Best Small Motorhomes – 2021 Complete Guide

| Last Updated: February 17, 2021

RV Expertise is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Nature and the open road appeal to many, but not everyone enjoys “roughing it.” Small motorhomes let you bring the comfort of home along as you go adventuring.

The best small motorhomes offer comfort and convenience at a relatively affordable price. 

In this article, we highlight several of the top available choices available on the market.

Our Top Picks for Small Motorhomes

  • Solar ready
  • Good natural light
  • Easy entrance
View Latest Price →
  • Various floor plans
  • Many color options
  • Spacious
View Latest Price →
  • Best for the Money
  • Functional kitchen
  • Extra space
View Latest Price →

Comparison of the Best Small Motorhomes

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Up to 330 Watts of solar
  • Lots of natural light with large frameless windows
  • All entrances come with power steps included
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • A wide variety of floor plans to choose from
  • All floor plans available in a variety of color options
  • Comes with up to 84 inches ceiling height
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best for the Money
  • Fully functional kitchen in all models
  • Lots of overhead storage space added for your convenience
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Small Class C Motorhomes
  • Front cap made with one-piece seamless construction
  • Patio awnings include electric functions and LED lights
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Small Class A Motorhomes
  • 15000 Btu roof aircon included
  • Up to 100 Watts solar panel added
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Characteristics of Our Favorite Small Motorhomes

What makes an RV one of the best small motorhomes? Here are some of the key features we consider when we evaluate our picks.

Gas Mileage

One of the most significant perks of a small motorhome is improved mileage. By sacrificing a bit of space, you’ll be able to travel a lot more without having to worry about when you’ll encounter the next gas station.

Layout

Even the best small motorhomes can feel a little cramped, which is why you need to use space smartly and carefully. A good layout can make even the smallest RV feel a little roomier and more comfortable.

Roadtrek SS Agile (Source)

Driving Experience

A smooth, stable, and comfortable driving experience is essential. The best small motorhomes generally offer adjustable seating, tilt and power steering, and some form of stabilization technology.

Boondocking/Dry Camping

Owners of smaller RVs often opt for these more mobile options because they want to explore. By including features like propane and water tanks, generators, and solar power, the best small motorhomes can provide a comfortable camping experience for up to two weeks without the need to hook up at a park.

Bathroom Facilities

Many smaller motorhomes may not have much to offer by way of bathroom facilities. At the very least, the best small motorhomes should have a wet room, which is a combined toilet and shower space, available. They should also include a black water tank, which some Class B RVs don’t have available.

Quick Take - Best Small Motorhomes

Before you go any further, here are our top picks for the best small motorhomes: 


  1. Roadtrek SS Agile 250
  2. Thor Motor Coach Chateau
  3. Coachmen Cross Trek 20XG

Review of the Best Small Motorhomes

Do you prefer comfort over mobility, or are you more concerned about affordability? Whatever your preferences, here are the best small motorhomes we’ve identified that may suit your needs.

Pros

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Includes a black water holding tank
  • Solar panels and lithium battery system
  • Mobile and suitable for dry camping/boondocking
  • Overwhelmingly positive online reviews

Cons

  • No additional layout options available
  • Lack of space can feel cramped on long trips

Layout

The small Roadtrek SS Agile comes in at a mere 19 feet, 5 inches. Its interior height is 6 feet, 3 inches, while the outdoor height is just shy of ten feet, excluding the roof AC. The motorhome’s small size makes it easy to drive, park, and store.

Roadtrek SS Agile 250 Daytime Layout (Source)

The van-sized RV includes a rear king-size bed, with the option of turning the driver and passenger seats into a single bed. The Roadtrek SS Agile can sleep two to three people and includes a small wardrobe, open galley and stovetop, wet room, and awning.

Popular Features

For day campers and travelers, the Roadtrek SS Agile is a compact, well equipped small motorhome that offers all the necessities at a relatively affordable price. Whether you’re going on a road trip or boondocking, you’ll have what you need, including a 10-gallon black water holding tank.

The base model is a Mercedes Short Sprinter and includes a 400 AMP lithium battery system, a 330-watt solar panel, and a 12V 280 AMP under-hood generator. There’s also a standard 16-gallon propane tank.

For short trips and frequent campers, the Roadtrek SS Agile is an excellent option. Its many features and high-quality standards solidify its spot as the best of the best small motorhomes.

Pros

  • All units are solar-ready
  • Two chassis options for smaller floor plans
  • Rear corner full bathroom with porcelain toilet
  • Flip-up countertop expands galley surface area
  • 15 Layouts available with customization options

Cons

  • Bigger models get poor gas mileage
  • Some optional add-ons are standard on other small RVs

Layout

While only a few count as small, the Chateau has 15 layouts available, ranging from 24 feet to 32 feet, 2 inches. All models include a queen bed, full bathroom, kitchen and dinette, and an over-cab bunk. Larger models also include a sofa, additional slide-outs, and extra amenities and storage space.

