Recreational vehicles, or RVs, appear on America’s highways and byways with increased frequency over the last decade. For reasons of economy, lifestyle, or both, the use of RVs is growing. Yet not all RVs are created equal. Size, outfitting, design, and accouterments all distinguish the many models from one another. This is an important reality. In fact, the success and enjoyment of an RV purchase hinge on whether the optimal model is selected. Understanding the differences and similarities is key to making the right decision relative to an RB buy or lease. Certain facts are necessary for this decisive wisdom.
Motorized RVs are self-propelled as opposed to being towed by other vehicles. These RVs have engines and need not be coupled to cars or trucks. Brand-new RV owners may feel more at ease with this category of vehicle in terms of maneuverability. Yet even these come in varying classes:
These are the largest of the RVs. They range from 21 to 45 feet in length and quite often exceed 10 tons in weight. Accommodating up to 10 people comfortably, some even have separate master bedrooms. Kitchens are well-equipped with appliances as well. These vehicles serve those with large families who like to bring friends along. Maneuvering them in tight spaces takes practice.
Sometimes called campervans, class B RVs are smaller than class A, looking very much like vans from the outside. Interior space is limited — bathroom, kitchenette, and sleeping area. Holds a maximum of four people.
Superficially, class C RVs are a happy medium between class A and class B. They are between 20- and 33-feet long, maneuver more easily than class A and are somewhat more spacious than class B. Again, shoppers should consider their expected passenger load and their driving aptitude/confidence.
Towable RVs are essentially trailers to be hauled by automobiles or small trucks. Buyers should be aware of dimensions and weights, making sure to determine that their vehicles have sufficient power to haul the RV. Towables are on the whole less expensive and need not remain hitched if you want to drive around an area to explore. Driving with them can be tricky.
These are the largest and most opulent of the towable variety. Between 20 and 40 feet in length, they require at least a large pick-up truck to pull them down the highway. The namesake fifth wheel is where the pick-up is coupled to the trailer. Fifth-wheel trailer are the towable equivalent to class A motor RVs in terms of space and amenities.
These can hold up to eight passengers and extend up to 35 feet. They can also be smaller. The level of luxury varies with size.
Primarily movers of cycles, jet skis, etc, these “toy haulers” have a small front section for living and a back section for cargo.