In the winter of 2017, we attended a colossal RV show for the first time. We knew nothing about RVing except that we were heading out for a three-month trip later that spring. We proceeded to examine nearly every type of RV there is, from super-efficient tear-drop trailers to massive Class A rigs that more than doubled the cost of our house.
Each had its benefits, and there were plenty of options for every budget and family size.
We ultimately settled on a Class C motorhome because we felt the most comfortable behind the wheel. It felt like driving a large pick-up truck and we felt we could get the hang of it. (Which we did.) There were plenty of sizes and interior layout options to pick from, and numerous brands offered models within our price range.
Class C RVs come in a wide range of lengths, but if you’re looking to save a little space, and perhaps have more comfortable driving, or fit the camper into those smaller campsites and narrow park roads, here are some of the best Class C RVs under 25 feet (for any budget!).
The 5 best Class-C RVs under 25 feet:
1. Winnebago Outlook 22E or 22C w/ bump-out ($92k MSRP)
- Length: 24’-2”
- Sleeps 6
- Ford E-350 chassis
- Gasoline engine
Winnebago is one of the most trusted brands in the RV world, and this model comes at a family-friendly price point. The 80-inch deep bed is especially nice for us taller folks. I like that the stove has three burners, and it has a two-hole kitchen sink. Very helpful for a family who creates a lot of dishes to clean.
The bathroom with a stand-up shower gives you all the functionality you need to camp independently. With sleeping up to 6, this is a great option for families.
More information: winnebago.com/models/product/outlook
2. Thor Four Winds 22B/22E ($96k MSRP)
- Length: 24’
- Sleeps 4+
- Ford E-350 or Chevy 3500 chassis
- Gasoline engine
Both models start around 24 feet (the Chevy chassis is 24’-6”), and both have great options for couples or families. I do like that the 22E has an 80-inch deep queen bed, which us taller folks find more comfortable, and it doesn’t require a bump-out. But if bed-depth is not a deal-breaker for you, then either model will work.
Also, the cab-over-bunk is a full 96-inches deep, which is generous for this space, and nice if you have adults (or growing teenagers) camping with you. As for price, it’s on the higher end of the range, but that is MSRP and I have seen sale prices much lower than that. And if you’re buying used, your money goes even further.
More information: thormotorcoach.com/fourwinds/floor-plans/22B
3. Forest River Forester 2401S MBS ($97k MSRP)
- Length: 24’-8”
- Sleeps 6
- Mercedes Benz V6 Chassis
- Diesel engine
Forest River is already a well-rated brand in the industry, now add to that a Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis and you have an excellent RV. I like that the 75-inch queen bed gives you that extra room for stretching-out, especially if you’re pushing 6-feet. The kitchen has a 3-burner stove and the 33-gallon water and wastewater tanks will allow a family to camp without hook-ups for a good amount of time.
The side bump-out gives you (and your family) extra elbow room when you’re spending time inside the RV. This is nice for those long drives or rainy camping days. In this price range, you can also expect high-quality interior finishes and cabinetry. (read: durability!)
More information: forestriverinc.com/rvs/class-c-motorhomes/forester-mbs/2401S/4429
4. Entegra Odyssey 22J ($94k MSRP)
- Length: 24’-8”
- Sleeps 5
- Ford E-450 chassis
- Gasoline engine
A nicer model in the under-25-foot market, the Entegra Odyssey 22J offers some helpful perks for the money. The Ford E-450 is a powerful chassis for this size rig and will serve you well. The 8-cubic-foot fridge can easily serve a family or a couple, and the three-burner stove is a good investment.
5-person sleeping capacity works for families and I like that the bunk over the cab has a skylight in it. This is a nice little feature for smaller ones who might otherwise feel cramped. The queen bed is only 70-inches deep, so if you’re on the taller side you might want to tour a model to see how it feels. However, the bedroom has a bump-out, so you’ll still have plenty of room to stretch out.
More information: entegracoach.com/odyssey/
5. Dynamax Isata 3 24FW w/ bump-out ($100k+)
- Length: 24’-7”
- Sleeps 4-6
- Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis
- Diesel engine
Great for couples or families. This is your higher-end brand and includes a full-width bump-out (FW) for the bed and dining area. The queen bed is a gel-infused memory foam mattress which is a nice feature. There is also a solar panel upgrade option. The Isata RB model has no bump-out, but it also requires you to drop-down the queen bed in the dining area.
