Advantages of a travel trailer over a Class B
You have a lot of choices when it comes to picking the type of RV that’s right for you and the way that you want to travel. Enamored with the idea of van life, new RVers will often consider Class B motorhomes. Class B motorhomes are the smallest motorized RVs, ranging between 18 and 24-feet long. Typically built on a cargo van chassis, you’ll find many popular models on Mercedes Sprinter platforms.
While B-vans are great for some travelers, they have their downsides. After weighing the pros and cons, you may decide that a luxury travel trailer is the better choice for the RV lifestyle you want to live.
Class B RVs Are Small
Because most Class B camper vans are just 18 to 24-feet long, they can fit in a normal parking spot. While that may be perfect if you’re planning on spending a lot of time in parking lots, it’s less ideal for a camping experience that allows you to actually be in your RV. Keep in mind that the length includes the space occupied by the driver’s cockpit and the engine compartment. Sure, you can swivel those seats around into the living area, but it doesn’t get you any more floor space.
In a Class B, every space does double and sometimes triple duty. There are no dedicated spaces and very few private places. For example, the couch in the “living” space typically folds down into the bed, which means you have to remove your bedding every morning and then put it back on each night. Not having a dedicated sleeping space (and making and re-making the bed every day), could get old quickly.
Travel trailers, on the other hand, range from 18 to 35 feet in length. More spacious than a tear drop or pop up, but not as challenging to maneuver as a fifth wheel, travel trailers offer luxury and convenience all in one efficient package. When you’re towing a travel trailer like the Bowlus, the entire footprint of your RV is maximized for the ultimate camping experience. With a spacious twenty-six feet, our floor plans are designed to provide both supreme comfort and maximum performance. With dedicated sleeping, cooking, entertaining, and living spaces you’re guaranteed to not feel cramped inside, even if you’re entertaining guests.
The multiple zones you’ll find in most travel trailers allow you to isolate the various living spaces to give you some time away from your travel companions. With a Class B, that’s nearly impossible. In most B’s, two people can’t even pass each other in the walkway.
Space for the Necessities
Class B’s have notoriously limited storage space. Even models that have a “garage” in the rear can’t overcome the lack of storage, since the garage while you’re driving is your living and sleeping space when you’ve set up camp. This makes it hard to bring along a lot of the things that make your camping experience luxurious, such as propane grills, camp chairs, and more than a few clothing items.
Travel trailers beat Class Bs in the storage category, hands down. The unique storage solutions built into every Bowlus provide plenty of room for the necessities and the luxuries. There are ample cupboards and drawers throughout the luxury RV, including yours and mine closets.
You’d be hard pressed to cook anything resembling a gourmet meal in a Class B kitchen which, due to space limitations, is pretty bare bones. B van kitchens must pack the fridge, cooktop, sink, and microwave into a very small footprint – which means that everything included is small. Most refrigerators in Bs are smaller than what you’d find in a dorm room, which means you’ll need to make more trips to the store to restock. The cooktop and small sink will occupy most of the limited counter space too, leaving you very little prep space for cutting boards, bowls, utensils, and food.
Compare this to the gourmet kitchens you can find in many luxury travel trailers. The Bowlus Endless Highways Edition and Terra Firma offer a European style kitchen complete with spacious stainless steel countertops and a two-burner propane gas cooktop. The fridge is perfectly sized to fit your trip’s pre-prepped meals and snacks, and the freezer is big enough for a pint of ice cream, a bottle of tequila, and other frozen treats.
The Bathroom Situation
One of the other consequences of the small footprint is that Class B bathrooms are tiny. In some models, the bathroom will consist of just a toilet. Others will have a wet bath, which puts the shower, bathroom sink, and toilet all in the same small area. While an efficient use of floorspace, everything gets wet when you take a shower – including the walls, the toilet, and the mirror.
With dry baths, like you’ll find in travel trailers, the RV shower is in its own enclosure just like at home. Depending on the floorplan of your RV, the toilet may be in its own small room. In a Bowlus, there are doors to close off the entire bathroom space or just the toilet room, giving you and your traveling companions privacy.
Because dry baths contain the shower’s water in the shower’s enclosure, you’ll also have storage in the bathroom. There are no cabinets in wet baths because of the moisture issues.
The Vehicle Conundrum
While Class B camper vans are certainly easier to drive and get better gas mileage than Class C RVs or Class A motorhomes, they have limited towing capacity. You’ll rarely see a Class B motorhome towing a dinghy vehicle, like you would with an A or C. Without a second vehicle, anytime you need to go somewhere (like to the market to replenish the limited refrigerated items you brought with you), you have to disconnect your hookups and tear down your campsite. Sure, you’ll have everything with you when you go exploring for the day, but you’ll be spending a fair amount of your RV trip on the mechanics of camping.
One of the key benefits of owning a luxury travel trailer is that you have a vehicle that makes sightseeing easy. All you have to do is hop in your SUV and head out for the day. If you have a lightweight travel trailer like a Bowlus, you can even tow with your luxury SUV or your electric vehicle. At just 3,200 pounds dry weight, a vehicle rated to tow 5,000 pounds can easily tow your Bowlus travel trailer. That means you won’t have to buy a dedicated towing vehicle like a pickup truck or maintain the engine on a Class B van.
Also, consider that if something happens to your Class B while you’re on the road, you’ll be stranded because your only mode of transportation is in the shop.
One final consideration for Class Bs revolves around the seating for passengers. Often, the location of the belted seats in B vans means that passengers must travel sideways. This could be problematic for people with motion sensitivities, or worse, could lead to more serious injuries in the case of an accident. If you’re towing a travel trailer, all of your passengers and your pets are safely and comfortably secured in your luxury SUV that’s crash test rated.