60 Fun Facts About General RV

Did you know we’ve been helping RVers come home with a story for 60 years? It’s true. General RV is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year! To celebrate this milestone anniversary, we’ve compiled 60 fun facts about General RV. Read on to learn more about our history. Or test your knowledge (or your friends) and see how many of these surprise you.

The Beginning

Abe Baidas and a group of men talking at the Mobile gas station. This is the grassroots of where General RV began.
The Mobil gas station that would become the nation’s largest family-owned RV dealer

1. Nearly a decade before being inspired to create an RV company, Ambrose “Abe” Baidas operated a Mobil gas station on Eight Mile Road in Detroit, MI. This would become the future site of the first General RV Center location.

2. Abe Baidas founded General Trailer in 1962. He opened the small trailer manufacturing business adjacent to his gas station after returning from an RV trip out west with his family. He enjoyed the experience so much that he wanted to share it with others.

One of the first General Trailer stores with an RV and family in front of it.
Photo from 1968 when General RV was called General Trailer

3. The original company name was General Trailer. Abe picked this name because some of the most prestigious companies in existence at the time had General in their names: General Motors, General Mills and General Electric.

4. Six years after opening, Abe moved General Trailer to Southfield, Michigan and expanded the business to the sale of new RVs, RV parts and accessories.

5. General Trailers expanded across Michigan throughout the 1970s and 80s. Dealerships were opened in Mt. Clemens, Flat Rock, Waterford and Grand Rapids. Most of these stores have undergone renovations or relocated since they originally opened, but each still operates today.

A photo looking at the exterior of a General RV location with it's new name.
General Trailer officially became General RV Center in 1993

6. In 1993, 31 years after being founded, General Trailer officially changed its name to General RV Center. At the same time, the company began to adopt a supercenter format – offering new and used RVs for sale, RV parts and accessories, and state-of-the-art service centers.

7. Richard Baidas, son of founder Abe Baidas, was a chemistry and physics teacher before his father convinced him to join General Trailers. Richard played a huge role in the company’s growth and was active in the RV industry.

8. In 2009, Richard Baidas was posthumously inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. He was a board member of the Michigan MH and RV Association and helped develop ten different RV and housing manufacturers.

9. Richard Baidas not only helped grow General RV, he was also an original investor in Four Winds Motorhomes, Keystone RV and Dutchmen RV. General RV continues to carry all of these brands today.

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10 Of The Best Class B RVs & What’s Important To Know Before You Buy One

A man, woman and dog prepare for snowy outdoor activities. The man is sitting inside the rear of the Class B RV as he puts on his shoes while the woman holds onto skis.
A Class B RV is a perfect option for enjoying more of the outdoors.

Buying any RV is a big decision, and if you’re considering a motorhome like a Class B van there are plenty of options. Our Class B RV buying guide covers more than 15 of the most important questions and answers you should know before buying a new or used camper van. You’ll also find our top 10 picks for the best Class B RVs. Definitely check these out if you’re shopping!

If you’ve already made up your mind and are searching for the right Class B motorhome for you, take a peek at our current deals on Class B RVs at General RV.

What is a Class B motorhome?

Let’s start with the basics. A Class B motorhome, also called a camper van or B van, is the smallest of the three main types of motorhomes. These compact RVs provide a comfortable travel experience without the intimidating size of a larger motor coach. Many camper vans are small enough to fit in a garage, standard parking space and even the tightest of camping sites.

As the name suggests, a camper van is built on an automotive van chassis. This platform provides easy driving and parking, mile after mile. You’ll also find the cockpit of a camper van feels much like handling a passenger vehicle. Additionally, camper vans get much better gas mileage than larger RVs, making it a great option for both recreational travel and daily driving.

One of the most underrated features of the camper van is the raised roof, which provides enough space for standing – making this mini motorhome feel like a tiny house on wheels. But don’t be fooled by their size, camper vans pack tons of amenities in a compact footprint. Since it is a small RV, lots of camper vans have multi-use spaces for comfortable camping. Couches can turn into beds. Removable swivel tables provide space to work or dine. Hidden storage spaces and other amenities make camping or travel a breeze.

