Last updated on May 29th, 2023 at 09:08 am
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If you are shopping for an RV for the first time, you may be wondering about all of the different types of RVs available for you. Are there different styles, fuel types, and price ranges depending on your choice? What might the pros and cons be for each type of RV?
So, what types of RVs are there?
There are two types of RV: towable and drivable. From here, there are more than a dozen different types of RVs across a variety of styles, fuel types, and more. Your first decision should be whether or not you want an RV that you drive or an RV that you tow.
In this article, we will go over all of the different types of RVs found around the world as well as what some of these RVs are made out of in case you are seeking a certain type of durable material or aesthetic appearance for your rig.
Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about RVs, particularly about the different types available for you.
Let’s get started and talk all about the different types of RVs now!
Only looking for a particular section of this article? Use our table of contents to navigate to whatever section you might be looking for!
How Many Types of RVs Are There?
When it comes to determining just how many types of RVs there are, most people break them down into two distinct categories. These two categories are known as towable RVs or drivable RVs, also referred to as motorhomes.
Let’s talk about these two different categories now.
Towable RVs are any type of RV that requires a hitch and a tow vehicle in order to drive it. The most common types of towable RVs include fifth wheels and travel trailers, as well as smaller towable rigs such as teardrop travel trailers and pop-up campers.
There are also toy haulers and other types of hybrid RVs that require you to tow them rather than drive them. However, we will go over these in more detail in a moment. It is important to note that different types of towable RVs require different hitch styles, as travel trailers need a different type of hitch compared to fifth wheels.
For example, fifth wheels require a hitch that is near the cab of your truck, located in the bed. This allows the fifth wheel to connect on top of the bed of your truck, while travel trailers hitch up at the bumper of your tow vehicle. This makes most travel trailer arrangements longer compared to fifth wheels, but fifth wheels are also built larger. But more on that later!
Also known as motorhomes, drivable RVs refer to any type of RV that has a wheel and an engine and gives you the ability to drive it. This includes Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes, Class C motorhomes, and any bus or van conversions.
The grand majority of motorhomes can be separated into a few further classes, primarily based on fuel type. You can either purchase a motorhome that runs on traditional gasoline or diesel fuel, and this often affects your purchase price, and the overall luxury of your RV, or perhaps you are looking at a large motor home that requires diesel fuel in order to run properly.
For example, extremely large motorhomes such as Class As or a larger style of Class C known as a Super C require diesel fuel in order to run. This is because the overall weight of your RV is typically too heavy for the average gasoline engine and fuel intake to handle. Some people may seek out diesel fuel in a smaller motorhome as well, but many small Class B RVs are gasoline-powered.
Types of RVs: All Types of Motorhomes and Drivable RVs
If you are considering a motorhome or drivable RV for your next RV purchase, here are all of the different types of RVs that fall into this category. We have further divided them into their fuel types and we’ll go over the pros and cons of each of these different styles. Let’s get started!
Class A RVs (Diesel Fuel)
Also known as diesel pushers, diesel fuel Class A RVs are some of the most revered and iconic RVs available on the market today, their engines located at the back of your rig rather than the front.
Not only are these RVs large and spacious enough to live in full-time or with a large group of people, but they also offer you fuel efficiency and luxurious amenities not found in other gasoline-powered Class A RVs.
I have personally spoken to a great number of fellow full-time RVers and learned that a diesel pusher is their dream, or it is what they chose to start their RV journey in because they already knew about the reliability of most Class A RVs with diesel fuel.
While all RVs need maintenance, Class A diesel pushers do not need as much maintenance or upkeep in terms of their engine compared to their gasoline counterparts.
Similar to a passenger bus or semi-truck, diesel fuel engines are built to last with proper care, but this care is often significantly less compared to gasoline engines.
Given the square footage and overall size of Class A RVs, you can find just about any floor plan or layout that you want. There are some with multiple master bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, residential-size kitchens, and theater rooms available depending on the manufacturer.
This is where most people decide on a Class A RV or not, given the overall size of these rigs. For example, the average Class A RV, fuel type aside, is anywhere between 30 to 45 feet in length. This is significant and often dangerous when it comes time to hit the road.
If you plan on camping in locations that don’t have space for this particular size of RV, you may want to consider another option. Class A RVs are spacious and luxurious, but you may not need all of the space that one has to offer.
You should also consider where you plan on storing your Class A RV when the season is over, as these large buses can take up a lot of space!