This may still be a good option for you but will require some set-up before grabbing that quick nap. The holding tank is a little smaller than some, so it may limit your boon-docking time depending on how many folks are staying with you. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis is highly regarded and will provide comfortable driving across the country.
A little higher in price, this may be a good option for that couple who has saved their pennies and looking for comfort as they explore the country together.
More information: dynamaxcorp.com/isata-3
Short Class-C RV Buying Tips
Your home on wheels has a lot of parts to it, so it’s important to carefully assess the vehicle, components, finishes, and systems, both during the sale process and before you head out on a long trip. Ideally, try a shorter trip close to home first to see if anything needs fixing, and if so, speak to the dealer right away.
Check the warranty for your RV, and note that the chassis and RV “house” will have separate warranties, and these will likely vary in length and terms. Depending on how long you plan to keep the RV, you might consider an extended warranty. Even the nicer brands can have quality issues on occasion, so this may be a good investment for longer ownership.
Chassis and engine type:
The chassis is provided by a vehicle manufacturer, separate from the RV house on top. So, be sure to check the specific ratings for the vehicle model and engine. Ford E-series is one of the most common and is proven to be a sturdy truck, and Chevy is also very reliable.
This is a critical piece of equipment, so check the ratings on the generator and, if it’s a used model, see how many hours it’s been used. Onan is a highly-regarded brand, and just make sure it can operate the features your family will need.
Real wood cabinet facing or laminate? Laminate counters vs. solid surface? Each of these is a trade-off in price and durability, and depending on how long you intend to own the RV, this may be a place you want to invest, or try and save a few dollars.
Is the roof a single rubber membrane? How is the roof over the front portion of the RV- is it a single piece or does it have numerous seams that may need tending? Do the gaskets on the slide-outs provide the proper seal? These seals can get out of place over time, so if you’re buying a used rig make sure these seals are in good working order. Also, have a thorough inspection done fo your RV, and touch-up any seals before heading out.
Tip: When shopping, open cabinets, wardrobes, and bunks near the floor and check for dampness.
Gas vs. Diesel: Generally speaking, diesel engines have a little more power, fuel-efficiency, and are known for their longevity. Gas however is less expensive on average, making it attractive for those shorter trips. A diesel engine RV will cost a bit more, so if you’re investing for the long run, it’s an important consideration. But if like us, you plan to use your RV for a while then pass it on, a gas-powered RV might be the way to go. Also, with lower gas prices these days, gas coaches are increasingly popular.
Most have a queen bed, but some have a shorter 74 or 76-inch version rather than the full 80-inches. Be sure to get what works best for you. At nearly 6-feet, I prefer to 80-inch bed for a more comfortable sleep. Also, does the bed require a slide-out to access it? If so, you will have to operate the slide-out even for quick stops to nap. Not a deal-breaker though.
Bump-outs (Slide-outs) or no?
These can be great features- gives you that extra elbow room when you need it, especially in a space-efficient RV. They may add a little to the price, and they can have maintenance issues, but it is pretty nice to have that extra room. Worth it.
Most (if not all) RVs have towing capacity of some kind. A hitch is nice for anything from a bike rack, to an exterior cargo rack, or towing a car to run around in. Just check the rating for your RV and see what options you have. If you don’t need the towing now, you might later on.
Where do I start!?
It’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re a first-time RVer like we were. There are too many brands, models, and options out there, and the prices vary as much as the fridge sizes. The best place to start is an RV show, or at least a large RV dealer where you can see a wide variety of RV types and sizes. Step inside, sit down, lie down, and see what feels right for you. Bring the kids and let them get the vibe as well. (Their buy-in will be key later on!)
Also, consider getting a walk-through of how everything works on your RV before you head out. This can be done at the dealer (for a price), or through a private RVer for a small fee, or a family friend. Definitely worth it as it shortens the learning curve and takes away some of the unknowns.
Just remember: Yes, you can do this!
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Bryce is a freelance writer and preservation consultant who lives in Southern Maine with his wife and their two awesome kids. Previously from Upstate NY, he climbed the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks before discovering the mountains of New England. When he’s not exploring the outdoors, Bryce can be found writing, teaching, photographing old buildings, or getting crushed by his daughters in Monopoly.
