What Are the Different Types of Recreational Vehicles?

Do you dream of the open road? Do you have retirement plans that include downsizing and traveling? Or maybe you just want a vehicle to make family vacations more enjoyable. No matter your needs, there is a recreation vehicle for you. But with so many choices in the RV world, it is important to know the different types to match the best vehicles to your needs and budget. Keep reading to learn about all the types of recreational vehicles available.

What Is a Recreational Vehicle?

A recreational vehicle (RV) is any motor vehicle, or non-motorized trailer, that has accommodations for living quarters.

It is an umbrella term for all types of vehicles used for camping, traveling, and sometimes even full-time living.

Motorhome Classes

A motorhome is probably what most people think of when they think of a recreational vehicle.

It is a motor vehicle that is built with accommodations for living, usually including a bathroom, a kitchen area, beds, and a living area.

There are three main classes of motorhomes: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Class A motorhomes are the largest recreational vehicles. They employ a spacious bus-shaped rig and can sleep up to ten people.

These are the rigs that are often used as a tour vehicle for celebrities and are often outfitted for luxury and comfort. This often comes with a high price tag, and their sheer size makes them expensive to drive.

Class B motorhomes are often referred to as camper vans or sleep vans. They are smaller and more agile (and more fuel-efficient) than Class A vehicles.

They pack a lot into their smaller interior and are usually still outfitted with a kitchen, sleeping area, bathroom, and storage area.

These vehicles are often used by those that love the outdoors and are a great option for camping in style and comfort.

Class C motorhomes are often the smallest and most modest of the motorhome options, but that doesn`t mean they don`t pack a punch.

They are built on a regular truck chassis, making them easier to drive and much more fuel-efficient. They are often less expensive than the other classes, and less luxurious, but still made for comfort while traveling.

Fifth-Wheels and Travel Trailers

Recreational vehicles that require a tow vehicle are considered RV trailers. There are several types of trailers.

Pop-up (sometimes called foldable) trailers are compact and are made with canvas sides that collapse down when not in use.

These trailers offer ease of towing and a lower price point. They often do not have a bathroom, and some find the setup and tear-down to be a hassle.

Travel trailers offer the same towing ease, but do not fold down. They are larger and heavier than their fold-down counterparts, but do not require the setup that pop-ups do.

Fifth-wheel trailers (named for the u-shaped coupling on the cargo bed) are the largest trailer available. They offer the most size and stability during towing. Their added weight does make them more expensive to tow, though.

One of the main benefits for all travel trailers is that once unhitched and set up at a campsite, your vehicle is available for side trips and errands.

Camper Style Types of Recreational Vehicles

As the name implies, campervans are recreational vehicles with the van as the basis. These can range from ultra-chic to modest, and usually can accommodate two people comfortably.

Campervans offer a lot of versatility and are completely customizable for your needs. They have recently seen a resurgence in popularity on social media because of the “van life” trend.

Truck campers are a form of recreational vehicle that fits on top of a truck (the bulk of the RV rests on the bed of the truck).

Truck campers are the smallest of all RVs and are sometimes referred to as a “demountable recreational vehicle” or a truck bed camper. And because of their size, some states actually label them as cargo instead of a vehicle.

Considerations When Choosing Your RV

As you can see, there is a type of recreational vehicle to fit just about every lifestyle and budget.

When shopping for your dream RV, take into consideration some key points.

How many people will be using the vehicle? Do you need a vehicle that is well equipped for both warm and cold weather? How often will you be using the vehicle? How many amenities do you need to feel comfortable?

Finally, your budget can be the deciding factor when making the decision to purchase. New high-end recreational vehicles can approach a whopping one-million-dollar price tag.

For those looking for a more economical choice, consider buying a used vehicle.

A previously owned RV can offer all the same amenities as a new one, with a much lower price point. Checking out what some of the best preowned RVs have to offer may just expand your options.

The Freedom of the Open Road

As you can see, there are types of recreational vehicles for every need. Perhaps the biggest driving factor for anyone looking into one is the freedom that they offer.

Traveling in an RV offers a lifestyle of comfort and security, while being able to explore the open road.

To learn more about recreational vehicles, as well as all things related to muscle cars, be sure to check out the other articles on our website. We have all the latest information on trucks, bikes, RC vehicles, and much more!