The comfort of home, on wheels.
RVs and motorhomes offer vacationers the opportunity to experience camping with most of the luxuries of home. The term "recreation vehicles" is widely used for a variety of camping, vacation and other recreation uses. Our focus in this section will center on motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers used for conventional camping scenarios. Many campgrounds and RV parks have facilities specifically designed for camping in a home on wheels.
Simply stated a motorhome is a camper trailer mounted on a truck frame. They are a self-contained unit designed to drive to the middle of nowhere and provide water, power, sewer, showers, cooking, heating, cooling, entertainment and more. Rather than being a towed vehicle, they have their own engine and drive train. You have freedom to get up and move around inside the motorhome as it moves along the highway. The disadvantage is limited mobility once you get set up in a campground and want to make a short trip. For this reason many travelers tow a second vehicle behind the motorhome.
Motorhomes are classified into three groups, primarily based on structural configurations. The three classes are Class A, Class B and Class C motorhomes.
Class A motorhomes.
These motorhomes resemble a bus in appearance in that there is no physical distinction between the driving compartment and the cabin area of the motorhome. Class As are considered to be a "true motorhome". They are constructed on a chassis specifically designed for motorhomes and offered with gas or diesel engines. Lengths available start at twenty one feet and run up to forty feet.
Many Class As may have one or multiple slide-out sections that expand the cabin space. Once you park the motorhome and secure it, simply press a button and the powered slide-outs begin to move outward to a locked position. This give you considerably more room in the main cabin area or bedrooms.
As the top of the line in motorhomes, amenities and options are limited only by your imagination, physical space and of course the almighty dollar.
Sleeps up to six people comfortably.
Prices start around $70,000.
Class B motorhomes.
Commonly called camper vans, they are the smaller of all motorhome classes. Basically they are van conversions. Most of the vans are slightly oversized and are taller to provide standing room head space. They range in length from sixteen feet to twenty one feet. Most have kitchens and restrooms and some have showers. The Class B motorhomes are easy to drive, they fit in most garages and park in a single parking space. Good gas mileage makes them popular for long trips or the family that travels often.
Sleeps up to four people comfortably.
Prices start around $50,000.
Class C motorhomes.
The most popular of the motorhome classes it is mid sized and mid-range priced. It has the rental truck appearance with a distinct driving compartment. The Cabin of the motorhome extends over the cab of the truck portion to provide a cab-over sleeping area. Compared to the Class A they are often called mini motorhomes. The Class C is constructed on a customized chassis and are available in gasoline or diesel models. Lengths run from twenty one feet to thirty five feet.
Like the Class As, the Class C motorhomes may have one or multiple slide-out sections that expand the cabin space. Once you park the motorhome and secure it, simply press a button a the powered slide-outs begin to move outward to a locked position. This give you considerably more room in the main cabin area or bedrooms.
Prices start around $60,000.
Fifth Wheel RVs
Fifth wheel travel trailers are towed by pick-up trucks with a specially configured "fifth wheel" hitch for more secure towing. Because they have no power train their frame is built close to the ground and most have taller ceilings. They range in length from twenty one feet to forty feet. Their configuration allow for more slide-outs than the typical motorhome. Some models have up to four offering more living space than any other recreation vehicles or motorhomes. With the fifth-wheel towing connection they are exceptionally easy to haul. They are available with all the features and options of a typical motorhome. The ability to disconnect the travel trailer once set up in a campground offers mobility to the campers. No one can ride in the towed rv as it travels down the road.
Sleeps up to eight people comfortably.
Prices start under $20,000.
Travel trailers are a scaled-down version of the typical fifth wheel Recreation vehicle. Most have all the feature and amenities including full kitchens, bathrooms and showers, awnings, heaters and more. They are light enough that most can be towed by pickup trucks, SUVs and some full-size cars with a conventional towing hitch. Some larger units require heavy duty trucks for towing. They range in length from twelve to thirty five feet. To create additional living or sleeping space some models offer single or multiple slide-outs which expand at the touch of a button..
Sleeps up to eight people comfortably.
Prices start at $3,000.
Motorhome and RV dealers, by state.