Last Updated on July 5, 2022 by Christina
Are you shopping for a Class C motorhome but wondering if it’s the best type of RV for you? Then you’ve come to the right place. Class C motorhomes are ideal for casual campers, family camping and cross-country journeys because they make travel more convenient and offer simple setup at the campground. They are available in a variety of sizes and feature amenities and capabilities for any type of RVer.
This smart buyer’s guide covers everything you need to know about Class C motorhomes. We also explain how to choose one that is right for your lifestyle. We’ve also included some of the best Class C RVs for sale that you can bring home right now! This article is comprehensive and covers all the important information you need to know before choosing your own Class C RV. If you’ve already done some research, feel free to use the links in our table of contents to jump forward.
Ready to shop now? Check out our current deals on Class C RVs.
Table of contents
- What is a Class C motorhome?
- Why are Class C motorhomes so popular?
- Where can you go camping in a Class C motorhome?
- How big are Class C RVs?
- Can I tow with a Class C motorhome?
- How does a Class C motorhome drive?
- Gas vs. Diesel RVs: Which one is better? Which one is right for me?
- How much do Class C motorhomes cost?
- How to choose your Class C motorhome
- Top 10 Best Class C motorhomes to Check Out Before You Buy
- Best Overall Class C Motorhome
- Best Budget-Friendly Class C Motorhome
- Best Class C motorhome for Families
- Best Class C for Off Road Adventures
- Best Small Class C RV
- Best Super C RV
- Best Class C Motorhome for Couples
- Best Class C Motorhome with Bunk Beds
- Best Class C Motorhome with a Bath-and-a-Half Floorplan
- Best 4×4 Class C Motorhome for More Adventures
- Is a Class C motorhome right for you?
What is a Class C motorhome?
First, let’s start with the basics. A Class C RV is a type of motorhome that is built on a truck or van chassis. These RVs have the distinct cab located over the cockpit of your RV for additional sleeping space or storage. It is also standard in these motorhomes to have four or more seatbelts so you can take your family or friends with you on the adventures!
Class C RVs have more sleeping space, storage and larger tanks compared to Class B motorhomes. These RVs also feature many of the same amenities as Class A motorhomes though they are usually cheaper and less intimidating to drive. You can choose a Class C motorhome with a gas or diesel engine. Most are built on a Ford, Chevy, Mercedes-Benz, RAM, Freightliner, or International chassis depending on the manufacturer and brand.
If you’re shopping for a Class C RV, you may have come across Super C motorhomes. Super C RVs are diesel motorhomes that are built on a larger, heavy-duty chassis. Some popular chassis manufacturers are Freightliner, Ford or International. Most Super C RVs are similar in length to regular Class C RVs but feature a more powerful engine. The engine gives Super C RVs better towing capacity than traditional Class C motorhomes. Super C motorhomes usually have larger basement storage areas, too, similar to storage on a Class A RV.
Class C motorhomes also come in toy hauler models! A Class C toy hauler has a garage space in the rear of the coach. Many owners bring golf carts, motorcycles, ATVs, kayaks and more in their toy haulers. In some models, the rear wall of the motorhome is a garage door that doubles as a patio deck; this gives you more outdoor entertaining space. This is a great option for hauling all your toys without sacrificing space or amenities.
Why are Class C motorhomes so popular?
Approximately 10 million U.S. households currently own an RV according to industry research, and Class C RVs make up 7% of those RV owners. That’s clear proof that Class C RVs are popular! Most people who own Class C motorhomes travel with their family or spouse. Many are casual campers looking to unwind and relax. Since there is ample sleeping space in these RVs, it’s easy to get away for a weekend with family or friends.
Class C RVs are also popular for cross-country trips because they have abundant amenities and plenty of storage. Most Class C motorhomes have a full kitchen, bathroom, dining table and multiple sleeping areas as well as an outdoor entertainment system or kitchenette. Larger Class C models can also feature one and a half baths for added convenience when camping with more friends or family members. Because Class C motorhomes have bigger water tanks than most travel trailers or camper vans, you can have longer camping adventures if you plan on going to locations with limited hookups. These motorhomes are also great for active RVing families because you can easily store your bikes, fishing rods, or other outdoor gear thanks to ample storage on the interior or exterior of your RV.
