When you begin shopping for an RV, one of the first things you notice is the different types of RVs from which to choose. Recreational vehicles are available in a wide range of sizes and designs, which feature different benefits. So, which type of RV is right for you and your group?
Find out everything you need to know about the different types of RVs on the market. Learn about the benefits, drawbacks, and best usages for each type of RV. And, discover how each different RV unlocks unique features and advantages for your camping group.
Total Beginners Guide to the Different Types of RV by Size
There are different types of RVs to best fit every kind of travel and adventure. The right type of RV for you and your group depends on the nature of your use. Likewise, the wrong type of RV will cause you more trouble than it’s worth – so, how do you find the right fit?
By breaking down the differences between camper trailers, toy haulers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes, you can decide which RV offers the features that you and your group will find the most valuable. For convenience, the list of RV types is organized by size, from the smallest and most low-maintenance options to the largest and most luxurious:
Types of RVs: From Small Pop-Ups to Large Mobile Homes
The smaller your RV, the more mobile it is, and the more cost-efficient on fuel. But, unlike larger RVs, you sacrifice space and amenities. Whether you are new to RVs or upgrading to a new model, the best RV for you depends on how you want to use it.
Small RVs are great for a wide range of uses, from hunting or fishing day-tips to weekend camping trips, and are a perfect upgrade from camping with a tent. Small RVs are great for group sizes between 1 to 5 people – especially if 2 or more of the occupants are children since they save space. Unlike their higher-maintenance, high-priced big brother RVs, small RVs are lower-maintenance, lower-cost, and – generally – have fewer luxurious amenities.
Truck Camper – Road Trips and Camping for 1-2
One of the smallest types of RV is the truck camper, which is perfect for one or two people on a road trip or camping excursion. The camper mounts atop the bed of your pickup truck and most models feature a kitchenette, a wet or dry bathroom, a small sofa and dinette, and a bed that sleeps two. Since a truck camper is small enough to mount on a standard pickup truck, it is the only type of RV that can effectively go anywhere your pickup truck can go.
Pop Up Campers – Low-maintenance Camping for Groups of 3-6
The classic pop up camper is what many people think of when they think of upgrading their tent camping experience. A pop-up camper is more lightweight than any other type of RV, making it easily towable behind almost any vehicles with a hitch. And, unlike other types of RVs, pop-ups feature a collapsable living environment designed for convenient transportation.
A pop up is the best type of RV for a young family on a budget, especially, if your crew enjoys tent camping. Pop-ups offer basic water and electricity hookups and feature sleeping accommodations for up to 6 people.
Camper/Travel Trailer – It’s Like a Pop Up Camper–But Better…
The classic camper – also known as a caravan or travel trailer – is similar to a pop-up camper, but more substantial and versatile. Whereas a pop-up trailer features a collapsible frame, camper trailers feature solid sides, making them more durable, and light enough to be pulled by most mid-size SUVs. As a pop-up, travel trailers often feature the same basic amenities and sleep between 4 to 6 people, depending on the size of the camper.
5th Wheel – The Amenities of a Condo That You Can Park Almost Anywhere
A fifth wheel RV is the height of luxury for a towable. This type of RV more resembles a home on wheels, than a camper. Fifth wheels offer the unique benefit of taking it wherever you want and living out of it for however long you want.
Many owners choose to travel to their fifth-wheel trailer, instead of taking it with them. These RVs feature full kitchens, full-size refrigerator, excess pantry space, large wardrobes, washer and dryer hookups, multiple full bathrooms, and more. These RVs sleep up to 8 people, which is why the fifth wheel offers the greatest benefit for large families or retired part-timers that want all the convenience and practicality of their home –on-the-go.
Toy Hauler RV
Toy hauler RVs are a big upgrade from your classic camper trailer. These oversized campers are designed with a small garage space to haul an additional vehicle, motorcycle, dune buggy – or any other toy you want to bring on your RV trip. When you want to unload your toy, simply lower the ramp and roll-out.
Toy haulers have an interior cabin that features all the luxury amenities of a fifth-wheeler or mobile home. Some toy haulers are designed with expansion panels to provide all the space you need for 4 to 6 people. The amenities of a toy hauler include a full kitchen, a master bedroom and guest sleeping quarters, and a living room with 8-foot ceilings.
Class B Motorhome - Practical, Convenient, and Comfortable for 1-2
Motorhomes offer the most luxurious amenities and conveniences for camping, traveling, and more. Class B motorhomes offer the perfect combination of luxuries, practicality, and dependability. More dynamic and spacious than a truck camper, but no larger than a utility van – a class B motorhome features higher-end amenities, more living and sleeping space, and a variety of high-tech luxury amenities
Class C Motorhome – Bigger than Class B and Smaller than Class A
A class C motorhome is the perfect type of RV for family road trips. Class C RVs are built on a Chevy, Ford or Sprinter (and a few others) van/truck chassis, called a cutaway. A Class C RV comes with a fabricated living space built onto it.
There are several unique benefits of a mass produced, major manufacturer-built chassis: The drive, suspension, and engine is built by a household name you trust. A Class C can be driven from campsite to sight seeing without the need for a dinghy, or additional car, and it is large enough for families and pets.
A Class C RV is a nice in-between RV for those looking for a motorized unit with more space than a B but less than a big class A motorhome. And, unlike a Class A motorhome, your Class C can receive nationwide repairs and support on the vehicle chassis at Chevy, Ford, Sprinter dealerships, and more. So, you are never bogged down by searching for a special large truck repair shop if something goes wrong on the road.
Class A Motorhome – Gasoline and Diesel
A class A motorhome features similar square-footage and luxury amenities as a fifth wheel RV, but it drives itself. The biggest difference between the two is that class A motorhomes are self-propelled recreational vehicles. Class A motorhome RVs offer the greatest convenience and benefit for traveling cross-country. Class A motorhomes come in 2 varieties: gasoline and diesel.
Gasoline class A motorhomes have enough power to pull a small vehicle behind it, but nothing too large. Diesel Class A motorhomes, on the other hand, are powerful enough to pull a full-sized car, truck, or SUV behind it. Those who opt to live in their RV full-time often get a diesel class A motorhome since it can pull additional cars, boats, and more – and it offers the same conveniences, spaciousness, storage, and luxury amenities as a real home.
Which RV is the right choice for you? It depends on how you plan to use it – and how much use you will give it. Learn about which types of RVs offer the best customizable amenities by contacting an RV specialist for a free consultation.