What are the different types of RVs?

What are the different types of RVs?

The term RV, or Recreational Vehicle, is often used to describe anything from a pop-up camper to a decked-out tour bus. Now obviously, a traditional camping trailer has very little in common with a luxury tour bus, so how do you narrow down your search to find the exact motorhome or Rockwood RV that meets your specific needs without having to wade through all the others.

It is straightforward. Recreational vehicles, or RVs for short, can be broken down into four basic classes. Each class, or type, has a distinct set of characteristics that set it apart from the other classes. Knowing the basic RV class that you are looking for will help you narrow down your search to the exact type of motorhome or Rockwood RV for your specific needs.

So let’s take a look at each of the four main RV classes:

  • Class A Motorhome
  • Class C Motorhome
  • Rockwood RV Fifth Wheel Trailer
  • Rockwood RV Travel Trailer

Class A Motorhome

The Class A motorhome is the largest and priciest member of the RV family. Class A motorhomes are built on either a specially designed motorhome chassis or a commercial bus chassis. This is the RV class, where you will find tour buses and luxury motor coaches.

The 28 foot to upwards of 40-foot length of the Class A motorhome may be daunting to RV newbies, but they are relatively easy to maneuver, and there is no special license required to drive them. The large size allows for plenty of elbow room, and most Class A motorhomes come fully equipped with all of the luxuries of a standard house. This makes them a favorite of full-time nomads and those who want to travel without sacrificing any of the comforts and convenience of home.

Class A motorhomes are powered vehicles, meaning that they are propelled by an engine and can be driven rather than requiring a separate powered vehicle to tow them from location to location. This propulsion will be provided by either a diesel or gas-powered engine. Each engine type has a unique set of benefits and drawbacks.

• Diesel Powered Engine

A Class A motorhome with a diesel engine is often referred to as a diesel-pusher motorhome because the large diesel engine is located in the rear of the vehicle rather than the front and essentially “pushes” the vehicle down the road. Placing the engine in the rear of the vehicle creates a smoother and quieter riding experience for the driver and passengers. As a general rule, diesel engines tend to be more powerful, durable, and last longer than their gas-powered cousins. However, they also come with a higher initial purchase price.

• Gas Powered Engine

Class A motorhomes with gas-powered engines are generally more economical to purchase than their diesel-powered brethren; however, they do not last quite as long. Gas-powered engines are located in the front of the vehicle and extend into the cab of the motorhome between the diver and passenger seats. The frontal location makes the gas-powered engine more accessible and easier to work on than the diesel-powered variety, which makes for quicker repairs and cheaper mechanic bills. On the other hand, the fact that the engine juts into the cab area means that heat and noise transfer can be a factor in some circumstances.

Class C Motorhome

The Class C motorhome is essentially a smaller, more economical, and more nimble version of the Class A motorhome. A Class C motorhome will still feature all of the conveniences and luxuries of a standard home, like separate living space and sleeping areas and fully equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities. Still, the overall scale is downsized to fit on a regular truck chassis.

The Class C motorhome maximizes the utility of the available interior space with its signature loft area situated atop the cab of the rig. This space is often used as extra sleeping space or storage.

Like Class A motorhomes, Class C motorhomes are propelled by either diesel or gas-powered engines, though in this case, the engine will be located in the front of the vehicle regardless of the fuel type.

Class C motorhomes can range from as little as 20 feet to as much as 30 feet or more. Their smaller size may mean sacrificing some interior elbow space; however, it can also mean more travel options as the Class C motorhome can go many places that larger Class A motorhomes cannot due to their size.

Rockwood RV Fifth Wheel Trailer

The Rockwood RV fifth-wheel trailer is a non-powered RV, meaning that it has no engine and must be towed from location to location by a separate powered tow vehicle. The term fifth wheel refers to the specialized trailer hitch system that connects the fifth wheel trailer to the truck used to tow the trailer. A fifth-wheel trailer hitch system mounts in the middle of the truck bed, which shortens the combined length of the trailer and tow vehicle considerably and provides added stability.

Because of the Rockwood RV fifth-wheel trailer’s unique linkage system, the forward-most section of the trailer is elevated to sit above the bed of the passenger truck. This elevated or lofted portion is substantial and often used as an enclosed master bedroom space or additional living area.

Rockwood RV fifth-wheel trailers can vary significantly in size and amenities. You will find luxury fifth-wheel Rockwood trailers with multiple slide-outs that can easily compete with their powered Class A cousins in terms of comfort, convenience, and style. You can also find pared-down, ultra-light fifth-wheel trailers that can be safely towed by small pick-up trucks.

The largest downside of the fifth wheel trailer is the space taken up by the large specialized hitch. Once mounted in the bed of a pick-up truck, the large hitch linkage is not easily removed, and it can prevent owners from being able to fully utilize the bed of their pick-up for other purposes when not towing the trailer.

The extended length and extra interior space afforded by the large lofted front area make fifth-wheel trailers particularly well-suited to be toy haulers. A toy hauler is a specific type of Rockwood RV favored by outdoor adventure types because of its separate “garage” area specifically designed for housing all-terrain vehicles, mountain bikes, dirt bikes, and other large outdoor toys.

Rockwood RV Travel Trailer

The Rockwood RV travel trailer is what many think of as the quintessential towable camper. The travel trailer is known as a bumper tow trailer because it attaches to the powered tow vehicle via a hitch linkage attached to the tow vehicle’s rear bumper or frame. This bumper tow style linkage allows the travel trailer to be towed by a passenger car or an SUV, as well as the traditional pick-up truck. Of course, as with any towable trailer, larger and heavier trailers will require a larger, heavier, and more powerful tow vehicle to be towed safely.

Like fifth-wheel Rockwood trailers, Rockwood RV travel trailers can be found in a variety of sizes and styles. You will find large Rockwood RV travel trailers with multiple slide-outs that offer interior spaces with plenty of room to stretch out and unwind. Many of the larger Rockwood RV models feature multiple separate enclosed bedrooms for privacy and kitchens and bathrooms equipped with full-size fixtures. These luxury Rockwood trailers do require a full-size pick-up truck or large SUV that is powerful enough to manage the additional size and weight safely.

If you are going to be staying in smaller campgrounds or plan on roughing it in remote areas farther off the beaten path, you can find Rockwood trailers that are designed specifically for these purposes. These smaller Rockwood trailers are crafted from ultra-lightweight materials, making them light enough to be towed using a small or midsize pick-up truck or SUV. Rockwood RV even makes miniature travel trailers, called teardrop trailers, that are able to be safely towed by most mid-sized passenger cars. These diminutive Rockwood trailers may not have all the comforts and conveniences that their full-size luxury counterparts do, but they are a long way from roughing it. Most come equipped with a combined living and bedroom area, as well as a small kitchen and bathroom.

Travel trailers are often favored by those with smaller tow vehicles and those who want the convenience of being able to easily disconnect their tow vehicle from the trailer and the ability to fully utilize every inch of the pick-up truck bed space when not towing the trailer. There you have it. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the four major classes or types of RVs and the inherent benefits and drawbacks of each. With this basic knowledge, you can focus on the class of Rockwood RV that best suits your overall needs and then hone in on the perfect Rockwood RV within that given class.