Checklist – RV Types Pros and Cons

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Class A Motorhome

PROS

  • Easy to drive on major highways and Interstates. 
  • Spacious, open floor plans suitable for large families and full-timers.
  • Elevated driver position provides a good view of the road ahead.
  • Driving and living compartments are connected. No need to get out of the RV during stops. Living area accessible even while moving.
  • Most cargo storage space of all RV types.
  • Self-contained facilities (propane, water) make for easy dry camping.
  • Does not need to be deployed to be used or accessed.
  • Can tow vehicle behind or support a carrying platform on hitch receiver.
  • Residential-style layout and furnishings.

CONS

  • Most expensive of all RV types.
  • The RV Consumer Group rates Class A’s as having more structural problems and safety issues in crashes.
  • Larger models can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Driving compartment being part of the living space does not appeal to some people, feeling like they are always in a vehicle.
  • Most are too large to drive around town; alternate local transportation required.
  • Elevated driver position and width of the vehicle make it difficult to judge clearance on the right side.
  • Top clearance can be a problem under low branches and structures.
  • Problem compounded if carrying items on roof, such as canoes.
  • Requires large storage area when not in use.
  • Poor fuel efficiency. Figure 6-10 mpg for gas models, 8-14 mpg for diesel.

Class B Motorhome

PROS

  • Least expensive motorized RV to own and operate.
  • Quite fuel efficient! Average 10-15 mpg, with some models achieving up to 25 mpg!
  • Easy to drive on highway and around town. This RV is constructed from a van, so it is just as easy to drive.
  • Driving and living compartments are connected. No need to get out of the RV during stops. Living area accessible even while moving.
  • It can be used as local transportation.
  • Can tow a small trailer or support a carrying platform on hitch receiver.
  • Can be used as a second family car when not traveling.
  • Requires no special storage when not in use. Fits in standard driveway and lower models may fit in the garage.
  • Can reach less accessible camping sites that are too tight for large RV’s.

CONS

  • Limited space, practical only for short trips.
  • Accommodates a small number of travelers.
  • Very little visual or acoustic privacy.
  • Expensive purchase price; the most expensive per square foot of any RV.
  • Few full-sized appliances. Expect smaller refrigerators, microwaves, ranges, etc.
  • Cannot tow a second “toad” vehicle. You have to pack up camp any time you want to drive away!

Class C Motorhome

PROS

  • Easy to drive on major highways and Interstates. 
  • Spacious, open floor plans suitable for medium-size families and seasonal travelers.
  • Elevated driver position provides a good view of the road ahead.
  • Driving and living compartments are connected. No need to get out of the RV during stops. Living area accessible even while moving.
  • A fair amount of cargo storage and lots of room for adventure gear and equipment.
  • Self-contained facilities (propane, water) make for easy dry camping.
  • Does not need to be deployed to be used or accessed (with the exception of slide-outs).
  • Better crash-worthiness compared to a Class A.
  • The “Goldilocks” choice – can do just about everything!

CONS

  • Huge range of quality; some Class C’s aren’t worth buying!
  • Most Class C’s have limited payload. It’s easy to overload them! (Super C’s are an exception).
  • Larger models can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Driving compartment being part of the living space does not appeal to some people, feeling like they are always in a vehicle.
  • Despite what the manufactures may say, most cannot reasonably tow a second vehicle. You will likely need a large diesel-powered Class C or Super C if you want a “toad.”
  • Top clearance can be a problem under low branches and structures. Problem compounded if carrying items on roof, such as kayaks.
  • Requires large storage area when not in use.
  • Poor fuel efficiency. Figure 8-12 mpg for gas models, 10-16 mpg for diesel.

5th Wheel Trailer

PROS

  • Easier and safer to tow than travel trailers, but requires more caution and skill than motor homes.
  • Easier to back up than travel trailers.
  • Spacious, open floor plans suitable for fulltimers.
  • Provides more interior space per length foot than motor homes because it does not contain driving and engine compartments.
  • Most storage space of all trailer type RV’s.
  • Tow vehicle doubles as local transportation.

CONS

  • Requires a truck with fifth wheel hitch in bed.
  • Large trailers require large tow vehicles!.
  • Driving and living compartments are separate. Living area inaccessible while moving.
  • Generally cannot tow vehicle behind trailer.
  • Larger models can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces
  • On tall models top clearance can be a problem under low branches and structures. Problem compounded if carrying items on roof such as canoes.
  • Most models require large storage area when not in use.

Travel Trailer

PROS

  • Spacious, open floor plans suitable for a variety of uses, including snowbirding.
  • Provides more interior space per length foot than motor homes because it does not contain driving and engine compartments.
  • Tow vehicle doubles as local transportation.
  • Lower profile allows easier entry than a fifth wheel trailer.
  • Lower profile allows roof storage of items such as canoes, with less concern for top clearance.
  • Can be towed with a variety of vehicles fitted with a standard ball hitch and rated for the trailer weight.

