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Types Of RV's

Updated on May 24, 2014

Pick Your Dream RV

Why So Many Kinds?

The RV world is as diverse as any strong hedge fund. There are all sorts of people from many walks of life who decide to RV. That being said, your choice in a rig is completely based on what you plan to do with it. Some people just want to travel alone or with a family for vacations. Some folks choose to live in them as a permanent residence. Whether alone, as a couple, with a small family, or a huge family this is their choice.

Whatever your plans, consider them all and then choose the type of rig that best suits your needs. It's best to look at tons of different options before making any choice. It's a big decision having many details to consider.

There Are Several Different Types of RV's

  • Class A - these are the most popular kind, sort of a house on wheels.
  • Class B - more like a small motel room on wheels
  • Class C - a comfy hotel room with a full kitchen on wheels
  • Fifth Wheel - a towable home on wheels that needs a pickup truck
  • Travel Trailer - a towable home on wheels that can be pulled by any capable vehicle
  • Toyhauler - a home on wheels with a garage in back to carry big stuff
  • Pop - up camper - a towable camp site on wheels


Class A's Are A Class Act

A Class A RV is usually what comes to mind when you hear the phrase "RV". They are similar to city buses in size and range considerably in price and luxury.
A Class A RV is usually what comes to mind when you hear the phrase "RV". They are similar to city buses in size and range considerably in price and luxury.

Class A Motorhomes $$$$

Class A's are pure luxury! When you think of RV's this is usually what comes to mind. A Class A motorhome comes equipped with a full bedroom, a full service kitchen, a full bathroom, and a sitting area. The driver's area is also loaded with comfort. These generally sleep a brood of 6 - 10 depending on what it includes. Most of them are designed with retirees in mind, but newer models cater to those who are still raising families.

What's important to note is that many newer RV's have some features that you wouldn't have expected. Some come equipped with bunkbeds in addition to the main bedroom. Others have a full bath and a half bath. There are even some with a garage in back!

A Class B Can Be A Dream Too...

The Class B is a van at first glance, but inside you'll find full service amenities. That includes a kitchenette, bathroom, and comfy sleeping quarters.
The Class B is a van at first glance, but inside you'll find full service amenities. That includes a kitchenette, bathroom, and comfy sleeping quarters.

Class B's $$$

These gems are classic. They are more like glorified vans with all the bells and whistles. There's a nice bed, a small kitchen area, a sitting area, a small bathroom, and the driver's cab. While they are probably not the ideal rec vehicle for a large family, they are very nice spaces for a single or a couple who want to travel for camping or vacations.

The prices on these can be similar to that of a Class A or a Class C, but without the extra space and convenience. Yet, keep in mind, a person who wants to have a driving experience that is less daunting than maneuvering a huge Class A or Class C may opt for this.

The Class C Ride is Better Than Average

Notice the extension over the driver's cab. This is generally a sleeping space, but it could also be an entertainment center and / or storage.
Notice the extension over the driver's cab. This is generally a sleeping space, but it could also be an entertainment center and / or storage.

Class C Motorhomes $$$ / $$$$

Class C motorhomes will put you in the mind of a mini version of a Class A, but the bedroom is usually above the driver's cab. It is fully equipped with a bathroom, kichen, and sitting area. As with a Class A, the sitting area and kitchen usually have fold out beds, making it possible to sleep several people in the space.

Class C's can be quite large. Some are even 30 or 35 feet long. They have most of the conveniences of a Class A, but the cab rides more like a pickup truck or van. One must determine the purpose of their RV before choosing this model. If you have a family and plan to use it for an extended period of time, it may not be the best selection for your needs. On the other hand, if it's for camping or vacations, it could be perfect.

The costs vary slightly from Class A's, but relatively speaking they're in the same range.

Holiday World Fifth Wheel Bunkhouse RV Tour

Slides: A Double Edged Sword

A slide, or slide out, is a part of the RV that actually slides out from the interior of the vehicle to open up extra space. The number of slides varies from one RV to another, but more slides can be helpful because they add space. They can be a double edged sword because they represent one more thing that could go wrong and need repair.

Fifth Wheels $$

Fifth wheel towables are the type of rig one can tow using a tow hitch in the bed of their pickup truck. There is an extension that seamlessly attaches to the pickup while the rest is luxurious living space. While it may not be as much fun to sit in a pickup while towing your house on wheels, fifth wheels provide the comforts of home that are unmatched in other rigs.

Ranging in size from 20 feet to 44 feet, fifth wheels have plenty of space. There is a full master bedroom, full bathroom, full service kitchen, full dining area, and a sitting space. Many also have bunkhouses. This is an area, typically in the back of the rig, where there can be up to three or four bunkbeds. Sometimes there is also a second half bath, an entertainment center, and more storage space inside the bunkhouse. Since these bunkhouses are generally set up in slides, they open up to provide an area for inside recreation. Rainy day? No problem. It's a great kids' space, as well as a second bedroom just in case one wants some down time alone.

What is particularly fun about these models is that they can have islands in the kitchen with stools, dishwashers, fireplaces, and more "like home" amenities that you don't always find in other types of rigs.

This is an ideal choice for families on the road. Of course, the family is limited to an amount of passengers who can safely fit into a pickup truck. Riding in a fifth wheel while it's in motion is actually illegal in many states. Anyway, it would put the driver and passengers at unnecessary risk.