Thor Motor Coach Chateau 24F Floor Plan (Source)

Depending on the floor plan, the Thor Motor Coach Chateau can comfortably sleep between four and six people. You can choose between a Chevy Express and a Ford E-Series base for smaller versions, while larger models only use the latter.

Popular Features

The Thor Motor Coach Chateau has three floor plans that can be considered small: 22B, 22E, and 24F. Each one has similar specifications and features, including a rear bathroom with a real porcelain throne rather than a plastic one. There’s also a separate shower.

The walk-around queen bed in the rear slide-out is a highlight, as is the comfortable dinette, which also sits in a slide-out in the 24F layout. All units are solar-ready, although panels and the charging system is an optional feature.

Comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped, the Chateau is an excellent option for a road or camping trip to an RV park. 

Best for the Money:
Coachmen Cross Trek 20XG

Pros

  • Excellent gas mileage for its class
  • Split bathroom with large shower
  • Significant exterior pass-through storage space
  • Large battery capacity allows for long periods off the grid
  • Electrical system designed to run all functions from battery power

Cons

  • Only one layout available
  • Thermally inefficient single-pane glass windows

Layout

The Cross Trek 20XG only has one layout, with an exterior length of 24 feet, 1 inch. The interior contains a raised queen bed, small kitchen, and dinette that can convert into a sofa or extra bunk.

Coachmen Cross Trek 20XG Floor Plan (Source)

The motorhome is quite spacious for its size and has plenty of interiors and exterior storage space, with a large cargo hold beneath the main bed. The inside has vinyl flooring, a wood finish, and a marble finish on the countertops, giving it a very classy and high-quality look and feel.

Popular Features

Jayco did an excellent job with the design and layout of this compact RV. The raised double bed has a large storage space underneath that’s accessible from outside, so you can store bulky toys, bikes, camp chairs, or luggage. The spacious kitchen also means that you can cook in comfort, while the pantry and overhead cabinets provide all the storage you’d need.

One of the best features is the full bathroom, with a large shower split from the toilet facilities. Additionally, the increased battery capacity, solar capabilities, and great gas mileage make it an excellent choice for longer dry camping trips and off-grid adventures.

Best Small Class C Motorhomes:
Jayco Redhawk 22J

Pros

  • Rear corner full bathroom
  • Spacious layout despite its smaller size
  • Good gas mileage for a Class C motorhome
  • Includes 2-year warranty and 3-year structural coverage
  • Improved driving experience with Jayco JRide® technology

Cons

  • Dual sink reduces usable galley surface space
  • Driving seats have limited adjustment settings

Layout

The Jayco Redhawk 22J is relatively spacious for a small Class C motorhome. The interior height is 7 feet, and the exterior is 8 feet, 4 inches wide and 24 feet, 8 inches long, making it relatively easy to drive and park. The 22J is the smallest of the seven Redhawk floor plans and has two décor customization options.

Jayco Redhawk 22J Floor Plan (Source)

The motorhome includes a walk-around queen bed slide-out, cab-over bunk, and a dinette that can be replaced with theater seating. Depending on the floor plan, the Redhawk can sleep between three and five people. It also includes a wardrobe, pantry, fully equipped kitchen, and a retractable awning.

Popular Features

The Jayco 2-year warranty, 3-year structural coverage, and JRide® driving technology are exclusive to this manufacturer. You can enjoy an exceptionally smooth driving experience with helper springs, rubber isolation mounts, a computer balanced driveshaft, and front and rear stabilizer bars.

The motorhome has a full bathroom, wardrobe, pantry, and an 8-cubic foot refrigerator. Even with all the amenities and storage space taking up room, it doesn’t feel cramped.

If you’re looking for an affordable Class C with everything you need to enjoy a long road or camping trip, the Jayco Redhawk 22J is one of the best small motorhomes you can get.

Best Small Class A Motorhomes:
Thor Motor Coach Axis 24.1

Pros

  • Easy to drive and park
  • Very fuel-efficient for its class
  • Spacious design and floor layout
  • Optional solar power and electric stabilizing system
  • Small motorhome with Class A luxury and amenities

Cons

  • Requires frequent maintenance
  • Mixed online reviews on older models

Layout

The Thor Motor Coach Axis 24.1 has an exterior length of 25 feet, 6 inches, which means it’s barely bigger than some smaller Class C motorhomes. However, Thor’s new “RUV” makes good use of the space.

Thor Motor Coach Axis 24.1 Floor Plan (Source)

The main bedroom’s twin beds can convert into a king-size, while the sofa bed and drop-down bunk can support two additional people. There’s a small kitchen, and a removable table turns the sofa into a dining area. There’s also a fully equipped bathroom and shower.

There are three décor options containing wood finishes and natural, neutral colors that make the motorhome feel more spacious.

