Choosing an RV Type

What RV type is right for you? Before you buy or rent an RV, it pays to gain a basic understanding of how RVs are categorized.

A Beginners Guide to
Choosing the Right RV Type for You

Truck Conversion

The RV world is generally divided into two broad categories: motorized RVs and towable RVs. Motorized RVs combine a motor vehicle chassis and living quarters in single unit. Under motorized RVs, you'll find Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes. Towable RVs are designed to be towed by a car, van, SUV, or pickup truck, but are small enough so as not to require a special highway movement permit. Under towable RVs, the accepted sub-categories are travel trailers, folding camping trailers, fifth wheel campers, and truck camper.

If you have become frustrated with the cost of every aspect of your travel plans going up in price, odds are you are on a quest to find a better alternative. With airlines charging even more fees then ever before, and the fact that you feel like you spend more of your vacation time waiting in security lines than on vacation, you may find yourself considering taking the means of getting to your destination into your own hands by purchasing an RV. With so many different models and styles available there is at least one model that can meet your travel needs as well as your price range.

RVÂ’s as they are most commonly called, come in two RV Types which are towable RVs and motorized RVÂ’s. Towable RVÂ’s, as the name implies, are designed to be pulled behind a car, truck, SUV or van. These models are completely self contained and cannot be accessed while the vehicle is in motion. Towables are available in travel trailers, folding camping trailers, fifth-wheel trailers or truck campers.

Motorized RVs, on the other hand, combine the use of a towable RV and its towing vehicle all into one package. The internal contents of a motorized RV can be accessed by its passengers when in motion, with the most common models being Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes or Class C motorhomes.

RV Type: Towables & Truck Camper

Coming in at the most inexpensive towable is the folding camping trailer. They are most commonly referred to as tent trailers or pop-upÂ’s because they are designed to be lightweight and cost effective while still offering the basic conveniences of home.

Pop Up Camper

They are light and small enough to be towed by most mid-size cars and even some compact cars, allowing you the ability to bring your accommodations with you without the added expense of having to purchase a second vehicle to get it there. These trailers are great for those who like the idea of roughing it but would rather not have to sleep on the ground. Most come equipped with cooking facilities, compact refrigerator, heating, fresh water tank, waste water tank, faucet, sink, pull-out beds, gas or LP supply and a 100 to 125 volt electrical system and can usually sleep up to six people depending on the floor plan.

Truck campers fall second on the pricing scale. They are most commonly referred to as pickup campers or slide-on campers because they fit into the bed of a standard size pickup truck. These models look similar to a chopped off version of a Class C motorhome, just minus the power-train and built in frame and wheels that the Class C motorhome contains. While their size may be equal to if not a little smaller than a folding camper, they offer users a hard sided, self contained unit that does not need to be assembled or disassembled in order to be used or transported. These units contain the same features as a folding trailer and can sleep anywhere from two to six people, making them great for weekenders because they can easily be loaded and unloaded from the back of the pickup truck.

Truck Camper

Next in line is the travel trailer. These trailers are most commonly compared to a Class A motorhome since they can contain similar layouts, just minus the power-train. These trailers can range from 10 feet to as long as 35 ft, with many coming equipped with at least one slide-out so the unitÂ’s living space can be extended when in use. These trailers can most commonly be towed by most full size cars, vans, SUVÂ’s or pickup trucks just as long as they are equipped with a load distributing hitch and other equipment that can control the sway of the trailer. These models usually contain the same accommodations as a Class A motorhome which include cooking facilities, refrigerator, heating, air conditioning, self contained toilet, shower, water tanks, faucets, sinks, LP or propane gas, and a 100 to 125 volt electric system. Models can sleep up to eight people depending on the floor plan.

Coming in at the top of the towable price range is the fifth-wheel. These trailers look like a cross between a travel trailer and a truck camper since they have the added extension on the front. These trailers require the use of a pickup truck equipped with a special hitch most commonly referred to as a fifth-wheel hitch.

Fifth Wheel Towable

These trailers while more expensive are easier and more stable to tow then travel trailers because the trailers load is placed in the center of the tow vehicle instead of behind it. The extension on the front of the trailer is most commonly used as a bedroom while many also come equipped with slideouts which can supply even more living space. They provide the same accommodations as a travel trailer with models being able to sleep up to six people.

Motorhome vs Fifth Wheel

RV Type: Motorized RVs

Motorized RVs on the other hand offer users the convenience of combining the living space and towing vehicle into one package. Coming in at the most inexpensive of the bunch is the Class B motorhome. These RV type are most commonly referred to as van conversions since they are constructed on a van chassis, with the only major modification being made to the roof height. While these models are most commonly cramped on living space, they are considered to be the most economical and versatile motorhomes on the market. They most commonly come equipped with similar features to that of a folding trailer and can sleep anywhere from two to four people depending on the model.

Next on the price scale of RV type is the Class C motorhome. The Class C motorhome is sometimes considered a scaled down version of a Class A motorhome and can range from 20 to 31 feet in length. These models are most commonly built on a larger van chassis and include a sleeping area above the cab as well as the bedroom in the rear. Many models also come with slideouts that can extend the motorhomeÂ’s living space. They most commonly come with the same facilities as their trailer counterparts as well as other appliances and entertainment features and have the ability to sleep up to 10 people depending on the model.

Class C Motor Home

The most expensive of the motorized RV type is the Class A motorhome. These units can range from anywhere to 30 to 40 feet in length, with many containing nearly every comfort of home that you could possibly think of. They contain all the features of a Class C motorhome as well as a wide array of appliances and entertainment features and include automatic slideouts that can make the interior living spaces of these motorhomes much more comfortable. Class A motorhomes can also sleep up to eight people depending on the model.

Class A Motor Home

That is the basics of the complete line of RV type that are available and the features they contain. Take the time to take your traveling needs and your budget into consideration and you will be on your way to choosing the RV type that meets your traveling needs.

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