With the pandemic making air travel challenging or impossible, RVs have become a popular vehicle for recreation. If you’re itching to get out and explore, there’s arguably no better way than in a camper or motorhome. And if you’ve never done so and you can afford one, you’re in for a treat.
But balance fun with a measure of care whether you’re a novice or seasoned cruiser. Here are the safest RVs you can find.
The safest type of RV
You’ll also be forgiven for not knowing the differences between types of RVs. The term “RV,” which stands for “recreational vehicle,” encapsulates various vehicles, including campers and motorhomes. Motorhomes have an engine, while campers are typically towed by another vehicle. Winnebago is a well-known brand that makes a variety of RVs.
There are also multiple types of campers, such as pop-up campers, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel campers. Likewise, there are several categories. Class C RVs measure between 22 and 35 feet long and resemble large trucks. Class A vehicles, measuring up to 45 feet long, are the most expensive option. Because of their length, they require some practice driving and maneuvering. But their size also provides the most storage space and amenities, such as showers and full-size appliances. Class As and Cs can fit a full bath, folding sofas/beds, and convertible dinettes. Both sacrifice some fuel economy, but that may be worth it to transport your family in comfort.
A Class B is shorter than a Class A or C (usually between 20 and 26 feet) and offers limited space. However, Class Bs are tops in safety.
According to Consumer Reports, “Class B vans are the safest choice for motorhomes. All of the vans have stability control and front airbags … Class B vans can be equipped with full seat belts for multiple passengers — up to seven people, and they have front and side airbags.”
Class B RV features
When buying a Class B motorhome, you’ll benefit from a vehicle that has the best fuel economy of any RV class. These vehicles are durable because they’re built within the body of a commercial van. They’re also easy to drive and much easier to park than the larger Class A or C. You’ll wind up shelling out between $85,000 and $150,000 for a typical new Class B. But these vehicles have excellent resale value.
Now, because of their relatively short length, Class Bs can’t hold the typical amenities you may have seen on TV, like small bathrooms and kitchens. They also can usually sleep only two people comfortably. These RVs are good if you and your partner or friend are touring a region. But they’re not the best option for large families or groups.
There are also Class B+ RVs, which are modified Class Cs. Whereas Class Cs have a sleeping compartment in a section that overhangs the cab, Class B+s replace that sleeping area with storage space.
Given the commercial van frame that Class Bs inhabit, a few brands dominate the market. Names like Winnebago may be familiar, but others, such as Coachmen, Jayco, Fleetwood, and Forester, also are well known among enthusiasts. Some car brands have also made their mark because their vans are used as the basis for popular RVs.
Camper vans fabricated from the Ram Promaster, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, or Ford Transit are especially popular. The Ford Transit is the best-selling van in the United States, so it’s easy to find parts for Class Bs made from Transit vans. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers long-body diesel options and many safety features, but replacement parts can be difficult to find and expensive in some parts of the country. Ram Promaster vans also offer a diesel option and are considerably less expensive than Mercedes-Benz vehicles. They’re also shorter, wider, and easier to park than Sprinter vans.
If you’re looking for a safe RV, you can’t go wrong with a Class B fabricated from one of the above three models. You’ll find that, overall, Class B vehicles are the safest motorhomes available. What you might sacrifice in space with a Class B, you’ll make up for with peace of mind.