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Addressing the Pros & Cons of RV Types

time for a breakdown


When shopping for a new RV and deciding on the type of RV that is right for you and your camping needs, there’s a lot to consider! Are you planning to use your RV for short trips or full-time RVing? How many people does your RV have to accommodate? Will you be camping in easily accessible locations, or do you plan to venture off into unchartered territory where you’ll encounter rough roads and low overhangs? Are you looking for luxurious accommodations, or do you want simple, no-frills basics for easy camping? And maybe most importantly, what is your budget?

Buying a new RV isn’t something you should jump into without doing your homework first! With many different RV types available, it’s guaranteed that there is an RV that’s just right for you! Let’s take a look at the PROS and CONS of each different RV type to help you narrow down your search.

Travel Trailers


Travel trailers are RVs that hitch up to a tow vehicle’s rear bumper using a ball or coupler hitch. They are usually anywhere from 15-35’ long and can normally sleep between 4-8 people. You can pick up a nice travel trailer for as low as $15,000.

travel trailer

PROS



  • Most are very lightweight for easy towing and great MPGs

  • Less expensive than fifth wheels

  • Hitch onto rear bumper of tow vehicle, so no need for a king-pin hitch

  • Many models can be towed with an SUV or a ½-ton truck

  • Because it’s separate from the tow vehicle, you have local transportation once you’re at your destination

  • Can easily strap items (canoe, paddleboards, kayaks) to the roof since it has low clearance

  • Since it’s not motorized, it won’t have any mechanical problems

  • Better resale value than a motorized RV


CONS



  • These RVs are the least stable on the road and require more skill to drive and back up

  • Less storage space than a fifth wheel because it doesn’t have a raised front section

  • Takes time to set-up and break-down at campsite

  • These can be difficult to maneuver into tight spaces

  • Need a large, dedicated storage space for a travel trailer when it’s not in use

  • You don’t have access to the living area while you’re moving


Fifth Wheels


Fifth wheels are pulled by a tow vehicle like a travel trailer, but they are attached using a king pin hitch that’s pinned into the box of a pickup truck bed above the rear axle. Fifth wheels have a raised front living area that is usually either the master bedroom or entertainment area. They are normally between 21-40’ in length and can sleep 2-6 people. Fifth wheels start around $20,000 and go up.

fifth wheel

PROS



  • Easier and safer to tow than travel trailers because they're hitched into the bed of the tow vehicle

  • Perfect size and amenities to accommodate long-term RV living

  • Lots of storage space

  • Typically have a greater interior height than travel trailers

  • More interior living space than a motorhome since it doesn’t have a cab


CONS



  • Requires a larger, more heavy-duty truck with a fifth wheel hitch to tow it

  • Harder to maneuver into tight campsites

  • Not as much clearance as a travel trailer

  • Need a large storage space for it when it’s not being used

  • Takes time to set-up and break-down at campsite

  • You don’t have access to the living area while you’re moving


Toy Haulers


If your outdoor adventures include dirt biking, 4-wheeling, or snowmobiling, then you know what toy haulers are. Toy haulers come in both travel trailer and fifth wheel models and are equipped with a cargo garage for all your fun outdoor toys. A ramp leads to a garage that varies in length, and most include floor-mounted D-rings for easily securing your items. Toy haulers are usually between 20-40’ (or more) in length and can sleep anywhere from 2-10 people! Depending on size and amenities, you can find toy haulers that range in price from $15,000-$40,000.

toy hauler

PROS



  • The cargo space puts extreme adventure right at your fingertips

  • Loads of durable storage space

  • The rear cargo space is versatile and can be used for hobbies or even side jobs


CONS



  • You give up living space for cargo carrying capabilities

  • Most toy haulers are big and heavy, making them a pain at the pump

  • In some models, the living and cargo areas are one, so you may be inhaling fumes while you eat or sleep


Pop-Ups


Pop-ups are the smallest, lightest, and least expensive RVs on the market. Named for their design, pop-ups have canvas walls that literally pop up to reveal a small living area on the inside! When folded, they look like rectangular suitcases! They range in length from 14-22 feet and can sleep 2-6 people. Pop-ups can cost between $5,000-$10,000.

