A Class B RV is the smallest motorhome class, commonly called a camper van (or campervan). They are one step down from Class C RVs.
While some would say Class B RVs are too small for couples, we strongly disagree based on personal experience.
The early days of this type of RV come from the DIY community, with people converting commercial or passenger vans into their own style of camper van. These were obviously “built to fit” and specifically for the needs of the builder.
Today, Class B RVs have become so popular that many manufacturers are partnering directly with builders to sell professionally built camper vans. By now, you’ve likely swooned over some #vanlife content on social media, so you know exactly what we mean.
Ease of Driving: A Huge Factor in this Small Vehicle
In addition to van life content dominating social media, I’d guess that the rising popularity also comes from how easy a Class B is to drive. The intimidation factor is low because Class Bs drive like a van and have a better turning radius than trucks for increased maneuverability.
They also fit in a normal parking space in most cases! If you’ve driven enough RVs, you know just how cool this is. (Just mind your height clearance, please).
The shorter the wheelbase, the easier a camper van will be to drive down the road and make turns with.
These are the obvious pros, but what else is there to consider when shopping for the best Class B RVs for couples?
Is a Class B RV Worth the Money?
For such a small footprint and living space, you may wonder if a Class B RV is worth the money. The price per square foot is quite high, no matter how you slice it.
DIY Van Build: Most Bang for Your Buck
For example, our camper van was built on a Ram Promaster chassis and was an empty commercial van when we bought it. Our build-out was totally DIY and the cost was about $12,000 all-in.
Together with the cost of the van, we paid about $52,000 for our camper van. If you’ve been looking for a Class B, you know that’s an incredibly affordable price in the current market.
Our van was purchased nearly new as a 2015 model in 2016 with only a few hundred miles on it. But in comparison, our high-end Class A motorhome which was over $200,000 brand new, only cost us $40,000 when it was 20 years old.
Let’s Talk Price Per Square Foot
So our motorhome was about $100 per square foot, and the campervan was over $500 per square foot. So if living space is your primary concern, you can definitely get more space for your money than a Class B will offer.
Most Class B RV campervans are about seven feet wide, between nine and ten feet tall (exterior), and twenty to twenty-four feet long. Therefore, the average interior living space is no more than 120 square feet (including the cab area).
And depending on the layout, a lot of that space may be occupied by the build-out of the van (cabinets and other storage, components such as hot water heater, etc.). Actual floor space will be well under half of the total square feet.
What Value Do You Place on “Ease of Travel”?
However, if your top priorities are being nimble, fuel-efficient, and able to go just about anywhere, the high price per square foot may be worth it for you to invest in a Class B RV.
The best Class B for the money is probably one that you build yourself, assuming you have some basic skills, a strong desire and plenty of spare time!
The Most Affordable New Campervan?
After that option, the Pleasure-Way Tofino is a good value that will get you out on the road RV camping without completely breaking the bank. In other words, you will be able to get started for less than six figures.
It’s a pop top, so that saves money on the vehicle and the build-out, but it’s plenty capable and a good value for the minimalist campers out there who value adventure over amenities.
What Are The Best Class B RVs for Couples?
Any Class B may work for a solo traveler, but for couples, the small space really needs to be optimized Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular Class B RVs for couples, to help illustrate the different options available.
AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE 19
The Airstream Interstate 19 is built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform and feels sleek and modern on the inside, like any Airstream. Airstreams are known for their build quality in the RV industry.
At only 19 feet long, this camper van easily fits in a standard parking space. The bed is technically pretty large, but it must be converted at the end of each day which can become bothersome over time.
The Truma furnace and hot water heater come as a standard option, so you and your partner can enjoy unlimited hot water.
A 2023 Interstate 19 is starting at $200,681.
LEISURE TRAVEL VANS
Leisure Travel Vans can be built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis (Unity model) or a Ford Transit chassis (Wonder model).
They call their vans “compact luxury” and it’s true. These are some of the highest-end Class B RVs on the market.
Both models can be built with a murphy bed or with a two twin-bed setup in the front or rear. I personally like the idea of the two twins in the rear, so that a sleeping area could be left set up all of the time.
