Camper Vans and Motorhomes – What’s the Difference?

Options for traveling solo or with your family vary far and wide. While many are content with choosing a destination and finding accommodations at that one spot, many prefer the flexibility camper vans and motorhomes offer.

Not only do you have more flexibility in where you can go, you also can travel at your own pace, on your own schedule – no check out dates and no schedules, other than the time you’ve committed for the vacation of course.

Options for camper vans and motorhomes vary far and wide. Many who are new to recreational vehicles and don’t quite know what they want can easily get confused as to the different classes of vehicles available.

Broadly speaking, recreational vehicles can be broken into 3 classes, which include:

Class A Motorhomes – 21-40 feet in length

The largest of the three classes, these are true “homes on wheels.” They’re built on a heavy duty frame – sometimes a commercial bus or truck. Most have 2 slideouts at minimum and are very roomy with lots of living, cooking, sleeping and storage space. Class A motorhomes can comfortably sleep anywhere from 6 to 12.

Class B Motorhomes – 16-21 feet in length

These motorhomes are the smallest of the three classes and are most commonly referred to as camper vans since they look like vans. They’re in fact built on van chassis and maneuver pretty easily, especially when compared to the Class A. While they’re easier to drive and get better fuel mileage, they are smaller and do not have a separation between the driver seat and the cooking/bathing/sleeping areas. The entire bathroom for example doubles as the shower as well.

While they are much smaller, camper vans can be driven pretty much anywhere and easily parked on your own driveway.

Class C Motorhomes – 20-28 feet in length

These medium sized motorhomes are built on a cabin chassis and are characterized by the over-cab sleeping area, which unlike a camper van, opens more area up for the living area, kitchen and bathroom. Some Class C motorhomes include a back bedroom and most have a slideout or two. Class C motorhomes though are harder to maneuver around tight places and generally require you tow a 2nd vehicle for sightseeing, etc.

Another way to think about camper vans and motorhomes is the fact that a motorhome will have a divider between the cab and living quarters. A camper van will not have this divide and only includes basic facilities for cooking, washing and sleeping.

Which one you choose depends on a host of factors ranging from what you’re comfortable driving, where you need to go and how many people will be traveling with you.

Each option is better suited for particular situations, so think about some of the factors mentioned above when looking at which recreational vehicle you’ll choose.

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