For a seasoned RVer, terms like “Class A”, “Travel Trailer“, “Fifth Wheel”, etc. are second nature. No matter what type of rig you own, it doesn’t take long before you’ve become friendly with people who own all different types of RVs and have a chance to explore the many different types, makes and models out there.
On the other hand, try talking RV jargon with a non-RVer and you might as well be speaking a foreign language! So, for those of you who are out there trying to learn about RVs, and have stumbled upon our blog, or for you experienced owners out there that are tired of explaining the different “types” of RVs to family and friends, we have this quick guide to the RV types for your reading pleasure.
Be sure to share this with your non-RVing friends, and soon they’ll be talkin the talk too!
Class A Motorhome
The Class A’s are bus style motorhomes and come in both diesel and gas-powered versions.
While the amenities will vary greatly from brand to brand, in general most recent Class A motorhomes have a full kitchen and bath, bedroom, and centrally controlled heating and air-conditioning.
As recently as a few years ago, this type of RV was primarily thought of as one for retirees traveling the country. However, there are currently many manufacturers who offer floor plans that include bunk beds, perfect for families or grandkids! In higher end models, you’ll find a large number of luxury features that make it feel like you’re staying in our own custom home on wheels.
Driving one is surprisingly easy, once you get used to the size and learn a few tricks of the trade.
Class B Motorhomes
More commonly known as van campers, Class B motorhomes are built on van or flat panel truck shells. These types typically have accommodations for sleeping, as well as bathroom and kitchen facilities.
They are easy to drive in pretty much any setting and, in some models, can reach full standing height (for most people) by raising the roof or dropping the floor.
Class C Motorhomes
Class C motorhomes are built on an automotive van frame, but have a wider body section attached to the cab. Most Class C motorhomes, like the Class A, come with a full kitchen, bath and bedroom.
One of the more distinctive features is the additional space over the cab area. This space is often used for more sleeping space or an entertainment center. These types come in a big variety of floor plans and offer something for everyone.
Since you’re closer to the ground, driving a Class C motorhome can feel more like driving a large pickup truck, than a motorhome. Some people are more comfortable with this.
Travel Trailers are pretty much self-explanatory, in that they are trailers that you tow behind your vehicle. That said, there is more to travel trailers than just that.
First of all, there is a very wide range in the size and weight from the smallest to the largest travel trailers. This is important to know since you need to have a vehicle that is capable of towing your trailer. In recent years, manufacturers have started to offer lighter weight models that can be towed using 6 cylinder vehicles. It is vital that you check with your local RV dealer to get their recommendations on how much your vehicle can tow.
As far as amenities are concerned, they will vary with size, but most will come with a full kitchen and bath. Sleeping accommodations will run the gamut depending on size.
Fifth Wheels (or 5th Wheels) are similar to travel trailers as far as amenities go and the fact that you tow them, however, they are designed specifically to be towed by pick up trucks and require a special fifth wheel hitch installed in the bed of the truck.
With a raised forward section, this design gives the fifth wheel a bi-level floor plan that is unique to fifth wheels.
You’ll also find a fifth wheel in general, to be more spacious and have more storage available. The bi-level design also gives you more of a feeling of privacy. Many models come with a large picture window at the back of the unit. As with travel trailers, it’s important to talk to your local RV dealer to determine your towing vehicle’s capabilities.
Expandable Travel Trailer
The Expandable Travel Trailer is a cross between your standard travel trailer and a folding or pop-up camper. They are an enclosed structure like the travel trailer, but also have ends that tip out to sleeping accommodations.
The exp’s are typically lighter and less expensive than their travel trailer counterparts and many can be towed with a mid-sized family vehicle. Again, and we can not emphasize enough, you need to check with your local dealer regarding towing capacity.
Many campers who are taking their first steps into RVing choose an expandable to start out with.
Sport Utility RV/Toy Hauler
Toy haulers come as both travel trailers and fifth wheels. What differentiates them as toy haulers is that they have a “garage” to store your motorcycles, ATVs, and other “toys”. The garage is separated by a wall from your living quarters.
Many also offer amenities unique to that type of lifestyle, such as storage tanks for gasoline. As is the case with standard travel trailers and fifth wheels, toy haulers come in a huge variety of sizes and floor plans. Again, I repeat, be sure to check your towing capabilities!
Some manufacturers offer toy haulers as Class A and Class C motorhomes as well.
The last thing worth mentioning here is a word about slideouts. A slideout, or slide, is a wall that moves outward to create more living space in your RV. The majority of RVs offer at least one slideout and can range from one small one, to one that runs the length of the unit, to ones that have up to four, all depending on the size and floor plan.
Well, that should do it. Hope this information helps you out.
Until next time, Happy RVing!