Overall, Class C motorhomes are extremely versatile RVs. Many families use them for camping locally and across the country. Some people enjoy tailgating in their Class C motorhomes. An RV provides all their favorite amenities – outdoor kitchens, private bathrooms, and more – right in the stadium parking lot. Other Class C RV owners use their motorhomes for traveling to their children’s soccer games or away softball tournaments; imagine sleeping comfortably in your own bed every night instead of staying in another lumpy hotel bed! Some families even use their Class C motorhomes to host overnight guests when they’re not camping.
An awesome feature that most RV owners love about the Class C motorhome is the cab-over bunk sleeping area. This bunk is perfect for teens and tweens. If you don’t have guests, it can also be used as a storage space for extra bedding, clothing or anything else you need on your travels.
Where can you go camping in a Class C motorhome?
Almost anywhere! Depending on the size of your Class C RV, you should have no issues fitting into most camping sites at state parks, recreation areas, private campgrounds or national parks. Check out some of General RV’s favorite places to camp for some great weekend getaway inspiration!
For the adventurous RVers or cross-country travelers, Class C motorhomes have generator and solar power options. A select few Class C motorhomes also come equipped with four-wheel drive so you can take the road less traveled with confidence. Ready to go further in a Class C RV? Then plan your trip to one of these breathtaking waterfront RV parks or Utah campgrounds fit for the RVer who wants to experience it all!
How big are Class C RVs?
Class C motorhomes can be as small as 20 feet long and upwards of 40 feet long. With this range of length, you can easily find campsites that fit your needs as well as fit in parking spaces with the smaller motorhome sizes!
Keep in mind that a lot of campgrounds have size requirements. If certain campgrounds or national parks are on your bucket list, be aware of the size they allow before you choose your Class C RV.
Additionally, you can get Class C RVs with no slide outs or multiple slide outs depending on the model. Smaller sized RVs can have one or two slide outs while the bigger sizes can have up to three for more room.
Can I tow with a Class C motorhome?
Most Class C RVs can tow something. Depending on the make and model, the towing capacity can vary greatly. If it is a small gas motorhome, the tow rating may only be up to 2,000 lbs. That is great for bikes, kayaks and smaller camping gear, but it won’t allow you to tow a full-size vehicle. Other Class C RVs have upwards of 20,000 lbs. towing capacity for taking along a secondary vehicle or hauling toys in a trailer. Towing a car is a great alternative when you want to leave the campsite but don’t want to pack up your RV or gear.
How does a Class C motorhome drive?
A Class C motorhome is comparable to driving a regular truck or van because of its familiar chassis and similar gas and brake pedal layout. These RVs also have a familiar dashboard and steering wheel setup so you’ll quickly feel comfortable driving it. When shopping, make sure you test drive any motorhome to feel how it handles and if it is right for you. Drive, park and backup to make sure the size is something you are comfortable handling.
Class C RVs are a great option for first time motorhome drivers. They are also great for drivers who do not feel comfortable behind the wheel of a larger motorhome. Class C motorhomes are less intimidating than Class A RVs, too. Since you are also closer to the ground in a Class C RV, it’s easier to maneuver around tight corners than in a larger Class A motorhome. Some of the smaller Class C motorhomes, like Class B RVs, barely exceed the length of standard parking spaces. This can be pretty convenient when you need to stop for groceries. This type of RV is easy to maneuver in the city or back up into remote camping spots, too.
New Class C motorhomes have many safety features, just like regular vehicles. RV safety technology can include lane assist, brake assist, backup or side view cameras and much more. Since you have the driver’s side door, passenger door and the entry door, you have increased safety and convenience compared to a Class A RV.
One other important thing to know about Class C motorhomes is the fact that you don’t need special license endorsements to drive one! Some states require special licenses for RVs over 26,000 lbs.; but don’t worry, most Class A RVs don’t even reach that weight! If you are curious about the laws and want to learn more, contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Gas vs. Diesel RVs: Which one is better? Which one is right for me?
A question many RVers ask when purchasing any motorhome is which is better – gas or diesel engine? There are pros and cons to both, however when you consider how you want to use your RV, you’ll quickly understand which option is right for you. For weekend getaways or vacations not far away from home, a gas Class C is a great option. Class C diesel motorhomes are perfect for full-time RVers or longer road trips. Diesel engines also provide more power to tow your secondary vehicle or toys. Whichever you choose, you’ll still have room to take your kayaks, bicycles and other camping essentials and have seating for your family or friends.
