Tag Archives: BT Cruiser

A Class on “RV Classes” – What’s In A Name?

As soon as you start looking at RVs, you’ll encounter a new language filled with terms that mean little to the uninitiated. The “RV Classes” that are mentioned by manufacturers and dealers can be pretty confusing until you know what they mean. Here’s a quick rundown that will help:

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has defined several “Classes” of RVs. The official Classes clarify the kinds of products available for the government offices that regulate them.

A “Class A” RV . . .

  • Is a motor home that includes living space AND a driver’s compartment built by an RV manufacturer. Class A’s begin life as ‘bare-bones’ chassis with running gear, engine, steering wheel, and little else. Everything else is added by the RV maker. Class A motor homes are often the biggest and most luxurious RVs on the road, and have profiles similar to buses. Typical size: L: 26’ to 42’; W: 8’
The famous Gulf Stream Coach Friendship Class A, no longer in production, but still seen on roads across North America

A “Class B” RV . . .

  • Is a motor home based on a cargo van that uses the original driver’s compartment and metal body of the van. The RV maker adds all of the interior accommodations, and a raised roof to provide standing room inside. Class B motor homes are the most compact RVs on the road, and resemble service vans with high-top roofs added. Typical size: L: 16’ to 25’; W: 7’ to 7.5’

A “Class C” RV . . .

  • Is a motor home with a bare steel chassis and driving gear (like Class A’s), and the original driver’s compartment (like Class B’s). The RV maker adds everything behind the driver’s compartment. The result is a box-like space behind the cab with all walls, roof, floor, and interior accommodations added by the RV maker. Class C’s often have bunk space for children/guests above the cab. Typical Size: L: 21′ to 35′, W: 8′ to 8.5′
The Conquest Class C 6238 - An ideal choice for first-time motor home buyers
Class C’s (Like this Conquest 6238) are the most popular Class of motor home

RV manufacturers have created products that blur the lines between the official RV Classes. For example, you’ll find “Class B+” motor homes as well as other variations. In fact, one of the most popular products produced by Gulf Stream Coach is the BT Cruiser. It’s a down-sized luxury motor home that bridges the gap between Class B and Class C. The BT Cruiser offers the advantages of a smaller, lower profile than standard Class C’s, but more space and power than standard Class B’s.

The BT Cruiser, an industry innovation that “breaks” the Class rules

When it comes to towable RVs, here are two official RV Classes recognized by the RVIA.

A “Travel Trailer” . . .

  • Is an RV with a hitch mounted low on the frame so it can be towed by a pickup truck, SUV, or passenger car with a bumper- or frame-mounted receiver. RV manufacturers build the walls, floor, and roof of the trailer, as well as all of the accommodations inside. There are many of variations, sizes, and styles of travel trailers covered by this broad description. You can start here to see a wide range of our most popular travel trailer models. Typical size: L: 12’ to 38’; W: 7’ to 8’
The Innsbruck 276BH Travel Trailer from Gulf Stream Coach

A “Fifth Wheel”…

  • Is a specialized travel trailer with a hitch designed to fit a receiver installed in the bed of a pickup truck. This type of hitch provides support for the Fifth Wheel directly above the rear wheels of the pickup. The setup also provides additional living space, better maneuverability, and a tighter turning circle than trailers with bumper-mount hitches. Typical size: L: 25’ to 45’; W: 8’
An image of a pickup and Canyon Trail Fifth Wheel from our archives (not currently in production)
An example of a Fifth Wheel from the Gulf Stream Coach Archives

And, yes, as you might expect, the RV industry has created many trailers that stretch these two categories. But this list of the five basic, most-popular “RV Classes” will help you identify and categorize virtually all RVs. Want to explore more? Check out this article, one of many online that discusses RV Classes.

Gulf Stream Coach "Cradle Of Strength®"

Only Gulf Stream Coach Motor Homes Have The “Cradle Of Strength®”

We’ve spent over thirty years building motor homes that give you the same kind of comfort, convenience, and safety you enjoy in your own home.  So far we’ve put over 60,000 motor homes on the road – and, as you can imagine – we’re really good at it!

Imagine this too:  Imagine what it’s like to build a home that has to travel 70 miles per hour on an Interstate Highway, and wind its way along narrow, bumpy country roads.  Then imagine a home that has to go up and down hills, brave the rain, snow, and searing summer sun, all while carrying the people you love most from one place to another.

Because you put your family in our hands, we put a “Cradle Of Strength®” under your motor home.

box style TUFF TRUSSESUnique in the RV industry, the Gulf Stream Coach “Cradle Of Strength®” is the carefully engineered foundation of steel we add to the motor home chassis.

Our Cradle Of Strength® uses large box-style TUFF TRUSSES rated at 6,000 lbs. each.  That puts more welded steel across the chassis rail than the triangle trusses other manufacturers use.

front-to-rear stringers

We further stiffen and strengthen the trusses with front-to-rear steel stringers.

We build our outside storage compartments with galvanized steel, not plastic, then wrap the insides with felt to protect your cargo.


TUFF TRUSSES on top of rail


We use extra welds and brackets to mount our TUFF TRUSSES on top of the main frame rail so they can’t shift down.



Galvanized steel subfloorFinally, we cover the drivetrain and service lines with a 26-gauge galvanized steel sub-floor.

Our Cradle Of Strength is the perfect foundation for our laminated floor and walls, providing incredible stiffness, resilience, and durability.  That strength translates into more dependable road manners, easier handling, and an overall safer, less-stressful driving experience.

We give you a “Cradle Of Strength®” –  and no one else does.

If you want a “Cradle Of Strength®” as the foundation of your family’s next RV, there’s only one way to get it:  Choose a Gulf Stream Coach motor home.  Whether you prefer the family-favorite Conquest Class C, or “The sports car of motor homes” BT Cruiser, you can rest assured:  There’s a “Cradle Of Strength®” supporting and protecting you everywhere you go.

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