Do you yearn for the camping life? Perhaps you are thinking about camping as a family for vacations, or considering retiring in an RV and living in it full-time. There are many different styles and types of RVs to choose from and the choices may seem overwhelming. 

Let’s take a look at your choices and some things to consider before you go shopping for your new recreational vehicle.

Classes of RVs

Recreational vehicles are divided into classifications that tell you what style and general size-range they fall into. 

  • Class A RVs – The largest of the motorized recreational vehicles, Class A RVs are built on a heavy-duty frame similar to a semi/tractor-trailer. They are easy to spot with their flat front end, huge windshield, and cab that blends into the body. Offering a spacious interior, smooth ride, and plenty of top-end appointments, Class A motorhomes are one of the most luxurious ways to travel—and their price reflects that. Newer models can be upwards of six figures. They have a large towing capacity and are available in gas and diesel models. Class A RVs also have the poorest gas mileage of the motorized classes. Excellent for long-term living.
    New Class A – Gas    Used Class A – Gas   
    New Class A – Diesel    Used Class A – Diesel
example of a class A RV
Class A RV
  • Class B RVs – Class B RVs are often referred to as ‘camper vans’ because they look like oversized vans. They are the smallest of the motorized recreational vehicles. Simple to park and easy to drive, they can fit into any camping site and go most places a van can—including drive-thrus and parking spots at the mall. Class Bs generally don’t feature slideouts and are not ideal for families due to their smaller size. Their gas mileage is much better than As and Cs, but the sacrifice is storage and living space.
    New Class B    Used Class B
example of a Class B RV
Class B RV
  • Class C RVs – These RVs are larger than Class B and smaller than Class A. They are recognized by their truck-style front and over-cab sleeping area. Class C motorhomes often have slide-outs and provide more space for living in, whether it’s for a weekend trip or long-term living. They are priced lower than Class A RVs and can hit the high end of 5 figures, depending on the length and the level of luxury. Their gas mileage is typically not much better than a Class A RV.
    New Class C    Used Class C 
example of a Class C rv
Class C RV
  • Travel Trailers – Travel trailers are pulled behind a tow vehicle that is outfitted with a large enough engine and properly geared transmission to pull the load. Bumper-pull campers come in a range of styles and sizes and may be equipped with multiple slide-outs (automated, battery-controlled room sections) to provide additional living space. Trailers are unhooked from the tow vehicle upon arrival at the campsite, leaving the tow vehicle free for adventures away from the trailer. 
example of a travel trailer
Travel Trailer
  • Park Models – These destination RVs are designed not to be pulled all the time, but rather are towed to a location where they will be parked and left permanently. Park models serve as a cabin-style getaway or can be lived in full-time for off-grid living.
    New Park Models   Used Park Models 
example of a park model rv
Park Model RV
  • Fifth-Wheel – Fifth Wheels are like a travel trailer, but they have been designed with a specialized hitch that needs to be attached to a pick-up truck bed. This hitch allows for sharper turning angles, making a fifth-wheel easier to handle despite being larger. They have many of the same features as bumper-pull trailers, including slide-outs and a range of sizes and floorplans to suit your lifestyle. Like the travel trailer, they are usually unhitched from the tow vehicle at the campsite.
    New Fifth Wheels    Used Fifth Wheels
Example of a 5th wheel trailer
Fifth Wheel
example of a toy hauler trailer
Toy Hauler
  • Pop-Up/Folding Trailers – Smaller and lighter than most campers, these units can be towed by a variety of vehicles from SUVs to pickup trucks, depending on the size and weight of the trailer. Also called tent trailers, these units crank down flat and have a canvas tent-style pitch-out for beds at each end. They usually include kitchenettes with dining space and a furnace, but don’t include a bathroom. Some models offer features like air conditioning and a television. A-frame Trailers are also included in this category, featuring a hardside and ‘A’ shaped roofline. Pop-up trailers provide an economical choice for families.
    New Folding Trailers    Used Folding Trailers
example of a folding trailer
Folding Trailer
  • Pop-out/Hybrid Trailer – The hybrid camper combines the features of a hard-side trailer with the pop-out ends of a tent trailer. These units come in a variety of sizes, smaller campers can often be towed by mid-range vehicles like vans and SUVs (always check with your dealer/vehicle manufacturer). Typically hybrids feature bathrooms, kitchenettes, and entertainment systems. Still an economical option in comparison to larger trailers, but with more features than a tent trailer.
    New Hybrid Trailer   Used Hybrid Trailer
example of a hybrid trailer
Hybrid Trailer
  • Teardrop Campers – Typically weighing less than 4,000 lbs. these compact, lightweight trailers can be towed by smaller vehicles like SUVS, vans, and light duty trucks. Some teardrop trailers, like Little Guy, offer models with bathrooms. Teardrop campers usually sleep 1-4 people, depending on the size, so are best-suited for singles, couples, and small families.
    New Teardrop Campers    Used Teardrop Campers
example of a teardrop trailer
Teardrop Trailer

There are many different classes, styles, and sizes of RVs out there. We hope this was helpful in determining which RV best suits your lifestyle. No matter which RV you ultimately choose, it will be the right one for you. Happy camping!

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