Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 11:39 am
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Choosing amongst some of the easiest RVs to drive may appeal to you if you are brand new to RVing. Ease of driving and maneuverability are arguably some of the primary reasons many people never give RVing a chance.
However, many RVs are easier to drive than you might expect! But what might some of these RVs be and what makes them easier to drive compared to others?
In this article, we will address everything you need to know about some of the easiest RVs to drive that are currently available on the market. We will give you a number of things to consider besides specific makes and models of easy to drive RVs.
We’ll even give you some expert advice and insight as to what makes RVs difficult or easy to drive. Plus, we’ll include some tips when it comes to what you can do to make your RV easier to drive, no matter the type of RV that you have! Let’s get started. Oh, and feel free to use our table of contents to navigate to our list of some of the easiest to drive RVs currently being manufactured!
What Makes an RV Easy to Drive?
While it may seem a bit obvious, the overall size of RVs is what makes them difficult to drive. Therefore, choosing a smaller RV will likely make it easier for you to drive around. This isn’t always the case, but size matters more often than not!
The type of RV you choose will likely also assist you in achieving your goal of an easy to drive RV. While travel trailers are among the more versatile and least expensive of RVs, they are not always the easiest to drive given that you have to tow them. However, even a smaller travel trailer will be easier for you to hit the road with compared to a travel trailer over 30-35 ft long.
When you don’t have to deal with towing, your trip typically becomes a bit easier. Towable RVs have many safety factors that make them more difficult to drive than motorhomes. These include proper weight distribution, sway due to highway speeds and quick lane changes, and even height issues, particularly with fifth wheels.
Drivable RVs are easier to handle compared to towable ones. However, some drivable RVs also get far too large for the average person to handle without plenty of practice. Some Class A RVs reach nearly 50 ft long, something that is difficult to fathom until you are behind the wheel.
The good news is, most motorhomes or drivable RVs come loaded with safety features and elements that are designed to help you reach your destination safely. Some of these options may include:
- Backup cameras
- All wheel drive
- Engine and motorhome monitoring systems
- Lane or drift assist
- Other cameras and alert systems
It’s important to note that you can install a backup camera on your travel trailer or fifth wheel as well. This is often a necessary component for new RVers who struggle to back their RVs in. A backup camera is likely a must for those of you traveling solo in your RV as well!
Types of RVs that are Difficult to Drive
There are a number of types of RVs that are more difficult to drive than others. At the end of the day, your comfort and ease of experience will help you on the road more than the type of RV that you choose. However, here are some types of RVs that are notoriously difficult to drive and why they have earned a title such as this.
Don’t worry, we’ll give you a list of RVs that are easy to drive, across all types and sizes. All of these different types of RVs have exceptions to the rules, but just know that there may be some types you want to steer clear of for your own personal comfort!
The primary reason that fifth wheels are associated with difficult-to-drive RVs is their size. While it all depends on the manufacturer and the model that you’re interested in, the average fifth wheel ranges anywhere from 25 to 45 ft long. You may even find some options that are close to 50 ft in length, making fifth wheels some of the largest RVs on the road beside Class A motorhomes.
It’s important to note that the hitch style utilized for fifth wheels is often sturdier and easier to work with compared to a ball style of hitch associated with travel trailers. You will likely have more control over an RV towed with a fifth wheel hitch style rather than a common travel trailer hitch style. However, there are a few factors that still make fifth wheels difficult to drive.
The number one factor in question? The sheer size and weight of the average fifth wheel are difficult to maintain control over while on the road. Not only are fifth wheels frequently over 10000 pounds, but they also have extra height given the way that their hitch style is designed. Extra height means that you are more susceptible to high winds and other road conditions.
Plus, the heavier your RV, the more difficult it is to stop, especially in situations that require you to brake quickly. Most fifth wheel trailers require a heavy duty truck to tow them, and you may even need a diesel option with better brakes than the average truck. Your stopping power is extremely limited compared to RVs which are smaller and more compact!
