Pitch Your Tent: RVs

Types of RVs

It seems like there are as many types of RVs on the road these days as types of vehicles. This is a quick run-down on types of RVS.

There are two basic types of rigs.

  1. Motorized RVs have the driving compartment within the vehicle. They are constructed on a motor vehicle chassis.
  2. Towable RVs rely on a separate vehicle with a driving compartment.

Motorized RVs
Class A motor home is often rectangular in appearance. The driver and passenger seats can swivel around and become living room furniture when the rig is parked. The amenities are self-contained bathroom, kitchen, dining area, living room, and bedroom.

 

Class A

Class A Motorhome

Class B is built on a van chassis with a raised roof. Class B’s are smaller, compact, and very easy to drive. They contain the same lifestyle amenities as a Class A, but usually on a smaller scale.

Class C is a truck chassis with an RV unit built on it. The sleeping area is over the driver/passenger unit. Again, the rig contains all the lifestyle amenities but often on a more limited scale than the Class A. The Class C is often used to tow a boat or motorcycle, and can tow a car.

 

Class C

Class C Motorhome

Towable RVs
The advantage of the towable RV is that when you arrive at your site, you can unhitch the tow vehicle and use it as your mode of local transportation. That’s the primary reason we have one!

Fifth wheel is a trailer that hitches in the bed of the truck, and cannot be towed with a car or van. Because the hitch is in the bed of the truck, you are limited on the amount of gear you can put in the truck. This is hard-sided RV.

 

Fifth Wheel

Fifth Wheel

Travel trailer, more familiar to most people, hitches to the back of the tow vehicle, which can be a truck, van, or even a heavy car, depending on the weight and size of the trailer.

Travel Trailer

Trailer

When closed, a tent trailer looks like a box. When opened, the front and back open and occasionally the sides. It is towed easily by a car or van. This is not an option in bear country because of the canvas sides. Also, tent trailers do not offer much security of valuables when you’re not home.

Tent Trailer

Tent Trailer

Hi-Lo looks like a tent trailer when closed, but the top of the trailer actually raises up (motorized, usually) to expand the living space vertically. They are easy to tow and offer the security of a travel trailer.

HiLo

Hi-Lo Trailer

Toy-Hauler is a hard-sided trailer that has a “garage” for the storage of off-road vehicles.

Hybrids include a hard sided trailer with tent fold outs. (This is what we had for a long time!) Or a tent trailer with a spot to haul an ATV on the front. I’ve even seen a hybrid that was a hard sided trailer with tent beds folding out AND an area on the front for the ATV.

 

Hybrid Trailer

StarCraft Hybrid Trailer

The slide-in camper is a camper shell that can be removed from the body of a flat bed pickup truck.

Slide In

Slide In

A-Frame trailers look like little a-frame houses. The best-known manufacturer is Chalet. These trailers fold into a compact box like a tent trailer but have 100% hard-sides. They’re small, easy to tow, and nearly impossible to find used since their owners LOVE them.

A-Frame Trailer

Chalet A-Frame

 

Readers Weigh In:

  • What type of RV do you have?
  • What do you love about it? What makes you crazy?

 

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2 Responses to “Pitch Your Tent: RVs”

  • Josh:

    I have a slide-in camper.
    Likes:
    No clearance or turn-around problems, where ever my 4X4 can get, it can too!
    No axles, wheels, or engine to maintain.
    Small- 1 parking spot needed to store or camp in. I also like the fact that it doesn’t take too much from the camping experience like a large Motorhome would.

    Dislikes: small – there are only 2 beds, so large families will have to kick some kids outside…
    need a pickup- not for everyone

  • Kim:

    @Josh — Growing up, a friend of the family had a slide-in camper. It was a lot of fun to go for a visit but I had always wondered if it was a pain to take it WITH you from the campsite to the lake, or geocaching, or to town, etc. Or, do you slide it OUT of the pickup bed while you’re in camp?

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