Basic RV Types

When we first started thinking about living in a trailer we immediately hit the web to see what our options were. We quickly realized lack of options would not be a problem. It seemed like more research just led to more questions.

What’s the difference between a class A and a class B motorhome?

What is a toyhauler?

How on earth can a decent sized bedroom fit in the part of a fifth wheel that goes over the truck bed?

Still trying to figure the physics out on that last one (even though I live in one), but the answers to my other questions were pretty straight forward. Here’s the run down of what I found.

Motorhomes

Motorhomes are what people generally think of when they hear RV. With this setup the vehicle and living space are combined, as opposed to a trailer that is pulled by a truck. There are different kinds of motorhomes, and it’s good to understand which is which when you start looking at the market.

By Rennett Stowe from USA (Fleetwood Motorhome Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Rennett Stowe from USA (Fleetwood Motorhome Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Class A

This is your typical bus-like RV. The driving space has very little separation from the living space. My grandparents lived in this type of RV’s for years, and I always loved strapping myself to a couch in the living room while my Grandpa told stories from the driver’s seat.

There are a lot of pros to this setup. They tend to be big and roomy with lots of storage space. When traveling you can go straight from the driving area to your living space without leaving the vehicle. You don’t need a big truck to tow, but you can tow a small car behind, which would be helpful when you reach your destination and want to drive around town.

There are some cons too. For one, they are more expensive. They’re also less little kid friendly, with the driving area accessible from your living space. Plus, it’s hard to find a two bedroom setup, which was important to us.

By Motorhomes (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Motorhomes (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Class B and C

These are your basic camper vans. They look like a truck and a travel trailer smooshed together. We knew from the start this was not what we wanted, so we haven’t done much research on them, but it’s good to know what they are when searching the market.

Trailers

If you decide you want something towable there are two options.

Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are hauled behind a truck, but do not come over the bed of the truck like a 5th wheel. We ruled these out pretty quickly too, because they tend to be smaller, and with two kids we need all the space we can get.

Voltage 5th Wheel Toyhauler - Types of RVs

5th Wheel

With 5th wheels the trailer itself comes up over the bed of the truck, giving you a lot of extra living space. Typically that space is used as a full bedroom, which, like I said, kind of blows my mind. This leaves room for a second bedroom in the back. They range in length from less than 20′ to over 40′, and often have 3 or 4 slideouts. They’re generally much cheaper than motorhomes.

The big con here is that you have to have a very big truck for hauling. Since we don’t want to drive two vehicles across the country, we use the truck for driving around town as well. That can be a pain, especially when you’re short and have little kids that need loaded and buckled, but we’ve gotten used to it.

Toyhaulers

A toyhauler is a type of trailer or motorhome with a small garage at the back of the RV, with a back wall that pulls down into a ramp. It can be used to haul motorcycles, 4 wheelers, and other “toys”, but I like to think of it as a big multi-purpose room.

The garage typically has built in bunk beds that can be raised to the ceiling when not in use, and sometimes comes with washer/dryer hookups. The model we went with has a bottom bunk that can fold into benches around a romovable table, and railings that transform the ramp into a patio.

Do you see why I was a little confused starting out? All the options can be overwhelming, but once I understood these basic types of RV’s it was easier to narrow down the options and just look for what we wanted.

What type of RV would you go with? Let me know in the comments!

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