RV Classes Explained
Author: RV Super Centre Date Posted: 31 December 2016
AMBIGUITY WITH RV AND CAMPERVAN
The term motorhome is often used interchangeably with RV and campervans, though the terms are not entirely synonymous. The American term Recreational Vehicle (RV) is actually a blanket term that refers to all forms of mobile, temporary, dwelling vehicles of this type (and as such includes motorhomes, as well as travel trailers, fifth wheels, and truck campers).
Campervans are typically smaller than motorhomes and are constructed differently. Whilst campervans are focused on mobility and low cost, motorhomes have more emphasis on comfort. For example, campervans generally lack built-in toilets and showers, or a divide between the living compartment and the cab. Volkswagen Westfalia Campers are typical campervans.
A, B AND C CLASSES
At it’s most basic, a Class A motorhome is defined as a motorhome which has only the automotive chassis and no body elements borrowed from the donor chassis. To put that into understandable terms, they usually start with a medium or heavy duty rail-chassis (or now even light duty) and build a “superstructure” around it for all of the body elements. Understandably that involves the most materials and engineering, so these are generally the most expensive type of motorhome.
Constructed on either a commercial truck chassis, a specially designed motor vehicle chassis, or a commercial bus chassis, a Class A motorhome resembles a bus in design and has a flat or vertical front end and large windows.
A Class motorhomes available: Roller Team Trailblazer
Built using a conventional van, to which either a raised roof has been added or the back replaced by a low-profile body (aka coach-built). Class B motorhomes start life as a complete van, and have a motorhome retro-fitted into their interior and raised roof. From the outside they should be more-or-less indistinguishable from a van, with some exception for fiberglass roofs, fridge vents, dump valves, etc.
A C Class motorhome is built upon a minimal truck platform with a forward engine
C class motorhomes start life as a “cutaway” van or truck chassis. Being the cutaway chassis is what makes this class unique. A cutaway chassis is a rail chassis at the back, and a van/truck at the front, with no rear wall on the cab. Cutaway chassis are designed specifically to be up-fitted with an aftermarket body, and would be basically useless without one. C class motorhomes have a unique bubble above the cab, which is most often built as a sleeping area but can also be an entertainment unit or storage depending on the floorplan.