Class-C motorhomes offer a beautiful compromise between the spaciousness of large Class-A RVs and the driveability of small Class-B RVs. They are generally built on an automotive van frame (such as a Ford, Chevy, or Mercedes chassis) and feature a cab-over design to maximize space.
These midsize RVs are often the most inexpensive options available, and in this article, we are going to look at some of the best bargains on the market.
The 8 cheapest Class-C motorhomes available today, in order of affordability:
1. Coachmen RV Freelander
Starting Price: $90,768
The Freelander from Coachmen RV is the cheapest option for a new Class C, starting at just over $90,000. There are several different models and chassis to choose from, ranging in length from 24 feet to almost 33 feet. The Freelander features a full-length awning with an LED light bar, residential-sized beds, large freshwater tanks, and chassis upgrades to ensure excellent handling and a smooth ride.
Depending on the model you select, the Freelander can have anywhere from zero to two slide outs to maximize interior space. All models have a master bed, a dinette that converts to a sleeping space, and a cab-over bunk so they can comfortably sleep a whole family.
2. Thor Motor Coach Four Winds
Starting Price: $97,350
Next on our list is the Four Winds from Thor Motor Coach, which comes on either a Ford or Chevy chassis. In either case, it comes with a beefy V8 engine that will easily handle cruising speeds and can tow up to 8,000 pounds on the hitch.
The Four Winds is available in 13 different floor plans that range from 24 to 32.5 feet in total length. Some models have no slide outs while other have one full-wall slide out or two smaller slide outs.
The Four Winds was built with storage in mind, so you’ll find plentiful storage options both inside and out. It also has plenty of seating for daytime use that can be easily converted to sleeping space at night. This model also has a variety of different interior finishes available so you can choose from sleek wood or crisp white to match your personal style.
3. Thor Motor Coach Chateau
Starting Price: $97,350
The Chateau from Thor Motor Coach actually starts at the same price point as the Four Winds and has 14 different floor plans, ranging in length from 24 feet to 32.5 feet. It has many of the same features and specs as the Four Winds. The newest 2021 models feature an all-new appliance package with ultra-modern microwaves and refrigerators.
4. Winnebago Minnie Winnie
Starting Price: $98,263
Next up is the classic Minnie Winnie from Winnebago. The 2020 model has six floor plans available, ranging from just under 24 feet to nearly 33 feet in length and sleeping between five and eight people. Some floor plans do not include slide outs while others have one or two slide outs.
I spoke with Megs and Candice (@minihousebigliving) about their experience with a Minnie Winnie and here’s what they had to share:
How did you choose the Minnie Winnie over all other Class Cs?
“We test drove many different Class Bs and Class Cs. We loved the feel of Class Bs; however, we were concerned about the lack of storage, the smaller tank sizes, and the cost was typically above our budget.
Of the Class Cs we test drove, we really liked the larger windshield of the Coachmen Orion; however, we felt like the quality of the build inside (especially the cabinets) was cheaper. Our list of requirements when looking included:
* No slides (we wanted to be able to fit anywhere and we wanted one less thing that we would have to fix)
* Overhead bunk (we each wanted our own sleeping area)
* Fit-ish in a normal parking space — under 27 ft in length
* Ideally we wanted a separate toilet/shower instead of a wet bath. This wasn’t a must-have, but was something we’d like to have.
When we found the Minnie Winnie, not only did it meet all of the above requirements, but the quality of the materials was the best we found.”
Did you buy it new or used?
“Used — It’s a 2016 Minnie Winnie 22R. It only had 22,000 miles on it and 12 hours on the generator. It was owned by an elderly couple who were in a traveling gospel choir. They stored it in a garage, so it looked and felt almost brand new!”
How much did it cost?
“$39,000. We put a small amount toward the down payment and the monthly note is $350.”
Are you happy with it so far? Any pros and cons?
“Very happy. We’ve lived in it for a year now and are glad that we chose the Minnie Winnie. When full-timing, you are hard on your rig and yet the quality of materials (cabinets, drawers, etc.) inside the rig has held up.
Because the couple before us let it sit in storage, the catalytic converter had gunked up, so we had to replace that within the first couple months of ownership. We also immediately changed the oil in the generator and ran it quite a bit at the beginning to get it warmed up.
- Storage — There is SO MUCH storage space. We have extra storage space!
