Truck Camper Vs. Class B Motorhome: Which Is Best For You?

If you are looking for a small RV with just enough room for one or two people, you might have narrowed the list down to a truck camper or a class B motorhome. Both truck campers and class B motorhomes are a fantastic choice for one or two people to go on a camping, hunting, fishing, or road trip. They are one of the cheapest types of RV, and both have pros and cons that make them distinct from each other. But, which one is best for you, a truck camper or a class B motorhome?

If you are trying to compare a truck camper and a class B motorhome, a few things will stand out right away. First, truck campers are smaller, and thus have less room for storage and other amenities. However, truck campers are cheaper than class B motorhomes, tend to be more fuel-efficient, and work much better as an off-road RV. With that said, truck campers work better for those who are going on short trips and only want to bring the essentials they need. 

On the other hand, class B motorhomes offer a lot more room. For example, you can easily fit a small couch, tv, and a small kitchen while still having room for a bed. This makes class B motorhomes more valuable to those looking for a more comfortable camping experience. You will be able to bring extra clothes and camping equipment while being able to retreat into your RV for extra comfort. 

While our explanation above might seem a little vague, it is just an oversimplified version. As you continue to read this article, we will go in-depth about the key differences which you need to know about these small RVs.

Truck Camper Vs. Class B Motorhome: Which is Best for You?

When looking for the perfect RV, there are many things you need to consider. One of the most important things you need to know before purchasing an RV is what you want to use it for and how many people you plan on fitting inside your RV. If you plan to go on short trips or only need enough room for one or two people, then a truck camper or a class B motorhome will likely be the best candidates.

Below we will describe the advantages and disadvantages of each RV in question.

What is a Class B Motorhome

Class B motorhomes are the smallest and cheapest out of the motorhome category. This type of RV will sometimes be called a campervan because it shares a striking resemblance to a large van. The class B motorhome’s smaller size provides better maneuverability over its larger motorhome relatives.

However, understanding what is classified as a class B motorhome is only half of it. You must also know the advantages and disadvantages to make sure you purchase the right RV. We will be discussing the advantages first to show how a class B motorhome could be better suited for you over a truck camper.

Advantages of a Class B Motorhome

Class B motorhomes and truck campers are some of the smallest RVs on the market and only have enough room for one or two people. Because of this, most people will compare them to each other. However, class B motorhomes have their own set of advantages, making them more suitable for your needs.

  • Class B Motorhomes are Easier to Park

Class A and B can have some issues finding somewhere to park. Furthermore, some larger truck campers can also have difficulties parking. This is not the case with a campervan. With a campervan, you can park in nearly any regulation parking spot. Moreover, campervans do not have an extended cab, which means your mirrors will not get blocked by other people parking next to you, which makes backing out of your parking spot a breeze. Class B motorhomes also don’t have any overhang, which means you can easily park your campervan without having to worry if you are too close to adjacent parking spaces.

  • Class B Motorhomes are Easy to Store

This is one aspect where class B motorhomes have over truck campers. Because a campervan is a single vehicle, they are much easier to store and do not require you to detach anything. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay for storage space because you can easily park your campervan in your garage or driveway. On the other hand, truck campers require you to detach the RV from your truck, which can be a hassle if you plan on using your truck on a daily basis once you return from your trip.

  • Class B Motorhomes are an All-In-One Vehicle
© Airstream

Like all motorhomes, campervans are all-in-one vehicles, which means the living area is connected to the driver’s cabin. This provides a few bonus perks. For example, suppose you are traveling with someone. In that case, the passenger can get up and walk into the living area to cook a meal, get a couple of drinks, or even rest so they can continue to drive once you are ready to take a break.

  • Class B Motorhomes Have More Usable Room than a Truck Camper

When comparing a class B motorhome to a truck camper, you should quickly notice that they are larger. This size advantage allows for a few additional amenities for which truck campers do not have room. For example, a class B motorhome will usually come with a small but built-in kitchen for which a truck camper will have no room. Furthermore, a campervan will have more storage space than a truck camper. Most of the size difference comes from the truck camper needing to be placed on a truck bed which severely limits the available space in a truck camper.

Disadvantages of a Class B Motorhome

While the advantages of a class B motorhome might seem enticing, it’s not the whole story. When comparing a campervan to a truck camper, you will notice that a campervan can have some severe drawbacks.

  • Weaker Towing Ability

Class B motorhomes are able to tow a small vehicle or even a toy camper. However, campervans have a much lower towing capacity compared to truck campers. In addition, campervans are much heavier than truck campers, and towing a boat or a toy hauler can cause some difficulties. On the other hand, trucks tend to be more powerful and able to tow heavier loads, even with the additional weight added by a truck camper.

