Travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, motorhome, Class A, Class B, Class C, say what???? Below are articles that lift the cloud of confusion regarding the different classes of RVs.
Recreational vehicles can be broken down into two main types:
A motorhome is a self-propelled vehicle that has all the comforts of home. No tow vehicle needed. There are several different types of motorhomes.
Trailers are generally fully contained living units. They do not have engines. They require a tow vehicle to pull them. There's more than one type of trailer, explained below.
RV Classes Explained
It's not confusing enough to learn the lingo of 'Class A', 'Class B', and 'Class C', is it? They make it vague and then now there are also a 'Super C', 'B+' and more.
We have simplified (hopefully) the lingo for you in the following articles.
A Deeper Dive Into Each Specific RV Class
Here you will find much more detail about each kind of RV. Each one has its own pros and cons.
We go over the features of each to help you decide which type will work best for you. NONE of them are perfect.
You're going to have to get over finding your 'perfect' RV. There will always be a compromise made, no matter what you choose.
The Different RV Classes In (sort of) Brief
If you read above, you saw that we mention that you will always have to make compromises no matter which class of RV you decide to get.
There is no perfect RV. It doesn't exist. Sure, you can get close! But the less picky you are, the better.
Each RV class has its pros and its cons.
Still, expect that you may have to compromise space for ease of travel. Or sacrifice having slides for a lighter trailer.
Or sacrifice a 'big' bathroom for a 'big' kitchen. Whatever it is, there will be compromise. Or you may never pick and buy ANY RV! (And that would be tragic!)
So, let's talk motorhomes. There are different classes of motorhomes out there. You have:
- Class A
- Class B
- Class C
- Super C
- Class E (new)
Simple? Not at all.
It's kind of ridiculous, if you ask us, the way they decided to name them. It would have been much more fun if they called a Class A the 'gas guzzler'.
The Class B is also known as a camper van as it is literally a van converted into a camper.
And the Class C something like the 'sleepover RV'. You get the idea, right?
So know there are many types of motorhomes. They differ mostly in how they look and what chassis they are built upon. (Zzzzzz)
You can put travel trailers in one of two categories:
But there are sub-categories of these, too. Bumper-pulls and fifth-wheels can both also be a 'toy hauler camper.'
(This means it has space in the back for 'toys'... usually RZR's or a small car, motorcycles, etc.)
(But you will still likely need a pretty hefty tow capacity with the bigger bumper pulls.)
Pickup campers are pretty much what it sounds like. A camper that fits onto a truck.
These are nice because you CAN remove them. Also, they are pretty small, requiring little space for storage when you aren't using yours.
Some people never take their truck camper off. Others only put them on when they are going on a trip.
Don't be fooled- they can be quite costly. These days truck campers can have MULTIPLE slides, creating HUGE space in an otherwise tiny area.
Not all of them are so decked out. You can get a pretty inexpensive one that has very little fanfare but offers more than a tent.
You still must make sure you get a truck that can adequately handle the extra weight of a truck camper.
Pop Up Campers
Pop up campers are the space-savers of the camper world. They literally fold down in half during travel (also helps with gas mileage) and 'pop up' for use.
They usually have most of the amenities of home, some having all (stove, fridge, toilet, etc).
The windows (and sometimes other parts) are 'soft', so you don't have any real insulation nor protection from intruders or greedy bears. They are quite inexpensive and lightweight.
Hybrid Travel Trailers
These are called hybrid trailers because they have mostly hard sides but with 'pop-outs' that are soft sided. So they are like half-tent and half-trailer. (But mostly trailer.)
They come in an array of styles and most with all of the amenities of home.
These are the smallest of the trailer categories. Teardrop trailers are often named after their shape- hold your breath- they are shaped like a teardrop!
They don't HAVE to conform to this shape though. Teardrops are also any trailer that is tiny.
Some are box-shaped. Most don't have all of the creature comforts of home inside. Some have a tiny outside kitchen. Some have it inside, but with limited space.
Many don't have a toilet or even running water. They are more like a bed on wheels with a little storage. Perfect for weekend getaways when all you want to do is hike!
This may not necessarily be considered an RV type, but it deserves its own explanation as they are WONDERFUL little trailers.
They are great for a few reasons. First, they are made with better materials than traditional trailers or motorhomes. The fiberglass lasts for what seems like forever.
The construction of a fiberglass trailer doesn't allow for much leaking. Even if it does leak, the water doesn't harm the fiberglass. So the shell lasts and lasts and lasts.
They are quite coveted in the RV world, so they are not the easiest to find used. They also hold their value very well, and they aren't cheap.
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