- Size — We can fit almost anywhere.
- Stove + Oven — We use both the stove top and the oven regularly.
- Ford Chassis — This has meant that almost any mechanic can work on it.
- Lack of countertop space — There is literally NONE. This rig doesn’t even have the little pop-up countertop extensions. We are in the process of trying to add additional countertop space ourselves.
- The dinette — It takes up a lot of space, isn’t comfortable and we aren’t a fan of the U-Shape. We are likely going to tear out all or almost all of the dinette and rework the space.
- No swivel front seats — We really wish the front seats (at least the passenger seat) swiveled around. We are thinking about adding this ourselves, but swivel bases are pricey.
After living in it for a year, I don’t think we would change anything; however, recently we stepped inside a Coachmen Leprechaun 190cb and we really liked that layout. However, there was no oven and closet space was significantly reduced. So, if we could merge the two layouts somehow that would be ideal!”
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your model or affordable Class Cs in general?
“They are a great way to start your travels. They also make traveling ‘easy.’ It takes us about 5-10 minutes to set-up and break down when arriving or leaving a campsite. We watch our friends who take 30-60 or even 90 minutes to get everything settled and our process is so simple compared to theirs.
When we stop at a Cracker Barrel or Walmart for overnight parking, we pull in to the spot, jump in the back to sleep for the night, and in the morning jump back in the cab and start driving.
Maybe one day we will upgrade to a larger Class C or even a small Class A; but for now and at least for the next few years, our Minnie Winnie is perfect for us!”
Featured image credit (top of article): @minihousebigliving
5. Winnebago Spirit
Starting Price: $109,260
Next we have another option from Winnebago, the Spirit. This model also has six floor plans available, with the same length and sleeping capacity ranges as the Minnie Winnie. It has three different high-end interior design options ranging from cozy cabin vibes to contemporary.
Some floor plans even have theater seating available for movie nights or big game days, and with the sleek audio/visual technology built in to the Spirit, you won’t miss a second of the action. Storage is built in everywhere so you can have all of your personal items and gear stowed neatly away.
6. Jayco Redhawk
Starting Price: $111,143
The Redhawk from Jayco is next on our list, starting at just under $112,000. It comes in seven different floor plan options and has a few different interior finish options. All floor plans have one slide out, but the slide varies in size from just the bed to the entire wall.
All models come with a large passenger side awning and theater seating. The cab-over bunk has a weight rating of 750 pounds so it’s perfect for sleeping or for storing items during the day to keep things out of the way.
7. Forest River Sunseeker
Starting Price: $114,737
The Sunseeker from Forest River is available in a broad range of sizes. It is available as four different models: the Classic, the LE, the MBS, and the TS – each of which has a variety of floor plans available.
The Sunseeker Classic is available on either a Chevy or Ford chassis with nine different floor plans. The Classic also has the interesting option of a slide out on the back end of the rig, in addition to the typical side slide out options. The Classic ranges in length from about 27 feet to just over 32 feet.
The Sunseeker LE ranges from 23 to 32 feet long and is available on a Ford or Chevy chassis with 10 floor plans available. The Sunseeker MBS is built on a Mercedes chassis and has three floor plans available, all of which are about 25.5 feet long. The Sunseeker TS is built on a Ford Transit chassis, has two floor plans available, and ranges from 25.5 to 26 feet long.
All Sunseeker models have a unique split level design that allows for more headroom in the living area as well as passthrough storage. The wide range of sizes and floor plans make the Sunseeker series a perfect option for almost anyone, from couples to families with children.
8. Winnebago Vita
Starting Price: $136,072
Finally, we have the Winnebago Vita. This RV combines best-in-class features with a still reasonable price tag. It’s built on a Mercedes chassis and has two floor plans available, both of which are about 24.5 feet long and can sleep up to four people.
This compact build is easy to drive and can feasibly fit into a normal parking space, while the slide outs provide enough space when parked to comfortably hang out, move around, and cook.
The Class-C Motorhome I Would Choose…
As someone who currently lives in a 22-foot converted school bus, I think the smaller, the better so I would probably go with a Winnebago Vita for the ease of maneuvering and better fuel efficiency than some of the larger models on this list. However, it’s just me and my boyfriend with no kids or pets so we prioritize agility over space at this point in our lives.
Up Next In Motorhomes: