It’s time to get Class C! 😋
Now that we got that corny joke out of the way, we can move on. 🤣
- Want to hit the open road but aren’t ready to drive (or pay for) a huge Class A?
- Need something that’s easy to handle but don’t want to deal with a cramped camper van?
Then a small Class C RV under 25 feet is for you. In this 10-minute read let’s look at:
- What is a Class C RV?
- Why choose a small Class C?
- 11 of the Best Class C RVs Under 25 Feet
- Plus some things you should consider when purchasing
What Is a Class C RV?
Class A motorhomes are the big guys. They’re the big RVs built on commercial bus or truck chassis. Class A RVs are expensive, gas hogs, and difficult to drive. But with all the space and comforts, you kinda feel like a rock star. 😜
Class B motorhomes are basically campervans. They’re smaller, a little cheaper than most Class C RVs, and easier to drive. However, because everything fits in a van and they don’t have slide outs, space is tight.
Class C RVs are kinda right in the middle. Some small Class Cs are built on the same chassis as Class Bs. However, they’ve got a larger cabin that looks less like a van and more like a normal RV. Plus, most Class C motorhomes also have an over the cab sleeping area.
Why Choose a Small Class C RV?
A small Class C RV that’s under 25 feet is a smart choice because you get a lot of the benefits of the Class As and the Class Bs.
Benefits of a small Class C over Class B:
- More interior space despite being almost the same length
- Better ceiling height
- Larger bathrooms
- Larger storage tanks for more time away from the campground
- Most are able to tow a car
- Better for families with kids
Benefits of Class C over Class A:
- Easier to drive
- Better for tight roads in national parks
- Go places a Class A can’t
- Better gas mileage
- Cheaper to buy and maintain
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty…the list of some of the best small Class C RVs. Here it is!
*And since you’re looking for a small RV, you could definitely use these 9 PERFECT Small RV Bathroom Organization Tricks! [Printable PDF].
11 Best Class C RVs Under 25 Feet
As with a lot of my listacles, these aren’t organized from best to worst, prettiest to ugliest, or cheapest to most expensive. Choose the one that works best for your needs.
Ok, let’s start off with a small Class C from one of the top travel trailer and RV manufacturers.
Kinda feels like your touring in your own private luxury jet
Pros: Barely bigger than a Class B, but has a residential style bathroom that’s nicer than some Class As.
Cons: Starts at a little over $250,000. Yikes 😬
The Atlas is Airstream’s biggest touring coach. Really it’s just a little bigger than their Class Bs. Airstream actually calls it a Class B+.
But WOW! Is it awesome! Airstreams are known for being intelligently designed with high-quality features and the Atlas is no different. It doesn’t have a bed over cab design like most Class C motorhomes but it does have a slideout with a couch + murphy bed.
That lets them dedicate extra space to storage room and a large residential style bathroom that makes you feel like you’re at home. The bathroom’s got a large shower with sliding glass doors that’s nicer than what you might find in most apartments.
Plus, with the Atlas you get these other top quality features:
- Onan 3.2kw diesel generator
- Kohler faucets
- Rooftop solar panels
- Samsung Smart TV
- Trusted Mercedes quality
Check out the 2022 Atlas video tour.
Ok, now let’s go from one of the most expensive on the list to one of the least expensive.
Simple but practical.
Pros: One of the most budget-friendly on the list starting at $92,374 for the Chevy version.
Cons: Lacks the refinement of many of the nicer motorhomes
At just 24 feet long, this small Class C RV is great for a couple or small family looking for practicality on a budget.
Between the queen murphy bed in the back, the over cab bunk, and the large dinette that converts into a full bed, this motorhome has sleeping space for six. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have any slideouts, so floor space will be tight if you try to max out the amount of people inside.
One really practical feature is the queen murphy bed. Once it folds up you’ve got a multi-function cargo area with a rear access door. It’s great for hauling stuff like bikes, camp chairs, firewood, and kegs of maple syrup 😋.
Check out the Coachman Freelander 22XG video tour.
Source: Leisure Vans
Unique floor plans that make great use of the small space.
Pros: Has a high-end feel with intelligent features without a huge price tag.
Cons: Just a 2-burner stove.
The Leisure Travel Vans Wonder is just under 25 feet long. It’s somewhat similar in shape to the Airstream Atlas in that it doesn’t have the over cab bed. Also like the Atlas, it has a host of intelligent features that help it make the most of its small space. And fortunately, it’s priced about $100,000 less than the Atlas.
One thing you’ll notice right away about the Wonder is its unique floor plans. Several feature a split bath with the shower on one side and a sink and toilet on the other.
Source: Leisure Vans
The Rear Lounge floor plan features two different living areas — a front area with the galley and swivel driver/passenger seats as well as a super comfy rear lounge. That rear lounge is really nice for relaxing and taking in the views through the huge windows.
Source: Leisure Vans
Other nice features are a porcelain macerator toilet to help you make the most of your black water tank space and a wifi booster so you can take full advantage of any free wifi you can get.
Check out the Wonder Rear Lounge video tour.