- Plenty of square footage and storage solutions
- Diesel fuel is reliable and affordable, and most diesel engines last longer than gasoline
- Luxurious and upscale, perfect for full-time living
- Revered in the RV world as one of the most reliable rigs around
- Extremely large and heavy, often difficult to drive
- The most expensive type of motorhome available nowadays
- Parking in state or national parks may prove difficult
- Tricky to store unless you have the space or want to pay for storage
Class A RVs (Gasoline Fuel)
If you aren’t sure whether or not you can afford a diesel pusher, you can always check out a gasoline fuel type Class A RV. These RVs tend to be extremely similar to their diesel counterparts, but they offer smaller floor plans overall as well as a bit more affordability, though not necessarily in the long run. Let’s talk about these now.
The average gasoline fuel Class A RV ranges in length from 28 to 38 feet long, but some are larger than this. However, the larger you get with a gasoline engine, the less likely it is to be fuel efficient and budget-friendly in terms of your gas budget.
This is where diesel Class A RVs tend to win, as they give you more efficiency and less maintenance overall. However, the upfront cost of a gasoline fuel Class A RV is typically lower than their diesel counterparts, and often by a large margin.
This means that the average new RV owner can purchase an RV and not have to worry about the significant payments, and the primary thing they will be missing out on is the diesel fuel type rather than the gasoline-powered option.
Just like diesel fuel Class A RVs, gasoline options also give you plenty of floor plans and layouts to choose from. You likely won’t have to worry about storage or square footage, particularly if you are living in your RV full-time or camping with a large group of friends.
At the end of the day, choosing a gasoline or diesel Class A RV is a great choice if you need the space and want a drivable rig.
These are the largest motorhomes on the market today, though there are some alternatives we will discuss that may work for you as well. However, Class A RVs are a great choice for living in full-time and they have a lot to offer in terms of their amenities!
- More affordable than diesel Class A RVs
- Spacious and luxurious for full-timers or groups
- Slightly smaller design compared to diesel
- Still an expensive motorhome choice overall
- Gasoline engines need more maintenance over time
- Large rig needs to be stored when not in use
- Gasoline fuel is less efficient and more expensive than diesel
Class C RVs (Diesel Fuel)
Extremely popular for its size, maneuverability, and flexibility in terms of its floor plans, Class C RVs are a great choice for those of you seeking a motorhome that is large enough for a family of five but not so large that you can’t camp in the average national or state park. The engine is up in the front of the RV, differing from Class As in this respect.
Known for their over-cab bunk, Class C RVs offer the average consumer plenty of square footage, storage, and luxurious amenities. This is especially true if you choose a diesel-powered Class C RV.
Diesel Class C RVs range in size from 20 feet to 40 feet, depending on the floor plan and manufacturer. The average Class C RV is 30 to 35 feet long, making it a fantastic average size for most consumers. Plus, with the over-cab bunk and the option to choose bunk bed floor plans, you can truly sleep a large number of people within this RV.
Speaking of people, Class C RVs have risen in popularity given their ability to house a great number of individuals as well as leaving plenty of space in common areas. This means that a Class C RV would be a great choice if you want to live in an RV full time, or perhaps you want something that is easier to drive but can still sleep you and all of your kiddos.
Diesel-powered Class C RVs tend to have a bit more luxury built-in to their floor plans and purchase price. Just like all other diesel-powered RVs, the initial purchase price will be higher, but you often get many additional amenities included in this cost. However, be sure to check with the specific RV manufacturer before purchasing.
Just like diesel pusher Class A RVs, the average diesel-powered Class C will last longer than a gasoline-powered one. You can also expect some overall fuel savings with this RV, as many are fuel efficient and reliable in this way as well.
- Great size for a number of different customers
- Easier to drive than Class As
- A dizzying number of floor plans and styles available
- Diesel engine means more luxury with less maintenance
- More expensive upfront compared to gasoline Class Cs
- Some larger Class Cs can be difficult to park
- May not store well in the average driveway
Class C RVs (Gasoline Fuel)
There are a great number of diesel-powered Class C RVs, but there are also an equal number of gasoline-powered ones. Class C RVs are the perfect size to offer you both options, and you may want to consider a gasoline Class C RV if you are worried about the high upfront cost that is associated with all diesel fuel motorhomes.
For the most part, there are very few differences between gasoline and diesel Class C RVs except for their luxurious amenities and, of course, their fuel type. However, you can even find upscale gasoline-powered Class C RVs, with plenty of amenities and included perks such as onboard generators, residential refrigerators, tank monitoring systems, and more.
