With the RV lifestyle growing in popularity by the minute, the RV industry has risen to meet the needs and tastes of a vast array of RV travelers, from the rugged outdoor adventure types to those who want to explore the world without sacrificing any of the comforts of home. As a result, brands like Forest River RV and others have created a dizzying selection of RV styles and types to suit every taste and budget.
We have created this guide to give new RV buyers an idea of what types of RVs are available on the market today.
Towable, or tow behind, RVs are the most popular RV style due to their versatility and adaptability to a whole spectrum of RV lifestyles. Because towable RVs are self-contained RVs towed by a standard vehicle, they offer travelers the freedom to park their RV and disconnect their tow vehicle to use for traveling into town or exploring the surroundings.
Towable RVs come in a wide array of styles and sizes, from tiny one-person trailers that can be pulled by a passenger car, small truck, or SUV, to larger family-sized trailers that can easily sleep 6 - 8 people comfortably but often require a larger, more powerful truck for towing.
Let’s explore the choices in the towable RV category.
The classic tow behind travel trailer has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Today’s travel trailers are crafted from lightweight materials and feature innovative designs that maximize space and function in a lightweight towable package.
Travel trailers may range in size from a diminutive 21 feet in length to a generous 38 feet in length or more. Smaller size travel trailers are a great choice for those who want a lightweight, maneuverable RV that can be pulled by a midsize pickup truck or SUV. The larger travel trailers are great for large families or those who plan to entertain from their RVs. However, it is important to remember that the larger size and heavier weight may limit the areas where you can park your RV, and you may need a more powerful pickup truck for safe towing.
Regardless of the size of travel trailer that you choose, you will generally find many of the same amenities that you would expect in a traditional home. Modern travel trailers’ clever design and judicial use of slide-out extensions expand the interior living space and make way for full-size beds, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, and entertainment systems.
Cherokee RV Timberwolf travel trailers offer true luxury in a travel trailer package with spacious lofted living space, advanced entertainment technology, and full-size island kitchens.
Pop-up campers sometimes referred to as tent campers, combine the versatility and stowability of a tent with the spaciousness, stability, and security of a travel trailer.
Pop-up campers feature a solid shell core that may, or may not, be collapsed for travel. Once travelers arrive at their destination and park the pop-up camper, the central core can then be lifted and expanded with one or more tented sleeping areas which extend out from the main body to provide a spacious and comfortable interior space.
Toy Haulers are a specialized variety of travel trailers or fifth-wheel trailers which feature a built-in “garage” area incorporated into the trailer design. Toy Haulers generally feature a front living space with most or all of the creature comforts and amenities found in a traditional travel trailer or fifth-wheel trailer. The rear portion of the toy hauler trailer is accessed through a large drop-down door which serves as a loading ramp or patio space once opened. This spacious rear garage space can be used to store bulky outdoor equipment, bicycles, dirt bikes, and all-terrain vehicles while traveling or parked.
Toy haulers can be found in a wide range of sizes. The smaller models are great for adventure lovers who prioritize lightweight maneuverability over a luxury interior space. The largest fifth wheel toy haulers truly combine the best of both worlds with a full-size master bedroom area and living space in the front of the toy hauler and a garage space at the rear capable of safely stowing multiple all-terrain vehicles along with all of your outdoor adventure equipment.
Check out the Puma XLE lineup of toy haulers, which feature multi-level living spaces with large bedrooms, a full-size bathroom, and a large garage space at the rear with a drop-down ramp that doubles as a spacious patio with a handrail for entertaining and relaxing outdoors.
The diminutive teardrop trailers first burst on the RV scene in the 1930s and have remained a popular alternative to a full-size travel trailer ever since. Teardrop trailers offer a smaller, more maneuverable, lighter weight, and best of all, less expensive alternative to a traditional RV.
Though their small size is best suited to solo campers or couples, larger models like the Winnebago Mighty Mini series can comfortably sleep four or more people. The teardrop trailer’s lightweight body and small footprint mean that it can be parked in many areas, which would be inaccessible to its larger travel trailer and fifth wheel trailer cousins.