But I’m sure two beds wouldn’t work for some couples. LTVs murphy beds are “nearly king size” and are said to be quite easy to operate.
All LTVs come with a dry bath which gives it a residential feel. They also come with the Truma Premium Climate Package with air conditioning and a furnace to keep the van comfortable. Nice little amenities there!
The Wonder starts at $162,470 and the Unity starts at $170,070.
Winnebago has quite the offering of Class B RVs with sizes ranging from seventeen to twenty-three feet long. We like the Winnebago Revel for adventurous couples, due to its 4×4 capability, and power lift bed with gear garage.
The permanent bed of the Revel makes it great for couples. When one person is doing something in the standing space of the RV, the other person can be relaxing on the bed. Plus, you don’t have to convert the bed every day.
The Revel also has a dining area where the front seat swivels, and there’s a comfortable table for two.
The Revel is built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis with 4WD and is very off-road capable. This Class B was designed for the off-grid adventurer and is probably the best on this list for dry camping.
The Revel has a diesel engine and starts at $210,292.
The Coachmen Galleria is built on a Mercedes Sprinter 3500 extended platform and is just over twenty-four feet long. It has one of the cleanest running turbo-diesel “Blue TEC” engines.
For couples, I personally like the 24A floor plan with the fixed bed and storage underneath. This model also comes with a desk which is helpful if you or your partner need to work from the RV.
Coachmen uses only locally made cabinets by an Amish cabinet maker, for a nice touch.
MSRP on a Galleria 24A model is over $276,000, but finding one for sale under $220,000 is very possible.
The Thor Sequence claims to be one of the most fuel-efficient options on the market. It is built on the Ram Promaster 3500 XT window van and is just over twenty-one feet long.
But what’s really different about the Sequence is the front-wheel-drive platform. This way, you have more space under the vehicle and more options for build-out designs with all the necessities hidden under the van.
What will you do with all the extra interior storage space?
The Thor Sequence 2023 models start at $134,260.
For coming in at about half the cost of many of these other models, the Pleasure-Way Tofino is a beautiful and well-built camper van with all the comforts of home.
There’s a manual sofa bed as well as an overhead bunk. So if you and your partner prefer to have the living space in a fixed position, you could sleep up in the bunk and have the galley and sofa area available for other activities.
That being said, the pop top is soft-sided and has a tent-like feel that may not work for all couples. It’s also under 18 feet long, so you are sacrificing a little bit of living space, but gaining some nimbleness.
The 2023 Tofino is currently selling for around $94,250. But if you opt for the 2022 model, Pleasure-Way is offering a $5,000 rebate as a “limited-time offer” according to their website as of this writing.
Which Class B RV Is Your Favorite Pick?
Of course, there’s no single best Class B RV for everyone, we all have different needs and priorities. But we’ve tried to round up a handful of camper vans that might work well for adventurous couples who are ready to hit the road.
We hope this exploration has helped you sort through the many choices of chassis and builders if you’re in the market for a Class B RV.
Maybe after reading about all of these Class B RV manufacturers, you have a different vision. If you’d rather build your own, the most common chassis are the Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Ram Promaster.
You can hire someone to do the van build-out or you can DIY it like we did. There are also options out there to purchase campervan conversion kits, which is kind of the “middle road” between DIY and a professional build-out.
We’ve seen some very purpose-built vans that only the user could have come up with. You know what you need, so make sure your van suits your needs. Trust us, every square inch counts in a small space.
Whatever Class B RV size or style you choose, camper vans have become a symbol of freedom for good reason. They’re easy to drive and park anywhere: you can drive down the Baja if you want, or take your van over beautiful mountain passes.
We miss our van every day, for the freedom it provided us. Pick the one that’s right for you, and most importantly, get out there and explore with it at every opportunity!
Kristen Sargent lives & works from her RV, primarily boondocking off-grid. She owns and operates a women-led travel company, Legit Trips. Kristen loves to explore new places and inspire others to do the same. If she’s not typing away on her laptop, she’s off on an adventure- hiking, biking, or SUP boarding. You can follow her RV adventures @PerpetualMoves and learn more about her travel company at LegitTrips.com.