The Best RV For Your Needs: 7 Types Of RVs
Camping and traveling with your family is a great way to see the world, but it does not have to be done in a tent or a hotel. Camping in an RV is a great way to have the comforts of home on wheels so that you are free to travel wherever your heart desires.
- What Is An RV?
- The Different RV Types
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Where should I look when buying an RV?
- 2. Should I rent before I buy?
- 3. How much does it cost to rent an RV for a week?
- 4. How long is a motorhome?
- 5. Do you need a special license to drive a motorhome?
- 6. What is a Teardrop Trailer?
- 7. What is a Campervan?
- 8. What is a full hookup at an RV park?
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What Is An RV?
Well, RV stands for recreational vehicle. It is simply a large camper or a travel trailer that is designed to be driven to your vacation destination.
Typically, an RV will have a few places to sleep, a kitchen, a table to eat at, and a bathroom. Many of them also come with amenities like flat screen televisions so that you can catch a movie at night before you hit the sack.
The Different RV Types
When it comes to RVs, not every RV is designed the same. In fact, there are actually different types of RVs that you can select from, so if you want one that you drive, you have that option, but you can also drive your own vehicle and tow an RV behind your vehicle if you prefer.
In this article, we will take a look at the different types that are available on the market so that if you decided to purchase an RV, you know exactly which class or type will fit your travel needs best. We will also dig deep into the specifics of each type to consider the pros and cons for you to think about as well before making a purchase decision.
A motorhome is a recreational vehicle that you drive around. The unit is self-contained, which means that you can take it on vacation and be set for the week. Some RVers opt to tow a car or motorcycles behind the RV for ease of travel, but you don't need a vehicle to get the RV to your campsite.
There are three types of motorhomes that you can choose from. Let's take a look.
1. Class A
A Class A RV is the largest motorhome that you can purchase, which is why this is the type of RV that is used by individuals who travel a lot. If you like to travel to a warmer climate during the winter, then maybe this is the type of RV for you.
Since this is a rather large vehicle, it is a common misconception that you need a special license to drive a Class A RV, but fortunately, that is not true. However, driving this big vehicle may take a bit of time to get used to.
In addition, since the vehicle can be up to 45 feet in length, it may be difficult to travel on small, windy roads. In fact, since some campgrounds are located on these types of roadways, they may be inaccessible for such a large RV.
The best part of having a Class A RV is that you have a ton of space. In fact, they often have slide out sections that increase the interior space even more. These RVs are typically designed with a master bedroom as well as sleeping space for a few extra people.
There will be at least one full bath in an RV of this size, which means that you never need to use the campsite restrooms to shower or use the facilities. In fact, some of the larger models even have two bathrooms.
If you really go for a luxury model, you may even be able to get a washer and dryer inside of your RV so that you can pack fewer clothes for a long vacation. Some models even have a dishwasher and an ice machine to make camping life easier.
- There are luxury amenities inside of the RV like a flat screen television and surround sound speakers.
- It is very spacious inside so you won't feel cramped with your entire family in the RV.
- The basement storage is massive, so you can bring bikes, lawn chairs, and plenty of equipment for camping.
- This size RV comes with a full bathroom, which makes washing simple.
- The size of the RV makes it difficult to drive, especially if you are traveling along curvy roads.
- A Class A RV is expensive to purchase; in fact, it can cost six figures or more for a model of this size.
- A motorhome of this size will have costly repairs.
- This size RV requires a lot of fuel to run, and in most cases, the RV runs on diesel.
2. Class B
A Class B RV is actually the smallest sized motorhome that you can purchase that is designed with a driving bay. These models are about the size of a full-sized van, which is why many RVers refer to this class of RV as a campervan.
Though it is about the size of a van, the roofs on these vehicles are raised so that you can stand up inside them comfortably.
Unlike the Class A, when you purchase a Class B you may find that the quarters are a bit cramped. This class of vehicle is in no way a luxury model, but it has a good amount of space for a couple or a small family.
Inside, there are still more amenities than you would have if you were to camp in a tent, so if you want some modern conveniences while you are camping, this may be a great option for you. It comes with a refrigerator, a kitchen sink, a shower, a bathroom sink, and a toilet.
