The Class B Motorhome is sometimes called the Van Camper.  It consists of a commercial cargo type van shell which has been adapted to become a RV.

While it starts life as a van which is used for commercial purposes one should not make the mistake of thinking that this is in some way a lesser type of entity than RVs that enjoy a more elevated status.  They are professionally designed and built by individuals who work for companies that are well practiced in delivering just the kind of vehicle you want to buy.

Compared to their bigger relations, and indeed even when compared to an average travel trailer or caravan, these units can look  bit short on space.  I always find it amazing though at how well everything is thought through for most of these vehicles.  They rarely contain a shower or toilet unit but nearly everything else is in there.  I’ve seen owners cook very good meals using the built in cooker.  While it may not be possible for somebody to sit around watching TV while somebody else retires to bed, it certainly is possible to get a good nights sleep in comfort.

You will often find a little satellite TV system in the Class B along with everything you need to listen to music.

This type of camper van is often used to very good effect with an awning or with an associated tent.  They often come equipped with a pull out, or even a crank-out, shade awning which can be fixed in place to provide shelter outside the van from extremes of sunshine, rain and other inclement types of weather.  They are often used also with an awning that is in effect a tent, erected separately to the vehicle but with a matching elevation that joins up with the side door when parked.  This is useful from the point of view of extending the living space while also retaining your claim to your pitch when you drive away to sample what the local area has to offer.

The Van Camper is often bought by people who want a flexible, easy to use reasonably priced option. They tend to be those with small families or couples who travel without other family members.  People who like to spend a night or two in different places will find these useful as they are easy to drive, park and set up.  They are often enjoyed by people with an active lifestyle who like to surf, walk or cycle for long periods rather than sit around in the camper relaxing.  That being said, with the awning deployed it is very easy to engage in long periods of useful and regenerating passive recreation also.  There is nothing better than sitting around in nice weather under the awning engaging in people watching,  reading a good book or listening to a game on the radio.

I suppose to a certain extent everybody who uses RVs or who goes camping in one form or another sees life and their surroundings somewhat differently to to those who don’t.  This way of thinking can apply in particular to some owners of camper vans, in particular the subset of who tend to own vehicles like the vintage Volkswagen units.  This things can be a state of mind as well as being a motorhome and most owners are well rooted in the history and traditions of 20th century music and popular culture. They become a hobby in more ways than simply being used for camping and owners will spend many hours, and often a great deal of cash, getting them just the way they want them.

Your choice of destinations increase as the size of your unit decreases because of the increasing degrees of flexibility.  Your unit is smaller, while still having most of what it takes to make life comfortable, so it will go down narrower roads and fit into smaller spaces when you get there.  They can be very useful vehicles for attending events such as outdoor concerts and sports events where parking space may be somewhat limited.  As well as being easy to park they are also useful for going to the shops to replenish supplies.  They are an extremely popular vehicle and can be seen on campsites and at events all over the world each year.

Sometimes they are used for independent, otherwise know as wild camping.  This means setting up camp in areas other than designated campsites.  If you are going to do this do ensure that you do so with the full knowledge and permission of the landowner, whether or not it is public or private land.  This however is something that you should not do as it is safer and more secure to stay on recognised campsites.   If you want to be a little more adventurous then your local, motorhome, camping or caravan organisation can point you in the direction of smaller sites that are possibly in locations that are in-accessible to larger vehicles.

 Manufacturers

Van Camper – Class B Motorhome

Advanced RV, 4590 Hamann Parkway, Willloughby, OH 44094. Tel 440 283 0405

Airstream, 419 W. Pike Street, Jackson Center, OH 45334  Tel 937 596 6111



Coach House, 3480 Technology Drive, Nokomis, FL 34275.  Tel 941 485 0984

Conquest, 1701 Century Drive, Goshen, IN 46528.  Tel 574 533 3121

Forest River, 55470 CR 1, Elkhart, IN 46515.     Tel 574 389 4600

Four Winds International, 701 CR 15, Elkhart, IN 46515.  Tel 574 266 1111

Great West Vans, 329 Parkdale Road, St. Andrews, MB RIA 3N9.  Tel 204 338 9303

GTRV, 1833 Cooper Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472.  Tel 888 332 9602

Holiday Rambler, 91320 Coburg Industrial Way, Coburg, OR 97408.  Tel 541 686 8011

Jayco, 903 S. Main Street, Middlebury, IN 46540.  tel 574 825 5861

Krystal Enterprises, 2701 E. Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821. Tel 714 986 1200

Leisure Travel Vans Ltd., P.O. Box 1208, Morden, MB R6M 1B1.  Tel 204-822-3009

Monaco Coach Corporation, 91320 Coburg Industrial Way, Coburg, OR 97408.  Tel 541 686 8011

Nexus RV, 3400 Reedy Drive, Elkhart, IN 46514.  Tel 855 786 3987

Pleasure-Way Industries, 302 Portage Avenue, Saskatoon, SK S7J 0Y0.  Tel 306 934 6578

Prestige MotorCoach Corp., 400 W Gardena Blvd., Gardena, CA 90248.  Tel 310 217 2300

R-Vision, 1628 W. Beardsley, Elkhart, IN 46514.  Tel 574 268 2111

Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc., 100 Shirley Avenue, Kitchener, ON N2B 2E1.  Tel 519 745 1169

Sportsmobile, 250 Court Street, Huntington, IN 46750.     Tel 260 356 5435

The Utility Bodywerks, 21912 Protecta Drive, Elkhart, IN 46516.  Tel 574 522 8422

Tuscany Motor Coach, 2811 Tuscany Drive, Shipshewana, IN 46565.  Tel 574 389 9000

Winnebago Industries, 605 W. Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436.  Tel 641 585 3535

Xplorer Motor Homes, 4315 Wyland Drive Elkhart, IN 46516.  Tel 574 293 1775