Class A RVs
Similar to fifth wheel trailers, Class A RVs can reach anywhere from 25 to 50 ft long, depending on the size and the manufacturer. This is the largest type of motorhome and is often associated with school buses or other large vehicles. In fact, most school bus RV conversions are associated with Class A RVs exclusively, given their similarities in size and shape.
While you aren’t towing anything with this RV unless you choose to bring along a residential car or boat, the sheer size and weight of these motor homes make them particularly unwieldy and difficult to drive. While the overall weight matters less if you aren’t towing anything, some Class A RVs weigh anywhere from 15,000-30,000 pounds.
This means that the larger the motorhome the more difficult it will be for you to stop suddenly, or maneuver in smaller city streets, or locations. Additionally, some of the largest Class A RVs need a separate license in order to operate, given the fact that they have air brakes on board. Again, this depends on the size and RV manufacturer, but any RV over a certain weight limit needs air brakes and a separate commercial license in order to operate.
Despite their title as the most versatile and affordable type of RV on the market currently, travel trailers can still be extremely difficult to drive. In fact, many new RVers make mistakes with travel trailers that they wouldn’t make with any other type of RV, given the overall simplistic design of a travel trailer hitch setup.
You don’t necessarily need a fancy hitch or accessory set up in order to tow a travel trailer, but many people still do it wrong anyway. The biggest issue when purchasing a travel trailer is choosing something that is an appropriate weight for your tow vehicle. Many people tow something that is far too heavy for their vehicle to control, making their travel trailer difficult and unsafe to drive.
Even if you choose an option that your tow vehicle can handle, most travel trailers get tricky to drive when they are too long or road conditions are too difficult. You won’t get 4-wheel drive with any travel trailer and windy road conditions are some of the most dangerous ones to go through while towing a travel trailer.
Travel trailers range in length from 10 to 40 ft long and they are found in a variety of weights. This is likely to make them accessible to more potential RV customers, but lightweight travel trailers pose many difficulties while on the road. Your weight needs to be evenly distributed inside your travel trailer in order to travel safely, and lightweight RVs may still get tossed around by high winds or other vehicles.
Super C RVs
Often considered a hybrid between a Class A RV and a Class C RV, Super C RVs are the hot new RV on the market today. Ranging anywhere from 25 to 40 ft long, Super C RVs offer customers the power and towing capacity as well as the space of a Class A RV with an easier to drive cab.
However, you’ve likely noticed a similarity with this type of RV compared to the others. Choosing an RV that is larger than 30 ft typically results in more risks and dangers while on the road. Super C RVs come fully loaded with powerful diesel engines and many safety features to make them easier to drive than the average RV.
Despite this, the sheer size of the average Super C motorhome makes it more difficult to drive than standard Class C RVs. You may find that you are seeking extra space on board your RV, but a Super C RV often needs air brakes and other things to help you control the vehicle while on the road. You may find that choosing something slightly smaller helps you feel safer and more in control!
Types of RVs that are Easiest to Drive
On the flip side, there are a few types of RVs that are notoriously easier to drive than others. While smaller fifth wheels and travel trailers as well as some small Class A RVs are also easier to drive than their larger counterparts, these RVs are the most frequently associated with ease of driving and safety on the road.
Class B RVs
Also known as campervans, Class B RVs are the reigning champs when it comes to being easy to drive. The popularity of campervans has skyrocketed in recent years, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic but also due to the fact that they are the easiest to drive and store.
This makes them convenient to a large majority of the population, especially campers who don’t plan on living in their campervan full-time. While Class B RVs are the smallest RV option available on the market currently, they are some of the most expensive, depending on the amenities you are looking for.
Ranging in length from 17 to 25 ft long, Class B RVs are built on a standard van chassis more often than not. While they are taller than the average car, a campervan will be incredibly easy to maneuver, both on the freeway and in town. You can park in standard parking spots and treat them like a residential car or vehicle, despite them having plenty of amenities inside!
