The Difference Between a Conversion Van and a Class B Motor Home


If you are looking for a smaller recreation vehicle (RV) you will almost certainly have come across the terms “conversion van” and “Class B motorhome.” You might also be a little confused as to why these terms seem to be applied to vehicles that, on the surface, look almost exactly the same.

The good news is, you aren’t the only one confused by these terms. On the outside, there really isn’t much difference between a conversion van and a Class B motorhome. Most of the differences are on the inside and have to do with the practical use of these vehicles.

To clear things up, and to make sure you end up with the right vehicle for your needs, we’ll be breaking down what makes a conversion van different from a Class B motorhome and what each vehicle is best used for.

What Is a Conversion Van?

Generally speaking, the term conversion van can be applied to any commercial van that has been fitted with third-party additional customization.

There are a huge range of customization options available, but some of the most common are converting a van into luxury transportation for a large number of people, adding in specialized seating and equipment for disabled passengers, and adding the amenities needed for using the converted van to camp in.

What Is a Class B Motorhomes?

Class B motorhome, while similar in size to a conversion van, is a purpose-built smaller alternative to a standard full-sized RV. They generally come with camping amenities that are specifically designed for that particular vehicle and are installed from the ground up.

To be classed as a motor home, these vehicles are required to contain a kitchen, a bedroom and bathroom or lavatory.

What Are the Main Differences?

In a very general sense, the main difference between a Class B motorhome and a conversion van is that a conversion van has a wider range of uses, depending on what it was originally converted for.


Conversion vans and Class B motorhomes are normally built on a similar chassis and can be difficult to tell apart from the inside. The main structural difference tends to be the implementation of the amenities designed for camping.

A Class B motorhome has generally been built from the ground up to provide most of the amenities found in a larger RV but in a smaller, more compact package. This means the installation of a kitchen, bathroom, and some form of the bedroom.

Depending on the type of van that has been converted, a conversion van might not have the room, or it might not be practical, to fit something like a lavatory because of the internal design.


Because they are converted for a specific need, conversion vans tend to have a wider range of utility than a Class B motorhome.

For instance, if you are looking for a van to transport several people in wheelchairs while keeping them safe, stable, and to make the loading/unloading process as simple as possible, then you’d be best off getting a conversion van specifically designed for that purpose.

The same van chassis might be converted into transportation for a sports team that needs a huge amount of storage space for their kit; a luxury ride filled with leather seats, PlayStations, TVs and a mini-fridge, or a van specifically designed for camping that features some, if not all, of the amenities, of a Class B motorhome.

Should I Buy a Conversion Van or a Class B Motorhome?

As with all vehicle purchases, the first thing you are going to need to consider is your needs. You wouldn’t buy a truck just for short hops around the inner city.

If you have a certain very specific need, such as support for a disabled passenger, or you just want some luxury transport to keep the family safe, entertained, and comfortable while on long trips, a conversion van is probably the better choice.

If you are looking for a vehicle that provides you with all the amenities you need for long-term camping and travel, opt for a Class B motorhome.

If you are still unsure, give us a call on 866 906 9303, or drop into the showroom at 8793 N County Road 25A, Piqua Ohio, to chat to our dedicated and knowledgeable sales staff about which van would be the best choice for you.

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