I continue my fascination (well, okay, obsession) with small RVs, and today is no exception as I go on the hunt for the best small class C motorhomes that I can find.
Small Class C motorhomes seem to fit that middle ground just perfectly, where you want something quite compact, but not as compact as a campervan or a truck camper. And you still want an RV big enough to not feel too cramped, but not as big as a Class A motorhome or a fifth wheel trailer.
Small Class C RVs really seem to have the best of both worlds, but to find the best Class C motorhome, we should really start by defining, as best we can, what a Class C motorhome is.
What is a Class C RV?
The easiest and quickest way that I have used to define a Class C RV, is that the Class C motorhome has an overhang that extends over the cab. That overhang area is often used as a sleeping space, but also commonly used for storage.
But what actually defines a Class C motorhome, is that it’s built on a ‘cutaway chassis’. This is a chassis where the whole front of the vehicle (including the engine, doors, dash and the cockpit area) is the same general construction as a van or a truck.
One of the main appeals of the Class C (so I’ve read) is that this cutaway chassis of the Class C makes it a safer vehicle, for the driver and passenger, in the event of an accident.
Now that we know what we’re looking for in a Class C RV, let’s have a look at what is available on the market!
Benefits of a Class C RV
Other than the safety of the Class C cab mentioned above, some of the other benefits of small Class C’s are:
- Can sleep a lot of people for their size – the area over the cab makes an awesome sleeping space, especially for kids, so you can fit more sleeping people into a Class C RV
- Their smaller size (compared to Class A motorhomes) make them easier to manoeuvre and drive, and you have more options of where they can be parked or camped.
- Good fuel economy
Criteria for a Small Class C Motorhome
In order to keep things consistent, here is the criteria I’m going to stick to when looking for the best Class C motorhome:
- Less than 25ft (7.6m)
- Sleeps at least a couple (has a double bed as a minimum)
- Has usable space in the cab overhang
So let’s get started! I’ve divided these up into continents (America, Europe and Australia) but they’re in no particular order.
Let’s start with the giants of the RVing world, Winnebago have a number of Class C RVs, but the Fuse is the smallest Class C RV currently in their product range.
At just 23’6” it’s great to see a unique layout for this Class C motorhome by Thor. I love the idea that the bed is permanent, but can be lifted up to give you more floor space if you want.
Renegade RV Vienna
A very similar layout to, well, lots of other Class C’s. At 24’11” it just sneaks in to our ‘under 25ft’ criteria.
Renegade RV Vienna
Renegade RV Vienna
Gulfstream Coach BT Cruiser
I really like the layout of this BT Cruiser 5210, it’s really spacious. Although I’m a bit confused about the bed, I can’t find (on the website) the specifics of where the bed is. Does it come down from the roof? Or is it expected that the jack knife sofa is the only bed?
Forest River Sunseeker MBS
The problem with looking at RVs all the time, is that it makes me really envious of other RVs. I’m not really sure why, but this one has got me pining for it. Maybe it’s the spacious-ness that the slide provides? (Cos it certainly ain’t the decor of this particular rig.)
This particular floorplan of the Isata 3 utilizes a drop down bed over the living area. This ensures you have a spacious living area during the day, but then you don’t have to make a bed for the evening. You just drop down your already-made-bed from the ceiling. I love the idea of these… I’m just not sure if they’d work for couples like us where he’s a night owl and I’m an early bird. :-/
There’s a video here of the bed being lowered down, that might be helpful too.
Coachmen RV Prism
I quite like this use of rear slides in the bedroom area; giving you the extra space to walk about the bed, but only when you’re parked.
The website for this RV is great because it has lots of photos and quite a few videos. You can check out the Prism here: https://coachmenrv.com/class-c-motorhomes/prism#home
Since I’m in Australia, I’ve gotta show you what we have available here. Umm, the selection is not large, I gotta admit. But I think it’s a pretty nice line-up.
Explorer Motorhomes Vision
These motorhomes are one of my favorites. I’ve made no secret of that. Yep, I’ve waxed lyrical about this compact motorhome here.
I love it because it’s so small and compact (just 19ft / 5.8m), it’s 4WD and it has a fantastic, innovative layout. And it’s fully self-contained, therefore perfect for bouts of boondocking in the outback.
At just 20ft, this little number is perfect for Australian roads… and caravan parks. We don’t really have the infrastructure for large rigs so this little beauty will fit anywhere you want to go. I love the layout with the drop down bed, making the most of the available space.
The Trex is the smallest Class C in the Sunliner range, and at just 6.5m / 21ft, it may prove to be a little bit too small for you. But they do have some larger Class C models. And the drop down bed in the Trex really does open up the space beautifully.
If you’re after a small Class C, but you still want to sleep lots of people, then the Ceduna may just fit the bill. With the drop down bed, and the bed above the cab, you can sleep at least 4 comfortably.
It does look kinda boxy on the outside, but it’s still only 7m.
Leave it to the Europeans to have compact Class C motorhomes, with clever layouts and great functionality, and to top all off with stylish and contemporary decor.
But gosh, there are A LOT of European motorhome manufacturers! And since the Europeans specialize in the smaller RVs, there are loads of small Class C motorhomes that I could include in this list.
But I couldn’t possibly do them all justice, so I’ll include some of my favourites here, and then give you a list of more European Class C motorhome manufacturers for you to check out if you wish.
Adria Compact Supreme SL
Knaus L!VE TRAVELLER
I love the styling of this little L!ve Traveller Class C, and especially the wet bath that’s not really a full on wet bath. (The wall with the basin on it, swings around to cover the toilet while you shower, meaning the toilet doesn’t get a soaking with each shower.)
But… the positioning of the bathroom means that it’s right over the wheel well, making an already small shower space, into a teeny tiny floor space. I don’t think I could turn around in this shower without tripping myself up? You should have a look at the 360 on their website though, I may just be seeing it wrong.
Gosh, this Hymer just looks luxurious and classy. I can imagine myself swanning around Europe in this, enjoying beautiful wines, fabulous food, amazing views and more culture and history than I know what to do with!
The CaraHome is the only small Class C motorhome that I’ve found that has permanent bunks for the kids, and is still only 6m in length. Plus the dinette can convert into another small bed, which makes this Class C perfect for families.
If you want to trawl your way through more European RR manufacturers, here’s a pretty comprehensive list.
Not all of them make small Class C motorhomes, but it’s a great starting point for your search.
What is the smallest Class C RV?
The smallest Class C RV that I’ve been able to find is by Australian manufacturer Explorer Motorhomes. At just 5.8m this is the smallest Class C on the market and manages to include everything you need in it’s innovative layout.
Check them out here: ExplorerMotorhomes.com.au
If you’re looking for other RVs in the ‘small’ category, here are some other options for you to consider:
Do you have a small Class C motorhome? And are your happy with the size and performance of your RV? We’d love to hear.
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