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How to quickly recognize the different types of RV Campers.
Over the many years that my wife and I have been campers, we have owned a variety of RVs.
We started out like so many young couples, with a cheap used tent and a few bucks for our vacation. For entertainment, we had our very young kids.
Our first actual Rv was a 18-foot teardrop-shaped camper that we found in someone's back yard, and they sold it to us more to get it out of their yard than to make any money off of it. After some gunk on the roof to stop leaks, and two new tires, we were official campers, with a real camper to stay in.
Since those early years, we have owned a variety of camping trailers, fifth-wheelers and motorhomes, and along the way we have learned a lot about the world of camping.
When our kids got into their teens, they no longer wanted to be seen with us, much less take vacations with us, and for some reason, my wife and I even spent over ten years with a House-Boat, which in itself is a great experience, and not unlike RVing on water.
Of course, I have friends who are also avid campers and who prefer a variety of the other types of campers than what we have owned.
In this article, I am listing the major varieties of campers that are used, for your reference.
They are all great vehicles for travel and camping, and each presents it’s own advantages and challenges; so, it really comes down to which one is the most enjoyable for you and your family.
Please realize that the history of the evolution of these RV’s would, by itself, make a great book, and I will be brief in my writing to keep the size of this article under control.
Pace Arrow Vision Class A motorhome
Class A Motorhome
The Class-A Motor Home is very popular with many campers and is also referred to as a Coach, a Bus or sometimes, a Big Rig.
Today a Class-A is manufactured and built on special frames, and resemble the shape of a Bus.
This makes sense, as many of the first motorhomes were made by modifying coach buses.
Probably the largest cause for the popularity of Class-A motorhomes is the fact that the Driver and passengers operate the vehicle in comfort from within the coach, and are able to share all of it’s amenities while camping and while on the road.
No hitching and unhitching with these babies, you just pull into your campsite, and either run your generator for power, or connect to the campsite power and there you are, with all of the conveniences of home.
The outline of a typical Class A Motorhome
An outline of a typical Class B Camper
Class B Motorhome
The Class-B Motorhome was originally, and still is, basically, a Customized Van with certain camping appliances and sleeping facilities built in to the Van.
Most have a raised roof to facilitate walking around, and AC/ventilation Systems.They are small and obviously easier and cheaper to drive than a big Class A.
These once simple campers can now be as filled with accessories and amenities as a Class A, only smaller.
In fact, some of these Class B campers have evolved into such complex machines, with multiple slides and high-tech amenities that they are labeled as Class B-Plus campers.
They are popular with certain campers who need very little living room and concentrate more on fuel economy and driving convenience. Many owners of Class B campers use them for shorter periods at campgrounds than other campers.
An outline of a typical Class C Motorhome
Class C Motorhome
The Class-C Motorhome is one of the more popular motorhome designs used by campers.
Basically, it is a camper mounted on a small-to=midsize truck frame and chassis.
The front end or cabin of the camper is the truck front end and cabin with very few differences from the truck design.
The area behind the drivers seat, opens into the camper body where there are the same amenities of a larger Class A motorhome.
These are very popular with some campers, as you can typically get a lot of the same Coach options in a Class C, at a lower much price, than a Class A, typically.
Of course, the size of the truck chassis and its weight carrying capabilities keeps these Class C campers a little smaller that Class A motorhomes. But, with advances in truck technology and drive trains, there are Class C motorhomes that are over 40-feet long.
An outline of a typical fifth Wheel Camper
5th Wheel Camper
The 5th Wheelers, or “Fivers” on the market today, can be a very luxurious choice of camper for many people.
They can include; multiple slides, Air Conditioning, high tech entertainment systems and many of the top end options found on more expensive units.
Many people will purchase a 5th-wheeler because they already have are are willing to purchase and use a PickUp Truck that can tow the camper.
A 5th Wheeler is a towed camper with a large connector hitch system similar to that used on a Tractor-Trailer rig.
These campers are generally pulled by Pick-Up trucks with the special hitch mounted in the bed of the truck. This type of hitch system provides more towing stability than the smaller ball-type hitch used on some smaller and lighter trailer campers.
One advantage to many campers is the fact that they can use their PickUp truck throughout the years, and not just for camping.
An outline of a typical Travel Trailer
The Travel Trailer style of camper has been around for decades.
Simply put, it is a hard-body trailer with a hitch that connects to a “ball hitch” on the vehicle that pulls the tailer down the road.
Today’s Travel Trailers can also have multiple slides, and some very exotic accessories, but generally they are built and priced for the camper who wants to invest in a relatively moderate amount of money, for his/her camping enjoyment.
A Toy Hauler is a relatively newcomer on the RV scene in the past decade, and is typically, either; a Travel Trailer, 5th Wheel, Class-C, or even a Class-A with the rear section designed to carry a vehicle, a motorcycle, a golf car, and/or other specialized equipment.
The advantage of these is that they provide a single vehicle for you to camp and live in, while at the same time having your other vehicle/s and peripheral equipment stored with you for use at your destination. And, you do not have to deal with other exotic towing solutions.
Typically, these are popular with people who use motorcycles, ATVs that they enjoy racing or operating in the wild.
A typical outline of a PopUp Camper
The original PopUp campers were not much more than a fold-away tent build onto the chassis of a trailer.
They provided the camper with more room inside for storage of accessories and for sleeping. They had simple fold-away beds and some even had a small icebox/fridge, a dinette table, even a "portable toilet".
The tent part had a hard roof, and could be folded away easily and quickly.
Today, they can be loaded up with better options such as a roof AC, a propane heater, TV connections and more.
OTHER Camping styles
Other Campers –
We have to have an Other section here as there are so many additional types of camping vehicles that people use, but I want to avoid these that are typically simpler and used in lower numbers, some examples are; Bus Conversions, Hybrids, Park Models, Van Conversions, and so forth.
I have found that one should never underestimate the ingenuity of people, especially campers. You would tot believe some of the interesting designs that have been custom built by Campers that they use for their camping enjoyment.
In summary, there are enough varieties of campers to fill almost anyones' needs, you simply have to look for what suits you.
© 2014 Don Bobbitt