Class C RV models are known by many names also such as motorhome type C, alcove campers or coach-built campers. Class C RV is quite different from RVs from classes A and B.
As they are called also alcove campers, the eponymous feature of this RV type, class C RV, is the typical hump above the cabin called alcove, cabin-over or cab-over bunk.
This alcove component takes on a spacious double bed and thus lives up to its name. The structure is a chassis with drive unit and cab, on which the respective manufacturers place a wide housing structure with straight sidewalls. This creates a lot of space, especially since the already mentioned bed upstairs leaves room for something else.
Searching A Class C RV: Pros
- Maintenance of the van chassis: Maintenance of a class C RV is relatively straightforward. A Class C RV which was constructed on a van chassis is easily maintained from visits to the repair shop. However, a class C RV that is built on a larger chassis will probably need to be taken into a truck service center.
- These units are more compact sizes of class A RVs.
- More sleeping capacity and there is usually plenty of accommodation in the sleeping quarters. That is one of the functions of that section above the cabin of the driver, the alcove, that provides another bed for sleeping.
- Simpler to drive in adverse weather.
- Built closer to the ground for a more convenient entrance and exit
- Safer because of the cockpit construction that provides more structural stability.
- They have less interior space to cool or heat.
- The living area is accessible while the vehicle is moving.
- They cost less than the class A RVs mainly because of the difference with the bus conversion.
- Their small size makes it possible for them to fit into almost any campground or park very easily, so you have more choices of where you can stay at night. A Class C RV also takes going off-road much better than most other larger RV types.
- They can house up to six people. This would be perfect for both large families and small ones. If the family is a small one, the extra space can be used for storage.
- It is possible for a class C RV to tow a car along. This depends on the towing capacity of the RV as a towing vehicle. It is a good idea to take advantage of this feature. Having a car would allow you to move around a city with ease. If you are on vacation, you can pack your motorhome, and go sightseeing in your car. An advantage you also have with travel trailers.
- They are very popular because due to their size, customization is easier than in larger models
Searching A Class C RV For Sale: Cons
- There are some problems with sleeping arrangements. Some beds have to be made up at night and taken down in the morning, like the dinette area. If a lot of people are packed in one room, privacy is almost impossible. The cabin-over bed, though perfect for small children, is not suitable for adults, and believe me I have used them.
- Due to the presence of the cabin-over or alcove bed, the front windshield is smaller in a Class C RV, than the one found in class A motorhome vehicles.
- The height: Especially to note this feature with tunnels, barriers or bridges, it is important to pay attention to the road signs and the maximum clearance.
- Gas mileage consumption of an RV of this type can be comparable to a Class A RV without the extra features and space that can be found in Class A RV.
- Slower cruise speed and more consumption: Related to what was discussed earlier, with the larger overall height, due to the alcove, there are also changes in the driving characteristics, due to the fact of the very particular with respect to air resistance and aerodynamics. This is noticeable, for example, in the crosswind.
- They are frequently built on van or truck frames. This means that they can easily get overloaded. This limits how much you can take on a trip. However, if the number of people using the vehicle is minimal, space will not be a problem. Added to that, if a large group of people packs only essentials, space will not be a problem either. Also depends if your particular class C RV has a toy hauler available.
What To Look For?
So, in a Class C RV, there is a proper kitchen with stove, sink, and refrigerator in this category just as natural as a wet room with a sink, toilet, and shower. Called in the jargon “dinette”, this is an independent sitting area with two opposite benches at a table, and that is another typical element. This dinette can be converted at night with a few simple steps to the second double bed. Therefore this makes the class C RV floor plan especially family-friendly. In larger models, the second group of seats, a fixed bed or bunk beds are often housed in the rear of the vehicle. This means that up to six people can sleep.
WE HAVE TWO MAIN FEATURES OF THE CLASS C RV: ALCOVE TWIN BEDS PLUS A FAMILY FRIENDLY FLOORPLAN.
Many of these models are fully suitable for winter thanks to their heating, an insulated structure including windows and the frequently used double floor. The latter offers in addition to the various cabinets additional storage space, often allow a rear space called generally toy hauler, to house a scooter, several bicycles or various sports equipment.
Class C RV, the alcove models, as they are also called, they come in such different variations, that they are suitable for every need. Especially if you are traveling with the whole family and need many sleeping arrangements, a class C RV can be the right choice.
There are different variations in the floor plan, with longitudinal beds and stairs.
Due to the fact that the beds are located above the driver’s cabin, there is some more room for maneuvering space.
Furthermore, I can say that these alcove beds, where alcove stands for the fixed bed above the driver’s cabin, is aerodynamically unfavorable, it also avoids a panoramic view from the front, but it is absolutely useful as a second fixed sleeping accommodation, without having to convert the dining area or utilize fold-down bed. If you want to travel with more than one child, you will land quickly in a Class C RV for sale instead of any other type of camper.