As an added bonus, the smaller versions can be safely towed by a small pickup truck, van, SUV, or cross-over vehicle giving RV adventurers a greater variety of options when it comes to choosing a vehicle to tow their RV from place to place.
Fifth-wheel trailers are generally the largest and most spacious of the towable RV trailers. Ranging in length from approximately 21 feet long to 40 feet long, or longer, fifth-wheel trailers require a powerful full-size pickup truck equipped with a specialized fifth-wheel hitch receiver for safe towing.
The fifth-wheel trailer attaches to a specially designed towing hitch plate mounted in the pickup truck bed of the tow vehicle. This unique towing setup gives the fifth wheel trailer its name and its distinctive shape. Fifth-wheel trailers feature a large elevated front section that extends over the pickup truck bed of the tow vehicle. This lofted front area allows for some of the most spacious and luxurious interior spaces in the RV world.
While most fifth-wheel trailers feature a generously sized master bedroom in the front lofted space, others have used this expansive private space as an office area or den.
Rockwood RV Signature series of fifth-wheel trailers feature generous lofted bedroom areas with king-size beds and full-size cabinets with storage space to rival the bedroom in a traditional home.
Motorized or powered RVs offer an all-in-one package for those RV travelers looking for a true home on wheels.
Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious of the motorized RVs. The Class A RV category includes the luxury tour buses and motorcoaches favored by those who want to travel without sacrificing a single drop of luxury.
Class A motorhomes can range in length from 25 feet long to upwards of 40 feet long. These luxury land yachts often feature multiple slide-outs to further expand the interior living space.
Class A motorhomes feature some of the most luxurious interiors in the RV world with spacious and private sleeping areas, full-size kitchen and bath fixtures, and living space made for comfortable family living or entertaining guests.
Class B motorhomes are the smallest of the powered or motorized RVs. The typical Class B motorhome is not much larger than a standard van or SUV. In fact, the uber-popular camper van would be considered a Class B motorhome. These small, versatile vehicles feature cleverly designed interior living spaces that are well suited for solo travelers or couples; however, some larger models may be able to sleep up to four people comfortably.
Class C motorhomes combine the spacious interior and creature comforts of the larger Class A motorhomes with the smaller footprint and maneuverability of the Class B motorhomes.
Sized in between their larger and smaller cousins, the Class C motorhome can range in length from approximately 16 feet to roughly 33 feet long. Class C motorhomes are built on top of a truck or van chassis and feature a distinctive front living space that juts out over the top of the vehicle’s cab area. This generously sized front lofted area is large enough to contain a full-size bed and is often used as an additional sleeping area or storage space.
The large lower portion of the Class C motorhome can be equipped with slide-outs for extra interior living space providing much of the luxury and comfort found in the larger Class A motorhomes, travel trailers, toy haulers, and fifth-wheel trailers.
The final entry, the truck camper, is a unique one. Truck campers are specially designed living spaces made to fit snugly inside the pickup bed of a truck and can be demounted when parked.
Modern truck campers are cleverly designed to pack a lot of punch into a small space, and some may even feature slide-outs for even greater interior living space. Most truck campers feature most or all of the fixtures found in traditional motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel trailers, including living and entertainment space, sleeping area, kitchen, and bathroom fixtures.
Best of all, truck campers are demountable, which means that they can be uncoupled from the pickup truck and set up to act as a freestanding living space once you arrive at your destination. Once the truck camper has been dismounted from the pickup truck, you are free to enjoy the full use of your pickup truck bed area for hauling supplies or any other need you may have.
That wraps up our guide to the modern-day RVs available on the market today. With so many RVs to choose from, there is truly an RV for every taste and need. Still not sure which RV style is right for you? Head on over to RV Wholesalers or your local RV dealership and take an in-person tour of the various RV styles to get a feel for the RV that will suit your needs best.
Remember to ask your RV dealer about an RV extended warranty to protect your new RV purchase. Now get on out there and start your RV adventure on the open road!