Pros of a Gas RV
- Costs less to purchase than a diesel RV
- Less expensive preventative maintenance
- Cheaper for major repairs
- Cheaper fuel at the pump
- Can handle cold temps better than diesel
Cons of a Gas RV
- Lower towing capacity
- Can’t handle steep terrain as well as diesel engines
- More fuel stops because it is less fuel efficient
- Gas engines don’t last as long as diesel engines
Pros of a Diesel RV
- Has a higher towing capacity
- More torque and power for navigating a variety of terrain
- Better fuel efficiency and MPG
- Diesel engines last longer than gas engines if taken care of properly
- Diesel engines perform better at higher altitudes
Cons of a Diesel RV
- Higher price point to purchase a diesel motorhome
- Diesel is more expensive and you need to fill your DEF tank periodically
- Diesel engines are expensive to maintain and repair
- Less available fuel in remote areas
How much do Class C motorhomes cost?
New Class C RVs can range from $90,000 MSRP on the lower end to over $300,000 MSRP for luxurious Super Class C motorhomes. Prices on new RVs will also vary based on the features, amenities, floorplan and optional upgrades you choose.
Used Class C RVs can widely range in price based on the year, make, mileage and condition. Some can be purchased for less than $50,000. If you are considering buying used, ask how often the RV was used, cared for and stored. Also, look for signs of damage such as water marks and bubbling or other signs of structural wear and tear. Used motorhomes with issues can require costly repairs that defeat the purpose of getting a good deal.
There are a variety of financial options to consider for purchasing your Class C motorhome. Some people choose to pay for their RV in cash while others will choose to finance their purchase over several months. If you choose the latter option, consider saving up for a larger down payment to lower your monthly payments; getting a lower interest rate will also save you money long-term. Financing your RV through the dealer or your bank are great options if you cannot pay cash outright. Whichever route you go, it’s best to create your budget before you start shopping. Then stick to it when purchasing your RV. Knowing the price range (and keeping within that budget) will help narrow your RV search.
You should also budget for parts or accessory upgrades, regular preventative maintenance and RV insurance. You’ll need to add in storage costs too if you plan to store your RV someplace other than your private property. One of the reasons that RVing is so popular is because it can be done on nearly any budget. Read about some ways to save money while RVing and stretch your dollars so you can enjoy more adventures.
How to choose your Class C motorhome
If you’re brand new to RVing, let us be the first to say, “Welcome to the club!” You’ll find the RV community is full of helpful people. And we have lots of advice for first time RV buyers! From considering how you want to camp to budgeting for your purchase, this guide will help you get started.
Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Class C RV
- How often will I travel in my Class C RV? Knowing your plans will help you pick a floorplan that fits your lifestyle.
- Where do I want to go in my RV? And will I be towing a vehicle behind my motorhome? These two questions will help you determine whether a gas or diesel motorhome will suit your needs better.
- Who will travel with me? This will help you determine what floorplan will work best for you. It will also help you figure out how many seatbelts and sleeping spaces you’ll need.
- What size am I comfortable driving and parking? Also, remember to check any size restrictions if you have your heart set on visiting specific national parks or campgrounds in your Class C motorhome.
- What amenities are must-haves vs. wants in my motorhome? Shopping for your Class C motorhome is very similar to shopping for a sticks-and-bricks house. Prioritizing the features that are most important to you – whether it’s a bath-and-a-half floorplan or bunk beds or certain towing capacity – will help narrow your search more quickly.
- What kind of equipment or gear do I plan on bringing? If you’re planning extended travels or full-time living in your RV, you’ll likely want more storage space. If your plans include riding the trails, a toy hauler Class C motorhome might be your best option.
Budgeting for Your Class C motorhome
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is how will I pay for my RV? As we mentioned earlier, there’s a huge range in price for Class C RVs. Costs often depend on what options you choose. You’ll also want to figure out if you plan to purchase your Class C motorhome with cash or finance your purchase. If you already own a camper, you may also decide to trade in your current RV or sell it yourself.
Certain brands can help keep you within your budget as well. If you are looking to stay under $150,000 MSRP Coachmen, East to West and Thor Motor Coach offer a range of affordable Class C Motorhomes. These brands offer a variety of gorgeous floorplans and are made to last. If you’re looking for a more luxurious Class C motorhome and are working with a bigger budget Entegra, Tiffin, Winnebago and Nexus RV are great options to consider.
