If you’re looking for a way to travel in comfort and style, a motorhome might be the answer. However, before you go shopping, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the different types available.
There are Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes, and yes, there’s also a Class C type of motorhome. In this post, we’re going to look at the latter.
What is a Class C (Coachbuilt) Motorhome?
A class C motorhome, also called a coachbuilt motorhome, is a type of motorhome, most typically built on the chassis of a cutaway van and ranges in length from around 6 and 9 metres (between 20 and 30 feet).
They motorhomes tend to be smaller than Class A motorhomes, however, compared to Class Bs there are usually more features.
For example, it will typically have a kitchen area, bathroom, queen-size bed, slide-outs, awnings, and a range of other features to make the motorhome comfortable to live in.
In general, a Class C RV is not as luxurious as a Class A motorhome, but they are easier to drive and certainly more affordable.
Class C’s are often a popular choice for couples or families who want to experience the truck camper lifestyle but don’t want to or can’t break the bank. They come in at a more affordable price point.
A distinguishing feature of this type of motorhome is the over-cab sleeping area. Such a feature increases the living space. With extra living space, it’s possible to have a sofa or convertible sleeping space during the night.
Alternatively, the over-cab space can be used for storage which makes the C Class motorhome even more convenient.
What are the Technical Specifications of Class C Motorhomes?
If you prefer to make your decisions with the help of some technical specifications, let’s look at what makes a them so special.
The typical length is between 20 and 32 feet.
The standard exterior height generally ranges between 10 and 12 feet.
On average, these motorhomes will have a width of between 8 and 9 feet.
The average weight usually ranges from 10,000 to 14,000 pounds.
Class C motorhomes tend to be around the same shape and size as a van or moving truck. Smaller than Class A motorhomes, Class C’s tend to be no bigger than around 28 feet, although there are some that can be up to 40 feet.
The over-cab area extends the sleeping capacity considerably. Quite often, the sleeping capacity is better than most other types.
The over-cab space can be used as an extra bed, plus there will be space inside the motorhome for additional sleeping.
What is the Maximum Number of People That Can Sleep in a Class C Motorhome?
The maximum sleeping capacity is 6 to 8 people. However, it is possible to increase this number even further with careful floor planning, bunk beds, or convertible sofas.
Most are powered by petrol engines, although some models are diesel-engine powered.
A Class C RV tends to have a broader range of fuel tank capacities. It depends on the model, but you can typically expect fuel storage to range from 25 to 51 gallons.
These Class C vehicles tend to have both freshwater, grey, and black water storage of the following capacities. A freshwater tank will hold between 20 and 50 gallons, while grey and black water holding tanks will hold between 20 and 40 gallons.
Most motorhomes have 2 main batteries. One battery will be in the engine and this is what powers the starter motor, just like a regular car.
There is also likely to be a 12V deep cycle battery that can be used to power the appliances and electric features in your motorhome. Another power source is to plug the motorhome into the power supply at RV parks. Most have a generator that can run on gasoline or propane.
Newer Class C models also have a compartment that contains a built-in RV generator. Older models are less likely to have this feature, so you’ll need a portable generator.
Class C’s are built on van or truck chassis. More popular chassis brands include Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet, and Ford.
Storage space is limited when compared with their bigger cousins. However, a Class C RV will have a few tricks up its sleeves. There tends to be more than enough space for storing belongings, but if you need more, there are lots of different ways to add additional storage. For example, you could install a rooftop cargo box or add a rear hitch-mounted cargo carrier.
What Amenities Are in a Class C Motorhome?
There is a range of different amenities that can be designed into a Class C recreational vehicle. Here are a few examples:
- Sleeping areas: You’ll typically find one or more areas for sleeping. They will include a main bedroom, together with a sofa bed or a convertible dinette.
- Kitchen: They tend to have a pretty useful kitchen area. There will be a sink, refrigerator, oven, stove, oven, and microwave. Some high-range models might also include waste disposal or a dishwasher.
- Bathroom: The bathroom facilities usually feature a toilet, sink, and shower. In larger models, the toilet might be separate from the bathroom.
- Entertainment: For your entertainment, you’ll find a TV, DVD, and stereo system in most Class C models.
- Heating and cooling: To help keep the interior comfortable in all weather, they are usually equipped with heating and air conditioning systems.
- Storage: You’ll find more than enough storage space in most Class C motorhomes. As well as cabinets and closets, there are usually external storage compartments.
- Power: They usually have a battery system that provides power when the engine isn’t running. There might also be a generator for additional power when no external source is available.
- Awning: Having a shady area is always nice when you’re using your campervan. A retractable awning will provide valuable shade and protection from the elements when parked.
What are the Benefits of Owning a Class C Motorhome?