Class C motorhomes are like Class A RVs, but often cheaper. The most popular lengths of Class C motorhomes are generally 30-feet to 33-feet long. They offer similar luxuries as a Class A motorhomes, but without the price tag if you're creative.What is the best length for a Class C RV? ›
Class C motorhomes are like Class A RVs, but often cheaper. The most popular lengths of Class C motorhomes are generally 30-feet to 33-feet long. They offer similar luxuries as a Class A motorhomes, but without the price tag if you're creative.What is the best Class C RV for newbies? ›
Winnebago Minnie Winnie: Best For Beginners
Many RVers view Winnebago as the industry's gold standard, and the Minnie Winnie's standout furnishings and ease of use prove that point. Additionally, the value offered by the Winnebago Minnie Winnie is hard to beat among even the best Class C RVs.
Class C campers almost exclusively use V8 and V10 gas engines. Larger Class As usually use a V10 engine, although many older big rigs have a Ford 460 or Chevy 454.What is high mileage for a Class C RV? ›
What is high mileage for a motorhome? If you're in the market for a used motorhome, one with mileage between 100,000 and 200,000 is considered high.What is the best time of year to buy a Class C RV? ›
You'll generally find the best time to buy an RV is during late fall and winter. Fewer people shop during this period, and less competition means you'll have more negotiating power. You can also find bargains right before a new RV model is released, when gas prices are up, and at RV trade shows.What are the top Class C RV brands? ›
- Winnebago View.
- Tiffin Wayfarer.
- Coachmen Freelander.
- Jayco Redhawk.
- Forest River Forester.
- Thor Compass.
A Class B RV dominates when it comes to ease of driving. Class B RVs are the easiest to drive because they feel like driving a van. In some cases, RVers have even felt they drive similar to a regular vehicle. Certainly, it won't feel like driving a family sedan, but it won't feel like driving a bus either.Is diesel or gas better for Class C RV? ›
Most Super C RVs feature a front-mounted diesel engine. There is no right or wrong answer to the question of “gas or diesel?” It really is a matter of preference and intended use.Is it worth buying a Class C RV? ›
Class C RVs are terrific vehicles for getting into RV life, as well as for keeping a family comfortable while camping. They're more affordable, drivable, and flexible than other RV classes, and there are so many different floor plans that you should be able to find the perfect one to fit your needs.
A Class C RV can last between 200,000 to 300,000 miles with the proper care and attention. If you find one that has been well maintained, it could bring you and your family members joy for years to come.How many miles per gallon does a 25 foot RV get? ›
The average mileage that this type of motorhome gets is around 18 to 25 miles per gallon.Do Class C RVs hold their value? ›
Among the three main types of RVs, Class C vehicles generally hold their value best. Class A and Class B RV depreciation tends to happen slightly more quickly. If you're interested in a camper you can tow, fifth-wheel campers generally depreciate more quickly than standard RVs.How many miles per gallon does a typical Class C RV get? ›
RV Class C: RV Class C vehicles sit in the middle of Class A and Class B vehicles when it comes to fuel efficiency. If you own one of these, you can expect an average of 10-15 miles per gallon.Are RV prices going down in 2023? ›
Inflation and a continuation of the supply and labor shortage that lingered from 2022 have been keeping prices from falling back to pre-pandemic numbers. However, as 2023 continues we expect prices will continue to fall and we might get there. You just might have to wait a bit longer.Is there a 4 season Class C RV? ›
Winnebago Ekko 22A
It also comes prepped for all-weather camping, making it one of the best four-season Class C motorhomes—although some might argue it fits into a new category of rigs, called Class B+. All of the tanks and water lines are located inside the well-insulated interior instead of underneath the rig.
First, if you are in the market for an RV or trailer and know you want to spend most of your time traveling to state parks, look for one that is 35 feet or less.What size RV do most campgrounds take? ›
If you're not sure of the ideal length for national parks, you'll want to choose an RV between 25 and 30 feet long. Most national parks will accommodate RVs between those lengths. Almost 98% of National Park campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 19 feet long.What size RV fits in most campgrounds? ›
Approximately 98% of national park campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 19 feet long. You still have a good selection if your RV is smaller than 25 feet more than 90% of parks permit that length. The number of available campsites drops if your RV is 29 to 32 feet long since about 80% of parks will let you in.Which is safer Class A or Class C RV? ›
Class C motorhomes are safer than a Class A, but not as safe as a Class B. One RV manufacturer that's gained a strong reputation for crash testing its rigs is Roadtrek. The company says they conduct independent crash tests to guarantee the quality that goes into each rig.