The one thing that is lacking with this size camper is the cargo space, but for one or two individuals, it is sufficient. Also, since the RV is about the size of a van, it is really simple to maneuver, which means that nearly every campground that you want to visit will be accessible.
- These vehicles fit into a standard parking space, so you will not have issues finding a place to park.
- These RVs do not require a lot of fuel to run; in fact, some Class B models run on gas instead of diesel.
- Since this type of camper is smaller, it is easy to drive.
- When you are not using the RV, it will most likely fit into your garage for storage.
- The living space inside the vehicle is cramped; in fact, it will be quite cozy with two adults.
- There is not a lot of onboard storage space, which can be limiting for long trips.
- There is no separate bedroom in a Class B RV.
- The bathroom barely has enough standing space, which can make it difficult to use.
3. Class C
A Class C RV is the mid-sized model motorhome, which means that it will sleep six comfortably. These RVs are great for families with children who like to go camping because they have a lot of the amenities that you are used to, but they cost much less than a Class A RV.
You will find that these RVs are designed a little different than the other motorhomes that we have looked at so far because there is a queen-sized bed above the cab.
This means that you will not have a designated bedroom, but if you are camping with your family, that should be fine for a few days. You will also find a decent sized kitchen, a full bathroom, and plenty of storage space.
Since the cab is built using an existing van or truck, they are smaller than a Class A model, but they still take a bit to get used to, especially on small, narrow roads. Many RVers who travel in a Class C model like to tow a car behind the camper so that traveling while you are at the campsite is easier.
- This Class of RV is pretty spacious; in fact, it can comfortably sleep six.
- There is a sleeping space above the cab, but if you don't like climbing up there, the table often folds down into a bed as well.
- It has all of the basic amenities that you need for a camping trip.
- You will need a separate vehicle to make day trips during your travels.
- An RV of this size does not have all of the amenities of a Class A RV.
- It is a larger vehicle, so it can be difficult to drive in more restricted campgrounds.
B. Towable RVs
Not everyone wants an RV that you can drive across the country; some RVers prefer to tow their campers behind them using their own vehicle.
If you opt for a towable RV, you will have to get used to towing the camper, but you will already be comfortable driving your own vehicle, which makes getting to the campground easier. There are four different kinds of towable RVs that you can consider.
1. Travel Trailers
A travel trailer is a type of RV that is designed to be towed behind a car, SUV, or a truck. You will need a standard ball hitch to tow this camper, but since they vary in size, you also will need to verify that the vehicle will be able to pull the full weight of the camper.
They are designed on a standard trailer frame, so you will have plenty of interior space for a large family. Most of these travel trailers have a private bedroom, a full kitchen, a stove, a full-sized bathroom, and plenty of storage.
As with most large RVs, they can take a bit to get used to when driving. However, learning how to go in reverse with a travel trailer may be nearly impossible for an inexperienced driver, so if you can, get a pull-through campsite.
- It is not as expensive as a motorhome.
- The vehicle can be disconnected once you are parked, which allows you to go on day excursions near where you are camping.
- Most travel trailers have plenty of living space; in fact, the larger ones can sleep up to 10 people.
- These campers have lots of storage space, so long term camping is a viable option.
- Driving may take some practice.
- Backing up with the camper in tow is very difficult.
- Parking in smaller spaces can prove to be difficult.
- You will need to get a ball hitch installed on your vehicle to tow it.
2. Fifth Wheel Trailers
The next type of RV is a fifth wheel trailer, which is designed so that that camper connects to the flatbed of a pickup truck. This is typically done using a gooseneck connection; making this type of RV easier to maneuver when it is being towed.
That being said, you cannot tow this type of RV with any vehicle that does not have a flat bed, so you may have less space for your family and camping essentials.
Many RVers who travel with their family may prefer to take a separate vehicle to the campground so that they are not cramped during the ride. With a fifth wheel trailer, there is going to be plenty of interior space; in fact, many of the models that are currently on the market have slide out options as well.
These campers also have plenty of sleeping space, a full bathroom, a large kitchen, and plenty of storage inside as well as in the basement area of the camper.
- The towing connection is easier to maneuver than it is with a travel trailer.
- The camper has ample space for storage, which makes it great for long term camping.
