Wherever you plan to go in your RV, you’re bound to have a great time. That is, if your RV fits in the site you’ve reserved! And while longer RVs often have spacious floor plans and long lists of amenities, they may not fit everywhere you want to go. Also, in some cases, depending on your state, the length of the RV, and its weight, you might even need a special driver’s license to get on the road.
The solution is a Class C RV that’s short enough to fit wherever you need to park but also has a range of features for comfort, safety, and entertainment. Just because you need a small unit doesn’t mean you have to RV full-time in a pop-up camper or go out and buy a truck to tow a fifth wheel trailer.
Here we’ll discuss what to look for and which small motorhomes made our top five.
What We Looked For
Overall, a Class C motorhome fulfills the need of having a smaller footprint that can fit in practically any RV park. However, it’s not just size that we used as our main criteria. Just because the RV is small, that doesn’t mean it lacks features or even space.
Plenty of smaller motorhomes use the amount of space they have in creative ways. Because they’re a compromise between the Class A and Class B models, you can expect a blend of the two types’ offerings. Class A, for example, spans huge motorhomes that are around 40 feet or longer and have luxuriously appointed interiors.
Class B models, on the other hand, are often tight quarters for more than one or two travelers. At the same time, a Class B doesn’t allow for many luxury features, and some don’t include a restroom, either. Therefore, on our list of requirements for a Class C that’s comfortable and feature-rich we’ve noted it must have a bathroom.
Beyond that, we’re also looking for features such as:
- Sleeping accommodations—how many and where
- Floorplans available
- Slide-out options
- Handling and driver amenities
- Special features
- Customer reviews
And at the end of the day, a few luxurious features don’t hurt, either, so we’re not against things like outdoor showers and TVs or whole-rig stereos complete with surround speakers and Bluetooth.
The 5 Best Class C RVs for RV Parks
A Luxury Coach with a Small Footprint
Tiffin has a reputation for luxury, noting that they include many basic features that other brands consider “extras.” And it’s true: the amenities of their class C model rival that of class A coaches of other brands. Their coach is ideal for RVers who want a range of high-end amenities in a small footprint.
Of course, the Wayfarer is new for 2019, but with Tiffin’s reputation—high reviews for all its models—we don’t hesitate to recommend it.
Why we recommend the Tiffin Wayfarer
The Tiffin Wayfarer is the Mercedes of motorhomes—it has a Mercedes chassis. And while the sticker price may be higher than other models, you can’t find these amenities elsewhere. From the driving experience, which rivals that of a Mercedes SUV or a small truck, to the variety of layouts available, it’s easy to get where you’re going and enjoy your time there.
In the living space, you have the option of not only a queen bed in the bedroom but also an overhead bunk in the cabin and a 70” sofa with a hide-a-bed. Modern features like USB ports, LED reading lights, swivel arm TV, and house radio with Bluetooth mean you won’t be wanting for entertainment or connectivity on the road.
There’s also ample storage despite the Wayfarer’s relatively small size. In addition to vanity and kitchen cabinet storage, there’s also an expansive basement area for storing goods. We also like the little touches like a spice rack in the kitchen and the under-the-counter lighting—essentials that make you feel at home and make it easier to take along what you need and find it again while you’re traveling!
- Four interior configurations (one including a slide-out)
- Interior height 6’8”
- Overall width 7’6”
- Interior width 7’3”
- Mercedes chassis (superior handling)
- Hydraulic leveling system
- Lengths from 24 to 25 feet
- Basement storage
A Family- and Budget-Friendly Motorhome
Winnebago has been around for ages, and many of us remember growing up tooling around in one of the bulkier models with our families as kids. But the Winnebago Outlook modernizes our childhood RV and turns it into a family-friendlier option that’s also easy on the budget.
Why we recommend the Winnebago Outlook
The fully-equipped Winnebago Outlook doesn’t focus on luxury, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in any area. This motorhome uses a Ford E350 or E450 chassis, depending on the length, giving you the maneuverability you need without adding bulk to the overall unit.
USB chargers, an HDTV, tinted windows, and a fully-equipped galley ensure that you’re not missing out on anything while you’re away from home. Floorplan options allow you to customize the queen bed layout, but additional sleeping options are available in a standard cabover bunk, convertible dinette, and sofa bed.
The ample occupancy means you can take the whole family on the road, but the interior of the Outlook is well-appointed, too. A residential-style two-door refrigerator makes things convenient, and a double-bowl sink and thermoformed countertops help keep messes to a minimum.
Whether you have a whole family to bring along or just a couple or single in the Outlook, it has the space and comfort of home without extra (expensive) frills. Customers note that this class C handles well and has plenty of interior space for storage.
- Five floor plans (including up to two slide-outs)
- Interior height 6’10”
- Overall width 8’5”
- Interior width 8’
- Lengths from 24’2” to over 27’
- Ford chassis—truck handling
An Adventurous Class C that Goes Anywhere
Jayco is another brand that has a great reputation for its travel trailers, but things are changing! These days, Jayco offers a range of Class C models, but we’ve picked the Melbourne for a reason. It’s one of the more adventurous models with features to help get you where you need to go and keep you comfortable wherever you wind up.