  • Campervan Living Area Does Not Detach

While this can be an advantage when storing your RV, it offers less versatility than a truck camper. Some truck campers can be detached and stand on jacks so that you can use your truck to go pick up some materials or food rather than having to haul your entire RV around. Furthermore, all of the amenities in a campervan rely on the vehicle’s power to operate. This means if your campervan suffers from a breakdown, there is a good chance that nothing inside the van will work.

  • Class B Motorhomes Cost More to Purchase and Insure
© Airstream

Purchasing a motorhome is like purchasing a whole new vehicle. Most class B motorhomes will cost around $30,000 to $80,000 depending on size, amenities, floorplans, and roof extensions. This does not include luxury options which can easily cost over $100,000. Furthermore, insuring a campervan is much more expensive than a truck camper. Insuring a campervan can cost you over $1,000 a year, while purchasing insurance for a truck camper will only cost around $300 a year.

What is a Truck Camper?

A truck camper is a type of RV which is built to be an extension for your truck. However, instead of towing your RV around, a truck camper fits onto your truck’s flatbed. This provides a few advantages over the towable RVs and essentially turns your pick-up truck into a class B motorhome.

Advantages of a Truck Camper

This section will discuss the advantages of a truck camper versus a class B van. It will highlight specific circumstances in which these RVs might better fit a person’s needs. It should also reveal whether your lifestyle is compatible with what a truck camper can provide.

  • Truck Campers Have Better Off-Road Capabilities

A truck camper is the best option for anyone seeking an RV with off-road capability. They’re ideal for anybody who wants to escape society because of their two-axle design and compact size. Suppose your truck has a four-wheel-drive option. In that case, it will further increase a truck camper’s off-road capabilities, allowing you to traverse remote country roads and let you explore areas where no other RV could possibly go.

  • Truck Campers Provide a Better Fuel Economy

With the rising gasoline and diesel prices, some RV hobbyists have had to put their camping trips on hold. Motorhomes have horrible fuel management compared to truck campers due to their large engines, heavy weight, and poor aerodynamics. Because of this, motorhomes will only get around 6 to 10 miles per gallon. On the other hand, you can expect your truck camper to get 15 to 20 miles per gallon and over 20 if your truck uses diesel.

  • Truck Campers are Less Expensive to Insure and Purchase
© scoutcampers & blessthisstuff

If you are looking to purchase a truck camper, then there is a very good chance that you already own a decent pick-up truck. If this is the case, a truck camper will only cost around $3,000 to $10,000, depending on its quality. This initial cost is far cheaper than even the cheapest class B motorhome.

Furthermore, truck campers are incredibly cheap to insure. Truck campers are not classified as RVs in 42 states, which lets them dodge the increased motorhome insurance costs. On average, insurance for a class B motorhome will cost around $1,000 or more a year. On the other hand, you will only pay around $20 a month to insure your truck camper. However, when purchasing a truck camper, make sure that it does not exceed your truck’s GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). Doing so can cause your insurance company to deny coverage if you get into an accident.

  • Truck Campers are More Versatile

Truck campers are the most versatile option for truck owners looking for a small RV. Truck campers allow their truck to easily tow an additional small vehicle, boat, and toy hauler. Furthermore, truck campers can be easily detached from the truck once you’ve set up camp, allowing you to use your truck for errands or exploration.

Disadvantages of a Truck Camper

A truck camper isn’t great in every way. Having one of these RVs comes with several serious drawbacks. This section will go through these disadvantages in order to help you decide if acquiring one is the best solution for you.

  • Truck Campers Do Not Have a Lot Of Space

Truck campers can be very small, and many of them only have enough room for one or two people to sit or lay down comfortably. Furthermore, truck campers are much too small for a lot of the amenities that you can find in a Class B motorhome. Moreover, if you or your traveling partner need to access the inside of your camper, you will need to pull over.

  • You May Need a Specific Truck Model to Match the Camper You Want

Truck campers are not a one-size-fits-all vehicle. Many truck campers are built for a specific truck model in order to be used properly. Furthermore, truck campers can be very heavy and need a heavy-duty truck to haul them around. Sometimes even a heavy-duty truck will not be able to hold the weight of a truck camper. In these cases, you will need to modify your truck to mount your truck camper properly. Some of these modifications can be very expensive, like strengthening the suspension.

If you are looking to get into RV-ing as soon as possible, a truck camper will not be the best option. It will take time to find a camper that matches your truck or apply upgrades to match the requirements of the camper you want. If this seems like too much of a hassle, then a class B motorhome might be better for you.

Final thoughts

Truck campers and campervans are perfect for those who want to go on a trip by themselves or with one other person. They make for excellent RVs that can go where other RVs can’t, making for an excellent solitary camping experience. Hopefully, our guide has provided you with enough information to decide which of these two RVs is perfect for you.

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