You can find gasoline Class Cs available in sizes ranging from 20 feet to 35 feet and most of these options will have plenty of storage solutions. You also won’t have a problem finding a floor plan that works well for you and whoever you’d like to travel with, particularly if you want to travel with your family of five.
However, any larger than this and you may need a different type of RV to accommodate everyone. Given the average length of these RVs, it can be difficult to find floor plans that sleep more than 5-6 people. You may get lucky and find something with multiple bunk beds, but this may lead to a sacrifice of square footage in other areas of your rig.
Again, diesel and gasoline Class C RVs are nearly identical besides their fuel type. However, gasoline-powered Class C RVs will need more maintenance in the long run given their fuel type and this may be a deal-breaker for some of you. On the flip side, knowing that your gasoline Class C has a smaller upfront purchase price may be worth it for those of you on a budget.
- Great size for driving and maneuvering
- Plenty of interior living space, depending on floor plan
- Most have a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds
- More reasonable initial purchase price compared to diesel Class Cs
- Not as reliable in the long run as diesel fuel Class C RVs
- Still more expensive than towable RVs
- May not be able to sleep a group larger than 7-8 comfortably
Super C or Class C+ RVs
If you’re intrigued by the setup and floor plans of Class C RVs but are worried about your overall space, you should check out RV manufacturers that offer Super Cs or Class C+ options. But what are these, and how do these types of RVs differ from traditional Class C motorhomes?
Relatively new to the market, Super C RVs are similar to Class Cs in that they offer an over-cab bunk and the choice of either a gasoline or a diesel fuel-type engine. However, these RVs are extremely large and they tend to be longer than the average Class C RV.
The grand majority of Super C RVs are diesel-powered, given their overall weight capacity and lengths. In fact, the average Super C ranges in length from 35 feet to nearly 50 feet, depending on the manufacturer. This makes them appealing if you are seeking a larger RV with plenty of sleeping space, but it may make them unappealing for those of you seeking a smaller RV.
If you are worried about driving your Super C around when you need to run errands before you make it to camp, the good news is that most of these types of RVs have a very large towing capacity. This means that you can easily tow your residential vehicle behind your RV and bring it with you on your camping adventures, giving you an additional vehicle that is significantly easier to drive.
The price point on these RVs is incredibly high, which may also be a deal-breaker for those of you shopping on a budget. However, with this high price point comes a number of luxurious amenities and convenient features. Super C RVs tend to feel like apartments on the interior, with plenty of slideouts, upgrades, and residential fixtures.
You won’t have to worry about leaving anyone or anything behind if you choose this type of RV. There’s plenty of storage located both inside and out, and having the option to tow something gives you even more flexibility. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your RV may be incredibly long and difficult to drive if you choose to tow something behind your 45-foot-long Super C RV!
- Relatively new to the market and full of perks for the price
- Diesel or gasoline fuel choices, but mostly diesel
- Luxurious and homey, perfect for full-time living
- Floor plans are spacious and offer plenty of sleeping solutions
- Expensive no matter the fuel type you choose
- Very large, especially if you want to tow a car or boat
- May not be able to camp everywhere given the size
Class B RVs (Diesel Fuel)
Also known as campervans, Class B RVs with diesel fuel are prized and highly valued in the RV community. Not only do you get the reliability and longevity of a diesel fuel-type engine, but you get this inside of a compact and easy-to-maneuver travel van. Let’s talk about Class B RVs now.
Despite their small size, Class B RVs are some of the most popular options available on the market today. In fact, the campervan movement has allowed for many new RV technologies to make their way to consumers and campervan conversions are incredibly popular among home or DIY RVers.
For example, the average Class B RV, no matter the fuel type, is anywhere from 19 feet long to 28 feet long. They are standard vans that have been converted into the most compact motorhome options available. Does this mean that they have a small price tag? Unfortunately, no.
Recent consumer reports and research suggests that Class B RVs are often more expensive than Class C RVs, and significantly more expensive than towable travel trailers or fifth wheels. This is likely due to their popularity and overall market saturation as well as rarity, depending on the brand or chassis style you are searching for.
One of the main reasons that Class B RVs are so popular is because of their ability to boondock. These small vans are easy to drive anywhere you like, including over rough or rugged terrain. This is the ideal RV type for the explorer or adventurer in you, as this option will not hold you back.
