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Different Types of RV Classes Explained: Which RV Class is the Best?

Updated: Feb 1

Choosing the right RV can be a daunting task. Learn about different RV classes as well as some handy tips and tricks to help you choose the right one.


Types of RV Classes

So you've decided to experience life on the road and want to get the perfect home on wheels to turn your dream into a reality. Buying an RV can be an overwhelming yet very exciting task. There are so many different types of RVs to choose from, not to mention different floor plans, amenities, sizes, and much more. So how do you decide which is the best motorhome for you? Let us help make the process a bit smoother for you by telling you all about the different RV classes in the market along with their features, pros, and cons. We will also walk you through the process of choosing the right RV for you and your family.



Class A Motorhomes


Class A motorhome

Class A RVs are commonly referred to as conventional motorhomes or mobile homes. This RV closely resembles a bus in size and flat front windshield. The average cost of this class can range from $50,000-$200,000 and up. On average and with good care life expectancy can be around 200,000 miles. Gas milage ranges 8-13 miles per gallon. The size can range from 29-45 feet in length. Class A can sleep 8-10 people at once.


These motorhomes include everything your stationary home would include. They are great for families living full time on the road. Pure luxury on wheels you’ll find these RVs are equipped with complete kitchens, full bathrooms, entertainment centers with flat-screen TVs and DVD players, king-sized beds, washer and dryers, with spacious living and dinette areas. Driving license requirements may differ based on the state and size of your class A.


Pros

  • Most luxurious motorhomes on the market

  • Versatile floor plans and amenities

  • Perfect for larger or growing families

  • Ample storage space

Cons



Class B Campervans

Class B motorhome

Known as a sleeper van or campervan, Class B motorhomes don’t offer as much interior living room as their Class A and Class C relatives. However, just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not mighty. In fact, in many ways, they offer more flexibility and freedom than other RV styles! The average cost to buy is $60,000-$190,000. They range from 16-19 feet in length. The average mileage is 18-20 miles per gallon. Can sleep 2-4 people and have and life expectancy of 20 years to 200,000 miles.


Class B Motorhome will still have a bathroom, stove, sink, mini-fridge, and a bed that will often double as a dinette during the day. Since Class B RVs are built into standard van chassis, they’re easier to operate for most drivers, and you don’t have to worry so much about getting stuck if you venture down a narrow or unpaved road. Finding places to park is much easier too!


Pros

  • Least expensive RVs on the market

  • Great for solo RVers or couples

  • Perfect for boondocking and camping off-the-grid

  • Easy to drive and maneuver

  • Versatile in design (outdoor kitchens, portable showers, etc)

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger families

  • Fewer amenities than Class A and Class C motorhomes

  • Not ideal for long-term camping



Class C Motorhome

Class C motorhome

Class C is a motorhome that is built with cabs or cut-out chassis, this provides a front structure that looks like a van including seats, a dashboard, and opening windows. This class is very popular because of its resemblance and familiar traits to an automobile. Average cost is $50,000-$100,000. They typically range from 20-28 feet in length. The average gas mileage is 10-15 miles per gallon. Class C can sleep up to 8 people.


Class C Motorhomes have the option of slide-outs to create more space when parked and include a bathroom, separate dining area, stove, refrigerator, extra sleeping areas, and plenty of storage compartments inside and out. You can also find a Super C Class RV that features larger Class C motorhomes with more power and amenities.


Pros

  • Great for solo Rvers and small families

  • Easy to drive and maneuver

  • Ample storage space and freedom to add more

  • Affordable price range

  • Versatile design

Cons



Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are another type of RV that is gaining a lot of popularity in the market, especially with full-time RVers. These trailers are towed behind a vehicle and can be parked in RV campgrounds for long-term camping. They offer a lot of space and amenities and are the closest thing to a conventional brick-and-mortar home. There are many types of travel trailers, here is a look at the few more popular ones.


Fifth-Wheel Travel Trailer

fifth-wheel travel trailer

A fifth-wheel travel trailer can come with or without extendable ends for more space if needed. The average cost ranges from $20,000-$50,000. The size ranges from 25-45 feet in length. Life expectancy ranges from 10-15 years. For gas mileage example a Ford F150 can tow at 12 miles to the gallon on average. A fifth wheel can sleep 4-5 people.


