affordable Class B RV.” This is all fine and well, but what you should really be concentrating on is the best value in a Class B RV. This aspect, believe it or not, is very subjective depending on the features.
Most Class B’s are built on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis although other chassis are available from some Class B RV manufacturers. However, the Mercedes Benz Sprinter will be prevalent in your search results. This is already a great value, considering the toughness and longevity you can expect from this particular vehicle. Some believe the best sized Class B motorhome in North America is built on the Mercedes chassis due to the spatial availability. Others will argue for a RAM or Ford chassis feels more “full sized.” The answer is to check out all your options to see which one you prefer.
Everyone has different goals, plans and needs and there are as many class B RV sales agents to meet everyone’s needs. Read on to determine how to know when you find “Class B RV best value.” It’s in this way you know you found a good deal; when it’s the perfect one for you.
Best Time to Buy a Class B RV?
Some people argue that the best time to buy is right before the new models arrive on dealer lots. Others argue you should buy at a trade show that’s open to the public, purchasing their “show model” if you can for a great discount. Still others will say you should buy at the end of any month when dealers offer great deals, wanting to get their sales numbers up and close out the month looking good on paper. But actually, the best time to buy Class B RVs is when you find the perfect one for you.
Know the Right Van for Your Plan
Are you active outdoors? Do you have a ton of gear for climbing, kayaking or surfing? How about hiking or grilling; are there things you just can’t or won’t live without? Do you need 4 wheel drive? Take this into consideration when choosing your Class B. How much storage is there? Does the roof have a rack? How about cabinets for your DVD collection? If you plan to work remotely make sure there’s enough storage for all your essential electronics.
If you’re only two people the options will be many. But how about when friends want to tag along? Be sure to explore all the varying floor plans, especially if customizing. Check out the sleeping arrangements and options for expanding it for extra travelers. Choosing a table/bed conversion or built-in bench seat might be the way to go if you plan on inviting people to ride along now and then.
To Shower or Not to Shower
Some people might never consider traveling without a bathroom in their vehicle. Others have no problem showering outdoors in the free air or using a portable eco-toilet. Depending on which category you fall into, there are options available in a Class B Van. You can look for a wet bath/shower/toilet combination or simply opt to use a portable toilet shelf and have a detachable shower head ready to hook up outside. The choice is yours to fit your RV lifestyle.
Where Will You Travel?
Do you plan to travel north to Canada and explore the Rockies or south to bask in the sun? Where you plan to travel will influence if you need a very well-insulated van or not. Another thing to consider is whether or not to choose 4-wheel drive ability. If you plan on off-roading or driving up into the nitty gritty of a Colorado landscape you should buy a Class B van that can handle it without breaking down and causing all sorts of headaches.
Take Your Time
Now that you know the kind of criteria to look for and research you should write your wish list down before you go shopping for your Class B, or have one custom designed to suit your life on the road. Living full time in an RV park or rolling down the highway may require different things from your rig. You will discover things already in your van that you never knew could be so useful, as well as discovering things you don’t use as much. Adjustments can always be made as you determine your long term needs.
Take the time to get just the van you want and you’ll reap a more pleasurable RV experience for years to come. The best Class B RV is the one you choose for your best RV life.