The other day I overheard a conversation that two people were having about camping. They looked to be in their 40s and were talking about taking their families on a camping trip across the country. Comparing notes on the national parks they were considering, the conversation got very interesting when they started talking about the RVs they might rent for the big trip. It went a little something like this:
RVer 1: I found a great RV for us that'll be a cinch to set up at camp. And if we're close to the bathroom, it'll be easy for the kids to run over day or night and we won't have to tote our toiletries very far to shower. And we can't wait to make all our meals over the hot coals in the fire pit.
RVer 2: But doesn't the RV have a full bath on board? And a kitchen so you can cook like you're at home?
RVer 1: Oh no, it's only 15 feet long. Just some beds and a fridge are all we need. It only weighs like 3,000 lbs.
RVer 2: That's not an RV. An RV is like a house on wheels. Total residential living in the great outdoors. An RV is a big motorhome. Isn't it?
Eventually they figured out that they had totally different ideas of what an RV is. While one thought it was a trailer that's towed behind a truck, the other thought it was a big rig that you drive. Well, the term RV stands for RECREATIONAL VEHICLE and includes anything with a motor or that can be pulled and includes some living amenities. The term RV can be pretty broad. Since the term RV can be confusing, let's look at what RV stands for and the types of vehicles it includes.
If you’re looking to purchase a new RV, you’ll want to first consider what you want to use the RV for, where you will be taking it, who you will be traveling with and what your budget is.
When most people hear the word "RV", this type of recreational vehicle comes to mind—the big Class A motorhome! Class A rigs are built on a chassis, have a large panoramic front window, and provide complete residential living. Some are equipped with slide-out rooms for more square footage, and all have bedroom(s), bath(s), and a kitchen. These are the most luxurious types of RVs and, consequently, the most expensive! Class A motorhomes come in a range of sizes from 22 feet to 45 feet. Class A motorhomes are perfect for full-time RVers who don't want to sacrifice any of the luxurious amenities of home that they're used to.
Typically called "camper vans," Class B motorhomes take on the look of a van with a raised roof. You'll find residential amenities in here, but in a more "travel-sized" version. Kitchens are usually smaller, galley-style setups or kitchenettes with fewer appliances. Bathrooms are also smaller, typically with the shower, toilet, and vanity integrated into one smaller space. While previously thought of as the least desirable style of motorhome, Class Bs are quickly regaining their popularity with brands and models that cater to the discerning RVer, such as AirStream and Dynamax! Class Bs have many benefits, such as MUCH better gas mileage than a larger rig, easier maneuvering in and out of tight spaces, and they're a great size for a small family or a camping couple. Class B Motorhomes are still expensive for the initial purchase but cost less to fuel and maintain long term.
If you are looking for all the residential amenities of a Class A but don't want to feel like you're driving a big-rig, then a Class C motorhome is for you! Class C is a combination of Class A and Class B; built on a truck chassis, a Class C motorhome has an alcove over the driver's cab where you'll typically find a bed/bunk or an entertainment center. These rigs are outfitted with full kitchens and baths, seating areas, and sometimes single or multiple slide outs. Like the Class Bs, these are easier to drive than the big Class A rigs and can sleep the whole family. Available in lengths from 20-40 feet long, you can still stretch out in the great outdoors without spending a small fortune. Class C motorhomes are typically easier to drive than class A and hold all of the amenities you’ll need at a more affordable price point.
Pop-ups are the smallest RV on the market and by far the easiest to tow. Going down the road these RVs look like closed-up suitcases, but once they're popped-up at the campsite they offer a surprising amount of space. They usually feature a hard roof and canvas sides with screen windows, allowing you to feel close to nature even when you're inside. They offer kitchenettes and possibly even a toilet/shower combo. Perfect for those interested in giving RVing a try without investing a lot of money, pop-ups offer an easy, inexpensive way for families to hit the open road on a budget. Since these can towed by a station wagon, minivan, or crossover, there's no need to invest in a truck to haul it with. Pop-ups are a hassle free RV with handling and maintenance.
Designed to go where no man has gone before, truck campers are the easiest RV to take into the wilderness or into rough terrain. Where other RVs would falter and underbellies would get damaged, a truck camper can get in and get out unscathed thanks to its rugged design. The actual camper slides into the bed of a pickup truck and can be taken out easily if needed. Though small, they do offer some comforts of home, including a small kitchenette, bed, and even a small bath.
One of the most popular types of RV, a travel trailer varies in size from around 20 feet to over 40 feet long! Thanks to their characteristic lightweight and aerodynamic design, they can be towed behind trucks, SUVs, and even some crossovers. Depending on your comfort needs, you can find pared down travel trailers that feature the bare necessities under $10,000, or you can go all out and opt for one that offers luxurious indoor amenities including a large kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a plush master bedroom, and a full entertainment center. Larger travel trailers come equipped with awesome bunkhouses for comfortable family camping. One of the biggest benefits of a travel trailer is how easy it is to unhitch it at the campsite and leave it behind when you go sightseeing. Travel Trailers are convenient and easy way to explore nature!
While a travel trailer attaches to a tow vehicle via a ball hitch, a fifth wheel is attached to the truck using a fifth wheel hitch that's mounted in the bed of the truck. Having it connected to your tow vehicle gives you better handling when turning and backing up than with a travel trailer. The only downfall of a fifth wheel is you must have a certain type of vehicle to tow it. Full-timers love the space and amenities of fifth wheels! The typical layout of a fifth wheel features a raised master suite up in the front of the unit and the complete living area behind it. You'll usually find luxurious bathrooms, plush front bedrooms, chef-inspired kitchens with full-timer storage, and awesome entertainment rooms with large TVs and cozy fireplaces. More amenities means a larger price tag, but if comfort and luxury is what you seek on your extended getaways, then a fifth wheel is right for you! Just make sure you have a truck powerful enough to pull it efficiently!
Calling all extreme sports lovers! If your outdoor getaways include ripping up the trails on your ATVs, exploring the winter wonderland on your snowmobiles, or riding the twisting, turning roads of the Badlands on your Harleys, then hitch up a toy hauler and take it home. Equipped with a rear storage garage, a toy hauler is designed to combine residential living with cargo storage capabilities. And once you reach your destination and unload your cargo through the rear loading ramp, you can easily turn the garage into additional living space with drop down beds and fold-down sofas. Toy haulers make it easy to play hard but rest easy!
What does camping mean to you? Do you like to "rough it" in the great outdoors and feel at one with nature? Or is "glamping" in a decked-out RV more your style? Tell us how you RV in the comments section! We'd love to hear from you!
No matter your camping style, we have the perfect RV for you here at Lakeshore RV in Muskegon, MI. New
, large or small, totally loaded or the bare necessities ... We have it all! Our special no-money-down financing makes it easy for you to realize your RVing dream without breaking the bank. Our amazing worldwide delivery service brings your new RV right to your door, no matter where you live. Check out our online virtual tours or come see us in West Michigan for friendly, personalized service with a smile. Nobody can beat our prices, and nobody has a larger selection of the best RV brands in the industry. Save $1000s with us today! We guarantee to have the lowest price in the country!