Inside the class C RV floorplan, there are diverse sleep options. In the rear area, a large bed can be selected, which extends over the entire width of the class C RV. This is suitable as a “family bed” if necessary so that the alcove can be converted into a pure-play area. If the family relinquishes the large rear toy hauler, a bunk bed is available in the rear of the vehicle. The biggest advantage is that through two separate beds one above the other also small own rooms for the children can be created. Depending on your mood and your character, if you or the children just want some time for himself he can go to the alcove and can retire to his own realm.
Whether the daily conversion of the seating area to the sleeping area is practical or not, each prospective user will have his own preferences. Some want a compact class C RV, possibly even completely without a rear bed, what for me is a mistake because the alcove beds are very small for adults. Others, prefer maximum space and thus accept a much larger and often unwieldy Class C RV
Target Group For a Class C RV: Families with Small Children
Those looking for optimal space solutions in relation to the length of the vehicle are usually families. They are a great advantage here due to the optimal floorplan layout in class C RV units. There are some disadvantages, but in contrast to the advantages, are not very important.
Who wants to use the bedroom only for sleeping and it does not bother to have only a few inches to the roof. People without handicaps cannot use the cab-over bed.
Class C RVs are ideal for families because here the children have their own area, which is the alcove above the cabin of the driver.
Even if a class C RV provides an additional bedroom, you always need a ladder to get into your bed. However, this can be dismantled during the day and stowed elsewhere. For the duration of the journey, the stay in the sleeping alcove is not permitted for safety reasons. Especially if you travel with children, you should follow this rule. But of course, when the class C RV is parked, I suggest that the alcove can be used as a playroom.
Floorplan and Beds Available
An alcove sleeping bed is permanently installed in a Class C RV, and ready for the utilization at any time in contrast to lifting beds or dinettes, which have to be set up first. In addition, the alcove offers a lot of space, making it useful for many travelers as a storage area, and as a children playroom during the day.
This type of recreational vehicle, the class c RV, is particularly popular for the fact that the living space is ideally utilized thanks to an alcove. Beds that otherwise would occupy plenty of space in the rear or living area are deployed instead, in the sleeping alcove. Thus, this RV offers enough space for spacious seating or a comfortable interior.
Also impressive, is the enormous living room height, as the height of the structure is designed to accommodate the alcove. Especially in bad weather, where you are limited in outdoor activities and spend a long time inside the RV, such a situation can be significantly beneficial.
Camper families need space. Therefore they need a class C RV with plenty of seating and sleeping accommodation, enough freedom of movement, a generously dimensioned refrigerator, a large bathroom, and an inviting toy hauler.
When looking for a class C RV, it should have a full dinette (a four-seat group with vis-à-vis benches) and possibly a side panel (two-seat group).
Checking a Class C RV For Sale Before Buying
Checking Before Buying: The Outside
Even the base vehicle itself must not be left out during the inspection. Is the underbody stainless? Does the engine start flawlessly even when cold and run smoothly without smoking? Does the transmission work properly? Howling gears usually announce gearbox damage. If the vehicle pulls to one side, there is something wrong with the suspension or steering.
Checking Before Buying: Inside the Class C RV
We have an article where we describe step by step all the points that you have to check before buying an RV, and most of them apply of course to class C RV units as well: https://rvfavorites.com/campers-for-sale/ Go there first and then come back for some particular issues found in this RV type.
Start in the cabin. What is the mileage? Does it fit with the condition of the steering wheel and pedals? Check the cabin lights. Is there windscreen damage?
In what condition is the living space? Close all windows and doors before you check it outside. This gives you a chance to recognize mold or musty odor. Then keep your hands off it. A major problem with used RVs is leakage and flooding. Open all cabinets, grab it in and smell it. Smells of mold that you recognize? Hava a moisture meter, so you can measure if there is a leak somewhere. Even dark spots can be a sign of mold.
Does everything work? Taps, drains, toilet, electrical appliances, refrigerator (gas and electricity test) and also the stove and the light. What is the condition of the batteries? Usually, there is one for the engine (starter battery) and one or more for the living area.
So as, we said, check this article for a piece of complete information about all the points, step by step, to check before buying. It applies to this RV type or to most of the types of recreational vehicles.
I am Tony, an RV designer and RV developer. I create bill of materials for RV manufacturers for travel trailers and fifth wheels. I worked as a freelance transportation consultant for Lyft. As an RV development consultant, I create customization trees for RV manufacturers who want to offer a solution to prospective customers to design their custom RV with variant configuration. Apart from this, I sell in Indiana trailer hitches, hitch balls, goosenecks and weight distribution systems where I provide advice to customers who want to know which is their towing capacity, which hitch ball should they utilize and how to deploy a weight distribution system. I do my best to explain all these processes and their installation, here in RV Favorites.