The Complete Guide To Different RV Types
Recreational vehicles are an excellent investment for those looking to incorporate a little more travel into their lives or even take their lives on the road completely. That said, there are many types of RVs to choose from, all with their advantages and disadvantages.
For this reason, it’s wise to look into an array of models to see which best aligns with your needs. So, before you make your final decision on how you’d like to travel, we recommend taking a look at this complete guide to different RV types.
Bus conversion RVs are precisely what they sound like; buses that have been converted into recreational vehicles. These conversion vehicles can be the product of a DIY renovation of a vintage bus or a multi-million dollar restoration complete with all the bells and whistles.
In any case, those interested in bus conversion RVs are typically attracted to them because of their robust and durable builds that carry a lot of weight over long distances. Plus, they have incredibly powerful engines and ample external storage bays.
It is worth noting, however, that these types of RVs can be very costly. And if you plan on doing the conversion yourself, they can also be very time-consuming. But if you have the extra cash and you’re looking to go on the road long-term, a bus conversion is a recreational vehicle type worth considering.
Lovingly referred to as “toy haulers,” these sizable, non-motorized RVs typically come with a built-in garage to house other types of recreational vehicles during travel, such as motorcycles, ATVs, and golf carts. Typically, these RVs also come with a ramp at their rear or side for loading and unloading.
And because the garage space can be massive, owners of these vehicles will often find other uses for it while the “toys” are out of the garage. Because of their practical durability, these garages can also double as a deck, provide fold-down walls that create extra seating, and you can even turn them into a convenient home office for those who need to work as they travel. So, if you’re the type that likes to take their various recreational vehicles with them and you tend to need lots of space, this type of RV is an excellent choice.
When you read the abbreviation “RV,” the picture that forms in your mind likely resembles the Class A motorhome. These are the RVs you most often see on the road, in movies, and in advertising or marketing. And the reason this type of RV is so popular because it’s the “all-in-one” home on wheels.
That is to say, that their build includes powerful engines, typically towards the back of the vehicle. And once the engine is functional, a motorhome builder will come in and design the living and driving areas, and even the more intricate features like the grey tank water heaters around the engine.
Class A motorhomes tend to vary in floor plan options and pricing. Their driving and living areas are connected, so easy access to amenities while traveling is almost guaranteed. These types of homes are usually more beneficial to those who travel frequently. Plus, if you’re ever looking for something a little smaller but with the same basic features, you can also look into smaller, more economic classes, such as Class B and C motorhomes.
Fifth wheels are no larger than travel trailers or Class A motorhomes. Generally the more popular sizes of fifth wheels range from 32 to 36 feet in length. Class A motorhomes are normally 40 to 44 feet in length, travel trailers (bumper pulls) are available in similar sizes to fifth wheels are larger when classified as park models. Fifth wheels are popular because they are considered to be easier to tow than a conventional travel trailer because the weight is over the rear axle of the tow vehicle. They are also popular because they offer a variety of floorplans that compare to the living space offered in a Class A motorhome without the need for towing another vehicle. Most people use their trucks as a second vehicle vs having to maintain one extra engine when owning a motorhome. Non-motorized RVs are easily recognizable by their hitches connecting to truck beds rather than the bumper. Because fivers are so sizeable, they offer travelers a lot more freedom regarding space and storage options.
And when you consider features such as high ceilings, kitchen islands, and generous living spaces, it’s not hard to see why fifth wheels are a popular choice among families who are looking to encapsulate the feeling of a residential home while on the road. Today’s fifth wheels and travel trailers are very quick to set up thanks to power slide-outs, awnings, and landing gear. so some features aren’t accessible when the slide-out walls are closed in. Therefore, these RVs are most favorable to those planning to stay at destinations for long periods before leaving again.
Travel Trailers (Bumper Pulls)
Bumper pulls or travel trailers are another unique, non-motorized RV option for those seeking a convenient way to get on the road. From small and ultralight to more extensive, heavy-duty models, bumper pulls come in a wide range of sizes and builds. And because they have to be hauled by another vehicle during travel, this diversity in design makes bumper pulls an attractive choice.
This is especially true for those interested in life on the road but who don’t necessarily have an industrious pickup truck to help them lug a massive RV cross-country. Because they tend to be smaller, bumper pulls have a lower overhead clearance and can fit much more easily into certain places than their behemoth counterparts, like the fiver or bus conversions. Plus, the maintenance and operation of these vehicles are much simpler, and they’re typically more affordable than other types of RVs.
Travel trailers, like fifth wheels are available in many sizes and price points. I wouldn’t describe fifth wheels or motorhomes as massive or behemoth because they are also available in smaller sizes. Fifth wheels can start out as short as 17-18 feet and Class B motorhomes are not much larger than most mini-vans. We don’t want to scare the customer away from looking at fifth wheels or motorhomes but if they feel they are too large they may give up on trying the RV lifestyle.
To give you an idea of what is out there. Here is a travel trailer company that is booked out through next year for their product. Used versions of this trailer are selling for $395,000.
My point is there is a travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome for almost every person that is interested in RVing regardless of their budget or size limitations.
Next up in our complete guide to different RV types is the pop-up camper. This type of RV is an excellent choice for those just starting their RVing journey, as they’re lightweight and can be easily towed by a wide range of vehicles. Plus, because they are closed up during travel, they don’t create as much drag as larger RVs do.
However, when they’re open, they can create a lot of interior space and sleeping options. And depending on what features you want, you can purchase a pop-up that’s tiny enough to be towed behind a motorcycle. Or, you can opt for a model with more features, such as air conditioning, bathrooms, and slide-outs.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or your journey on the road is just beginning, selecting the right RV for your purposes will help ensure you stay comfortable and well-equipped for each of your trips. So, when the time comes to decide which kind of recreational vehicle will be the most effective for you, we hope you refer to some of the RV models mentioned in this guide.