These Class C traveling vehicles stand out in the RV world because of the many benefits they offer. Here are some of the most noticeable ones:
- Easy Navigation: Class A motorhomes can be as long as 40 feet, which can be quite challenging when driving around. A Class C motorhome, on the other hand, is much smaller, usually no more than 30 feet. The difference between the two is massive and affects mobility and the risk of toppling over.
- Safe Construction: Class C’s short stature is beneficial when it comes to the safety of passengers. Entrances and exits are easy for older passengers, and the cockpit of the motorhome has airbags,
- Accessible Living Area: Travel trailers, fifth wheels, and other non-motorhome RVs usually have the driver isolated from the living quarters and other passengers. With a motorhome Class C, they’re generally just separated by a curtain or something similar that still allows for interactions. The driver can also get a meal that was prepared in the back without having to pull over and stop.
- Good Gas Mileage: You get much better gas milage compared to a Class A motorhome. Class C motorhomes are often diesel-powered which offers better fuel efficiency.
- Good Towing Capacity: Diesel-powered motorhome Class C’s have a more powerful towing capacity.
- Easy Engine Access: Several types of recreational vehicles can be difficult to fix because of the rigging and complicated engine placement. This doesn’t apply to a motorhome Class C. A mechanic just has to flip the bonnet and quickly access the engine bay. It’s perfect if you like to do your repairs.
- Versatility: Class B motorhomes are valued for their versatility, and the same applies to Class C’s. There are no limitations when it comes to camping and the sleeping, storage, and living arrangements suit families of different sizes.
- Balance of Size and Amenities – Class C’s offer a good balance between Class A (larger) and Class B (smaller) motorhomes. You get all the amenities and space you need, they are less expensive and easier to manoeuvre.
- Affordability: They tend to be more affordable than the larger Class A types. This makes them a budget-friendly option for families and other people. Maintenance costs also tend to be lower.
- Availability of 4WD: Some motorhome Class C’s offer 4WD. This feature is far less common in Class B and A motorhomes. You can take a motorhome Class C over a wider range of terrains and they are more suitable to a range of climates.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Owning a Class C Motorhome?
There are some disadvantages you need to consider, however, these tend to be more of an inability to do something quite as effectively as other motorhomes.
- Restricted Manoeuvrability: They are not as manoeuvrable as Class B and other types of smaller motorhomes.
- Requires a Toad: A toad is a car that you tow behind your motorhome. It becomes necessary because there are certain places you won’t be able to get to with a Class C motorhome. Hence the need for a smaller vehicle for getting around.
- Limited Exterior Storage: Class A motorhomes have a massive amount of storage. If you have a Class C motorhome, you might find your living space taken up with surfboards, golf clubs, skis, and similar items because the exterior storage is limited.
- Maintenance Costs: Maintenance costs are generally lower than for Class A models, but higher than for Class B motorhomes. This is because of the larger number of features and amenities.
- Fuel economy: Compared to Class B’s, Class C’s typically have better gas mileage and lower fuel efficiency. This is because they are larger and heavier.
- Interior Accessibility: If you or your passengers have mobility issues, Class C motorhomes can be more challenging to navigate. This is compared to Class B motorhomes which don’t have interior steps.
- Storage: You’ll need a sizable storage place. Standard garages tend not to be large enough. They also require a large parking space.
- Limited sleeping capacity: Class C motorhomes offer more sleeping room than Class B’s, but not as much as a larger Class A motorhome. This could be a problem if you’ve got a large family or group.
What are Some of the Common Issues That Can Arise With a Class C Motorhome?
Some very common issues tend to arise for owners of this type of motorhome. Knowing what these are means you can be better prepared.
- Cabover Leaks and Structural Issues: The cabover area is prone to leaks, particularly around the windows. Structural issues because of the added weight can also be a problem. The occurrence of these issues can be reduced with regular inspection and maintenance.
- Slide-Out Malfunctions: Slide-outs are a common feature of motorhomes, but they do have their problems.. There may be issues with malfunctions, leaks around the seals, or failure to extend or retract.
- Towing Issues: Owners often use their vehicles for towing trailers or other vehicles. This puts additional strain on the engine, brakes, and transmission. Problems can be prevented with regular maintenance and not overloading the vehicle.
- Balance and Weight Distribution Issues: Balance and weight distribution can be a problem. This is because of the Class C designs, particularly those with rear-heavy layouts or large cab-over areas. These features also affect handling and fuel efficiency.
- Insufficient Power: Older models and those with small engines can struggle when it comes to providing power when fully loaded, towing a vehicle, or driving up steep hills.
How Safe Are Class C Motorhomes?
They are relatively safe vehicles, but there are certain aspects of driving that you should pay close attention to. For example, if you’ve never driven one before, make sure you get in some practice because there is an adjustment period.
Always closely inspect your RV before you head out on a trip. This will avoid problems that could have been avoided.
Keep track of electrical usage because RVs are only wired to accommodate a specific number of amps at the same time. A surge protector is a good investment as it acts as an additional safety measure.
How Much Does a Class C Motorhome Typically Cost?
