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RVing can be super fun with bigger RVs like class A or class C RV or even towed RV’s like fifth wheel. But, these bigger RV’s can cost you thousands of dollars and if you don’t have that much budget then you need to go for smaller RV’s like pop up camper or truck camper or even class B RV.
These smaller campers are almost similar but also different in terms of cost, features and other factors. In this post, lets explore all the details and differences between truck camper and class B RV or camper van as we also call them.
1. How many can camp or sleep
Truck campers are way smaller and are best suited for couples or solo campers. You do get bigger ones but on an average most truck campers are for single or double occupancy. They can sleep 2 comfortably but not more than that.
Class B motorhomes too are small but on an average they can accommodate 3 or 4 people inside them. These motorhomes are smallest among their counterparts class C and class A. But, if you compare them with truck campers they have a little edge as far as sleeping or accommodation is concerned. Keep in mind they too are small and you need to adjust in terms of amenities and other camping necessities.
2. Cost comparison
Class B Motorhomes even though small do cost much. They are expensive. On an average a new class B RV can cost you anything between $50,000 to $60,000. That’s a big investment although you can get a used one at much lower prices as low as $10,000 or even lesser.
Truck camper on the other hand are much cheaper. On average you can get a truck camper at prices ranging between $4000 to $15,000. Bigger truck campers with better design can however cost you more than $30,000. But, remember here the pickup truck isn’t included. You should get that one as well. It can cost you more than $20,000, so the total cost do comes closer to $35,000 or so.
Truck campers are very easy to maintain as there aren’t any tires, wheels or moving parts associated with them. On the other hand class B motorhomes like other RV’s need more maintenance.
Truck campers wont have bearing and other moving parts and thus overall maintenance is reduced. You however need to do regular maintenance with the camper like changing oils, cleaning and doing other minor servicing.
Class B motorhome will need good scheduled maintenance with the engine and that will also incur costs unless everything is included in insurance.
Going through narrow roads which are dusty and muddy can be tough with class B motorhomes even though they are compact and small. Truck campers provide great maneuverability, you can access remote places very easily with them as they are very less wide. Even passing through city streets or roads can be much easier. Maneuverability is a slight disadvantage for class B if you compare them with truck campers.
5. Value for money
Truck campers are great value for money. If you want to RV but don’t want to invest huge amount then truck camper is a solid option. Class B too can be good but a brand new one does cost more. A good thing to do with class B is to buy a used one instead. But, with used RV’s you always need to be very careful as otherwise you may end up buying a lemon.
6. Options/ Availability
Class B are manufactured by reputed and bigger manufacturers so you do get good options. Truck camper also come in various sizes and layouts but with class B you do get number of options to choose from.
All RV types depreciate a lot and both truck campers, class B aren’t exception to this. Having said this, class B motorhomes depreciate a little higher because of the fact that they have engine attached to them.
Truck campers are very modest and depreciate a little less. Class B RV’s may lose around 20-25 % in 2- 3 years of time while for same number of years truck camper would loose less than 20%. Buying a used class B RV thus makes more sense if you are looking to save on initial investment.
Both these RV’s are modest in terms of amenities and facilities. But still you can get everything that will is needed for comfortable RVing. To get same amenities you will have to shell out more on class B motorhome.
A kitchen and dinette area, refrigerator, air conditioner, TV, toilet and shower; almost everything can inside both truck camper as well as class b RV. Since class b RV’s are much small you can get seating area that can convert into sleeping and so on. The innovation on class B motorhomes also increase the price higher.
Both truck camper as well as class B include kitchen in a average model. Truck camper can give slightly bigger one due to their size, with bigger class B the cost is high and thus for same sized, truck camper is a winner.
Class B may not always include the toilet bathroom however truck camper mostly get toilet/shower in them. Compact class B RV’s that cost very less are the ones that may not include toilet/shower otherwise decent priced ones will include both the facilities.
Analyzing the pros and cons of truck camper vs class b, storage is another factor to take a note. Truck campers can be stored easily while class B RV would need sufficient space. One very good thing with truck campers is that you can dislocate the camper from truck and store it and therefore it takes minimum space for storage.
Storage is critical with RV’s during winter season. Renting a RV storage can be costly and you don’t want to add up the monthly cost.
12. Fuel economy
If you compare the fuel economy of both these RV’s then truck camper is less costly. A class B RV even though smaller in size will cost you more for fuel. A truck’s miles per gallon with camper placed on it will not be reduced drastically where as class B motorhome will have reduced mileage. MPG of RVs varies depending on lots of factors including the type and lenght.
Truck campers can give you mpg of around 14-18 where as class B mostly gives you mpg that can range anything between 10 to 15. Yes, there will be exceptions and a lot depends on the size of the camper you purchase.
13. Unloading the camper
The point that we discussed above is a great advantage with truck campers. You can unload the camper from the truck and use truck as a normal vehicle. This gives you dual usage advantage which is not possible with class B RV.
Say, you need to go to a near by market then simply unload the camper and take the truck. A lot of times you will need truck for other usages at home when you aren’t RVing. During this times you can store the camper securely and continue using the truck for you other purposes.
12. Towing behind
Towing behind a RV is popular and a lot of people tow cars, boats and sometimes even other RV is towed. No matter what RV you have towing another vehicle behind it an be challenging. Also, there are quite a number of things you should consider before towing behind an RV.
Both class B motorhome and truck campers themselves are smaller and towing behind them can be difficult. Having said this both of them can tow behind them but its the weight of the towed vehicle that matters. On an average a class B motorhome can tow around 5000 pound but that too will depend on the capacity of your motohrome.
Truck campers too are capable but you need bigger one to tow anything like 3500 pounds behind them. There are a lot of factors that need to work properly so as to tow behind them. Just be sure that you are not towing beyond their capacity. There are limits imposed on how much can be towed and you should not exceed that.
13. Driving experience
Class B motorhomes are proper RV’s that will give you good experience while driving around. Your sleeping area is connected with the engine and driver cabin. This gives different experience while you are driving on road as you can communicate with passengers that are inside the RV.
With truck camper you cannot travel inside the camping area and the driving experience is like a normal truck as basically you are driving nothing but a truck. Class B motorhomes are built on truck chassis but its a full fledged RV. Traveling inside class B feels good as compared to truck campers.
14 Length, width and weight
Knowing the length, width, weight of your RV is important. There are limitation as per rules and also when you enter any campground you should not exceed their limits. While truck camper and class B RV both will always meet any campgrounds rules but still its better to know the parameters.
A class B RV on an average has lengths of around 20 feet and a width of 8-9 feet. Truck campers on the other hand are similar in length, width but there is difference in their weight. A truck camper weighs around 2000 pounds to 4000 pounds. Class B on the other hand are heavier and can weighs around 10000 lbs to 18000 lbs
Insuring a RV is critical specially if you live in extreme weather conditions. Things like flooding or too much snow can destroy the RV if not stored properly. Its important that you cover most things through insurance as other wise any repairs or damages can cost you much.
Class B Motorhomes can be insured at a cost of around $200 to $800 per year. Where as truck campers will need lesser amount per year. They can be insured at price as low as $80 to $300 per year.
Both truck camper and class b or van conversion are awesome way to enjoy camping. They are almost similar but class b gives a little better experience and is also costlier. Truck camper are an excellent way to start the rving journey if you haven’t done that before.
Also if you are hesitant to invest higher amount then go for truck camper. One can also consider other smaller RV like pop up camper or tent trailer. Truck camper due to its ability to unloading feature gives it advantage. So, which one are you buying? Class B RV or truck camper?