This is particularly true of diesel-powered Class B RVs, as these options tend to have the most amenities and luxurious features included standard. Many of these features speak to boondocking and you can definitely find a diesel Class B with solar panels, additional batteries, four-wheel drive, and much more.
If you are looking for an RV that sleeps an average of two individuals, you should definitely check out a Class B camper van. Most major RV brand names and manufacturers offer Class B RVs but we will also address converting your own in just a short while.
- Compact and easy to drive just about anywhere
- Diesel fuel is efficient and requires less lifetime maintenance
- Often complete with luxury or boondocking amenities
- Full of storage solutions and floor plan innovations
- Too small for more than 3 people to sleep comfortably
- Diesel Class Bs are much more expensive than gasoline ones
- Not very many floor plans typically available
Class B RVs (Gasoline Fuel)
If you haven’t already guessed, gasoline-powered Class B RVs are nearly identical to their diesel counterparts. However, they come with gasoline fuel engines and a lower purchase price on average, making them a more affordable type of Class B for the average consumer.
You can find nearly identical Class B RVs in either fuel type, including the same size, floor plan, and the number of people it can sleep. You can also get gasoline Class Bs built for boondocking, complete with onboard generators, solar, and larger holding tanks.
This is great news for those of you seeking a campervan at a better price point than most diesel options will allow. Gasoline campervans are just as good as these ones, especially when you consider the fact that you are driving around a more compact motorhome compared to Class C or Class A RVs.
When it comes to the overall wear and tear of a gasoline Class B RV versus the diesel options available, you likely won’t notice the overall cost savings and maintenance required. However, if you plan on towing with your Class B RV, you may want to consider a diesel option with a bit more horsepower compared to gasoline ones.
With a lower purchase price comes fewer amenities and features, but most RV manufacturers can work with you to build the RV of your dreams. You can choose a lower initial purchase price and add on any features that are included standard, often giving you more wiggle room in your budget based on the fact that gasoline campervans are cheaper overall.
However, you may be seeking something that is fully loaded and ready to go, and this is often associated with diesel campervans rather than gasoline ones. Don’t forget that you also can only sleep an average of two to three people in any type of Class B RV, so it may not be right for you.
- Lower initial purchase price compared to diesel Class Bs
- Full of features that can easily be added
- Easy to drive and maneuver in many road or weather conditions
- Storage solutions are often impressive
- Very small and not great for families
- Gasoline types not as luxurious as diesel types
- Still fairly expensive overall, especially when you consider the size of this RV
Class B+ RVs
While there aren’t very many RV manufacturers that offer Class B+ RVs, this is a great solution for those of you seeking a campervan with a bit more room and interior living space. Class B+ RVs differ from traditional Class B campervans in that they tend to have slide-outs or other floor plans that give you more living space overall.
The overall length of most Class B+ RVs remains the same as traditional campervans, but you will likely find that you have more room from side to side. Many of these types of motorhomes offer one or two slide-outs on either side, giving you plenty of interior living space once you get set up at camp.
Just like Super Cs, these motorhomes tend to offer you a bit more luxury and upscale amenities, as they are rare and more likely to cost more than the average Class B campervan.
However, having a bit more space and the option to boondock or camp in a motorhome with plenty of residential features is a perk, especially when you consider the compact size of this RV.
Speaking of compact size, most Class B+ RVs are just as easy to drive and park as an SUV or truck. You can reach your destination in style, comfort, and safety given the overall price points and offerings of these RVs.
- Easy to drive and maneuver
- More interior living space compared to other campervan options
- Luxurious and residential in feel
- Available in both fuel types, but primarily diesel
- Expensive and difficult to find
- Still won’t sleep more than three to four people comfortably
- Slide-outs mean that you have more maintenance than the average campervan
Also known as schoolies, bus conversions are incredibly popular for a number of reasons. If you enjoy the space offered by a Class A RV, converting a bus may be a great choice if you are on a budget. However, bus and van conversions have their own troubles and trials associated with them, despite them being so budget-friendly.
One of the main troubles that most people have when considering a bus conversion is the fact that it can be difficult to find a bus that is for sale in the first place. However, there are many bus conversions available for sale nowadays, given that the fad has faded slightly. You may also live in an area that offers many school buses or other types of buses for sale, in varying conditions.
However, given the fact that school buses are fairly reliable vehicles that run on diesel fuel, you may be up for the challenge of converting your own. Many people have had great success converting school buses into full-time homes and camping motorhomes, and you may find one of these already converted options for sale.
