Truck campers have come a long way from their early days when they were little more than a bare-bones shell with bed space. Van campers, now called Class B motorhomes, have likewise grown from humble beginnings. Once existing on the fringe of the RV market, the demand for these smaller, less-expensive, easy-to-maneuver RVs has increased as technical innovations in the RV industry have allowed manufacturers to fit a greater number of amenities into smaller spaces. Today’s truck campers and Class B RVs now offer most of the standard conveniences and amenities available in larger motorhomes and travel trailers, including kitchens and bathrooms with indoor showers. The addition of slides and pop-up roofs have overcome the cramped feeling that once limited the appeal of these RVs, giving them the spacious feeling of much larger RVs.
Modern truck campers and Class B RVs have become a first-choice for singles, couples, small families, weekenders and others who appreciate the drivability, maneuverability and fuel-efficiency of these smaller RVs. Truck campers and Class B RVs each have their fans and offer different advantages:
Truck campers. Avid outdoor sports enthusiasts have always been attracted to truck campers. A removable shell that fits onto the chassis of a pick-up truck, truck campers offer two distinct advantages: You can drive them anywhere your truck goes, making them ideal for off-road sports and remote wilderness camping; and you can disconnect your truck when you reach your destination so it can be used independently.
Truck campers range in length from 8 to 15 feet, sleep 4 to 6, and cost between $5,000 and $25,000 new. They are usually equipped with a 2- to 3-burner range, microwave, bar-style refrigerator, sink, toilet/shower, additional outdoor shower, storage, convertible seating, and a sleeping loft over the cab.
Class B motorhomes. Popular with singles and couples, more empty-nesters are downsizing to the cozy confines of more maneuverable, more fuel-efficient Class Bs. Built on a van or panel truck chassis with a raised roof, Class B motorhomes function as both a car and RV, providing vehicle seating and seatbelts for 5 to 7 people that converts into sleeping space for 2 to 4. Their primary advantage is that they drive like a car and offer similar fuel economy. Class B motorhomes are an excellent choice if most of your traveling will be on highways and paved roads.
Ranging in length from 16 to 22 feet and priced between $10,000 and $130,000, Class B motorhomes offer the same amenities as truck campers, although newer models with slides and overhead sleeping lofts offer greater space, more luxury options and more varied floor-plans.
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