Fifth Wheels Offer The Comforts of Home

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fifth wheel floorplans are amazingly versatile. Remember to search thoroughly for not only a sturdy, safe rig, but one with the amenities you need.Kitchens in fifth wheels are full-sized for making delicious, healthy treats as a pampered chef on the go.It isn't unusual to find a fireplace to warm up the rig when it gets frosty outside. Bunkhouses are often available in fifth wheels and travel trailers, but some Class A's are also equipped with them.It's nice to have an extra bathroom for camping. This way no one has to go inside causing unnecessary wear on the RV.
Fifth wheel floorplans are amazingly versatile. Remember to search thoroughly for not only a sturdy, safe rig, but one with the amenities you need.
Fifth wheel floorplans are amazingly versatile. Remember to search thoroughly for not only a sturdy, safe rig, but one with the amenities you need.
Kitchens in fifth wheels are full-sized for making delicious, healthy treats as a pampered chef on the go.
Kitchens in fifth wheels are full-sized for making delicious, healthy treats as a pampered chef on the go.
It isn't unusual to find a fireplace to warm up the rig when it gets frosty outside.
It isn't unusual to find a fireplace to warm up the rig when it gets frosty outside.
Bunkhouses are often available in fifth wheels and travel trailers, but some Class A's are also equipped with them.
Bunkhouses are often available in fifth wheels and travel trailers, but some Class A's are also equipped with them.
It's nice to have an extra bathroom for camping. This way no one has to go inside causing unnecessary wear on the RV.
It's nice to have an extra bathroom for camping. This way no one has to go inside causing unnecessary wear on the RV.

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Travel Trailers Tow Terrifically

Travel trailers have a hitch that will attach to any capable vehicle so there's no need to buy a pickup if you don't already own one.
Travel trailers have a hitch that will attach to any capable vehicle so there's no need to buy a pickup if you don't already own one.

Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are a lot like fifth wheels, except there is no extension to haul over a pickup. In fact, one may use any capable tow vehicle to tow a travel trailer. These may be the least expensive type of rig for large families. Like fifth wheels they have all the amenities of a home. And, like fifth wheels they offer floor plans with more than one bedroom and more than one bathroom.

In fact, the only notable difference between the two is the extension and the way they are towed. Many RVers who have used both also point out that the fifth wheels feel a lot more steady in tow due to having that extension and being pulled from the bed of the truck, rather than a regular hitch. Otherwise, a travel trailer can be an ideal home on wheels for someone looking to get an RV that reminds them of all the comforts of home.

Full Time RV Living

Would You Ever Live In An RV Full Time?

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Weight Limits Mean Something

Pay attention to manufacturer guidelines on weight with towing and hauling. While you may be able to fit or tow something, it may not be wise to do so. The damage can be occurring over time and not immediately evident. Yet down the road at some point you'll see how not following the guidelines puts unnecessary strain and wear on your pickup and / or rig.

Toyhaulers

Toyhaulers are built with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. Basically, it's an RV that can come in any form, but then there's an entire garage in the back that serves to haul all sorts of "toys". By toys, I mean off-road vehicles, motorcycles, kayaks, bikes, dirtbikes, and the list is endless. In fact, I've even seen folks haul their SmartCars in them!

Generally, toyhaulers are built with strong foundations to hold up to 2,500 pounds of stuff. This type of recreation vehicle is definitely versatile. While it's true that people use them to carry their outdoor gear, the garage spaces have been converted into many other uses. Families on the road have turned them into complete living spaces for their children. Business travelers have remodeled them into home offices. Crafters have transformed these garages into full on creation stations to make quilts, jewelry, clothing, and more.

While thinking of which type of RV would work for you, don't dismiss this option. A toyhauler can be a perfect vehicle for living your dreams.

Toyhaulers Offer Great Versatility

Having a garage for your home on the road is a remarkable convenience. Many have extra bunks or sitting areas for when you take your toys out to play, adding to the space in your home away from home.
Having a garage for your home on the road is a remarkable convenience. Many have extra bunks or sitting areas for when you take your toys out to play, adding to the space in your home away from home.
The space in the garage can be used to take all your gear, but it can also be repurposed into an extra room, an office, a crafting room, or a woodworking station. It can be anything you make it.
The space in the garage can be used to take all your gear, but it can also be repurposed into an extra room, an office, a crafting room, or a woodworking station. It can be anything you make it.

Convenient & Campy

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Pop ups are nice to tow, as they are only so tall when not popped out.No need to set up a tent with a pop-up. Everything you need is included inside. Some even have bathroom facilities.
Pop ups are nice to tow, as they are only so tall when not popped out.
Pop ups are nice to tow, as they are only so tall when not popped out.
No need to set up a tent with a pop-up. Everything you need is included inside. Some even have bathroom facilities.
No need to set up a tent with a pop-up. Everything you need is included inside. Some even have bathroom facilities.

The Pop-Up Camper

Pop-ups are an amazing treat for families who love to camp. This is a towable that has all one's camping needs inside. Once you arrive at the destination, you "pop" the top up and you have a small living / sleeping / dining area. Some are even equipped with a small bathroom and shower. Traditionally these are meant for camping, but people have used them for living, vacationing, and the like.

What Are Your RV Plans?

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