Whether you are trying to determine which kind of RV you should buy or you’re curious about how many RV types exist, Scenic RV can help answer your questions. An RV is a huge investment, but a very practical and rewarding one. The popularity of RVs is on the rise as more people discover the comfort and versatility of RV living and vacationing.
Pros & Cons by RV Type
All RVs can be classified as either motorized (you drive it) or towable (you pull it). Deciding which RV type is best for you depends on your budget, driving preference, and which features matter most to you. Both RV types have the basic offerings like a kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms in various shapes and sizes. However, here are some key differences between them:
- Can pull a boat or automobile behind.
- Drives more like an automobile, which makes it easier to maneuver on the road and in parking lots.
- Switch between cabin and coach without getting out of the vehicle.
- Don’t need to use a tow vehicle.
- Are more affordable and less maintenance than motorhomes.
- Are detachable once parked, making daily travel easier on the tow vehicle.
- Can handle off-road driving better than motorhomes.
- More living space for size because there are no driving components.
- Usually more expensive to purchase and maintain than towable RVs.
- Not fuel efficient compared to regular road vehicles.
- Larger motorhomes can be difficult to drive in small parking lots or on narrow roads.
- Put extra strain on your tow vehicle.
- Cannot tow a car or boat behind.
- Harder to maneuver when in reverse.
RV Types: Motorhome
Class A RV/Diesel Pusher
Length: 21 to 45 ft.
MPG: 8-14 (Diesel) / 6-10 (Gas)
Average Cost: $50,000 to $250,000 and up!
Comfortably sleeping six or more, Class A RVs are the most spacious motorhome and provide a comfortable ride on the road. With the luxury of space comes cost, and these RV types are the most expensive to own. Diesel engines are preferred in Class A RVs for more power and better fuel efficiency. They go by the name “diesel pushers” because the engines are located towards the rear of the coach, thus “pushing” the RV down the road. This gives them a quieter ride compared to gas engines located in the front. Gas Class A RVs are shorter, have less power, and must have the engines replaced more often than their diesel counterparts. Class A motorhomes with diesel or gas engines have comparable amenities, so it comes down to personal preference when deciding which is best.
Class B RV/Camper Van
Length: 17 to 19 ft.
MPG: 18-25 (Diesel) / 10 -25 (Gas)
Average Cost: $40,000 to $80,000
These RV types get the nickname “camper van” because they look more like a van than a motorhome. They come in both diesel and gas engines and are the smallest motorhome class. They can sleep one to four people and are perfect for weekend getaways due to their small size and maneuverability. Although, some Class B motorhomes don’t have self-contained toilets or fresh water tanks. The smaller size of Class B’s can cost you some levels of comfort.
Class C RV
Length: 20 to 31 ft.
MPG: 14-18 (Diesel) / 8-15 (Gas)
Average Cost: $50,000 to $100,000
Easy to recognize by the “cab-over” or overhang that houses a bed or extra storage above the driving cab, Class C RVs provide the same features as Class A’s, but are smaller and thus more affordable and easier to maneuver. You can expect some slide-outs to expand floor space and separate bath, kitchen and living areas. Most Class C’s have space to sleep up to eight people.
RV Types: Towable Campers
Length: 4 to 38 ft.
Average Cost: $10,000 to $45,000
Travel trailers and other towable RVs are pulled by a tow vehicle connected with a bumper hitch or hitch frame that extends from the front of the trailer. The greatest advantage travel trailer RVs have is versatility. They can be as small or as large as you want, fitting any buyers’ budget and preferences. Most standard travel trailers feature sleeping quarters, a kitchen, bathrooms and living areas. Some travel trailers increase their space through slide-outs, and others can expand upward with pop-up features. Common travel trailer types include: classic, teardrop, A-frame, expandable and pop-up.
Length: 22 – 42 ft.
Average Cost: $75,000 to $100,000
With a dual wheel axle trailer, an over-cab and a gooseneck hitch, fifth wheel RVs are usually pulled by a powerful truck. Fifth wheels are some of the biggest towable RVs, offering the most living and storage space. This RV type shares all the features found in larger towable RVs, including the ability to detach the trailer at the campsite. This makes daily travel easier for your tow vehicle.
Length: 18 – 40 ft.
Average Cost: $12,000 to $250,000
Toy haulers combine a garage with a towable RV. They have spacious storage compartments to accommodate snowmobiles, ATVs, dirt bikes, motorcycles, kayaks and other sports “toys.” Heavy duty foldable doors located in the rear of the trailer can be used as a ramp to load your belongings. Depending on the size of the garage, your living space will be limited compared to a towable RV of similar length. However, most of these garage sections include beds that can be folded against the wall or lowered for sleeping. This means some toy haulers can sleep up to 14 people! Toy haulers come in both travel trailer and fifth wheel RV types.
Truck campers neither qualify as motorized nor towable RVs, as they are mounted in the bed of a pickup truck. Although they have similar features to smaller trailer RV types, most US states don’t officially classify them as an RV. This is because they are so small that they can be carried on a regular vehicle. So, truck campers are considered more cargo than a vehicle themselves. They do make camping anywhere possible and give you a small taste of the RV life, but don’t plan sleeping more than a few comfortably.
Ready for a New RV?
Shop new and used RVs at Scenic RV Centers! Our team will help you find the perfect travel trailer, fifth wheel or toy hauler for your family. Stop in at one of our two Wisconsin RV dealerships, or start by browsing our inventory online today.