Plus, Class B RVs get the best gas mileage of all RVs, likely given their size and the higher-tech options available to you. Despite them being small, Class B RVs also have plenty of safety features including backup cameras and lane assist to keep you safe while driving.
Class C RVs
Similar to Class B RVs, Class C motorhomes are the second smallest of the three types of motorhomes. They average anywhere from 20 to 35 ft long, making them larger than Class B RVs and more versatile overall. You can bring more people along inside of your Class C RV, but you don’t need to sacrifice your safety while on the road.
Class C motorhomes offer you a more traditional RV interior, complete with slide-outs and other space-saving inventions. However, they are still built on fairly standard truck or van chassis options, making them easier to maneuver and drive. Depending on the length, you may also be able to park your Class C RV in most campgrounds and standard parking lots.
Again, just like Class B RVs, Class C motorhomes have plenty of safety features to get you to your destination in a safe and timely fashion. This type of RV is not as easy to drive as a standard campervan, but it gives you more room for your guests while still maintaining a safe and comfortable ride!
6 Easiest RVs to Drive (All Types!)
As we’ve already mentioned, there are always exceptions to the rules. No matter what type of RV you are seeking, there’s an option out there that is easier to drive than others. Here’s a brief list that includes some of the easiest RVs to drive, no matter what type or style you are seeking!
Class A Option: Jayco Alante
Sleeping up to 8 people depending on the floor plan you choose, the Jayco Alante is a great Class A motorhome if you are considering something easier to drive. Starting at $167k, this Class A option is more affordable than average, without sacrificing sleeping space or amenities.
With three available floor plans ranging in length, you don’t have as many choices compared to other RVs on this list. However, the overall footprint of this RV ranges from 29-32 ft long, making it a compact and easy to maneuver Class A motorhome!
Built on a Ford chassis, you have a decent 5,000-pound towing capacity and a fuel-efficient gasoline engine. Plus, you have plenty of amenities included standard, such as a built-in generator and heated holding tanks. The amenities of course don’t stop there, as Jayco is a brand name known for setting its customers up for success while on the road!
The Alante is great for those of you seeking an option that is easier to drive and maintain compared to larger Class A RVs. You still get plenty of sleeping arrangements and a spacious RV interior, including some floor plans that offer bunk beds and residential refrigerators. And there are plenty of safety features found inside this RV, including seat belts throughout!
All in all, this is a great choice for those of you seeking the size and power of a Class A motorhome without choosing something too large. If you want to travel with your extended family or a group of friends, this is a great option.
Class B Option: Winnebago Travato
Boasting itself as the top-selling campervan in North America, the Winnebago Travato is an easy to drive van. Starting at $175k, it’s hard to believe that the Travato is more expensive than Jayco’s large Class A option. However, there’s a lot to love and this is a fair price point for the average campervan! Let’s take a closer look.
With 4 floor plans, you and one other person have a few different layouts to choose from. This compact van won’t sleep more than two people comfortably, so that’s something to think on if you have other companions that travel with you. There are many other campervans that have pop-up rooftops, giving you a tent and additional sleeping location if need be. The Travato does not appear to offer such an option.
With the potential negatives out of the way, the Travato has plenty of positives. The interior design of this van is clean and upscale without being inaccessible, offering bathrooms and luxurious kitchens no matter the floor plan. Plus, you have plenty of storage, inside and out, as well as good enough insulation for camping year-round.
All in all, the Travato is a great choice for a campervan that is easy to drive, and it even advertises itself as a van that can be driven daily with ease. However, the same can be said for just about any campervan, so you may find an option elsewhere that is more your style or better suited to your budget.
Class C Option: Leisure Travel Vans Unity
Right in between a Class B and a Class C motorhome lies the Unity by Leisure Travel Vans. Starting at $172k, the Unity offers 6 different and distinct floor plans in a luxury setting, perfect for those of you seeking a more upgraded level of camping. Plus, its unique frame and size make it easy to maneuver, no matter where you are!