If you want to start from scratch and design your own, there’s nothing better than taking it on a project of this magnitude and size. However, you will need to know a great number of things about RV components and living before you jump in, and you may find that the affordable school bus you found has more problems with it than it is worth.
There are plenty of resources for you to check out if you are interested in converting your own bus, including countless social media influencers and YouTube videos like the one above!
This is truly one of the most affordable ways to get a large RV without breaking the bank, but, like any renovation, you may run into plenty of problems that make your project more expensive than you budgeted for!
- Extremely affordable if you convert it yourself
- Completely customizable and a great project to undertake
- Plenty of square footage and reliable diesel fuel
- Unique and tailor-made to your own needs and desires
- No warranty options from an RV manufacturer
- Can get pricey if you find a school bus that is a dud
- Still difficult to drive given the size
If the idea of driving a whole bus around makes you break out into a cold sweat, you can always decide to convert a campervan or smaller vehicle and camp in that instead! However, just like schoolies, camper van conversions are worth undertaking to a point. They may not be right for you, for a number of reasons.
One of the first things you need to consider before purchasing a camper van for conversion is the fact that this is the current fad for a number of different people nowadays. Most vehicle conversions are of a Class B size rather than a Class A size, which may drive up the purchase price of any transit vans or campervans that you are looking at purchasing.
This is something to consider, especially if you are already on a bit of a budget. Keep in mind that you still need to purchase facilities and RV technology for the interior of your rig, though you can likely purchase a campervan in a number of different states of remodeling. Just know that the price point will vary.
As with other Class B RVs, you’ll run into the same troubles converting your van as you would with just purchasing an option from an RV manufacturer. For example, you likely won’t be able to fit more than three people inside comfortably, and you may have trouble finding the fuel type that you prefer.
However, converting a campervan is a great idea if you truly want something that is custom-made for your lifestyle. It also tends to be cheaper than purchasing a campervan from a manufacturer, but make sure that you choose a reliable option in the first place so that you don’t end up paying for more repairs in the long run!
- Highly customizable and unique to your lifestyle
- Small space means you won’t spend too much in remodeling fees
- Easy to drive and camp in, no matter the road conditions
- Less expensive on average if you convert it yourself
- Many campervan projects are more trouble than they are worth
- Popularity as of now is driving up van prices
- Still can’t sleep more than three to four people comfortably
Types of RVs: Towables and Others
If you don’t plan on purchasing a drivable RV, then it’s time to check out our list of towable options. These include travel trailers, fifth wheels, and a few others that you may not be aware of yet. Let’s check them out now!
One of the very first RVs ever made was a travel trailer, and it is also the type of RV that I live in full-time. Not only are travel trailers one of the most affordable RV options available currently, but they also come in a variety of lengths and styles, so many that it can be difficult to choose!
You can get a travel trailer as little as 13 feet long or as large as 40 feet long, depending on what you’re looking for. You can get options that are built for boondocking or options that are perfect for taking a quick weekend trip. The sky’s the limit in terms of what travel trailers can offer you, and many people choose this as their first RV choice given their affordability and versatility.
The main drawback to choosing a travel trailer as your RV of choice is the fact that you need to make sure that you have a tow vehicle that can handle it. Modern-day travel trailers are especially lightweight, which is good news if you are looking to purchase a brand-new option from an RV manufacturer such as Jayco or Forest River.
You will need a standard hitch style to reliably tow a travel trailer, but this is easy to do and some travel trailers are lightweight enough to be towed by a sedan or average SUV. While you won’t have the same level of control while driving as you would over a motorhome, many travel trailers are built with safety features and things that should give you more peace of mind while on the road.
While having so many options can feel overwhelming, many RV consumers enjoy shopping for travel trailers because of the number of options they have. However, keep in mind that the larger the rig, the more expensive it will be in the long run based on upkeep and maintenance.
Travel trailers also come with slide-outs more often than not, so you may want to keep this in mind for your budget and space requirements.
- So many different sizes to choose from
- Plus just as many layout choices as well
- Very inexpensive in the RV world
- Many makes and models are lightweight and easy to tow
- Durability of most travel trailers is in question
- Towing requires practice and isn’t right for everyone
- So many options can feel overwhelming
If you need something with a bit more stability and interior living space, you may want to consider towing a fifth wheel rather than a travel trailer. While fifth wheel RVs require a very specific hitch type and tow vehicle style, you may want to consider a fifth wheel if you need plenty of interior living space and residential amenities.
