RV’s are all about Class
RV’s come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They are broken into 4 main classes. Knowing the different options available is the first step to deciding which class best suits your travel needs. Here is the breakdown:
- Class A: Constructed on a custom chassis these RV’s are typically the most ‘home-like’. They offer upscale amenities like central heating/cooling, entertainment centers, bathrooms, and lots of exterior ‘basement’ storage. Most offer one or more slide-outs to give you a little more breathing room inside the coach when you’re parked. Class A motorhomes are often the largest and most expensive RV’s on the road, and some larger models require a special license to operate.
- Class B: Think ‘Camper Van’ when you consider a Class B Motorhome. Typically manufactured by converting a van shell into a mini home. Many models feature raised rooflines so you can stand up, jackknife or convertible bed, minimal storage, and a camp size stove and fridge. Best feature is you can drive and park it anywhere a normal van can go.
- Class C: Built on a standard truck or van chassis with a wider body attached to the cab, this class is for the “in-betweeners”! A typical class C has a built in ‘loft’ area over the cab allowing for extra storage or sleeping, believe it or not these RV’s typically sleep more people than a class A. Inside you’ll find similar amenities to the class A Motorhome, however the storage space can be less. Some models have slide-outs to help expand the interior space when parked. A Super C is a subgroup of the class C Motorhome offering larger chassis, engine, and living space.
- Towable: Typically the least expensive way to get into RVing because there is no motor or special chassis. There are thousands of different towables including: Fifth Wheel, Folding “pop-up” Trailer, Toy Hauler, Truck Camper, etc. Prices range greatly and remember, your tiny SUV can’t tow a 5,000lb trailer. So make sure you have a powerful enough vehicle before you consider a towable or be willing to buy one. Call up your local dealer to find out what the towing capacity of your current vehicle is.
Now all this info is great, but what size RV is right for me? From our experience on the road we’ve come up with some typical campers and the appropriate size RV’s for them:
25 foot and smaller
- 1-2 people
- Weekend camper who doesn’t leave the campground often
- A camper who wants to travel inconspicuously, parking and sleeping on random streets, National Forest areas, parking lots, etc.
- Compact person who travels light (i.e. backpacker).
- 1-2 adults and maybe 1 child or pet
- Wants to fit in most state/national parks
- Is ok with living a compact lifestyle, but still wants to have some storage
- Ok with dual living (i.e. loft bed, dining table doubles as desk, etc.)
- Size is good for accessing BLM, National forest, etc for off the cord living, but water must be rationed due to size of tanks
- 1-2 adults and 2 children or pets
- Not too small & not too big on storage; can hold a good amount of clothes, pans, etc.
- Wants to spread out when their parked at a campground (typically has large slides)
- Prefers the features of home, but realizes they can’t fit everything on the road
- A good size for most full-timers who pack light and organize well
- Size allows for easy off the cord living
40 foot and larger
- 1-2 adults and 2 children or pets
- Wants a traveling house; not much missing from the comfort of home
- Likes to carry loads of extras from pots & pans, to yard decor, to tools, etc.
- Large slides expand creating living spaces larger than a New York apartment
- Not too concerned about fuel economy
- Ok with traveling from RV park to RV park, not concerned with State parks or off the cord camping