What’s the difference between a Class B, Class B+ and Class C RV?

If you’ve been Googling Class B motorhomes or checking out motorhome dealers, you might have come across the term Class B+ RV. Class B+ RVs are built on the same chassis but with a larger body than standard Class B motorhomes. As a result, they have more square footage inside for living space and storage. Typical B+ RVs measure up to 28 feet in length, which is similar in length to a Class C motorhome.

The main difference between a Class B and Class C RV is the cab-over design. Class C RVs are built by taking a van or truck chassis and cutting away the cab to add the RV body. This design gives them their distinct profile with the additional compartment over the driver and co-pilot seats. This area usually serves as a bunk bed or overhead storage. Camper vans do not have the extra cab-over area.

How big are Class B RVs?

Most Class B RVs are right around 20 feet long and approximately 7 feet wide. You’ll find a few that are shorter (for example, the Winnebago Solis Pocket measures 18 feet) and a few that are longer (like the 22-foot long Coachmen Beyond). For comparison purposes, the dimensions of a standard parking space in the United States are 8.5 to 9 feet wide and 18 feet long.

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The Best 10 Solar And Lithium Powered Camper Vans

A Tiffin Cahaba camper van with solar and lithium power driving along a desert road.
Lithium and solar power allows you to explore the roads less traveled.

Lithium power systems with solar panels are becoming a popular power choice for Class B motorhomes. With campgrounds filling up more and more every year, solar and lithium powered RVs give you the ability to boondock! BLM land (public land managed by the federal government), stealth camping and campsites with limited or no hookups are readily available for your camper van adventures. Or, if you’re going to visit family or travel to your second home, having solar and lithium is great for overnight pit stops on the way.

With technology advancing in the RV world every year, solar panels and lithium batteries are a popular option to keep you off the grid longer than traditional power systems or noisy generators. No more worrying about battery life every day or using a loud generator that keeps you up all night. Let solar panels trickle charge to keep your lithium batteries topped off so you can camp off the grid longer. Solar and lithium battery systems also save space and weight in your RV, which is great for these compact homes on wheels.

More RV owners want alternative power options and manufacturers are paying attention. You’ll find many Class B motorhomes with remote power systems installed by the manufacturer at General RV dealerships. Check out the top 10 solar and lithium powered camper vans you can buy right now!

1. Thor Sanctuary 19L and 19P

A Sanctuary camper van boondocking in an open field.
You can pull over at any scenic spot thanks to the solar and lithium power.

Built on the Mercedes Benz sprinter 2500 4×4 chassis, the Thor Sanctuary 19L and 19P are perfect for off grid adventures. The Re(Li)able Power Pack battery system offers a 5,500 watt/400 amp hours lithium battery and a 190 watt solar panel. There is also a 3,000 watt pure sine inverter to power your AC power appliances like your TV, AC unit and more.

The Sanctuary 19L and 19P comes packed amenities that are great for boondocking such as the LED front light bar to help you safely travel to your next boondocking destination at night. The Sanctuary models also have the Winegard ConnecT 2.0 4G/Wi-Fi/ Digital TV Antenna to make sure you have a reliable connection wherever you go.

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Entegra Launch: A Luxurious, Off-Road Camper Van

2023 Entegra Coach Launch

Elevate your camper van living to the highest level of luxury with the Launch from Entegra Coach. The Launch comes equipped with four-wheel drive and E-Z Drive, a system consisting of more than a dozen components carefully selected and engineered to create one of the quietest-riding, best-handling camper vans on the market. The Sprinter 4X4 Premium Mercedes-Benz chassis makes the Entegra Launch one of the smoothest rides in a Class B yet. The Launch enhances modern, minimalist, and nomadic lifestyles with innovative technology and beautiful amenities.

Off-Road In Style with This Versatile Camper Van

2023 Entegra Launch cockpit

Thanks to four-wheel drive and rugged all-terrain tires, the Entegra Launch can take you just about anywhere. Whether driving through Utah’s red rock canyons, The Florida Everglades, to your favorite ski resort, or to your local grocery store, the Launch gives you the confidence to do so safely in any scenario. The sprinter van also has a 3,500-pound rear hitch receiver, which means you can bring along a small boat for a lake vacation or an ATV for those off-road adventures.