Last but not least, you’ll want to decide when to buy your Class C RV. Many people choose to shop for their new RV at an RV show. There are often great deals from dealers or manufacturer rebates at shows. If you’ve never been to one, RV shows are the perfect place to check out lots of new RVs. You can also get answers to your questions from experts, connect with dealers, attend seminars and have fun with other RVers. If there isn’t an RV show happening near you, don’t fret. Lots of RV dealers have regular sales events in the months leading up to prime camping season. Sign up for emails or follow your local RV dealer on social media to get updates on sales and discounts.
Top 10 Best Class C motorhomes to Check Out Before You Buy
Now, let’s talk about some of our favorite Class C RVs! We selected these 10 motorhomes because each of these brands has something special to offer you. Whether that’s more bunk space for traveling with grandkids or a super functional floorplan or better towing capacity, you’ll want to check out these exceptional motorhomes (and their features!) while you’re comparing options and shopping for your Class C RV.
Best Overall Class C Motorhome
The Minnie Winnie from Winnebago is an overall great Class C motorhome. This gas RV has a variety of floorplans, lengths and towing capacity. Most of the models will also sleep six to eight people, depending on the floorplan. Even the smallest Minnie Winnie – which measures 24 feet long – can still sleep up to six people. In a typical floorplan, the Minnie Winnie has a master bedroom secluded in the rear of the coach with a door for privacy. There are also options for theater seating, sofa beds, and more that can seat up to seven while you’re driving on the road. Watch the video below for a tour of the Minnie Winnie 31K floorplan. And check out Winnebago’s website for detailed specs about each Class C motorhome they offer.
Best Budget-Friendly Class C Motorhome
The East to West Entrada is a budget-friendly gas motorhome option. This Class C RV ranges from 24 feet long to 32 feet long depending on the model. Since there are many options, you can easily find a floorplan that meets your needs. Each floorplan features a full kitchen, bathroom and bedroom so you can camp comfortably wherever you go. Certain floorplans feature slide rooms for more living space, too. The video below provides an inside look at the Entrada 2200S floorplan. You can learn more about the Entrada Class C RV on the East to West website.
Best Class C motorhome for Families
An awesome and spacious Class C RV for families is the Quantum by Thor Motor Coach. This gas Class C motorhome can sleep up to nine people while still having a spacious living area. So you’ll have plenty of room to entertain the whole family. It has a master bedroom, cab-over bunk, plus a dinette and sofa that convert into sleeping spaces. Certain models feature additional bunks for the kids. It also has towing power for your toys or a secondary vehicle making it an excellent option for camping families! Take a look inside the Quantum WS31 floorplan in the following video. Or view Thor’s full Class C RV lineup to compare the capabilities of this family favorite.
Best Class C for Off Road Adventures
The Outlaw by Thor Motor Coach is a toy hauler loaded with features for the most active RVers! This Class C toy hauler RV sleeps up to eight people so you can bring your family and friends. One of the highlights of this motorhome is the rear garage door which doubles as a patio. It also has an awning for extra room to entertain outdoors. Inside, the garage area features a drop down queen sized bed for catching a few Zzzs at the end of the day. The spacious garage can also store your golf cart, motorcycle, dirt bikes and other small to midsized toys. You’ll enjoy power on and off the grid with its generator and the option for solar power! Go to the manufacturer’s website to learn more and take the video tour below!
Best Small Class C RV
The Prism Select by Coachmen is a small Class C diesel motorhome (it’s only 25 feet long!) that you’ll be able to enjoy while you travel from coast to coast. This Class C motorhome comes with a generator as well as solar prep. These options are essential for off-grid RVers and boondocking. The Prism Select can sleep four or five people comfortably, making it a good option for young families. It’s great for long weekend getaways and offers floorplan options for solo or group camping, too. The Prism Select also has an outdoor entertainment center under the awning; it’s the perfect spot for late nights spent relaxing outdoors. Take a peek inside the Prism 24CB floorplan in the video. Then, visit Coachmen’s Class C motorhomes page for all the options.
Best Super C RV
The Wraith is the ultimate Super C diesel motorhome from Nexus RV, a brand known for its quality and high-end finishes. The Wraith measures 32 to 36 feet long and can sleep six to eight people, depending on the floorplan. This Super C RV is part beauty and part beast. It pairs the finest interior amenities with a 300 HP Cummins engine on an International chassis. The Wraith offers 10,000 lb. towing capacity, too. That’s perfect for towing secondary vehicles or larger toys. Certain models come prepped for a washer and dryer so you can enjoy your vacation longer or full-time. Take a tour inside the Wraith 32W below or visit Nexus RV to compare all their Super Class C RV floorplans.