pop up

PROS



  • Inexpensive, perfect for first-time RVers

  • Low maintenance

  • Can be towed with SUVs, vans, crossovers, and even some cars

  • Easy to drive on highways and maneuver in and out of tight spaces

  • No need for a large storage area; can be stored in garage or next to house


CONS



  • With minimal living space, it’s best for short trips

  • When it’s folded down, it’s hard to get to items inside

  • Storage space is almost non-existent

  • They’re typically not well insulated, so they’re harder to use in cold weather

  • Limited amenities compared to larger RVs


Truck Campers


Truck campers are loaded directly onto the bed of a pickup truck and are toted around back there. They range in length from 18-21 feet and can sleep 2-6 people. Known as the most rugged type of RV, they are popular with boondockers or nature lovers who like to take the road less traveled. They can go over any terrain the truck can manage and generally cost between $8,000-$20,000.

truck camper

PROS



  • Inexpensive, especially if you already have a truck that can accommodate it

  • Minimal modifications needed to attach it into the truck bed

  • Can go where no other RV can go

  • Can be stored in a garage or beside a house


CONS



  • If your truck has light suspension, road handling can be tough

  • Because of its small living space, it’s best for short trips

  • Limited amenities compared to larger RVs

  • Can’t access the living area when moving


Class A Motorhomes


Class A motorhomes, sometimes called coaches, are the largest RVs on the market and can rival the amenities and living space of an apartment. They can be as small as 26 feet and as large as 45 feet. They can accommodate 2-8 people. Often resembling buses, they come in both gas and diesel versions.

class a motorhome

PROS



  • Large panoramic windshield for a clear view of the open road

  • Spacious, open floor plan

  • Often come with king-sized features, like king beds, huge kitchens and bathrooms, large entertainment centers, and more

  • Almost no feature or amenity is off-limits

  • These offer the most storage space of all RV types

  • Can easily tow a vehicle behind it


CONS



  • Most expensive type of RV

  • You need a separate vehicle to drive around town

  • Overhead clearance can be an issue

  • If it breaks and you’re living full time in your motorhome, then you lose your house when it goes in for service

  • Due to size and weight, they are gas guzzlers

  • Need a large, dedicated area to store it when it’s not in use

  • They reportedly have more structural problems and safety issues than Class B or C motorhomes


Class B Motorhomes


Class B motorhomes are the babies of the motorhome world, with most ranging in size from 18-24’ long. Often called van campers, they look like a conversion family van. These offer the 24/7 accessibility of a motorhome, but there are many differences. Class B’s are less expensive, get better gas mileage, and are easier to drive, but offer less living space than A’s and C’s.

class b motorhome

PROS



  • Least expensive motorhome type

  • Easiest motorhome to drive in town and on the highway

  • You have access to the living area while moving

  • Easy to maneuver in tight campgrounds

  • Get better gas mileage than Class A or C motorhomes

  • Can use it for daily driving when not camping

  • No special storage space needed for it


CONS



  • Can only handle about 5 people comfortably

  • Doesn’t have a lot of room for extra amenities

  • Most come with kitchenettes or wet baths, not full kitchens and baths


Class C Motorhomes


If a Class A is too much for you to handle, but a Class B isn’t big enough, then a Class C motorhome might be just what you need. Featuring all the luxuries of a Class A but without the hefty price tag, a Class C motorhome is a popular choice among many RVers. They feature sleeping space above the driver’s cab and come equipped with full kitchens, baths, and master bedrooms. They range in size from 30 to over 40’ long and can sleep up to 8 people.

class c motorhome

PROS



  • Easy to drive

  • You have access to the living area while moving

  • The cockpits are reportedly safer than those of a Class A

  • A smaller windshield and cab curtain make it easier to heat than a Class A


CONS



  • Larger models may be too big to drive around town

  • Need a large storage area when you’re not using it

  • Despite its amenities, it may lack the room that full timers want and need


 

rv pros and cons

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