Fifth wheels offer spacious living space, have various slide-outs, and a raised forward section creating a multi-level floor plan making this a great option for families.


Folding Camping Trailer

folding camping trailer

Folding campers encompasses the traits of camping in a tent with the conveniences of an RV. The price can range from $5,000-$18,000 and up depending on upgrades. When opened, most pop-ups are between 7 feet and 7 feet 6 inches in width and between 4 feet 6 inches and 5 feet in height when closed. Sleeping capacities range from 4 to 8 people.


Inside will include slide-out beds, a collapsable table that can turn into a bed, as well as a small kitchen with a sink and camp stove. Upgrades can include bathrooms, outdoor showers, grill areas, and whatever you are looking for to accommodate your and your family.


Teardrop Trailers

teardrop trailer

Teardrop trailers are the smallest RV on the market. They are named so because of their shape. Teardrop trailers come as single bed units but some also have extensions like outdoor kitchens and entertainment centers. These small motorhomes can be towed by a standard car easily.


These trailers weigh between 500 to 300 pounds and cost $5000 to $20,000 depending on their size and design. They can easily sleep 2 but no more than 3 people.


Toy Haulers

toy hauler

Toy haulers are a type of travel trailer that are basically used as an extra storage compartment for carrying things like four-wheelers, small auxiliary vehicles, and adventure gear like kayaks, stand-up paddleboards (SUP boards), and bicycles. Toy haulers come in a variety of sizes; the larger the hauler the more powerful the toad required to haul it.


Once you've parked your RV and emptied your toy hauler you can use the extra space for storage or convert it into a living area. Add a portable awning, an outdoor RV rug, some LED lights and you've got a pretty sweet indoor-outdoor living space.


Truck Camper

Designed to be mounted on the bed of a pick-up truck getting around is as easy as if you weren’t towing along an RV. The average cost ranges from $2,500-$60,000. Can reach up to 19.5 feet in length. Life expectancy is 10-15 years and can sleep up to 6 people.


Even though it is compact it still contains the convinces of a kitchen, bathroom, shower, and areas to sleep.



How to Choose the Right RV

Choosing the right RV for you and your family depends on a number of factors including:


Size of Your Family

Solo Rvers or couples don't need as much space, they can easily camp in Class C campervans, teardrop trailers, or truck campers. Larger families or families with kids and pets would need more space and more amenities so a Class A plus a travel trailer is more suitable for them. If you're a couple planning to hit the road and want the option to add more space as your family grows then a Class C motorhome is your best bet.


Type of RV Lifestyle

Some motorhomes are more suitable for long-term camping than others. Class A and Class C motorhomes and travel trailers are more comfortable but are difficult to drive and maneuver. Choose them if you plan to park at an RV park or campground and carry a toad with you for making supermarket runs. Campervans and teardrop trailers are more suited for dry camping and boondocking in the wild. Truck campers are more suited for off-road camping.


Driving Experience

Some states require a special license to drive certain types of RVs. Make sure you check the rules before making a commitment. Class A motorhomes and travel trailers are difficult to drive and maneuver. Class C motorhomes and campervans are easier to drive. There is a learning curve to driving a towed vehicle so make sure you practice driving, reversing, and parking before you hit the road.


Camping Area

RV parks and campgrounds have dedicated parking spaces for different kinds of RVs. But if you plan to park in unusual places or go dry camping in the wild then you need an RV that is both agile and easy to park. Campervans, teardrop trailers, and truck campers are your best bet if you like adventures and an authentic camping experience.


Budget

Larger motorhomes can cost an arm and a leg. Let your budget decide what kind and size of RV you buy. It is always a good idea to rent the motorhome you want first to see if it is worth the investment. You can also buy a used RV for a fraction of the price of a new one. Of course, certain RVs like campervans can also be DIYed to save money and customize amenities.


The Last Word

There you have it, a rundown of all the different types of RVs available in the market along with their features. While choosing the right RV can be a daunting task, a little bit of research can go a long way. Happy shopping!




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