What is the Difference Between the Types of Recreational Vehicles & Motorhomes?
With over four different types of motorhome classes, two different camper types, four different trailer types, as well as Toy Haulers & Toterhomes, the RV industry is packed with a variety of rigs. It can be easy to forget which rigs match with their respective classes, so we've prepared this guide for 2017. See brand examples below, as well as if RV SnapPad XTRA or PRIME fit these models.
What is Considered an RV?
The term motorhome is often used interchangeably with RV. Motorhome, however, is used to describe a variety of RV's, while RV is a technical term. So while not all RV's are motorhomes, all motorhomes are RV's.
Class A Motorhomes
Common Manufacturers of Class A Motorhomes:
Class A Motorhomes are the biggest of all RV's, apart from Toterhomes. They are built using either commercial bus or truck chassis's, as well as motor home chassis.
While Class A motorhomes often poor fuel economy, they make up for in luxury. Class A motorhomes come equipped with plenty of storage space and roomy interiors.
Class A RV's and Motorhomes typically start at around $200,000 and can go as high as $1.5 Million.
Typical Class A motorhomes can house 2-8+ people, as they come with singular bedrooms as well as fold down beds. Class A motorhomes can also have a towing capacity upwards of 5,000 lbs.
RV SnapPad PRIME works with some Class A Motorhomes as well!
You can see a full list of Class A motorhome brands and manufacturers here.
Class B Motorhomes
At first glance, Class B motorhomes, also known as camper vans, look very much like an oversized van.
However, on the inside, Class B motorhomes offer a ton of space. Packed fully equipped with a kitchen, living room, and a bathroom, Class B motorhomes come with all the amenities.
For the most part, Class B motorhomes do not have slide-outs. One appealing aspect of Class B motorhomes is that they are typically the least expensive of the three classes. Class B motorhomes are also the easiest to drive and offer the best fuel economy.
When it comes to parking Class B motorhomes, that isn’t a problem, because of its size. One thing to keep in mind with Class B's is that there's limited storage space. If you're looking for a cheaper and more economic motorhome, the Class B is the one for you.
You can see a full list of Class B motorhome brands and manufacturers here.
Class C Motorhomes
The Class C motorhome is a hybrid between the Class A & Class B. They are built with a cabin chassis, and are easy to spot because of their overcab sleeping area.
The position of the beds above the cab allows for additional room for the living room. Between 4-8 people can live in one Class C motorhome, depending on the brand and size.
Class C motorhomes are semi-economic, and have gas mileage somewhere between the Class A and the Class B motorhome.
Most Class C motorhomes are able to tow a small car, so you can leave the motorhome parked while exploring the city with ease. For bigger families that might want to tow a car, take a look at the Class C motorhome.
RV SnapPad PRIME works with some Class C Motorhomes as well!
You can see a full list of Class C motorhome brands and manufacturers here.
A truck camper is an RV that's mounted on the back of a pickup truck. Truck campers are the preferred RV for people don't want to own a motorhome or trailer and usually only for part-time use.
Common uses for truck campers are backwoods travel, hunting, fishing, and off-roading or via rough roads to campsites. The smallest of truck campers provide a sleeping area with perhaps an ice box and storage cabinetry, while luxury campers feature a refrigerator or freezer, propane range or oven, microwave, air conditioner, furnace, water heater, and even bathroom with shower.
With the introduction of slideouts, the notion of increasing interior space by lengthening the entire camper gave way to new designs that offered increased width while no longer requiring additional length.
Starting at just $8,000 for a truck camper, and going up to a max of $15,000, getting started with truck campers is the best option for first timers.
Typical pickup trucks used for hauling full size slideout-equipped campers include the Chevrolet & GMC 2500-3500 range, RAM 2500-3500 range, and the Ford F-250-350 range. Usually with long box bed lengths, and sometimes with dual-mounted rear tires for the heaviest camper models.
You can see a full list of truck camper brands and manufacturers here.
Also known as a folding trailer, a Popup Trailer is a lightweight unit with pull-out bunks and tent walls that collapse for towing and storage. They are suitable for towing by most vehicles, particularly compact cars, minivans, SUVs, or small pickup trucks.
You can see a full list of popup camper brands and manufacturers here.
Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer
Fifth wheel RV's are designed to be towed by a pickup or medium truck (equipped with a special in-box hitch). Part of the trailer body extends over the truck bed, shortening the total length of the vehicle and trailer combined.
Sizes vary for fifth wheels, however the size of fifth wheel you choose will likely be largely dependant on your towing capacity. Fifth wheels are generally inexpensive, starting at $40,000 and going up to $125,000 for larger sizes.
Fifth-wheel trailers have become popular since they first became commercially available in the late 1960s. For some pickup truck owners, the downside of a fifth-wheel vs a conventional frame hitch mount trailer, is that the former takes up valuable space inside the box, so that if uncoupling the trailer at a remote location in order to use just the truck with its empty box, a great deal of work and messiness is required to remove the hitch.
RV SnapPad XTRA works with most fifth wheel campers as well!
You can see a full list of fifth wheel brands and manufacturers here.
Toy haulers are a motorhome, fifth-wheel, or travel trailer, created to be part living space, part garage for transporting motorcycles, racing cars, bicycles, ATVs, rafts, or other personal recreation devices. Hence the name Toy Hauler!
RV SnapPad XTRA works with most toy haulers as well!
You can see a full list of toy hauler brands and manufacturers here.
The Types of RV's Available on the Market
As a summary, the types of RV's available include:
- Class A Motorhomes
- Class B Motorhomes
- Class C Motorhomes
- Truck Campers
- Popup Campers
- Fifth Wheel Travel Trailers
- Toy Haulers