One of the first things to mention about this particular Class C RV is that all floor plans offer you a dry bathroom. The interior design of this particular RV is beautiful as well as functional, with plenty of storage found inside and out. Some floor plans offer more storage than others, such as the murphy bed lounge area floor plan, giving you more storage and more interior living space during the day.
There are countless safety features when it comes to driving, including backup cameras and lane assistance. The turning radius on this particular RV is also spectacular, giving you more options in terms of where you can take your vehicle. Plus, the overall size of this option is simple when it comes to parking at campgrounds or in standard parking lots.
The entire RV is 25 ft long, complete with plenty of features that give you the option to live in this RV full-time if you so choose. The main drawback of this particular RV is the cost and the fact that it can’t exactly fit the entire family. However, if you are looking for something that is more upscale as well as easy to drive, the Unity may be a great choice for you!
Travel Trailer Option: Forest River r-pod
As a state parks host, I see the Forest River r-pod in my campgrounds all the time. It’s an extremely popular travel trailer with an attractive price tag. Plus, the overall shape of this rig makes it aerodynamic and easier to drive compared to a number of other travel trailers. Let’s take a closer look at it in detail now.
Ranging in length from 17 to 25 ft long, there are a dozen or more floorplans associated with the r-pod. You can sleep the whole family inside of this travel trailer, despite its smaller length than average. In fact, many floorplans offer you a bunk bed set up and there are a number of options that separate the master bedroom away from other sleeping arrangements, offering you privacy.
Depending on the overall size of the floor plan you want, your r-pod may weigh anywhere from 3,000 to over 5,000 lbs. This means that this is still a fantastic and lightweight option for those of you who may not possess heavy-duty tow vehicles such as a large pickup truck or SUV.
The interior design of this travel trailer isn’t necessarily upscale, but it is comfortable and easy to maintain. This is a great choice for families as well as busy campers who aren’t worried about a luxury setting to camp in. The r-pod is functional above all else, making it appealing to a number of RV customers and campers.
Fifth Wheel Option: Scamp 19’ Fifth Wheel
Likely one of the more unique fifth wheels you’ve ever seen, the Scamp 19’ is a great choice for those of you seeking a fifth wheel that is easy to bring with you but still sleeps multiple people. Entirely fiberglass, Scamp trailers are easy to maintain and last a lifetime, but is this compact fifth-wheel right for you?
With the hitch involved, this particular fifth wheel is just over 20 ft long, making it extremely compact for a fifth wheel RV. However, despite the small size, you still have three available floor plans to choose from, most of which are capable of sleeping up to six people. With a bedroom in the lofted area above the hitch and plenty of convertible furniture, this vintage charmer is a great choice for those of you who aren’t worried about camping in a compact space.
Speaking of vintage charm, Scamp is manufacturing brand new fifth wheels with a vintage interior design. The colors are fairly dated and there’s wood paneling involved, harkening back to how RVs were originally manufactured. However, this may not be something that appeals to you and you may want to see something a bit more modern both in looks and function.
The fiberglass exterior of this RV means that it is more durable than many other counterparts. However, this also means it does not have any slide-outs or a way of extending your interior living area. This may be disappointing to those of you hoping for a fifth wheel that can sleep and house more individuals comfortably, so you may want to find another option that is a bit larger!
On the flip side, choosing a fifth wheel of the size means that you are in complete control over it while on the road, making it easy to drive. This particular RV is also unique and eye-catching, which may appeal to some of you hoping to find something different in the RV world.
Other Towable Choice: OPUS OP Lite
If you want an RV that is easy to bring along with you, choosing a pop-up camper from OPUS may be a great bet for you. These tent campers pop up and inflate all by themselves, giving you a luxurious and rugged interior at the touch of a button. Plus, these options are extremely customizable and capable of becoming exactly what you need them to be for whoever you need them for.