Besides Class A motorhomes, fifth wheels are the most popular choice for people who want to live in their RV full time. This is because fifth wheels give you plenty of living space as well as residential amenities such as washers and dryers, residential kitchens and bathrooms, and even more, often considered as standard features.
Keep in mind that fifth wheel RVs are typically heavier than travel trailers, as it is extremely difficult to make these types of RVs lightweight. However, this tends to make fifth wheels more durable than travel trailers, given the heaviness and strength of their materials.
The average fifth wheel RV ranges in length from 30 feet to over 50 feet on rare occasions. This means that you have space for a large group of people or the entire family, and there are a number of floor plans and layouts to support your lifestyle. While it may take some time to find the option that works best for you, shopping around for fifth wheel layouts is always fun!
While fifth wheel trailers cost more than traditional travel trailers, they have a lot to offer and often feel the most like a residential living space. If you want something that truly feels like a home on wheels, a fifth wheel might be the way to go. Just make sure you have a proper tow vehicle to handle the weight as well as a hitch to carry your RV wherever the road takes you!
- A dizzying amount of layouts and floor plans
- Often considered easier to drive than a standard travel trailer
- Fair price point when compared with motorhome options
- Very residential in feel and amenities
- Often too large for most national or state parks as well as boondocking
- Far more expensive than the average travel trailer
- Can be difficult to find a tow vehicle and hitch to support the weight of these RVs
Unique and affordable, pop-up campers are a great choice for those of you who want to upgrade your tent camping experience but don’t want the hassle of a full-blown RV. These options also store easily and cost very little in the long run, especially when you consider the fact that there is less maintenance overall, depending on the type of pop-up you get.
There are varying degrees of pop-up campers, with some options looking like a tent on wheels. You can find options with enough interior living space to sleep 10 people, or there are simpler options with even smaller tents or sleeping arrangements.
You can get pop-up campers with bathrooms as well as kitchens, but most modern-day pop-ups only offer sleeping arrangements with mild heating. However, some pop-up camper manufacturers are taking these to the next level, offering you plenty of boondocking features and abilities to get off the grid with this small RV.
While these RVs are towable, they are not traditional RVs in any sense. Most of the time, the walls are made out of tent fabric, but there are varying degrees of materials used, depending on the manufacturer. Pop-up campers are notoriously lightweight and easy to maneuver, especially when they are collapsed. In fact, most of these campers will fit in the average garage when stored.
When you consider the fact that most pop-up campers are primarily made out of tent materials, you can likely guess that they are not built for four-season camping conditions. I cannot recommend camping full-time in a pop-up camper, but these options are great for families looking to save some money but also upgrade from a traditional tent.
- Incredibly lightweight and easy to tow
- Easy to store when fully collapsed
- One of the most affordable types of travel trailer
- Plenty of sleeping arrangements depending on the manufacturer
- Not suited for 4-season weather
- Many options will not offer kitchens or bathrooms
- May not be worth it if you are an experienced tent camper
One of my favorite type of towable RVs has to be the teardrop travel trailer. These RVs are uniquely shaped, typically no longer than 15 feet. They have a rounded top that gives you more aerodynamic movement while on the road, and you often have plenty of stylish amenities to choose from. Let’s check out these compact cuties in more detail now.
We should first discuss the drawbacks surrounding teardrop trailers before you fall in love with them. Most teardrop travel trailers only have space for a sleeping area inside of them, with the kitchen located outside at the back of the rig. There are hardly ever bathrooms on board these RVs, and you won’t be able to bring more than two people along for the ride.
However, teardrop travel trailers are extremely easy to tow and take care of, often made of sturdy fiberglass materials. There are even some options that are built for boondocking and off-road travel, making them versatile and convenient.
These trailers are comfortable to sleep two people inside, often giving you skylights or other amenities that bring the outdoors in. Additionally, the kitchens found on teardrop travel trailers are very comprehensive, though you will need to consider the fact that all cooking will happen outdoors.
If you are a couple seeking a trailer that is easy to hit the road in, a teardrop travel trailer or maybe right for you. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have all of the amenities you may be seeking, but the price point is fair for these options and you can tow them with a variety of vehicles given their lightweight nature!
