When purchasing an RV or upgrading from an existing one, there is a lot to consider. For starters, what class or type of RV is best for your lifestyle and budget? Some people want a home on wheels loaded with amenities, and others envision a cozy vintage-style trailer to tow behind their vehicle.
There are pros and cons to every type of RV. The good news is with the options in today’s market, there is something for everyone.
Here is an overview of the most popular RV classes to help you make an informed choice:
Class A motorhomes are the largest type of RVs available. They are built on a commercial truck or bus chassis. The average Class A RV is 35 feet long.
Class A RVs are very luxurious – but luxury comes at a price. One can expect to spend between $50,000 and $250,000 for a Class A RV. Some Class A RVs that are fully decked out can sell for as much as $500,000. While some consider the luxury to be worth the price, one of the cons of this class is that they depreciate quickly.
The length of the Class A is great for providing lots of living space, but it can be a con when you need to park one. Also, the size of engines necessary for these RVs requires a lot of fuel.
Furthermore, repair costs for Class A motorhomes are high.
The pros of Class A motorhomes are that they are truly a home away from home. In fact, some of these RVs are designed to be more luxurious than many starter homes. In addition, Class A RVs provide a smooth ride and superior towing ability.
Class C RVs are smaller versions of Class A motorhomes. The typical Class C is between 30 and 40 feet long. Class C RVs are built on a truck or van chassis and don’t require as large an engine as Class A models.
Class C RVs come with self-contained bathrooms, full kitchens, and entertainment centers. These types of motorhomes have one bedroom and usually an option for a second queen-sized bed in the overhang.
Since they are smaller, Class C motorhomes are easier to park and maneuver than Class As, which is a plus.
The pros and cons of Class C RVs vary based on an individual’s budget and goals. For example, if you can afford an RV priced between $50,000 to $100,000, then a Class C is a good choice to consider. In addition, if you plan to use the RV for camping trips with your family of four, the Class C would work for you. Some Class C RVs claim sleeping accommodations that may work in theory, but practicality is something to keep in mind.
Fifth-wheel RVs are camper trailers that connect to a truck bed hitch. One of the benefits of fifth-wheel campers is the safety of the towing connection method and chassis design. Because the cab of a fifth wheel extends over the bed of a truck, it provides stability for towing down a road or highway.
An additional benefit of a fifth-wheel camper is that they provide extra storage and sleeping space.
A disadvantage of fifth-wheel campers is they do require a mid-size or larger truck for towing. Also, a fifth-wheel motorhome does not have the luxury amenities of its Class A and C relatives.
Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash
Bumper-pull trailers are smaller and less expensive than the other options discussed. They are versatile to tow and connect to a standard hitch.
Bumper-pull trailers typically provide fewer conveniences and luxuries than other models, but some simple adds and decorating touches make them very pleasant. However, bumper-pull trailers are obviously smaller and have less living space than the other RV types.
Pulling these trailers is more difficult than fifth-wheel models. It isn’t an issue that should prevent a purchase – just something to remember. Towing a bumper-pull through the Smoky Mountains is certainly doable, for example, but requires some caution due to how bumper-pulls tend to sway on curvy roads. One pro of the bumper-pull trailer class is that most don’t require a large truck for towing.