Class C's are usually fairly simple to handle and provide a similar experience to driving a moving van or truck. Since this type of motorhome has adequate space for both storage and people, it is a good choice for camping trips and extended vacations.Which is better a Class C or a Class A RV? ›
While the Class A excels in terms of space, Class Cs win when it comes to flexibility and drivability. You will be more nimble, and find more camping options in a Class C than a Class A. Traveling in a Class A vs. a Class C will usually necessitate more planning and scheduling of your route.What is the quietest RV to drive? ›
- Airstream Classic Smart Trailer.
- Winnebago Micro Minnie.
- Jayco Jay Flight.
- TAB Teardrop Camper.
- Happier Camper Trailer.
- Avia Camper Traveler.
- Keystone Hideout.
- Does the person showing you the RV actually own it?
- How many people have owned this RV, and how often have they driven it?
- Do they have maintenance records?
- How many miles are on the tires? ...
- Check EVERYWHERE for water damage.
- Press all the buttons.
- Stand in the shower.
Generally, a class B RV is the easiest to drive if you're new to RVing. Most aren't much longer than a pickup truck and can easily maneuver into parking spaces and gas stations. If you're looking for the easiest transition into RV driving, choose a class B camper.What is the 3 3 3 rule for RV living? ›
By adhering to this simple rule of thumb, you can make traveling easier for your whole family. It suggests to limit your travel to no more than 300 miles in one day. Then, arrive no later than 3 p.m. Finally, stay at your destination for at least 3 days.What not to do when buying an RV? ›
- Buying the Wrong Size. When it comes to RVs, bigger is not always better. ...
- Ruling Out Used RVs. ...
- Not Doing Enough Research. ...
- Not Considering the Towing Vehicle. ...
- Not Considering The Height. ...
- Not Asking Enough Questions. ...
- Getting The Wrong Insurance. ...
- Rushing Your Purchase.
The conclusion? In general, a smaller Class A is easier and smoother to drive in the long run than a big Class C, once you get used to the steering. So, basically, if you're looking at a Class A and a Class C that are the same length and each has a great floorplan, then it's probably best to go with the Class A.What are the best engines for motorhomes? ›
Diesel engines generally have better torque ratings than petrol engines. This makes them better suited to the heavy loads carried by motorhomes and towing vehicles. That's the reason most of the world uses diesel engines for most commercial vehicles.Why are diesel RVs better than gas? ›
gas motorhome, diesel motorhomes are much more fuel efficient. That is partly because diesel fuel has a greater energy value than gasoline does. Its higher energy density means that diesel fuel can offer up to 10 percent better fuel economy by volume.
Class Cs are usually not equipped with luxuriously-large kitchens, but this doesn't mean that they aren't a good option for long trips or even full-time living. These models of RV usually have a microwave, an oven and stove combination, a kitchen sink, and a fridge.What is the safest RV to drive? ›
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.How much do Class C motorhomes depreciate each year? ›
RV Tire Age
The next thing to consider when deciding whether it's time to replace your RV tires is how long you've had them. The average motorhome tire life expectancy is five to seven years. If your tires are within or beyond that window, you should consider replacing them.
Typically, RVs will last between 10 and 30 years, with most landing close to the middle of that range. In terms of mileage, this often corresponds to 100,000-300,000 miles. Of course, that's a wide range, but most owners should expect their RV under average use to last at least a decade, if not significantly longer.Are older motorhomes worth buying? ›
Is Buying an Older RV Worth It? If you want to save money on your RV purchase and don't mind the quirks that can come with older RVs, an old RV is definitely worth it. With research, planning, and proper RV inspection, you can get a great deal on a used RV that will last you for years to come.What is the gas mileage on a Jayco Greyhawk? ›
This is a solid Class C whose 55 gallon fuel tank will provide exceptional gas mileage at about 10 miles per gallon.How long does 50 gallons of water last in RV? ›
Depends on your shower head flow rate, how long you take to shower, and how much flow your pump puts out. Three people, three days with quick showers.How much does it cost to fill up a Class C RV? ›
RV Gas Cost
At $2.50-$4.00 per gallon and 25-150 gallons per fuel tank, gas can cost you anywhere from $60 to $600 to fill up.
