Sometimes exploring by RV can become a little monotonous when traveling by highway or byway. Many campers get the desire to venture off-road, driving over rugged terrain to find that perfect remote campsite with no visible neighbors. But these drivers don’t want to give up their space in a Class C motorhome to gain that 4x4 capability found in a Sprinter van or a truck camper.
Now, they don’t have to trade comfort and space for adventurous destinations. Class C RVs from many manufacturers offer four-wheel drive options. Let’s take a closer look!
Do Class C RV Motorhomes Have 4-Wheel Drive?
Class C motorhomes, recognized by their truck-like appearance with a bed over the cab, can come in many sizes. Many of today’s newer models even offer a four-wheel-drive transmission, allowing the vehicles to travel off-road and opening up all kinds of boondocking and dispersed camping sites to RVers.
These 4x4 Class C RV motorhomes may have diesel engines, like those found in the Sprinter van chassis. Or they may have gasoline-powered engines like the Ford EcoBoost mounted in Transit vans. They may also be on bigger rigs with Ford 550, Chevy 5500, or even larger rigs.
In other words, 4x4 Class C RVs can be almost any length, from 25-footers to 34-footers. Even larger Super C RVs can have four-wheel-drive.
Pro Tip: We uncovered exactly What You Need to Know About Class C RVs before you buy!
What Are the Benefits of a 4x4 Class C RV Motorhome?
One of the most popular reasons travelers purchase 4x4 motorhomes is to have access to less accessible roads. With a four-wheel-drive transmission, they can easily drive on dirt or gravel trails and handle more rugged terrain, leading them to lightly visited destinations and more private campsites.
Some RVers don’t put their rigs in storage when winter hits, so having the added traction of all four wheels working together makes handling snow and mud less of a challenge. They have more control and get a better choice of campsites when most RVers have called it quits for the year!
Keep in mind that most of these rigs still lack ground clearance for actual off-roading, but having 4x4 can help get you out of a tricky spot. Situations that arise often might be soft sand, slippery grass, or wet mud.
Are 4x4 Class C RV Motorhomes Good in Snow?
Because four-wheel drive vehicles have all four wheels working in tandem, they have more traction and control in snow. However, don’t confuse snow with ice, as many drivers assume that 4x4 autos and RVs can grab on icy roads. Actually, only slowing down will help you keep control of your vehicle on ice.
The weight of an RV also gives you a little more traction than in a car. A car weighs as much as one-third of that of the smallest RV. When combining weight and a 4x4 transmission, a Class C motorhome can plow through the snow like a snow plow!
While weight can help give traction, keep in mind that if / when you break traction the weight also will not stop as easily and can be much harder to regain control, so always slow down in slippery conditions.
4 Best Off-Road Class C RV Motorhomes for Comfortable Adventuring
We have put together a list of the top four 4x4 motorhomes in the world of Class C off-road motorhomes in hopes you find a model that works best for you. They come in all sizes, so we’ve given you a wide range of vehicles to peruse.
1. NeXus RV Rebel 30R
About: This Super C 4x4 with a full-body slide has everything necessary to get to an off-road site and stay there. And with 15,000 lbs of towing capacity, you can bring along just about everything you want to enjoy dispersed camping where no one can find you.
This weightier rig is only 31 feet long but packs a punch. With ducted heating and cooling, a dry bath, and sleeping for six, your whole family can enjoy camping in any spot you pick.
Off-Road Features: The construction on this 4x4 motorhome is flexible enough to handle the rugged terrain of off-roading, as it has a high-strength, low alloy steel cage covered with fiberglass sidewalls.
2. Thor Omni XG32
About: Thor has manufactured this Super Class C at 34 feet long with a turbo diesel engine. It can sleep four and can tow 10,000 lbs. Built for boondocking, the massive fresh water tank holds 75 gallons. The gray water tank handles 47 and the black water tank holds 40 gallons.
There’s even a tankless water heater, and the Omni has several driving safety features. The interior has two slides, residential appliances in the kitchen, and solid surface countertops. There’s a massive generator and solar power in this 4x4 motorhome to keep things running when you’re off the grid.
Off-Road Features: The Omni XG32, with its 4x4 transmission, can take you off-road and keep you there for a while if you so choose. Its solar panel, charge controller, 1,800-watt inverter, and diesel generator will keep things running. The large water tanks will give you peace of mind about boondocking a little longer if you find a campsite in the wild that you love.
3. Thor Magnitude SV34
About: At almost 36 feet long, the Thor Magnitude is a large Class C with a Ford F600 4x4 chassis and a turbo diesel engine with plenty of horsepower. One full-length slide includes residential appliances and enough beds to sleep eight people. A total of three TVs will make you feel like you never left home. And, with solar power, a satellite dish, a digital antenna, and a Wi-Fi extender, you’ll stay connected wherever you land.
Off-Road Features: Ready for long-term dispersed camping, this 4x4 motorhome has huge water tank capacities and towing allowances. You can take everything along on an off-road adventure with the Magnitude 4x4 RV.
4. Dynamax Isata 5 28SS
About: With a length of just over 31 feet, the Isata 5 is a bit larger than some Class C RVs. However, its Ram 5500 chassis with four-wheel drive and a diesel engine can easily handle just about any terrain.
The motorhome has a slide in the living area and bedding for five. You won’t be giving up any amenities either. This rig has high-end appliances and finishes, solar power, and even provides hydraulic levelers.
Off-Road Features: One nice feature is the Dynamix Rock Guard added to the back of this rig. It comes in handy on rocky terrain for those that put the four-wheel drive to use in the backcountry.
Honorable Mention: Winnebago Ekko AWD
About: At 23 feet long, the Winnebago Ekko has a sleeping capacity of four. Two twin beds in the back camouflage an outdoor gear garage. Additionally, a pop-top makes room for two more bodies above the living space.
With all-wheel drive, the Ekko can get you anywhere, and its short length allows for tight spaces and tight turns. There is only one floorplan. However, the RV has a full wet bath, a separate table with seating, and a galley kitchen to meet your needs.
Off-Road Features: Not only does the Ekko come with all-wheel drive, but its fresh water and gray water holding tanks are built for boondocking! It has a freshwater supply of 50 gallons and a gray water tank that can handle 51 gallons until emptied. With that, you should be able to stay out in the boonies for quite a while before needing a refill or dump.
Pro Tip: We took a closer look at Is the Winnebago Ekko the Perfect Family Camper Van? Find out what we discovered.
Are There Other Types of Off-Road Motorhomes With 4x4?
Yes, Class B camper vans have been offering 4x4 motorhomes from 17 feet to 22 feet for a few years. They are so popular that some manufacturers have stopped offering their front-wheel-drive models. Because of their shorter lengths, it’s easier to get a van chassis into tight spots and over low dips in off-road locations.
Is a 4x4 Off-Road Class C RV Motorhome Worth It?
As more RVers look for campsites away from the crowds of campgrounds, 4x4 Class C RVs are becoming extremely popular. Campers long to get off the beaten path in search of more private and quiet places to set up camp.
These rigs make it possible to get there and remain in place for longer periods. Their four-wheel drive capabilities and large water holding tanks encourage more RVers to explore less crowded camping options. That makes them well worth the investment.
Would you buy a Class C RV for off-roading adventures? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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