A Guide to Understanding The Different Types of RVs

Last Updated on December 9, 2023 by Jess

To navigate the diverse landscape of RVs, it’s important to understand the different types of RVs available on the market today.

As a beginner, choosing the right type of motorhome is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. In this guide, we want to give a clear overview of the different types of motorhomes.

In this article, we simplify the learning process and deal directly with the most important distinguishing features of each type of motorhome. So let’s go on a journey together, unravel the world of motorhomes, and discover the perfect mobile home for your wanderlust escapades!

What are the differences between the motorhome types?

There are a total of eight different types of motorhomes. These include Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes, Class C motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, Toy Haulers, Travel Trailers, Pop-Up Campers, and Truck Campers.

Each type is tailored to different preferences, travel styles, and budgets, so adventurers can choose an RV that fits seamlessly into their desired on-the-go experience.

Ultimately, motorhome types can be divided into towable motorhomes and drivable motorhomes. Within these two categories, there is a range from compact travel trailers and motorhomes to larger motorhomes and fifth wheels.

Now let’s dive into the eight different types of motorhomes to deepen your understanding!

Different types of mobile homes

When it comes to motorhomes on wheels, the choice is as varied as the landscapes you’ll be exploring. From the imposing Class A motorhomes that exude luxury and spaciousness to the maneuverable and compact Class B vans that offer versatility and off-road capability, your options are endless.

Each category offers a unique set of features and benefits, so let’s dive in.

Class A motorhomes

A class A motorhome parked in a parking lot with mountains in the background

Class A motorhomes are available with either gas or diesel power. Class A diesel-powered motorhomes are also known as diesel pushers.

Both gas and diesel-powered Class A motorhomes are usually equipped with major household appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, washers, and dryers. Almost all motorhomes are extendable, providing additional living space when parked.

Class A motorhomes range in size from 21 feet to 45 feet. These motorhomes are luxurious and large, making them a great home away from home, or even a great full-time home.

Diesel engines tend to last longer, but the downside is that they are usually more expensive. Also, diesel vehicles are quieter because the engine is in the back of the vehicle, which makes for a more comfortable ride.

Class A gas-powered motorhomes have the engine in the front, between the driver and passenger, so it can be a little noisy and warm while driving.

Finally, there is a third variant of Class A motorhomes that falls under the category of toy-powered motorhomes. This means that the rear end of the RV opens up to a ramp so you can load a motorcycle, side-by-side, kayak, or any other of your favorite toys.

There are only a few models of RVs with toy trailers on the market today, as they restrict living space even more than a conventional RV.

It’s also important to note that people who buy a Class A motorhome usually have a smaller vehicle that they take with them to move around the neighborhood, a toad.

This smaller vehicle is usually towed behind the motorhome on all four wheels (flat tow), with two wheels on a dolly or in an enclosed car trailer.

Class B motorhomes

A class B motorhome at a motorhome exhibition with the side door open

The next item on our list is Class B motorhomes. These small motorhomes are easy to drive as they are usually between 20 feet and 25 feet long.

Class B motorhomes have creative interiors that offer unique ways to stow and hide life’s necessities. Some of the innovations you’ll find in this type of motorhome include swivel chairs, flip-up sinks, and seats that convert into beds.

Due to the limited space, bathrooms are either non-existent or are wet bathrooms. The smaller size allows for greater mobility and freedom on the road. They usually fit into most parking spaces.

Class B motorhomes are well suited for solo travelers, couples, and minimalists looking for a compact and versatile travel experience. Their small size allows access to remote destinations and makes them a favorite among adventure seekers.

Class C motorhomes

A Class C motorhome, parked at a motorhome show, with the door open, ready for visitors to inspect

Smaller than a Class A but larger than a Class B, discover the versatile Class C motorhome. With their distinctive sleeping area above the cab, they maximize sleeping capacity, making them ideal for accommodating multiple passengers.

There are some models that are classified as Super C. These are still considered Class C motorhomes but are larger and usually built on a semi-trailer chassis. Read our article “What is a Super C?” to find out more about this type of motorhome.

Class C motorhomes have standard features such as bathrooms, kitchens, and pull-out sleeping berths. We believe that Class C motorhomes are a good alternative for travelers. They offer more living space than a Class B motorhome, but you don’t have the hassle of a larger Class A.

Plus, Class C motorhomes drive more like a truck than a bus, so there’s less of a learning curve.

Overall, Class C motorhomes are aimed at those looking for a family-friendly and well-equipped motorhome that does not have the dimensions of larger models.

Different types of motorhomes with trailers

Now that you’ve learned about the different types of drivable motorhomes, let’s take a look at towable motorhomes. From compact teardrop trailers to spacious toy haulers, towable motorhomes appeal to a wide range of adventurers.

Fifth wheels

A motorhome parked on a campsite with a carpet on the floor and awning extended

A fifth wheel is a type of towable camper that is attached to the bed of a truck with a special hitch and kingpin. This design allows for better stability and maneuverability compared to conventional travel trailers.

