Purchasing a recreational vehicle is largely a personal choice.
Depending on a variety of factors including space requirements, towing facilities, budget, driver comfort level, and lifestyle preferences, select the type of RV that best meets your needs.
The two major categories of recreational vehicles are motorhomes (motorized) and towables (towed behind the car, van or pickup).
Sports utility RVs (also called toy haulers) feature a built-in garage for hauling bikes, ATVs, and sports equipment, and are available in both towable and motorized units.
There are pros and cons for each RV type. For most people the choice is largely influenced by budget and the intended use of the RV. There’s an RV for every taste and budget.
Motorized units consist of three classes: A, B, and C. Class A motorhomes are generally the largest, Class B motorhomes or conversion vans are the smallest, and Class C motorhomes have many of the same creature comforts as a Class A, but in a smaller package.
Large and roomy Class A motorhomes offer the luxuries of a traditional home. Available with a gas or diesel engine, they are ideal for full-time living, family vacations, tailgating, and weekend excursions.
Built on a truck chassis, Class C motoromes have many of the same creature comforts as a Class A, but in a smaller package. This makes them more maneuverable and easier to park.
Motorized Unit Pros
Easier to drive and set up.
Best driving visibility with full windshield and high elevation.
Able to easily tow a variety of vehicles for local drives.
Self-leveling hydraulic or electric jacks eliminate need for stacking blocks or boards.
Access to entire unit without ever going outside (big plus if it is dark or rainy).
Motorized Unit Cons
When towing, you cannot back up.
Cost and maintenance of a second vehicle.
If something needs to be repaired, your entire home must go in the shop.
More expensive than towable units.
Less living space than comparable-sized travel trailers and fifth wheels.
Towable units consist of travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, truck campers, and expandable or pop-up trailers.
Convenient for long-term travel as well as short trips, travel trailers are easy to tow with a minivan, SUV, or truck.
Easily identified by a raised extension that sits over and locks into the bed of a truck, fifth wheels have a split-level floor plan and offer a home-like atmosphere. Like travel trailers, fifth wheels are towed behind, but because a fifth wheel locks into the bed of a pickup and puts more weight over the rear axle, it is considerably more stable.
A truck camper sits in the back of a pickup truck, and because it doesn’t make use of the hitch, the truck can still tow a trailer or boat.
A pop-up trailer’s fold-up, lightweight design makes it easy for most trucks, SUVs, and even cars, to tow for providing the perfect RV for first-time users.
Towable Unit Pros
Since tow vehicle is required, it can be used for shopping and day trips.
Less expensive to purchase.
Maintains value longer.
Larger living space.
Towable Unit Cons
Hitching and unhitching larger units can be a hassle.
Non-drivers cannot legally be in the unit while moving.
It all boils down to personal preferences, budget, and lifestyle. There is no right answer; one size does not fits all. Think through finances and how you will use your RV in making the decision that is right for you.
Enjoy your journey—RV living is the freedom lifestyle.