How to choose the right RV size for you

Author: Your RV Good Guide   Date Posted: 18 May 2024


Deciding to buy a motorhome is the first step towards a world of adventure and freedom. But with so many options available, it can be tricky to know how to choose a camper van that isn’t too big, or too small. Whether you're a seasoned traveller or new to the motorhome lifestyle, our handy guide is here to help.

In this blog, we share helpful insights into how to choose a motorhome that is just the right size and aligns perfectly with your travel and lifestyle needs.

Understanding your lifestyle and travel needs

Motorhome size categories and features

Think about how the size of your motorhome will affect your driving


Understanding your lifestyle and travel needs


When you’re planning to buy a motorhome, one of the first decisions will be around size. Let's dive into some essential questions to ensure you make the right choice.


Who’s coming with you?

The size and type of motorhome you choose should comfortably accommodate everyone who'll be joining you on your adventures.

Are you a solo traveller seeking a compact and cosy space, or a family needing room for kids to play and sleep? Perhaps you're a couple looking for a balance of comfort and convenience.

For larger groups or families, a spacious 6-berth motorhome might be ideal, offering ample room for everyone. On the other hand, smaller groups or couples might find a 4-berth motorhome or even a 2-berth campervan more suitable.

Remember, it's not just about beds – consider living and storage space too. After all, comfort is key in making those travel memories even more special.

READ MORE: Are motorhomes a good investment?


How often/how long do you travel?

Your travel frequency and duration are crucial in determining the right motorhome.

If weekend getaways are your thing, a smaller, simple motorhome might suffice. But for those who dream of long, leisurely journeys or frequent travels, a motorhome with all the comforts of home becomes essential. You’ll need to look at motorhomes for sale that offer features like ample storage, a well-equipped kitchen, and a comfortable living area.

For extended travels, aspects like battery life, water storage, and even laundry facilities can make a significant difference.

It's all about finding that perfect balance between your travel habits and the features that will make your road trips comfortable and enjoyable.


Where do you want to stay in your RV?

Your preferred park-up destinations will also influence the type of motorhome you should consider.

If you're drawn to well-equipped holiday parks, a motorhome with basic amenities might be all you need. However, if you're planning to explore off-the-beaten-track locations or enjoy freedom camping, you’ll want to look at campers for sale that are self-contained with features like solar panels, larger water tanks, and off-road capabilities.

Think about the places you want to visit – do they require a more rugged vehicle, or will a standard motorhome suffice? Your destination dreams should guide your motorhome choice, ensuring you have everything you need to explore and stay comfortably, no matter where you park up.

READ MORE: How to match a motorhome to your lifestyle.


How will you store your RV?

An often overlooked but crucial aspect of owning a motorhome is considering where you'll store it when it's not in use.

The size of your motorhome directly impacts your storage options. Do you have access to a secure parking space or a driveway large enough to accommodate the size of the RV you're considering? If space is limited, a smaller campervan might be more practical.

For larger motorhomes, you might need to explore off-site storage solutions, which can add to the overall cost of ownership. It's also important to consider the security of your storage location, as well as protection from the elements, to keep your motorhome in top condition.


Motorhome size categories and features

Selecting the right motorhome involves understanding the different categories and the unique features each offers. Let's break these down and explore some key features of each.


Class A, B and C motorhomes

Class A motorhomes are the largest in the motorhome family, typically ranging from about 9 to 12 metres in length. These luxurious vehicles offer expansive living spaces, full-sized amenities, and often come with high-end finishes. Ideal for long trips or full-time living, they provide a home-like experience on the road. Their considerable size accommodates large bedrooms, extensive living areas, and sometimes slide-outs to further increase space, making them perfect for those who seek comfort and luxury while travelling.

Class B motorhomes, commonly known as campervans in New Zealand, are the most compact in the motorhome range, usually measuring between 5 to 7 metres in length. These agile RVs are designed for ease of travel, providing essential amenities in a smaller, easy-to-manoeuvre package. Their size makes them ideal for navigating through narrow roads or crowded tourist spots. Class B motorhomes are perfect for weekend getaways or minimalist travellers, offering convertible sleeping spaces, small kitchens, and efficient use of space.