Popular Features

According to Thor, the Axis isn’t just an RV but an “RUV,” or a Recreational Utility Vehicle. This small, Class C-sized motorhome has many luxuries you’ll find in other vehicles in this class, all fitted into a more compact space. Despite the size limitations, Axis 24.1’s layout and design are optimized to make it feel spacious and comfortable.

The kitchen and bathroom are compact but don’t feel cramped. The sofa is in a slide-out, giving you a little extra space while using the living space or cooking meals on the two-burner gas cooktop. There’s also a collapsible galley if you need a little more surface area.

Pros and Cons of Small Motorhomes

Let’s look at a few of the pros and cons of small motorhomes of which you should be aware before you buy one.

Pros

Better Gas Mileage

Smaller Class C and B motorhomes can get up to 20 MPG or more, which is significantly better than the 8 – 13 MPG you’ll get with a 40-foot Class A rig.

Lower Cost of Ownership

The overall cost of ownership is lower for a small motorhome. You’ll pay less on the initial purchase, annual maintenance, parking costs, and gas.

Dry Camping

Larger RV’s are more dependent on electrical and water hookups. If you have a small generator or small solar system and propane tanks, you’ll be able to dry camp comfortably for a week or two. It saves on parking costs and lets you explore off the beaten path.

Cons

Small Holding Tanks

The smaller the tank, the less fresh water or waste it can hold. You’ll need to plan your trips to include regular stops for clearing, filling, and maintaining your tanks.

Less Space

Small motorhomes have little space, with a cramped or dual-purpose living and sleeping space. Additionally, the toilet and shower may be combined into a single “wet room.”

Coachmen Cross Trek 20XG (Source)

What Are the Different Classes Of RV?

There are three motorhome classes, each one with a few unique traits. Below, we take a brief look at the different types and how they compare to one another.

What Is a Class A Motorhome?

These RVs tend to be large, box-shaped, and extremely sturdy. They can get up to 45 feet and support the heaviest load, but they also have the worst fuel economy. They tend to be on the larger, luxurious, and more expensive end of the spectrum.

What Is a Class B Motorhome?

Class B is the smallest class of motorhomes, typically ranging between 17 and 19 feet. They’re more affordable and easier to drive and park but have extremely limited interior space and amenities.

What Is a Class C Motorhome?

A Class C motorhome falls somewhere between Class A and B. They’re most recognizable by the over-cabin sleeping or storage space and typically range between 20 to 30 feet.

Class A vs Class C

Class A motorhomes are luxurious and designed to be a mobile home. They often include larger bathrooms, better-equipped kitchens, a master bedroom, additional sleeping space, and slide outs. However, their size often makes them hard to park and steer, and they only get about 10mpg.

Thor Motor Coach Axis 24.1 (Source)

Class C motorhomes are smaller but still have a lot of interior space. These RVs typically have a double or queen-sized bed, a small full bathroom, and a kitchen. 

Class A vs Class B

There are several differences between Class A and B motorhomes. A Class A is well suited for long-term living, with several amenities, significantly more space, and fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms. However, they’re also a lot harder to drive, park, and store than Class B motorhomes and get far fewer miles per gallon.

Class B vs Class C

A Class B is almost like a van that’s been equipped for temporary living, while a Class C falls somewhere between it and Class A motorhomes. Class B RVs will typically have a tiny kitchen and wet room and a living space that doubles as a bedroom. They also tend to have the best gas mileage and are easy to steer and park at most campgrounds.

Conclusion

Small RVs may have limited space, but the best small motorhomes have smart layouts that feel spacious, comfortable, and well utilized. Driving experience, facilities, mileage, and off-grid capabilities are all critical factors to consider. Whether you’re looking for a new home away from home or a cozy camper for the occasional trip, these common criteria will all affect your overall experience.

People Also Ask

You may still have a few questions about the different sizes and costs of the best small motorhomes before you make a financial commitment. We covered the most important topics, but we’ve also listed a few more below to help you make the best decision.

Thor Motor Coach Chateau (Source)

How Much Is a Small RV?

Small pop-up campers, travel trailers, and hybrids range between $6,500 and $23,000 when purchased new. Class B and Class C RVs start around $60,000. You can get a second-hand motorhome for a significantly lower price since it loses between 10-20% of its value when you drive it off the lot.

How Wide Is a Class C Motorhome?

The average width of a Class C motorhome is 100 inches. It’s considered the industry standard as most road vehicles are limited to a maximum exterior width of 102 inches. Consequently, many models tend to measure in at 96 inches or less, with extra space created by slide-outs.

How Tall Is a Class A Motorhome?

Class A motorhomes are an average height of 162 inches, but they can range between 148 – 168. Some can be even taller if there’s a satellite dish or air-conditioning unit on the roof.

My husband and I live a life on the road so we figured no better way to share our journey than through a blog! While traveling place to place as RV noobies, we quickly realized how often we were in need of RV accessories and supplies. This led us to launch RV Expertise and sharing our top picks.