Source: Forest River
Classic Class C design with a spacious bedroom
Pros: Queen bed slideout makes you feel more at home.
Cons: Bathroom vanity is pretty small.
Forest River offers several small Class C RVs under 25 feet in their Forester line. If you like having a motorhome with a dedicated bedroom for some extra privacy that makes you feel like you’re at home, you’ll like the Forester LE 2251SLE model.
Source: Forest River
Despite being a small Class C that’s several inches under 25 feet, you get a small bedroom with a queen bed that’s always a queen bed — it never turns into a couch or table. It is a slide out, but once set up, you’ve actually got some space on either side of the bed so you don’t have to crawl over your significant other in the middle of the night when you want a midnight snack from the fridge.
Plus, there’s a curtain that completely closes off the bedroom from the rest of the motorhome — perfect for sneaking in a midday nap while the kiddos are out bike riding.
Check out the Forester LE 2251SLE video tour.
Tons of floor space for such a small Class C
Pros: Available with a huge slide out that runs almost the entire length of the cabin.
Cons: Bed is an RV queen so don’t expect it to be as long as a normal queen.
Next up on the list of the best Class C RVs under 25 feet is the Jayco Melbourne. If you like the proven quality of the Mercedes Benz Sprinter platform, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, the Jayco Melbourne is a solid choice.
Plus, with a full-length slide out this small Class C under 25’ has a surprising amount of space. (Actually it’s 2 inches longer than 25 feet but we won’t hold that against them 😜)
When’s the last time you saw a small motorhome’s floor plan with that much open floor space? That makes it nice if you’re traveling with your kids (or grandkids) and don’t want to feel so claustrophobic when everyone’s inside.
Check out the 2021 Jayco Melbourne 24L video tour.
Source: Colton RV
Simple, no frills, with a nice bed pullout
Pros: RV queen bed pullout for a private bedroom with space on either side of the bed.
Cons: Build quality isn’t the best but it’s on par with most other budget-friendly RVs.
You won’t find all the luxurious and high-end features on the Thor Four Winds like you will on the Airstream or Leisure Vans motorhomes. But for just over $100,000 brand new, it’s hard to beat the price.
And despite the budget-friendly price, you still get an RV queen bed pullout that gives you a private bedroom area in a sub-25’ motorhome.
Source: Thor Motor Coach
Check out the Thor Four Winds 22B video tour.
The next one on the list is also one of the cheapest Class C RVs to buy new.
Well-designed floor plans to fit any budget
Pros: Starts at just over $90,000 MSRP brand new.
Cons: No oven, just a microwave.
The Outlook 22E is Winnebago’s smallest Class C motorhome. The 22C floor plan is also under 25 feet but it has a bed slideout in the back.
Although it doesn’t have all of the luxurious features of some of the more expensive options, it does have a large two-bowl sink and a spacious dinette table. Those make it really nice if you spend a lot of time doing meal prep (and cleanup) in your RV.
Check out the Winnebago Outlook 22E video tour from Matt’s RV reviews.
Woohoo! You made it through 7 motorhomes! Here’s a quick look at 4 more you should check out. Don’t miss the video tours for more info.
Source: Phoenix USA RV
A streamlined small Class C (or Class B+)
These small class C motorhomes are well under 25 feet and feature 2 unique floor plans. Both have the entry, kitchen, and bathroom at the rear. The Double Sofa model has…you guessed it, TWO sofas (instead of one sofa and one dinette). Why haven’t other manufacturers thought of that? 🤔
Source: Phoenix USA RV
Check out the Phoenix TRX video tour.
Luxury with a unique rear slide option
Dynamax is a luxury RV division of Forest River. The Isata 3 is one of the priciest Class 3 RVs on this list, but it does come with luxurious amenities inside and out. One of the floor plans offers both a side and rear slide that extends the overall length several feet and gives you a private bedroom in the rear of the RV.
Check out the super in-depth Dynamax Isata 3 video tour.
Another full-length slide for an open floor plan.
Similar to the Jayco Melbourne, the Nexus Triumph 24T has a full length slide that really opens up the floor plan and makes it easier for more than one person to move around this motorhome.
Source: Nexus RV
Check out the Nexus Triumph 24T video tour.
Source: Gulstream Coach
One of the smallest Class Cs on this list.
Finally…another RV manufacturer decided to forego the dinette and put big double sofas in a small RV! YES! Despite being well under 25-feet, the BT Cruiser 5210 makes a nice use of space for couples looking for a small Class C.
Source: Gulstream Coach
Source: Gulstream Coach
Check out the Gulfstream BT Cruiser 5210 video walkthrough.
Tips for Choosing the Best Small Class C RV
Rent a Class C BEFORE Buying
A Class C, even a small Class C, is a big investment.
- Do you really need all that space?
- Can I get by with a campervan?
- Or should I go with a bigger Class A?
- Maybe I should opt for a Class C that’s over 25 feet?
One of the best ways to answer all those questions before making the leap is to rent a Class C motorhome.
Browse Class C RVs near you on RV share!
