Compact Full Featured Class B Motorhomes
In an earlier review of Best in Class B Motorhomes, the Hymer Activ 2.0 and the RoadTrek 210 were among our recommended units. However due to the bankruptcy of Hymer North America both of these top rated models have ceased to exist! So that left the Winnebago Travato as the clear best option for full featured Class B compact motorhomes.
According to sales data, buyers make the Travato is the #1 best selling camper van in the US. But now for 2021-22 there are a few more entries to give the Travato some competition. They include models offered by Thor and a collection of other US and Canadian manufacturers.
Van based Class B motorhomes featured in this article:
- Winnebago Travato
- Thor Sequence
- Safari Condo
- Panoramic RV
- Pleasureway Lexor
- Coachman Beyond
- Fleetwood IROK
- RoadTrek Play
Advantage of Class B Motorhomes.
These units have become popular because of their compact size (less than 23 feet), fuel economy, and a somewhat lower price tag. Because they are built on a Van chassis they are not as wide as Compact Class C Motorhomes being built in the US. But this also is why their price is competitive as the manufacturer doesn’t need to build their own coach.
The major disadvantage of the van-built RV is space, space both for interior comfort in the “coach” or living section of the unit and space for storage of clothes and gear. How a particular manufacturer and model handles these challenges is a major consideration in our ratings.
Some of the criteria we considered in narrowing the field:
- Less than 23 feet long; longer units affects ease of handling and parking
- Luggage space – room enough for two golf club bags
- Natural Lighting – this is particularly important due to the small living space
- Dinette option that doesn’t require tearing down your bed
- Functionality of leaving the bed setup
- Seating and Seat Belts for at least 4 people
- Convenience accessories and appliances equal to larger units
- Cost – under $125,000, otherwise why not get a Class C
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The Travato is the Industry Leader in this class so we will be comparing new competitors to it. (See our updated Travato Review for 2021 which includes some improvements)
New Class B Competition for the Travato
Thor drew upon the now extinct Hymer Aktiv and copied elements from the Travato in designing their new entry in this field. The Sequence is available in 3 floor plans. The 20A floor plan best meets our criteria due to being able to leave the bed setup and having a dedicated dining area. (The other floor plan option, the 20L model, is essentially a clone of the Winnebago Travato 59K).
Like the Travato the Sequence is built on the RAM 3500 chassis that is 21 feet long and 9.5 feet high. Thor Capacities (fuel, lp tank, fresh water, waste water tanks, etc) are quite similar to the Travato. Both also use the energy efficient Truma Combi Eco Hydronic Furnace/Hot Water Heating System. Both have AGM batteries, with a 1,000-watt AC/DC inverter, about 200 watts of solar, and a 2800 watt Onan generator as backup power generating system.
Both Thor and the Travato also offer an optional Lithium Battery electrical system that offers enhanced off-the-grid camping due to the significantly higher available amp hours and available watts of power.
So choosing between the Sequence and Travato comes down to which models’ floor plan you like best and your preference on interior finishing appearance and appointments. Dealer location and price might be the deciding factor.
Feature Differences Thor Sequence Model A vs Winnebago Travato Model G
- Travato has a larger 2 door refrigerator/freezer vs. smaller 1 door in the Sequence
- Travato has a more spacious bathroom vs. tiny Sequence bath
- Travato Model G has been in production for 4 years; Sequence Model A is new for 2021
- Sequence has a larger, easier to access double bed
- Sequence has a hanging closet; although the Travato pantry may be converted to small closet
The Thor Sequence should give the Travato some strong competition. Will be interesting to see owner reviews after a fair number have been out on the road.
Two more 2021 Compact Class B Motorhomes worth considering
Safari Condo Motorhomes
Safari is a Quebec motorhome manufacturer with a diverse array of camper van conversions using the Sprinter and ProMaster chassis. They have no dealer network in the US, so all units must be ordered directly from the factory. But one advantage of no dealer network and ordering factory-direct is Safari offers many more floor plan options than the larger manufacturers.
We like best their XL21-Flex model built on the 21′ ProMaster Chassis. Like the Sequence and the Hymer Activ 2.0, one of the floor plans offers a dedicated 4 person dinette and a dedicated double bed.
Panoramic RV Motorhome
Like Safari, Panoramic is a Quebec motorhome manufacturer. They build only on the Ram ProMaster chassis and on the 3500 extended cab version. They offer both a dedicated 4 person dinette area and a dedicated murphy sleeping bed in the rear. They have an attractively appointed interior and an innovative floor plan layout that allows both a closet and a pantry in addition to the galley and bathroom/shower. You order directly from the factory or they do have a dealer network in Western Canada. You have to search around the Panoramic Website to get the technical details so it is hard to draw more accurate comparisons to the Travato and Sequence. But apparently they offer the Truma-Combi hot water and heating system, solar panels (150-300W), a 2000W inverter and high-efficiency AGM or Lithium batteries.
But if you find this European floor plan (dedicated dining and sleeping areas) attractive and you live close enough to Quebec or one of the Western Canada dealers, it is worth checking out the Panoramic RV in more detail. This unit checks most of our boxes! Wish it wasn’t for us a 1000+ mile drive one way to check them out in person.
Other Class B Motorhome Vans
Pleasure-Way Lexor FL
The Lexor FL model, built on the ProMaster Chassis, does offer an option of leaving the sofa bed made up during the day and a front lounge area. However the Lagun dining table which must be setup for the cab seats is quite tiny and is an impediment to access to the coach when traveling. This same tiny table is used when setup for dining in the rear of the coach. Other features are competitive with the Travato and the company has a good reputation for quality.
Coachman is offering a Travato competitor utilizing the 22′ Ford Transit chassis, with an option of the All-Wheel Drive version. However none of the three floor plan options of the Coachman Beyond offer a dedicated dining or sleeping area. Like the Lexor FL there is an option of a portable small table setup for the cab seats but it would be an impediment to bath access and coach access while traveling.
Fleetwood’s entry into this space is their Fleetwod IROK, built on the Ram ProMaster Chassis. However like the Beyond, it does not offer a dedicated dining area, although there is a Loft bed floor plan option. The website offers sparse details on the IROK and it gives the appearance of a rush to enter this fast-growing RV market.
RoadTrek has risen from the ashes of the Hymer North America bankruptcy and has introduced five new models for 2021. They offer some appealing features – See our Review here: The “New” 2021 RoadTrek But like the other also-rans listed above, there isn’t a dedicated forward dining area.
- Top RV Shows for 2022
- Camper Van Review – 2021
- Winnebago Travato Website
- Thor Sequence Website
- Safari Condo Website
- PleasureWay Website
- Fleetwood IROK website
- Best Class C Compact Motorhomes