So You Think a Class B is Too Small?

Gabe cooking breakfast inside their Class B RV.

Have you ever made a life changing decision on a whim? We have, and ours took us from enjoying panoramic views of the Caribbean from a high rise to sleeping in an RV across campsites and countless parking lots. It might sound nuts to some people, but trust me when I say it’s been the best decision of our lives.

Me, my wife Rocio and our two pups, Wilson and Journey, travel full-time in our RV. We’ve been living the full-time RV lifestyle for over three years, and we currently have a Class B campervan, but we’ve traveled in much larger travel trailers, too.

How did we get here?

Our journey begins in Puerto Rico. After a year of living together, Rocio and I explored the idea of moving back stateside––we’d both been in the Caribbean for a decade or so. But we could never choose one place to call our new home, because we’re adventurers and nomads at heart. When Hurricane Maria passed through the island, we were blessed that our loved ones and our belongings were safe and sound, but the experience made us view our lives differently. We knew we wanted to make big changes, to spend more time focusing on the things that were important to us. When we stumbled across a story about a full-time RVer online, we fell in love with the idea. Within two months, we’d sold most of our possessions, flown to Florida and bought a fifth wheel and a truck. Two years later, we swapped our fifth wheel for a Class B RV and we haven’t looked back.

A lot of people choose larger RVs for their first model, but we love our Class B. Nearly a year into living in our Class B, we’ve heard a lot of the same questions, and we want to share our experience with anyone who might be considering a Class B of their own.

  1. What was your first RV and what did you like about it?

    Our first RV was a 43-foot fifth wheel, pulled by a Ram 3500 dually. The layout inside was amazing! It was like a rolling apartment. It had two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms; with every amenity you could imagine. As a couple with two dogs, we realized we could trade in our RV for a model that swapped the second bedroom with more living space, which would suit our travels better. So our second RV was a 40-foot Keystone Montana. It had all the bells and whistles, including a kitchen island, king bed, huge bathroom and two electric fireplaces. We loved that RV, and it was our home for more than two years.

  2. What made you want to switch to a Class B?

    At first, we were looking for something a little easier to transport and use as a “weekender” while we kept our Keystone Montana as a home base. But when we stepped inside the Class B van, it was all over. Having the full package in a compact space blew our minds. What you trade in space, you make up for in flexibility. When we found our perfect model, a Thor Motor Coach Sequence 20L we nicknamed “Vinnie,” we hit the road on our next big adventure.

  3. What are the strengths of your Class B RV?

    We love Vinnie’s layout because it’s so open inside that we never feel cramped. Even with our two dogs, the four of us are super comfortable. One of our best friends joined us for a 10-day road-trip, and we still never felt cramped. On top of that, between the full kitchen, spacious full bathroom and the two twin beds that convert into couches during the day, we had absolutely everything we needed. Throw in the solar package and a generator, a swivel TV, A/C and windows galore, and it was everything we wanted and more. We are now able to go almost anywhere, and we rarely even need to connect to power. We are completely self-contained and we can work or enjoy all the amazing cities and landscapes this beautiful country has to offer.

  1. What would you say to someone who thinks a Class B might be too small for them?

    It’s not! That’s honestly as simple as we can put it. Our Class B is uber-comfortable and spacious. Rocio and I both work, cook and do everything else we normally would without any issues. We even let the pups on the bed every once in a while, as long as they aren’t filthy from a day playing outside. I’m about 5’11” and I have never felt constrained in any way, even in the shower. Everything fits in a tidy little space and you still get to enjoy a hot shower in your own private bathroom.

  2. What would you say to someone who is concerned about privacy and alone time in a Class B?

    It is a legitimate concern and it is one that Rocio and I shared at first. We love each other and are best friends, but sometimes we need our own space. We’ve learned to take advantage of our biggest benefit––the world’s largest living room right outside our sliding door. Even when it’s raining or our surroundings aren’t great, the space and comfort inside Vinnie makes it fairly easy to have our own Zen time. We can each be on our own couch, or have one person in the front of the van and the other in the back. Sometimes I just put on headphones and zone out. Space and privacy have never really been an issue for us despite our initial concerns.

  1. What would you say to someone who wonders if a Class B kitchen is big enough for everyday living?

    Easy. We cook and do the dishes all the time, and we love that fact that we can pull up right in front of the grocery store whenever we want. (Our Sequence fits in a standard parking spot, which is a huge benefit because you can take it anywhere.) But between the cabinet space and a deceptively spacious fridge, we go days or a week between grocery stops. We’re also foodies, so we both love to make all kinds of meals in the kitchen, as well as taking Vinnie to a cool new local restaurant for date night.

  2. What would you say to someone who’s worried about the size of Class B bathrooms?

    Full disclosure, I’m a clumsy guy. I bump into everything and I am not a fan of tight spaces. When we set out, we wanted a bathroom that felt spacious enough for me to shower comfortably, and it had to have a good door and ventilation system for Rocio. Most of the rear space in Vinnie is dedicated to the bathroom, which includes a vent and sliding wooden doors, so it worked out perfectly for our needs.

  1. How does a Class B handle when you’re boondocking? What do new Class B boondockers need to know?

    We love Vinnie for boondocking. Class B vans are small and nimble enough to get almost anywhere while being spacious and comfortable enough to enjoy it. In Vinnie, we have found ourselves going to places we never imagined. Between our solar setup, gas furnace, water heater and everything else we’ve mentioned, boondocking in our Sequence has been amazing. We have everything we need. The biggest tip we have for newbie Class B boondockers is to just get out there! Even if you find you don’t like it, or pick the wrong spot for boondocking, you can start the engine and move.

    That’s one of the biggest flexibilities of driving a Class B. When we were traveling in our fifth wheel, there were a lot more steps and considerations that went into moving, which can make boondocking more intimidating. It’s often hard to find specific details about a boondocking site, so you may occasionally roll up to one and find it’s not what you had hoped. Traveling in a Class B lets you be so much more spontaneous and flexible in dealing with unforeseen challenges.

  2. Who is the kind of person you think should consider buying a Class B RV?

    Class B RVs are amazing and can work for almost anyone looking to get into the wonderful world of RV travel. If you plan on full-timing, we think Class B RVs would be perfect for solo travelers, couples or small families. A Class B would also be great for weekend travelers or part-timers who want an amazing home base. Since Class B vans usually come with extra seating and seat belts, it could carry a family of four or five, no problem. You could easily set up a tent for extra sleeping space at night, and you’d still have all the amenities of home at your fingertips. Some Class B RVs even have pop-ups to provide more sleeping space. Don’t write off a Class B just because you think it’s small. Take a good look at all the available options and see how they’ve cleverly designed the space to meet your needs. A Class B is what you make it, and they can truly be for anyone.

  3. Where will you take your Class B next?

    We actually just got to one of our bucket list destinations, Glacier National Park. We woke up with an amazing view of the mountains this morning. We’re so grateful to be here, and to be able to go anywhere. Our Class B is so easy to drive, maneuver and move that we know our future is filled with adventures we haven’t even dreamed of yet.

Gabriel and Rocio Rivero RV in a 2021 Thor Sequence 20L.

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