Why we recommend the Jayco Melbourne
The Jayco Melbourne has luxurious features like hardwood cabinets, seven-foot ceilings, and a modern residential-inspired restroom. There’s plenty of storage and even a skylight in the shower, so you can feel like you’re at home wherever you go.
Of course, it’s not just the interior amenities that make the Melbourne one of our top picks. Ample storage inside is great, but we’re also fans of the driver’s features, something many customer reviews comment on. Swivel driver and passenger seats are standard, but unlike other Class Cs, the Melbourne has luxury car offerings like heated mirrors, a rear backup camera, and a V-6 Turbo engine.
The tall ceilings (84 inches high!) are ideal for taller travelers, and there’s plenty of space for everyone to sleep, too. Hidden behind what looks like cabover cabinetry, there’s a standard bunk, plus a queen size bed in the bedroom and a convertible dinette for further accommodations.
And, when Jayco says you can go anywhere, they mean it. They’ve included an outdoor shower, a digital antenna and satellite prep site, plus water filtration systems and blackout shades. No matter where you go, you have both the comforts of home and extra features to keep you cozy.
- Two floor plans (both with either one or two slide-outs)
- Interior height 7’
- Overall width 8’
- 25’2” length
- Updated driver’s features
- Select models have pass-through storage
Forest River Sunseeker
Certified Green and Full of Options
There are a few incarnations of the Sunseeker, but here we’re looking at the basic model. And even though it’s “basic,” it doesn’t disappoint in terms of features. First, Forest River’s Sunseeker is certified green, plus you have plenty of options when it comes to floor plans and upgrades.
Why we recommend the Forest River Sunseeker
It’s been around for a long time, but the classic Forest River Sunseeker has seen many updates over the years. Starting with their “Certified Green” status, Forest River aims to deliver all the features customers want in a package that can fit in any park out there.
The cab features a touchscreen radio with Bluetooth, plus leather seats and power windows and door locks. Depending on which floorplan you choose, you can opt for either a Ford or Chevy chassis, which helps to predict what the driving experience will be like.
Options include packages like an automatic leveling system, outdoor LED TV, and even an Arctic Package if you’re going somewhere cold and need 12V tank heaters! In general, consumers are impressed with the range of features in the Sunseeker, even on the most basic packages.
Plus, there’s plenty of space for everyone, thanks to the queen size bed in the bedroom and the convertible dinette and sofa. You can also opt for a cabover bunk or switch it out for an entertainment center depending on the floorplan and chassis configuration you choose.
- 13 floor plans to choose from (many with slide-outs)
- Choose a Ford or Chevy chassis
- Overall width 101”
- Lengths from 24’6” to over 27’
- Upgraded driver’s features
- Pass-through storage on all models
All the “Good Stuff” for Novices and Pros
Whether you’re a new RVer or have some experience under your belt, you’ll definitely notice the features and functions of the Coachmen Freelander—and in a good way. Let’s be honest: it’s not the most innovative-looking coach out there. But, a variety of floorplans that don’t take up much space and deliver quite a bit of ambiance make up for the lack of exterior styling.
Why we recommend the Coachmen Freelander
First, a Coachmen Freelander is one of the more affordable Class C options. But beyond price, a small motorhome from Coachmen offers a variety of floor plans and chassis options. They also offer a “family friendly package” on many floorplans, which includes upgraded mattresses, slide-out awnings, a child safety net, and fans for the sleeping areas.
Cabover bunks are standard on all floor plans, but there are also options for a convertible dinette (or optional recliners) and either a queen or space-saving double bed. Apart from passenger accommodations, Coachmen also focuses on updated amenities like a touch screen radio, backup camera, pre-wired satellite prep, and a WiFi ranger.
Customers highlight positive features like spacious bathrooms (great for storage while you’re in transit), the spacious freshwater storage (50 gallons far surpasses other class C and larger RVs), and the power to get up and go when it comes to the driving experience.
- Extensive floorplan choices (many with slide-outs)
- Length from 23’9” to over 27 feet
- Exterior width 91 to 100”
- Family friendly packages with kid-specific features
- Chevy and Ford chassis options
- Ample 50-gallon freshwater tank
Conclusion on Class C Motorhomes Under 30 Feet
If you need full amenities while traveling but don’t want a 40-foot behemoth of an RV, you can’t beat any of these picks! When it comes to the best small motorhomes, our favorite models have the basic features and optional packages that let you customize your experience without sacrificing space at your campsite.
It’s not always easy to maneuver a bigger motorhome into more remote locations, and sometimes RVers have to skip locations entirely or settle on subpar sites due to the sheer size of their rig. But with some of the best class C RVs out there, size isn’t a problem, and neither is packing up the whole family to get out on the road.
RVs at 27 feet and under can venture to nearly any RV park in the country without the potential for backing off the concrete or into the brush. But as you can see, there’s no reason to sacrifice the most modern technology or home-like luxuries when you can choose a small RV that has it all instead.
If you are interested in something even smaller but that still has a bathroom I recommend you check out our post on some of our favorite smaller trailers that have a bathroom.