class b motorhomeAt first glance, a conversion van and a Class B motor home may look very similar. Both are based on commercially produced vans manufactured by major automakers. However, the levels of modifications vary and the two classes of vehicles serve two separate purposes. A purchaser looking for the features of a conversion van would not be happy with a Class B motor home.

Conversion Vans

The conversion van starts with a basic commercially produced van and adds after-market accessories. Companies specializing in the conversion van market commonly add these accessories although some vans are still converted as do-it-yourself projects. Dealers often use the conversion van company name when marketing these vans.

A conversion travel van can include a raised roof sometimes known as a “high top.” This makes it easier to move around within the van. Other features commonly added include luxury seating, entertainment centers including televisions and stereos, coolers or refrigerators and mood lighting. This type of conversion van makes long road trips more comfortable especially for larger groups. Some conversion vans offer comfortable seating for as many as eight people.

Conversion vans serve a number of specialized purposes along with offering road-trip comfort. Some conversion vans are equipped to provide access to people who utilize wheelchairs for mobility. These conversions commonly include lifts for wheelchairs and special brackets to hold the wheelchair stable during travel.

Some specially equipped conversion vans serve as mobile workplaces. These vans often include raised roofs to make it easier for workers to move about. Often the vans receive specialized upgrades specific to the workers using the vehicle. This can include cell phone and mobile computer connectivity for a salesman or satellite communications equipment for a remote television crew.

Class B Motor Homes

A Class B motor home utilizes the body of the van as the exterior of the vehicle. Almost all of Class B motorhomes feature a raised roof allowing the traveler to walk around within the vehicle. The rear portion of the van serves as the living quarters of the motor home and often features seating the folds out into a bed, a cooler or refrigerator, a dining table and entertainment items such as a television or stereo. Some Class B motor homes offer a toilet but few offer any shower facilities.

Class B motor homes offer the most economical camping experience for the recreational vehicle enthusiast. The vehicles can be used as a second vehicle by the family and can be parked in a normal garage or parking spot. Other advantages include better fuel economy than most recreational vehicles, an ease of driving not found in larger campers and a lower cost of acquisition.

This vehicle does have some limitations as a recreational vehicle. The Class B motor home offers comfortable camping for two people although some campers offer enough space for one or two children as well. The campers provide little storage space for the recreational items and camping supplies and are usually limited to short camping excursions.

Common Traits

Conversion vans and Class B motor homes are both commonly based upon full-sized vans. This makes the vehicles capable of towing trailers, if necessary. Dealers and maintenance shops associated with the van manufacturer can handle maintenance to the engine and drive train. Both versions of the van have become popular with people who “tailgate” or picnic in the parking lots of sporting events because of the comfort and amenities they offer.