Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Recreational Vehicles (RV) come in a multitude of types and sizes, this can be overwhelming and lead to a rushed decision. The last thing you would want to happen is buyer's remorse. An example could be missing that extra storage compartment, or maybe you have come to find out you would rather a whole different type of RV! These feelings are never fun and can be avoided if you take the right steps. Knowledge is power, especially when shopping for a big-ticket item like an RV. Follow me as I explain the differences, pros, and cons of the many types of Recreational vehicles.
Class A Motorhome
These mighty beasts are for the dedicated, the ones who love RV'ing and don't mind investing in it. Ranging in size from about 25 to 45 feet long, these units can provide some of the most comfortable camping possible! Options such as heated tile flooring, hidden spare beds, multiple televisions, and features such as multiple large slide-outs, washer/dryers, dishwashers, and so much more. Of course, with all of these benefits surely there have to be some drawbacks. A few things to note may be maneuverability in tight spots, maintenance costs, and operating costs. These all depend on specifics such as the unit you are looking at, as differences between brands and models can vary largely. If you feel it is worth it for you to go out and purchase one of these giants, you will be riding in style.
2. Class C Motorhome
If you are looking for an RV that has a good amount of features, space, and usability, but not too large then look no further. Class C motorhomes are generally built with cab or cut-away style bodies, designed to look like a van front end with a camper attached to the rear. Ranging in size from 21 to 40 feet, these are a more popular option for a few reasons. Size plays a large role, as many people would rather not drive a 40-foot long bus, whereas a class C can offer a "van" like driving experience while still providing many of the comforts and amenities of Class A motorhomes. Maintenance and operating costs will also be lower than that of Class A's because these units use smaller engines, these state-of-the-art features and smaller footprint. A Class C motorhome is a great choice for the one who enjoys not having to tow a trailer while keeping practicality in mind.
3. Fifth Wheel and Toy Haulers
Fifth wheels allow for extra space, smoother towing, and if you love outdoor toys like quads or side by side then fifth wheel toy haulers may be just right for you. To haul these units your truck will require a fifth wheel hitch, and always double-check the tow rating of your truck. (No, not any truck can tow any trailer just by putting a hitch on it). For a regular fifth-wheel, generally, they are similar to an ordinary travel trailer except for a few noticeable points. Fifth wheels typically have a master bedroom that is situated at the very front of the unit with large closets, queen beds, and storage rooms, and all of which can be separated with a privacy door. Toy Haulers are very similar in design, but the rear of the unit is converted into a drop-down door with a separate room for your toys! These units are the largest of the travel trailers and feature many upscale options to make your home away from home comfortable. If you own or are planning to own a truck
4. Travel Trailer
The most popular option on the list is travel trailers! These have remained somewhat unchanged design-wise for many years, offering a more affordable and compact option in the RV world. These tried and true units come in sizes from around 14 feet to 35 feet giving you the most variety in styles and brands. Generally, these are built to be as light as possible, so that they are towable by more vehicles (even a small SUV can tow select RVs). Being that they range in size this much, it allows for more personalization. If you are the person that just wants the basics, there are small travel trailers at an affordable price. But if you are the one who likes bells and whistles many travel trailers offer an upscale experience with many options and features.
5. Truck Camper
Truck campers offer the most compact and lease cumbersome experience. This is because they sit in the box of your truck (you may need a 3/4 or 1-ton truck, ensure with your vehicle's payload rating and box length). No hassle of backing up a trailer or maneuvering a motorhome in a campsite, with truck campers you can go anywhere your truck can! Inside these units, there are fewer features than the larger travel trailers but do not lack important features like your furnace, refrigerator, shower, and toilet. Your sleeping area is usually at the front of the unit, generally over top of the cab of your truck. Inside you may find a dinette for eating, a pass-through into your truck if it's rear window opens, and usually a small TV in the bed area. These are great for people that don't want to worry about hauling a trailer down the highway, or want something small and practical; either way they are another great option.
6. Pop-up Camper
Not sure if the RV camping life is for you? These compact units provide super light-weight towing and are only about 4-5 feet tall when closed up. Ranging in length from around 13 feet to 20 feet, allowing a multitude of vehicles to haul these types of RVs. A drawback to the pop-up style camper is that you are not fully enclosed when inside. The material that is exposed once you start opening the camper is similar to that of a tent, so you may be more vulnerable to the elements as opposed to a full-size travel trailer. On the other side, these offer many more advantages than a tent would, so weigh your options! These types of units still provide a furnace, fridge, and water system, but this may vary per specific floorplan. Overall these are best for those who either do not have a truck to haul a large trailer, or simply like the compact and affordable nature of pop-ups!