Fifth wheels are characterized by a two-level floor plan, with the front section protruding above the truck bed. This raised space usually houses the master bedroom, but in newer floor plans, the space is also used as a kitchen or living room.

This type of RV often has extensive features, such as multiple slide-outs, larger living areas, and high ceilings. Because of their size and features, fifth-wheel motorhomes are popular with those who want to sell everything and travel full time in a motorhome.

Pro Tip: If you’ve decided on a towable RV but aren’t sure which type to get, be sure to read Fifth Wheel vs. Travel Trailer: Which Motorhome is Better?

Toy Haulers

The back of a Toy Hauler with a ramp that serves as a veranda.

Toy Haulers are RVs designed for the transportation of motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts, kayaks, or bicycles, often referred to as “toys”. These motorhomes have a special cargo area in the rear that is equipped with a ramp to facilitate the loading and unloading of recreational equipment.

In addition, the cargo area can often be converted into an additional living area, such as a bedroom for children or an office. Some Toy Hauler models have a function that also allows the ramp to be converted into an outdoor terrace. This type of motorhome is very popular because it offers a flexible and versatile interior.

Toy Haulers come in a variety of sizes and styles, from travel trailers to fifth wheel, and offer a combination of living space and storage for adventure gear. This type of campervan is particularly popular with outdoor enthusiasts who want to take their toys on the road without sacrificing comfort and convenience.

Travel caravan

An orange truck pulling a travel trailer on a dirt road

A caravan is a towable mobile home that is attached to a towing vehicle, e.g. a car or truck, for transportation.

As they are one of the most popular motorhomes, there are a plethora of layouts on the market. They come in a variety of sizes and layouts, from compact teardrop trailers to larger models with multiple rooms and amenities.

RVs are known for their versatility and affordability, providing a comfortable living space while on the road. They are popular with motorhome travelers who appreciate the flexibility of a detachable living space and the ability to explore destinations with ease.

Pop-up camper trailers

A pop-up camper trailer at a campground with a golf cart next to it

Pop-up campers come in many shapes and sizes. They are also known as hybrid campers, A-frames, or soft-sided campers. Regardless of the name, a pop-up camper is characterized by its collapsible design.

This camper has a foldable roof and walls, which are usually made of canvas but can also be hard-walled. While driving, the trailer is compact, but when parked, it can be expanded to create additional living space.

Pop-up camper trailers often have sleeping berths, a small kitchenette, sometimes a dinette, and occasionally a bathroom. They can be easily towed by any vehicle, are affordable, and can even accommodate a small family.

These trailers are popular with campers who want a more immersive outdoor experience without sacrificing basic amenities, and they are especially well-suited for those seeking a balance between the openness of tent camping and the comfort of a motorhome.

Truck camper

A truck camper on a white truck parked on the side of the road in front of a lake

Truck campers are the last type of motorhome on our list. They don’t fit into either the drivable or towable camper category, which is why they fall into their own category. A truck camper is a motorhome that can be loaded onto the bed of a truck, creating a self-contained and mobile living space.

With this type of camper, you can use your existing truck and camp almost anywhere. They are equipped with four externally mounted jacks so you can set the camper down and go exploring without it.

Truck campers can be equipped without or with up to three sliding devices. Although they are small, they have everything you need to be independent, including a kitchen and bathroom. Thanks to modern designs, the interior is as luxurious as some high-end vehicles.

Truck campers are popular with those looking for a maneuverable and efficient option for life on the road without the need for a separate towing vehicle.

If you think a truck camper is right for you, be sure to check the payload of your truck, as some modern campers can only be hauled by heavy trucks.

In terms of sales figures, camper trailers are the most popular type of motorhome. Because there are so many different manufacturers and brands building motorhomes, you’ll find a wide range of sizes and layouts to suit different preferences and needs.

The affordability of a travel trailer compared to a motorhome or fifth wheel also makes it an attractive option. Most people are looking for a motorhome to go exploring on the weekends or take short vacations, not a high-end motorhome for full-time living.

In addition, the detachable nature of RVs allows for convenient exploration, as owners can park their RV and use their tow vehicle for local transportation without breaking camp.

Learn more: We asked ourselves, “Is the best-selling travel trailer even the best?”, so we investigated, and now you can find out too!

Which type of campervan is the easiest to drive?

Class B motorhomes are generally considered to be the easiest type of motorhome to drive. Due to their compact size and van-like structure, they are more maneuverable than larger motorhomes or towable caravans.

Class B motorhomes are often built on standard van chassis, making them easier to navigate through narrow streets and urban environments.

Which type of motorhome is right for you?

To conclude our in-depth look at the different types of motorhomes, it’s clear that there’s an option for every adventurer, tailored to their taste and travel style.

From the compact and maneuverable to the spacious and luxurious motorhome, each type offers a unique blend of comfort, mobility and amenities.

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