Chassis and Engine
The chassis/engine combo gets sent to the RV manufacturer who then builds it into their motorhome. Since the chassis and engine are essentially the foundation of your motorhome, it’s important to choose one that suits your needs.
The Ford E-Series are the workhorse of the Class C motorhomes and have been a popular choice for a long time. But as you saw on this list, a lot of the smaller Class C and Class B+ RVs are built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Ford Transit chassis. The Transits usually have a lower towing capacity, so if you’re planning on pulling your car, be sure to check the specs.
Gas vs. Diesel
While we’re on engines…which is better, a gas or diesel Class C? Just like with gas and diesel cars and trucks, each has their advantages and disadvantages.
A diesel will likely:
- Be more fuel efficient
- Have more torque for towing and climbing hills
- Cost more upfront and possibly more to maintain depending on the service intervals
A gasoline powered RV will probably:
- Cost less upfront (without considering the actual RV part of it)
- Have a lower towing capacity
- Be a little less reliable in the long run
If you’re not planning any extended cross country trips with a car in tow and the initial cost is one of your biggest concerns, then a gasoline powered RV will be just fine. But if you’re planning extended trips, want to get the best MPGs, and plan to tow a vehicle, a diesel will probably be your best bet.
Small Class C RV FAQs
Ok, so you made it through the list. Maybe you still have a few questions rumblin’ around in your head, like…
What is the shortest Class C motorhome?
You’re gonna have a hard time finding one shorter than the Gulfstream BT Cruiser 5210. It’s well under 25 feet long at just 22 feet and 6 inches. Most of the ones on my list are just a little longer at about 24 or 25 feet.
What is the cheapest Class C RV?
Keep in mind, that’s the MSRP. You can expect to get some hefty discounts from the dealers that will lower the price a good bit.
Who makes the most reliable Class C RV?
A lot depends on if you’re talking about the chassis and engine or the actual RV components. Most of the chassis / engine combinations used in Class C RVs are workhorses and will be reliable if maintained properly.
*In April 2021, Ford recalled some 2020 and 2021 F-53 motorhome chassis due to a lubrication issue on the rear axle. Make sure this has been addressed if you’re looking at buying one of those models.
And when it comes to actual RV components, it’s hard to beat Airstream’s top-quality construction. Coachmen also has a decent reliability record for more budget-friendly RVs.
Can you pull a car with a Class C RV?
Most normal Class C motorhomes should be able to tow a midsize car. But when looking at smaller Class Cs with gasoline engines, it’s important to double check the towing capacity.
What is the best Class C RV for winter?
It’s hard to find small Class C RVs that are built for extended stays in really cold weather. A few things you should look for are heated water tanks to keep them from freezing. You should also pay attention to the R-value of the insulation in the roof, walls, AND floor. And confirm that it’s built to keep the water lines from freezing. Some manufacturers do offer an “arctic” package with tank heaters and extra insulation.
The Jayco Redhawk models do ok in cooler weather since they come standard with decent insulation and tank heaters.
PRO TIP: Here are a few things that can make any RV more “winter-friendly”.
- RV Skirting
- Window Insulator Kit
- Vent Cover and Vent Insulator
- Indoor Safe Space Heater
- Heated Hose
- Holding Tank Heater Pad
- Bulleit Bourbon (If all else fails 😋)
How much does insurance for a small Class C RV cost?
What you pay for insurance will depend a lot on your RV’s value, how often you use it, location, weight, etc. For most Class C’s you’ll probably pay about $800-$1000 per year.
How many miles per gallon does a small Class C motorhome get?
Class C motorhomes vary a lot in their size (some are almost as large as Class As), and so does their MPGs. Most small Class C motorhomes will average about 10-18 MPG depending on how and where you’re driving.
As an example, one owner of a Dynamax Isata 3 (included on my list) got an MPG ranging from 13.6 to 18.2 on a 4,500 mile trip.
Congratulations! You made it to the end! 🎉💥🍻
So Which Class C RV Under 25 Feet Is for You?
A small Class C RV under 25 feet is a smart choice. You get the easy driveability of a Class B length along with the extra space and more luxurious amenities of a Class A.
Are you gonna go with the high-end build quality of the Airstream Atlas?
Or maybe the simple yet practical Coachman Freelander?
Whichever you’re planning on buying, don’t forget to try renting one first with RVshare! The little bit you spend renting one can help you foresee any problems and avoid wasting a bunch of money.
See you at the campground!
And don’t forget to check out my other RV articles!
- Camping With Cats 101 – Pictures + Tips for a PURRfect Camp Trip!
- How to Actually Keep Mice Out of Your Camper (No Irish Spring Soap!)
- 11 Best Small RVs With a Shower and Toilet (Pics + Floor Plans)
- 13 Best Quiet RV Generators (2021) for Camping in Peace
- How to Waterproof a Tent: Master the Art of Staying Dry in the Great Outdoors - November 18, 2023
- The Ultimate Tent Camping Checklist: Don’t Forget a Thing! - November 16, 2023
- The Top 9 Slide Out Camp Kitchens And DIYs - October 5, 2023