According to our research, the top five best RV brands are: Grand Design, Airstream, Oliver Travel Trailers, Winnebago, and Newmar.
Your RV value over time will largely depend on what type of RV you have. Class A motorhomes, Class C motorhomes, and fifth wheels have the highest depreciation rates. It's safe to say that the larger your rig is, the more quickly it will depreciate.What is high mileage for a Class C? ›
A Class C RV will easily give you 200,000 miles or more of driving luxury. In return, it needs regular love and attention. With the right kind of maintenance and use, a Class C can last more, giving you up to 300,000 miles of touring pleasure.How many gallons of water does a Class C RV hold? ›
Class C RVs will hold 35-60 gallons, Class Bs will hold around 20-40, and fifth wheel trailers hold about 60-80 gallons.What is the perfect RV length? ›
In general, anything up to 35 feet is ideal, but there are exceptions. For example, Banff National Park campgrounds limit RV length to 50 feet, while it's 25 feet in Death Valley National Park.What is the average length of a Class C RV? ›
Landing somewhere between the high-end luxury of a Class A RV and the adventurous spirit of a small Class B van, a Class C RV ranges between 21 and 41 feet long and offers a little bit of both RV styles. These RVs are easier to maneuver than a Class A but offer a few more amenities and space than a Class B.What is the average length of a Class C? ›
The shape of the class C resembles a van cab with an attached camper in place of the class A's bus-like figure. The average weight of a mini-motorhome is between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds. The typical length can cover between 20 to 28 feet. The standard exterior height reaches about 10 feet.What is a good length for motorhome? ›
Generally, Class A motorhomes run from around 25 feet in length all the way up to nearly 45 feet. Larger families and retired couples might need the living space of a 40-foot rig that provides more of the cozy comforts of home.What length of RV is easiest to drive? ›
Class B. Class B motorhomes are easy to drive, and they pack amenities into a compact package. They're typically 17 to 23 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 9 to 11 feet in height. Class B RVs don't usually have to worry about the height clearance of other motorhome types.Are Class C RVs worth it? ›
Class C RVs are terrific vehicles for getting into RV life, as well as for keeping a family comfortable while camping. They're more affordable, drivable, and flexible than other RV classes, and there are so many different floor plans that you should be able to find the perfect one to fit your needs.What is the shortest length of a Class C motorhome? ›
Class C motorhomes are a great choice for both weekend warriors and full-time travelers, thanks to the variety of floor plans and features available. They range in length from 22 feet up to 40 feet.
This type of RV is usually on a truck chassis and has a gas or diesel engine. Like the Class A, they are self-contained. We created this easy-to-reference list of the 5 best Class C RV floorplans for full-time living. The Winnebago 31N is a great Class C RV floor plan for full-time living – even if you have kids!What is the longest length of a Class C motorhome? ›
There are 3 types of Class C motorhomes — Class C Gas, Class C Diesel, and Super C Motorhomes. They are anywhere between 21 to 41 feet long and have an overhead cab for storage or sleeping space.How many miles does a Class C get? ›
RV Class C: RV Class C vehicles sit in the middle of Class A and Class B vehicles when it comes to fuel efficiency. If you own one of these, you can expect an average of 10-15 miles per gallon.What length motorhome is allowed in national parks? ›
Approximately 98% of national park campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 19 feet long. You still have a good selection if your RV is smaller than 25 feet more than 90% of parks permit that length. The number of available campsites drops if your RV is 29 to 32 feet long since about 80% of parks will let you in.What is the best size RV for 2 people? ›
Again, there is no perfect size RV based on family size. However, somewhere between 26 and 30 feet is an ideal size travel trailer for couples without children. These trailers are small enough for national parks, but also have enough space inside for work and play.What size RV is best for 2 people? ›
Class B motorhomes are an efficient and flexible travel option, especially for two people. They are smaller, more maneuverable, and get better fuel mileage than a Class A or Class C motorhome. They are less than 25' long and the width of a pick-up truck so they can parallel park in a typical city parking space.