Problems With Class C Motor Homes

by Mary Schultz

A Class C motor home, sometimes called a mini motor home, is a recreational vehicle (RV) built on or built as an integral part of a motorized chassis that is self-propelled. It uses a standard truck or van chassis or cab with sleeping quarters traditionally built above the cab. It is this cab section that distinguishes a Class C from other motor homes. Class Cs are popular rentals noted for just a few challenges and problems.

Limited Storage Space

Class C motor homes are usually about 20 to 32 feet long. This compact space often includes a living room area that converts to a bed, a dining area that converts to a bed, a cab-over bed, a galley kitchen and bathroom, with enough space to accommodate an entire family. All this living space in a relatively short length means the Class C usually has fewer and smaller cargo compartments than a Class A motor home. A Class A motor coach often provides "basement," or under-unit storage space. With a Class C, outside cabinets may need to be devoted to hoses and the like, leaving little or no storage space for gear, bikes, toys and in-camp items such as patio furniture, rugs, mats and ice chests.

Cab-Over Profile, Low GVW and Truck Suspension

A Class C rides like a truck because it is essentially a truck. The ride can be more fatiguing to the driver than that of a comparable Class A motor home. Because of its cab-over design, a Class C motor home can be subject to buffeting by the wind. That factor makes it somewhat harder to control and maintain in a driving lane. Challenges to control can contribute to driver fatigue. One technique to combat the control problem is to decrease driving speed. Because it is so compact, the Class C also tends to have a relatively low Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) rating. A low cargo carrying capacity means that a family must limit the weight of the items it loads into the motor home or risk overloading it. Overloading can impede controlled braking and can even lead to blown tires. A heavily loaded motor home cannot stop as quickly as a motor home loaded within GVW guidelines. A method to overcome potential weight problems is to limit what the family brings and keep the load light.

Cost to Operate

A Class C motor home is essentially a truck under a load. Fuel consumption for Class C motor homes can be less than economical. If you are renting a Class C, ask about miles-per-gallon considerations when you are finding out about rental fees and mileage use costs. Knowing in advance how far you can go on a tank of fuel and what that fuel is likely to cost is preferable to being surprised at the pump.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera rv image by Greg Pickens from