The OP Lite is a great choice for those of you who need something lightweight and compact. At 17 ft long and just over 2,000 lbs, this tent camper is easy to tow. This is especially true when you consider the fact that it has rugged tires and a raised chassis, perfect for bringing along wherever your journeys take you. This is a great choice for those of you hoping to boondock as well.
You have everything you need on board this simplistic and rugged camper, including a kitchen and portable toilet. Depending on the option you choose, there are sleeping arrangements for the whole family, whether inside the RV or in an attachable tent. However, given that this is indeed a pop-up tent camper, it may not be built for four-season endeavors.
How Can I Make My RV Easier to Drive?
There are a number of factors to consider if you want to make your RV easier to drive. At the end of the day, RVs require practice, careful consideration, and a few helpful tips in order to navigate safely. You are ultimately what makes your RV easier to drive, so making sure that you are up for the task is step one!
No matter what type of RV you end up choosing, here are some things to consider that may make your RV easier to drive:
- Get some tow mirrors. If you decide on a towable rig, purchasing some tow mirrors to attach to your truck is a great place to start. These mirrored extenders allow you to see your trailer as you drive and people that are potentially following you or trying to pass you. Having more visibility is key to driving a towable RV safely, and tow mirrors are very inexpensive as well!
- Bring some friends. While solo travel is rewarding and potentially the only viable option for you, traveling with friends or a loved one can make your RV incredibly easier to drive. Not only is it nice to potentially have a backup driver, but having other eyes in the vehicle gives you more space to relax while you drive your RV. Merging, passing, and traveling through complicated streets spells stress for most RV drivers and owners. Having another set of eyes (or two or three) can help you avoid the worst!
- Install a backup camera (or lane assist!). Cameras and other technological advances may help keep you and your passengers safe while driving your RV. Most modern motorhomes have plenty of safety features included in their builds, such as lane assist and multiple cameras or sensors. However, you can always install backup cameras or lane assist technologies on older vehicles or towable rigs. While a backup camera may only help you when parking, it can be a lifesaver during those moments!
- Keep things slow and steady. Ultimately, driving slow and steady is what will keep you safe more often than not. RVs are most difficult to drive at high speeds or in dangerous road situations, such as inclement weather or road construction situations. No matter what type of RV you choose, taking things slowly will help keep you safe and make your RV easier to drive. High speeds make large RVs difficult to control, and slowing down is often the only solution.
- Do your research. Not only should you do research on the type of RV that best suits your lifestyle and comfortability while on the road, but you should also take your time and research your expected route. Knowing where you are going and the roads you need to take to get there may bring you more comfort and ease of driving once you hit the road. It’s easy to get caught up in the littlest things while driving an RV, so it’s nice to not have to stress about the direction in which you need to head!
- Make plans to fuel up. Again, no matter which type of RV you choose, refueling can be one of the most stressful parts of the process. Not all gas stations are built to accommodate RVs, especially huge Class A motorhomes or fifth wheels. Fueling up before you hit the road is a good idea so that you don’t have to worry about it right off the bat. Plus, researching where you can fuel up safely and efficiently is also a good idea, as maneuvering your RV off a busy highway can be extremely stressful.
- Practice, practice, practice! At the end of the day, your comfort is what makes your RV easy to drive. While it will always be stressful and more difficult than driving a standard vehicle, practicing in your RV will help make you feel more confident and secure behind the wheel. It’s a good idea to practice on both highways as well as city streets so that you get a good feel for everything that is involved when driving a large and powerful RV around!
Choosing an RV that is easy to drive is an important factor to consider while shopping for any type of RV. However, all RVs are difficult to drive when compared with standard vehicles. In fact, you may want to consider basing your next RV purchase on the amenities and desired features you’re looking for rather than how easy it is to drive.
Safety while on the road is important, but having an RV that is easy to drive is just the first step. Making sure that you practice and maintain safe road habits will make your RV easier to drive than simply choosing a certain make or model!
If you are on the fence about purchasing an RV based solely on the fact that it can be difficult to drive, I encourage you to look past this and hit the road–after plenty of practice and consideration, of course!