CONS

  • Least stable on the road of all RV types. Requires the most skill to tow and back up.
  • Large trailers require large trucks.
  • Less storage than fifth wheel trailers because it lacks a raised section.
  • Driving and living compartments are separate. Living area inaccessible while moving.
  • Generally cannot tow vehicle behind trailer.
  • Larger models can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Larger models require large storage area when not in use.

Toy Hauler

PROS

  • Easy to haul ATVs, golf carts, dirt bikes, skis, snowboards, and all other adventure gear!
  • Lots of headroom, sometimes wide-body.
  • Spacious, open floor plans suitable for full-time RVers and snowbirds.
  • When designed as a fifth wheel, it provides more interior space per length foot than motor homes because it does not contain driving and engine compartments.
  • Tow vehicle doubles as local transportation.

CONS

  • Heavy! Due to heavy-duty construction.
  • Large trailers require large tow vehicles!
  • Park carefully to access your gear from the rear.
  • Extra height reduces fuel efficiency.
  • Driving and living compartments are separate. Living area inaccessible while moving.
  • Generally cannot tow vehicle behind trailer.
  • Larger models can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • On tall models, top clearance can be a problem under low branches and structures.
    Most models require large storage area when not in use.

Truck Camper

PROS

  • One of the least expensive RV’s.
  • Mounts in the bed of most full size trucks with minimal modifications.
  • Easy to drive on highway and around town. This RV is attached to the bed of a truck, so it is just as easy to drive.
  • Truck doubles as local transportation.
  • Can tow a small trailer or support a carrying platform on hitch.
  • Truck can be used as a family or work vehicle when not traveling.
  • Requires no special storage when not in use. Fits in standard driveway or back yard.
  • Can reach less accessible camping sites that are too tight for large RV’s. When attached to an off-road truck, it can reach camping sites that no other RV’s can.

CONS

  • Road handling can be an issue when mounted on a truck with light suspension.
  • Limited space practical only for short trips.
  • Driving and living compartments are separate. Living area inaccessible while moving.

Expandable Camper

PROS

  • One of the least expensive RV’s.
  • Very light weight. Can be towed behind light vehicles such as small trucks, SUV’s, vans, and large sedans.
  • Tow vehicle doubles as local transportation.
  • No concern for top clearance because trailer folds lower than the tow vehicle.
  • Requires no special storage when not in use. Fits in standard driveway or back yard.
  • Can reach less accessible camping sites that are too tight for large RV’s.

CONS

  • Limited space practical only for very short trips.
  • Living area is closed up during transportation and is inaccessible even during rest stops.
  • Non-existent or limited insulation makes this type uncomfortable in cold weather.

Teardrop Trailer

teardrop camper RV

PROS

  • Can be towed by almost any vehicle! Weigh ranges from 600 to 2,000 lbs.
  • Low-profile has minimal impact on fuel efficiency.
  • Tow vehicle doubles as local transportation.
  • Lower profile allows easier entry than any other camper.
  • Can normally be stored in a garage or under a carport.
  • Lower profile allows roof storage of items such as canoes, with less concern for top clearance.
  • Can be towed with a variety of vehicles fitted with a standard ball hitch and rated for the trailer weight.

CONS

  • Usually, no bathroom. Only the largest teardrops have a bathroom or shower facilities.
  • Smallest of all the RV and camper types. Not a great space for a rainy day!
  • Limited to tents and awnings for living area expansion. No slide-outs.
  • Less storage than other types of campers.
  • Kitchen and living compartments are separate. No luck if you’ve got the munchies!

Fiberglass RV

fiberglass Scamp camper trailer

PROS

  • Lightweight!
  • Easy to clean, inside and out.
  • Holds their resale value.
  • Waterproof, seamless exterior.
  • Aerodynamic, good for fuel efficiency.
  • Tow vehicle doubles as local transportation.
  • Lower profile allows easier entry than any other camper.
  • Can normally be stored in a garage or under a carport.

CONS

  • Limited interior lounge and storage space
  • Small refrigerators, cramped bathrooms
  • Limited to tents and awnings for living area expansion. No slide-outs.
  • Less storage than other types of campers.
  • You gotta keep the inside clean – people always want to look inside!

Expedition Trailer

PROS

  • Carry all your gear out of your tow vehicle!
  • Set up base camp in a matter of minutes.
  • Typically, very high construction quality.
  • Trailer protects gear from animals, high water, theft and the elements.
  • Will likely with a custom a builder to develop your dream.
  • Great pick for vehicles that can’t tow heavy campers.
  • Easy titling and registration.
  • Most badass camper within 50 miles.

CONS

  • Can become extremely expensive!
  • No living or sleeping space.
  • Great for boondocking, not developed campgrounds.
  • Limited showering and bathroom facilities.
  • Resale value depends on finding the right buyer.
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