Class C motorhomes strike a balance between the spaciousness of Class A and the manoeuvrability of Class B, typically ranging from about 6 to 8 metres in length. Built on a truck chassis, they provide more space than Class B but are easier to handle than Class A. The cab-over design (often referred to as a Luten) is a hallmark of Class C motorhomes, often providing additional sleeping or storage space. These motorhomes are equipped with comfortable amenities, making them suitable for families or groups who seek a blend of comfort and practicality for both short and extended travels.


Slide-outs and expandable sections

Slide-outs and expandable sections are innovative features that can transform your motorhome's interior space.

Slide-outs are sections of the motorhome that can be expanded outward to increase living space when stationary. They can significantly enhance the comfort and liveability of your motorhome, providing extra room in areas like the living room, kitchen, or bedroom. However, it's important to consider the impact on the vehicle's weight and balance, as well as the additional maintenance they may require.


Bedroom and bathroom layouts

When considering motorhomes for sale, pay attention to bedroom and bathroom layouts, as they can greatly affect your comfort and privacy.

Some motorhomes offer separate bedrooms with closing doors, while others have convertible spaces that serve as living areas during the day.

Bathrooms can range from compact wet baths to more spacious setups with separate showers. Consider who will be travelling with you and your privacy needs when choosing the layout that best suits your lifestyle.


Kitchen amenities

The kitchen is the heart of the motorhome, and its layout and amenities can vary greatly.

Some motorhomes feature full kitchens with large refrigerators, stoves, and ample counter space, ideal for those who love to cook. Others offer more basic setups, suitable for quick meals and on-the-go dining.

Consider your cooking habits and needs when looking at campers for sale. Do you need a full-size kitchen, or would a compact, efficient setup suffice? Your culinary preferences will guide your choice, ensuring mealtime is always a pleasure, no matter where you're parked.

READ MORE: 10 mistakes to avoid when buying a motorhome.


Think about how the size of your motorhome will affect your driving

The size of your motorhome not only influences your living space but also impacts your driving experience. Let's consider how different motorhome sizes can affect driving comfort, parking, campground accessibility, and fuel efficiency.


Driving comfort

When you’re asking that all-important question, ‘What size camper do I need?’, driving comfort is a key consideration.

Larger motorhomes, like Class A, offer spacious interiors but can be challenging to manoeuvre, especially for those new to driving large vehicles. They often require more concentration and can be tiring over long distances. On the other hand, smaller motorhomes or campers, such as Class B, provide a driving experience closer to that of a standard car, offering greater ease and less stress, particularly in tight spaces or busy roads.

Consider your driving confidence and experience when choosing the motorhome size. It's important to feel comfortable and safe behind the wheel, ensuring a pleasant journey to your destinations.


Fuel efficiency and travel costs

The size of your motorhome also affects where you can park and which campgrounds you can access.

Larger motorhomes might face restrictions in certain areas due to their size, limiting your campground options. They require larger parking spaces and more careful navigation in tight spots. Smaller motorhomes offer more flexibility in parking and can access a wider range of campgrounds, including those with size restrictions.

Consider the types of places you wish to visit and stay. If you prefer more secluded or smaller campgrounds, a compact motorhome might be more suitable.



Fuel efficiency is another important factor influenced by the size of your motorhome.

Generally, larger motorhomes consume more fuel, leading to higher travel costs. This is an important consideration, especially for those planning long-distance travel or frequent trips.

Smaller motorhomes and campers are typically more fuel-efficient, making them a cost-effective option for those on a budget or who prioritise eco-friendliness.

Consider your travel frequency and budget when you’re looking at campers for sale. Balancing comfort with fuel efficiency can lead to a more enjoyable and sustainable travel experience.

READ MORE: Pros and cons of buying ex-rental motorhomes in NZ.


Pick the right-sized motorhome for you at RV Super Centre 

Looking to find your dream motorhome? Explore the extensive range of motorhomes at RV Super Centre. Whether you're after a compact camper or a spacious family motorhome, we have a variety of sizes and styles to suit every traveller.

Check out our range of new and used motorhomes for sale and let us help you get started on your next adventure with the perfect motorhome for you.

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