Whether you’re on the road for summer vacations or full-time van life, safety features of your camper van are key. The Launch makes defensive driving easy with technology like the lane-keeping assist, blind spot assist, and traffic sign assist. Plus, you can safely travel with up to four people thanks to the van’s two additional cab seats with seat belts, which double as extra seating for the collapsible dinette table. The center console sports a 10.25-inch MBUX infotainment center. This wide screen handles radio and Bluetooth inputs as well as a dedicated GPS navigation system. The screen also becomes a monitor for the rearview and 360-degree cameras.  

Boondock Confidently with Entegra Launch

The rear overhead bunk in the 2022 Entegra Launch is rated at 750 pounds

The RV’s off-grid technology, including a 48V lithium power system and 200 watts of solar power, offer self-sufficiency while boondocking. With its durable rubber flooring, the Launch doesn’t mind if you track in some dirt or water after a long day of exploring. The steel roof rack can carry kayaks and other cargo. It’s mounted high enough to clear the solar panels, vents, and other items on the roof. A large LED bar on the front of the rack lights up the night as needed. The light bar acts like a massive spot light, allowing you to see all aspects of the road, the shoulder, and even what may be tucked away in the brush alongside of the road. The rear garage has a power drop-down overhead bunk rated at 750 pounds, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice sleeping or storage space.

Convenience and Comfort in Every Detail

2023 Entegra Launch with side door and counter extension open
2023 Entegra Launch with side screen closed

With the right camper van, you can enjoy a comfortable mini-home that, unlike tent camping, allows you to recharge for endless adventures. The thoughtful design details of the Entegra Launch make camper van life more enjoyable and sustainable. That includes heated swivel passenger and driver seats, a smartphone tray with wireless charging, the user-friendly Firefly Multiplex command center, and a fold-down exterior table.

Immediately behind the cockpit chairs, a second row of seating accommodates two additional passengers. These seats recline and offer just enough legroom for inserting a removable table, which folds open to create a surface for dining, working on a laptop, etc.

Get the best of indoor/outdoor living with adjustable screen doors for both the side and rear doors of the camper van. You will feel like a gourmet chef with the Launch’s sleek stainless steel sink and portable induction cooktop. There’s also pull-out extensions for the countertop and pantry.

Ample Storage at Every Turn

Rear garage of 2023 Entegra Launch
Wet bath with removable bamboo shelves

Good storage is a must-have in any camper van, and the Entegra Coach Launch does not disappoint. In fact, Entegra Coach is leading the pack with features that are rarely seen in camper vans.

Despite its ability to hold plenty of clothes, gear, food, and cooking utensils, the Launch won’t feel cluttered thanks to a modern and streamlined interior design. Technoform European-style cabinets stow your stuff, while the “Serenity” decor style adds all of the calm its name suggests. One of the Launch’s best features is that the minimalist interior puts all of the focus on the picturesque landscapes outside your windows.

The bed features fiberglass pods carved out of the van’s walls on either side to provide more room for getting a great night’s sleep. Likewise, removable bamboo shelves turn the bathroom into a storage closet when not in use. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the retractable clothesline in the shower.

Streamlined Aesthetics and Top-Notch Safety

The fresh and sleek design continues on the exterior of the camper van. Opt for the classic standard option or show some personality with partial paint in two colorways. The partial paint design is a nod to the retro early days of vanning in a decidedly modern way.

Whether you’re on the road for summer vacations or full-time van life, safety features of your camper van are key. The Launch makes defensive driving easy with technology like the lane-keeping assist, blind spot assist, and traffic sign assist. Plus, you can safely travel with up to four people thanks to the van’s two additional cab seats with seat belts, which double as extra seating for the collapsible dinette table.

Experience camper van style at its finest with the Entegra Launch. Visit your local General RV Supercenter today to see for yourself just how impressive the Entegra Launch is in person. Likewise, you can visit us at GeneralRV.com to learn more. Still looking for your perfect camper van? The RV experts at General RV Center can answer all your questions and provide recommendations based on your unique needs. Also, subscribe to the General RV Blog for more RV reviews and recommendations.