- Unique shape and design, often bespoke
- Easy to tow with some off-road options
- Compact and easy to store when the camping season is over
- Relatively affordable, depending on brand
- Only sleeps two people comfortably
- Kitchen is located outside
- No bathrooms
All toy haulers are either travel trailers or fifth wheels, depending on the hitch type. However, you can find toy hauler floor plans or models from certain manufacturers, but not all. If you find yourself packing ATVs, motorcycles, or other recreational toys for your camping trips, a toy hauler may be the best choice for you.
Toy hauler trailers are unique in that they have a ramp at the rear of the RV. In fact, the entire back half of your RV opens up so that you can roll motorized vehicles or other gear out of it with ease. The interior is also altered on toy hauler travel trailers or fifth wheels, because of their ability to make room for plenty of items.
In fact, you may find the interior living space of a toy hauler lacking, given the fact that it is meant to be open and spacious for storage purposes. While you can convert the interior of your RV once all of your toys are out of the vehicle, many toy hauler layouts do not offer the comforts of a home living room.
However, what you trade in terms of interior design you get made up in terms of your storage space. Plus, toy haulers are fairly durable given the fact that they need to be able to carry thousands of pounds inside. If you regularly camp with these sorts of items, a toy hauler might be right for you.
While they can cost a bit more than the average travel trailer, toy haulers still give you a bathroom and kitchen located inside the RV. You can also find toy haulers of varying sizes, some as small as 13 feet long and others as large as 40 feet long. This is a great option for those of you seeking a cargo carrier, but without the need to tow anything besides your RV!
- One of the only RV options with room for ATVs or motorcycles
- Plenty of interior living space once your year is out of the way
- Complete with multiple beds and a kitchen and bathroom
- Affordable compared to motorhomes and other fifth wheel options
- Interior design is often lacking
- Lighter weight toy haulers may not have a high carrying capacity
- More expensive than the average travel trailer with little in return besides storage space
Picture a tent pop-up travel trailer having a baby with a traditional travel trailer and you get a hybrid trailer. For the most part, hybrid trailers look like travel trailers but they offer you tent material pop-outs or slide-outs and more interior sleeping or living space. Let’s talk briefly about these trailers now.
Also known as hard-side pop-ups, hybrid trailers incorporate fiberglass or traditional aluminum RV materials with tent materials so that you can have the best of both worlds. The tents often pop out at the rear or front of the RV, giving you large and spacious sleeping areas that are often heated beneath the mattress.
This means that you can bring everyone and everything along with you, as hybrid trailers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Plus, you also have a smaller initial purchase price on these rigs given the fact that they are partially made of tent material.
Given that these rigs are partially made from heavy-duty canvas or other materials, you may find that they are not great for camping and cold weather. However, they are a step up from traditional pop-up trailers given the fact that they offer you a proper living area, bathroom, and kitchen with only the bedrooms typically kept within tent material.
- Affordable and lightweight
- Capable of sleeping a large group of people
- Wide variety of floor plans available
- Not made for four-season camping
- Fairly niche and still difficult to store
Truck Camper Shells
If you own a pickup truck and live alone, you may find that a truck camper shell is your best bet for RV living or camping. While it will raise the overall height of your car, truck camper shells are great for their affordability, durability, and flexibility. Let’s talk more about this type of RV now.
Resting over the entirety of your truck bed, truck camper shells offer you a place to sleep as well as cook, all contained within the back of your truck. You have a ladder or stairs to climb up into your mini RV, and these camper shells often don’t sleep more than two people.
However, these shells are easy to remove from your truck and keep in a garage or safe place when not in use, and it’s fairly easy to get your shell set up as well. Plus, you have a durable and dry place to sleep, eat, and relax at the end of the long day at camp!
- Easy to bring along and store
- Affordable and surprisingly upscale
- Often contains wet baths and kitchens
- Difficult to remove on your own depending on the model
- Can be dangerous to drive in windy conditions
Types of RVs: Common Exterior Materials
It’s important to choose an RV that is durable as well as functional, so you may be wondering: what are some of the common exterior materials for RV building? Here’s a brief overview of some of these materials, often used for a variety of types of campers.
Likely the most popular material choice nowadays, laminated fiberglass is used on motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and many many other types of RVs. It is durable, molded to be particularly moisture resistant, and it is incredibly lightweight.
Only found on a select few travel trailer or fifth wheel makes and models, molded fiberglass is incredibly unique. This process is achieved by creating an RV out of one singular and waterproof piece of molded fiberglass, often creating a distinct shape or style and therefore brand. Escape travel trailers, Scamp travel trailers, and Oliver travel trailers are all made of molded fiberglass.