Typical prices for new and used models are as follows:
- New – new models can cost as much as £35,000 for a brand new model.
- Used – used models cost around £10,000 for a second-hand or used model.
What is the Life Expectancy of a Class C Motorhome?
With the right care and attention, a Class C can last between 200,000 and 300,000 miles. If you maintain your motorhome, it should bring you many years of enjoyment on the road.
What Kind of Maintenance and Upkeep is Required for a Class C Motorhome?
To keep your Class C in tip-top shape, there are several maintenance jobs you should keep on top of.
- RV roof: This takes a lot of abuse and should be checked periodically for damage. Also, keep it clean by washing it with a light solvent and water. Inspect the seams for leaks and repair them if necessary.
- RV tyres: Keep the tyres inflated to the correct pressure and don’t improperly load your motorhome as this can wear the types unevenly.
- Oil and oil filters: Change the engine oil and filters at regular intervals, usually around 3,000 to 4,500 miles.
- Brakes: Have your motorhome brakes checked by a certified mechanic.
- Batteries: These should be checked regularly and replaced every 3-5 years.
- Generator: Service your motorhome’s generator regularly.
- Motorhome tanks: Freshwater tanks require a bi-annual flush. Black tanks require the use of black tank chemicals to break down solids and should also be flushed when emptied.
- Slideouts: Seals should be kept clean of debris and regularly lubricated.
Do You Need a Special License to Drive a Class C Motorhome?
To drive a motorhome with a MAM of more than 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C licence to drive it legally in the UK.
Can You Tow With a Class C Motorhome?
Yes, it is possible to tow as long as you keep within the limitations of your vehicle.
What is the typical Towing Capacity of a Class C Motorhome?
Most are on a Class 3 or a Class 4 chassis. This means you can tow up to 5,000 pounds. However, bear in mind that some models can tow up to 8,000 pounds.
What are Some of the Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Class C Motorhome?
If you like what you’ve read so far, you’re almost ready to head to your local motorhome dealer and see what bargains there are. However, before you go, here are some factors to consider when choosing your motorhome.
- Size: These motorhomes come in different sizes. Choose a size that fits your needs and preferences.
- Layout: Layout is important, particularly when it comes to sleeping areas, living space, kitchen, bathroom, and available storage.
- Sleeping capacity: How many people will you need to accommodate? Make sure there’s enough space and beds for everyone.
- Storage space: Think about all the things you’ll need to take such as clothing, food, and camping gear. Look for a motorhome that’s got ample storage space.
- Features and amenities: Will you need air conditioning, kitchen appliances, or entertainment systems? Make sure the motorhome has what you need.
- Price: Determine: Your budget is going to play a key role in deciding what motorhome you buy.
- Brand and reputation: The brand and reputation of the manufacturer are important. Some are much better than others. Check out customer reviews and a company’s history of reliability.
- Maintenance and repair: Ideally, you want a model that’s easy to maintain and repair.
- Resale value: Motorhomes lose their value over time. Look for a model that holds its value, just in case you decide to sell it in the future. Consider the resale value of the motorhome and choose a model that holds its value well over time.
- Build quality: You want the best possible build quality for the price you can afford.
- Fuel efficiency: Fuel-efficient models will save you money in the long run.
Where to Buy a Class C Motorhome?
There are many places you can buy a motorhome, but make your first port of call OMC Motorhomes, the UK’s most trusted motorhome dealer. Shop online or visit them in person to see the amazing range of quality Class C (coachbuilt) motorhomes available.
What is the Difference Between a Class A and a Class C Recreational Vehicle?
The main difference between a Class A and Class C motorhome is the size. Class A motorhomes are much larger, in terms of height, width, and weight.
Class A motorhomes also tend to have more features and space in the cab and interior. However, you’ll find the price much higher than a Class C RV.
What is the Difference Between a Class C and a Class B Motorhome?
The most noticeable difference is the size. There is also a difference in the construction method because a Class B motorhome starts life as a commercial van shell. Class C’s have a complete structure built onto a bare chassis.
If you’re looking to enjoy more time on the road exploring or are looking for a more comfortable and convenient way to enjoy your holidays, a motorhome is a good solution.
There are three motorhome classes to choose from. Which one you pick depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. Now you know what to look for and how they differ, you’re in the best position to find the perfect motorhome for you and your family.
1. Can a Class C motorhome be used as a full-time residence?
It’s perfectly feasible to use a Class C motorhome as a full-time residence. They contain all the comforts of home, are fuel efficient, and are easy to drive around if you need to.
2. How difficult is it to drive a Class C motorhome?
You’ll need some time to adjust to the size of this type of motorhome, but with some practice, you’ll soon feel more comfortable.
3. Can you use a Class C motorhome to tow a car?
Yes, it is possible to tow a car using a Class C motorhome, however, you have to be careful not to exceed the limitations of the motorhome.