- If you need to unhitch the camper at the campsite, the process is simple to do.
- The interior living space is quite large, making it perfect for family vacations.
- You need a large truck with a flat bed to tow a fifth wheel.
- This is the most expensive type of towable RV.
- Since you need to tow this RV with a truck, passenger space during travel may be cramped.
- Clearance may be an issue in some campgrounds.
3. Pop-Up Trailer
If you are just getting into RVing with your family, and you want a small camper to stay in, a pop-up trailer may be a great option for you to consider.
It is a smaller model that is easy to maneuver on the road as well as when you park it at the campsite. They require a ball hitch to connect, but fortunately, you can tow this camper with almost any vehicle because it is so lightweight.
These models have plenty of sleeping space because of the pull out wings that provide extra area. So, even though the camper looks small, once you pop the top, it may have more sleeping room than other camper models.
Most of these types of campers have a small kitchen to cook in, but you will have to find another location to use the restroom.
- Pop-up campers do not cost a lot to purchase, so they are great for families on a budget.
- It is very easy to tow a pop-up camper.
- Since the RV folds down, it is easy to store when it is not being used.
- It has a kitchen and a dining area that is large enough for a few people to enjoy.
- There is not much room in the camper other than sleeping space.
- Storage space is limited inside of a camper this size.
- There is not a bathroom in a pop-up trailer.
- You may be exposed to the elements with this type of camper.
4. Truck Camper
A camper truck is an RV that is designed to fit into the flat bed of your truck. They come in many different sizes, and they are one of the easiest campers to get to the campsite because if you can drive your truck, you can drive it with the camper connected.
These RVs are actually much bigger than you might imagine them to be. In fact, inside most, there is a kitchen, a dining area, a bedroom, and a full bath. There are also smaller models for smaller trucks available, but you may have to sacrifice some of the amenities.
- You don't have to tow this type of RV at all, which makes driving it simpler.
- It is a relatively cheap style of camper to maintain.
- You can easily tow a vehicle behind the truck and camper if you'd like.
- The inside is surprisingly spacious.
- Storage space is a bit limited in a truck camper.
- The standing space may be limited in some models.
- If you don't bring an extra vehicle, you will have to take the entire camper on errands.
- The bed of the truck is not going to be accessible during your travels.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where should I look when buying an RV?
No matter which state you live in, there are typically a number of RV dealerships where you can purchase a new RV. Do research online before choosing which brand you'd like to buy, and go into the dealership knowing as much as you can about the RV you want to purchase.
2. Should I rent before I buy?
This is not required, but renting an RV before purchasing one will give you a better idea of what living in an RV is like. If you've never stayed in an RV, renting different models to try can help you choose the right one to purchase.
3. How much does it cost to rent an RV for a week?
The cost of renting an RV will vary based on the location that you rent it from, the time of the year that you are renting it, and the size of the RV that you want. Typically, you can get a camper that sleeps about four to six people comfortably from $500 to $800 a week. More luxury models can be more than $1,000 a week.
4. How long is a motorhome?
The length of your RV is going to vary, but on average, a Class A motorhome is about 35 feet in length. A Class C RV is a little smaller, but this size still averages to about 30 feet in length. Class B motorhomes are even smaller in size.
5. Do you need a special license to drive a motorhome?
The short answer is no. Most RVs weigh less than 26,000 pounds, so you will not need a special license to drive them. However, if your RV happens to be one of the heavier models, check with your local DMV before traveling.
6. What is a Teardrop Trailer?
A teardrop trailer is a small, compact trailer that can easily be towed by a car. They sleep one to two adults comfortably, and they often have a small kitchen for added convenience. Unfortunately, these compact models are lacking a bathroom.
7. What is a Campervan?
A campervan is a Class B motorhome that is positioned on the frame of a full-sized van. There is often a small kitchen and a usable bathroom, but space is limited, and so are storage options.
8. What is a full hookup at an RV park?
When you are staying at an RV Park, you will want to have full hookup so that you have all of the conveniences of home as you camp. This means that your camper will have electricity and running water, and it also means that you have sewer access so that you can dump your black water tank with ease. At some RV parks, full hookup also includes cable access so that you can enjoy your favorite shows before calling it a night.