When considering recreational vehicle vans, also called RV vans, there are two basic design types: the class B or van conversion and the class C or mini-motorhome. The class B style of RV vans is the basic street-driven passenger van with added amenities such as reclining seats, a fold-out bed and often a sink and microwave oven. The class C style of mini-motorhome is more of a purpose-built camper mounted on a 1-ton van chassis. This style of RV retains the van cab that houses the driver and a passenger. Regardless of the manufacturer of the chassis, both styles of RV are commonly built by aftermarket companies using chassis from major automobile manufacturers.
Many people enjoy camping in a self-contained camper or motorhome, however, many of these people do not want to have the expense or burden associated with a class A motorhome. The class A-type motorhome is the largest of the group and resembles large passenger buses. For many, RV vans are the vehicle of choice due to the typical ease of driving and lower initial cost. In the matter of the class B motorhome, the outside dimensions are no larger than the common passenger van operated by many families on a daily basis. The vehicle's dashboard and driving position are not as intimidating to many as those of the class A motorhome.
One of the only visual details that separate the class B style of RV vans from a common passenger van is an extended roof. This type of van commonly uses an extra-tall fiberglass roof extension to allow more comfortable movement through the vehicle's interior. Occasionally, these RV vans will also incorporate a large roof-mounted air conditioner and a generating unit on the vehicle. This makes operating the RV vans more efficient while parked at a campsite as compared to requiring the van's engine to remain idle for extended periods. This types of RV vans will also commonly include a plug-in receptacle to use campground power while parked.
The class C-type of RV vans resemble a pull-behind camping trailer blended with a passenger van. The purpose-built camping body is commonly mounted on a van chassis and allows a larger platform than the class B-type camper. This type of RV usually contains a bath or shower, commode and kitchen sink along with refrigerator, range and microwave oven. The larger size of these RV vans allows for more comfort for most while driving or parked at a campsite.