Likely the least expensive material used on travel trailers nowadays, corrugated aluminum is what my vintage Fleetwood Terry travel trailer is made of. If you ever approach a travel trailer that has a wavy or textured exterior, the chances are that it is corrugated aluminum covering up wood framing. This is a fairly lightweight material, but the chances of your RV getting damaged are higher.
If you’ve seen an Airstream travel trailer, you’ve seen an RV made out of smooth aluminum. These options are more expensive than corrugated aluminum, given the fact that smooth aluminum is more waterproof and artfully designed by comparison. Very few RVs are made out of smooth aluminum, besides the iconic Airstream.
Heavy-Duty Tent Fabric
If you are purchasing a pop-up trailer or a hybrid trailer with tent options, you are likely purchasing an RV made partially from heavy-duty tent fabric. While this material is not made for four-season camping, the fabric used for pop-up RVs is much more durable than the fabric used in a standard tent.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of RVs
Still have questions surrounding the different styles of campers or types of RVs? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding this topic.
What is a drivable RV called?
A drivable RV is also called a motorhome. This refers to any type of RV with a steering wheel, gas tank, and traditional setup of a car or van. Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes, and Class C motorhomes are all examples of drivable RVs.
What are small RVs called?
Small RVs can refer to a great number of different types of RVs. For example, you may be thinking of a Class B camper van, which is the smallest type of motorized or drivable RV. However, you may also be referring to pop-up campers, teardrop campers, or extremely compact travel trailers. Small campers or small RVs are also simply called tiny homes, especially if you live in one full-time.
What are the different classes of RV?
There are three primary classes of RV, but these are exclusively known as motorhomes. There are no classes of travel trailers, fifth wheels, or other towable RVs. However, there are three distinct classes of motorhomes, known as Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes. These RVs range in size and style as their primary differences, but they are all drivable and come in either diesel or gasoline fuel types.
What is the most popular RV type?
Based on sales and overall versatility, the most popular RV type has to be the travel trailer. Given the flexibility of their price points, overall weight limits, and available interior living space, travel trailers offer customers the most flexibility at a fair price. However, that does not necessarily mean that a travel trailer is right for you.
When it comes to motorhomes or drivable RVs, the most popular RV type nowadays is likely a campervan or Class B RV. However, Class C RVs are a close second given their versatility and more living space compared to the campervans available on the market currently.
What type of RV is the most expensive?
The most expensive type of RV depends on the manufacturer as well as the amenities included in the standard purchase price. However, for their size and typical demographic, Class A RVs tend to be more expensive overall, especially compared to other motorhomes as well as towable rigs.
For example, the average luxury fifth wheel ranges from $80k to $100k, but a luxury Class A RV typically starts around $300k. This is due to their size, their chassis, and the fact that they are an entirely separate vehicle while your towable rig is not.
When you consider purchasing a travel trailer or fifth wheel as well as a tow vehicle that is appropriate for your brand new RV, you may be closer to the purchase price of a Class A motorhome. However, most Class As, especially the luxurious ones, are a much higher price than if you purchased a truck and trailer combination!
How do I know what type of RV is best for me?
It can be extremely difficult to know what type of RV is best for you. However, I highly recommend checking out any of our other articles and helpful information about RVs and types of campers so that you can find something that works well for your lifestyle.
There are a number of different techniques you can consider to narrow down all of your options and choices. A good rule of thumb is to decide whether you want to drive or tow your RV, as there are pluses and minuses to both of these options.
In addition to this, you should also have a good idea of how many people you plan on camping with on average. If you know that you will be camping with a large group, choosing a larger RV is always a good idea!
At the end of the day, I recommend touring your local RV lot or dealership so that you can get a true feel for each and every style or type of RV. There are plenty of resources available online for you to choose from, including YouTube videos of what it’s like to own a particular type of RV.
So long as you do your own research and have a good idea of your budget, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t feel confident when it comes to finding a type of RV that works best for you!
Choosing a type of RV that works well with your lifestyle and camping preferences can be difficult when you consider just how many options there are. However, once you determine whether or not you want to drive or tow your RV, the decision comes down to how you typically spend your time while you camp.
No matter what, there is a type of RV out there for you, whether you opt for a beautiful silver Airstream or choose a more practical diesel-powered Class C RV! There’s no right way to camp, except for the way that makes you feel the most comfortable, and there’s definitely a type of RV out there for you.