Best Class C Motorhome for Couples
The compact Wayfarer from Tiffin Motorhomes is a great Class C RV for traveling couples. Whether you’re looking for a secluded romantic getaway or heading to the most popular parks, you’ll get there in style. This motorhome has a one-piece fiberglass roof and sleek exterior. And it doesn’t just look good, it drives great too! This Class C RV has tons of modern safety technology. You’ll enjoy a comfortable journey thanks to the Mercendez-Benz 3500 chassis and SumoSprings ride assist system. The Wayfarer is filled with premium amenities like the Spyder Multiplex System, a Truma Comfort+ instant hot water heater and handcrafted wood cabinetry. You’ll also enjoy a power awning and standard hydraulic leveling system for easy camp setup. Explore inside the Wayfarer 24TW with our RV tour video. Check out the Tiffin Motorhomes website for more information.
Best Class C Motorhome with Bunk Beds
If bunk beds are at the top of your must-have list, then check out the Odyssey 31F from Entegra Coach. There are multiple floorplans available but our pick is the 31F which has 28 x 72-inch bunk beds. There is also a private master bedroom, cab-over bunk, pullout sofa and convertible dinette. In total, you’ll have sleeping room for nine! This RV features a full-wall slide-out to give you extra room to accommodate everyone. You’ll be able to feed family or friends with the 8 cu. ft. fridge and three burner cooktop. Another standout feature is the 18-foot power awning with LED lights. This Class C RV is built on a Ford E-450 chassis with 350 HP V8 engine so you can go anywhere the road takes you. Take the video tour of the Odyssey 31F below or visit the Entegra Coach website for more.
Best Class C Motorhome with a Bath-and-a-Half Floorplan
The Super C diesel Accolade is the second motorhome from Entegra Coach to make our list. The 37K is a spacious bath-and-a-half floorplan with tons of premium amenities. Power king bed? Check. 93-inch power reclining sofa? Check. Fireplace? Check. Washer/dryer options? Check. Huge pantry? Check. And there’s much more! If you’re seriously considering full-time living in a motorhome, this is one Class C RV we highly recommend checking out. You’ll be able to conquer any road because this motorhome is built on a Freightliner chassis with a Cummins diesel engine. Entegra also designed the Accolade with the E-Z Drive system for the most comfortable driving experience you can get in a Class C RV. And you’ll get a 12,000 lb. hitch so you can bring a dinghy for day trips. The video below is a little dated, but you can see the latest from Entegra Coach.
Best 4×4 Class C Motorhome for More Adventures
Last, let’s check out an RV made for more adventures – the Rebel from Nexus! It’s our pick for the best 4×4 Class C motorhome. The power of the 4-wheel drive and 350 HP engine will get you anywhere. And the 15,000 lb. hitch will tow pretty much anything you want. And while this RV is built for ruggedness, you won’t be roughing it. The Rebel is well equipped inside with residential hardwood cabinetry, a Whirlpool fridge and upgraded flooring. It even has a water filtration system throughout so you can stay hydrated on your adventures! Other features you’ll love about the Rebel are the heated and enclosed holding tanks and deluxe booth dinette with lockable storage. Check out the tour video below or visit Nexus RV for more information.
Is a Class C motorhome right for you?
For those who are looking for a home-away-from home experience, a Class C RV is a great choice. These motorhomes offer all the comforts of home anywhere you go. They are easy to setup up once you arrive at your destination and offer plenty of convenient features. This makes them perfect for solo travelers, young couples, families, retirees and full-time RVers. Since they are so popular, there are many new and used Class C RV options available. So you can find one that fits your budget.
We’ve covered tons of information in this buying guide, and we hope you found it valuable. If you’re searching for the perfect Class C motorhome, we’d love to help you! Our RV experts can answer all your questions and provide recommendations based on your unique needs. Visit your local General RV dealer to explore our huge selection of motorhomes for yourself. We have thousands of Class C RVs in stock including all the best brands from top manufacturers. Once you’ve found the perfect RV, we’ll provide a personalized orientation so you can get on the road with confidence.
Our goal at General RV is to be your premier RV partner and your one-stop-shop for all your RV needs. For your convenience, we have in house financing options and work with an RV insurance partner. Plus, you’ll find all the RV parts and accessories you need in our Supercenters. We also have more than 500 state-of-the-art RV service bays at our 14 locations.