- Class A (Bus size)
- Class B (Van size)
- Class C (Between Bus and Van size)
- Super Class C (Bus Size with a Front End mounted Diesel Engine (FRED)
- Bus Conversion Skoolie (Bus Size, custom built by owner)
- Diesel Pusher also known as a Class A (Bus Size, diesel powered)
- Fifth Wheel (Provide the greatest amount of living space)
- Toy Hauler (Ability to bring four wheelers, dirt bikes, UTV’s, etc..)
- Travel Trailer (Able to be towed from the bumper lower initial cost)
- Pop-up Camper (Lower initial cost, bigger than a truck camper barely)
- Truck Camper (Small size fits in the bed of a truck)
- Tear Drop (Smallest size which is towable by a car, van or light truck)
Motorhome / Drivable RV:
Motorhomes / Drivable RV’s are some of the most expensive RV’s you can purchase. They are generally built on a truck chassis and have several sub-types.
Motorhomes are complex because they combine a house with a truck. They provide elbow room as most are the max legal width of 101 / 102 inches wide. Motorhomes are most suited for those that are going to travel from campsite to campsite regularly. They provide the convenience of combining the driving part with the living part. The Class A and Super C owners will usually tow a vehicle behind the motorhome. The Class B and C are generally small enough to drive around in the cities although still challenging.
Motorhomes are suited for couples who plan to change locations often as in retirees or newly weds. They will have limited interior space as compared to a fifth wheel or toy hauler. If traveling or camping with a large number of people then a towable RV will generally provide greater usefulness. They also provide the convenience of setting up for camp without leaving the RV. These also require that you outfit a car or truck for towing behind the RV. They also may require special driver license endorsements depending on the weight of the RV.
These are the most common type of RV. They require that you have an adequate tow vehicle. They are roomy and have a lower initial cost. They are usually made with far less expensive materials than those found in the motorhomes but not always. The toy haulers and fifth wheels of today have as nice a quality interiors as motorhomes which wasn’t always the case.
Towable RV’s are more suited for someone who is going to move less frequently. They are ideally suited for the vacationer (periodic RV’er) or full-time living. They do provide a bit of an inconvenience while traveling but for most owners that is only an issue if they are moving the RV quite frequently. These allow for the owner to tow the RV with a familiar vehicle. They are far more maneuverable than Motorhomes.
Fifth Wheel vs. Travel Trailer (Bumper Pull)
- Higher Ceilings
- Extra Living Space
- More Storage
- Home like feel
- Weight is over the rear axle making easier to tow
- Increased carrying capacity in Toy Hauler models
- Increased length
- Lower height making going under overpasses easier
- Lower purchase price
- No fifth wheel attachments taking up full bed of truck
- Can pull with a 1500 series (half-ton) truck
- Use truck bed for extra storage
- Lower cost of ownership due to lower maintenance costs (no generator / power leveling system)
I felt it important to weigh in on Travel Trailer vs. Fifth Wheel. Travel Trailers (Bumper Pull RV’s) are some of the most common RV’s out there. They are lighter and don’t require you to install or learn to use a fifth wheel or goose neck attachment into the bed of your truck. They also don’t generally require you to buy a bigger truck as most can be pulled with a half-ton although some do push the limits. The bumper pulls are also must lower in height which makes going under those low bridges and over passes easier. Last but not least they allow you to use the truck bed for extra storage or just make it available for use because there is nothing new installed in the bed.
The fifth wheel options provide you with higher ceilings and more overall living space. They are much heavier but with the fifth wheel attachment over the rear axle it actually improves towing versus the bumper pull. Some have built-in generators and power leveling systems. With the upgraded interiors and extra living space the fifth wheel option provides a more home like feel.
The reason to choose between a fifth wheel versus a bumper pull should be based on your intended use. It should also depend on if you have a capable truck or not. If not then if you are willing to buy a truck capable for the fifth wheel or not which will usually require a 2500 (3/4 ton) series truck or higher to tow safely. Even some of the bumper pulls might require a 2500 series truck so checking weight of the RV versus the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is of paramount importance. Just because your truck can move the wheels on your new RV doesn’t mean it should be pulling it if it exceeds the GVWR.