Summer is in full bloom, which means it’s time for a vacation. Whether you are the type of person who carefully plans everything, or you prefer to make your way as you go, you might have considered buying an RV to make your road trips more comfortable and convenient. But the choice can be overwhelming. Here are a few things you need to know before buying one.
Let us start off with the basics. There are two major types of RVs: self-propelled and towed vehicles. To move a towed vehicle, or a trailer, around, you need the help of a road vehicle, such as a pickup truck. Self-propelled vehicles, however, are to be driven on their own.
This kind of RV does not need any help from other cars. There are a few types depending on the size.
• Class A, or Integrated Motorhome
Integrated motorhomes enjoy the reputation of luxury RVs. The driving area is fully integrated into the living compartment, hence the name. A unique design, a heavy-duty frame, and lots of space for the accommodation are the typical features of a Class A motorhome.
• Class B, or Semi-Integrated Motorhome
Class B motorhomes are typically built on Renault, Ford, Fiat, or Mercedes chassis. You can tell this class apart from the others by the look of it -- it is pretty much an oversized van. Semi-integrated motorhomes are the smallest, that is why they are the easiest to drive and the most economical.
• Class C, or Alcove
Motorhomes of this type are similar to Class B motorhomes. However, they feature an additional sleeping compartment, or an alcove, over the driver’s seat. Which is great news for the bigger companies, since up to 8 persons can sleep in a Class C.
• Camper van
Camper vans are mass-produced minivans, but their interior is altered, so two people, rarely more, can go on a small trip. It has some furniture, sometimes a small kitchen and a bathroom.
A trailer is not as autonomous as motorhomes and camper vans. It needs to be towed by a minivan, an off-road vehicle, or a pickup.
Caravans are known to be the most comfortable of the bunch. They are usually bought to stay in a caravan park, and not so much for driving around. Caravans come in all sizes – sometimes it’s just a bed and a small kitchen, and sometimes it can even have several rooms.
• Pop-up camper
This type of trailer is the cheapest and the easiest to drive around. Being so compact, a pop-up camper can be towed even by a small family car. However, staying in a pop-up is still very comfortable. Thanks to modern collapsible design, it only takes a few minutes to unfold.
• Truck camper
A truck camper, or a slide-in, can be mounted on top of a pickup truck. Mobility is the main advantage – a truck camper can go anywhere a pickup can. It is a great choice for weekend trips and off-road travel. A typical truck camper has a bed, a kitchen, and a bathroom, and can accommodate up to 6 persons. After returning from your trip, you can easily dismount your truck camper and drive the pickup as usual.
Which type of RV is the best for me?
Depending on your travel needs, you can determine which type of an RV suits you the most. The number of people going on a trip, the expected distance, and the number and the duration of the stops are the things to consider.
If you plan on going to multiple places over a significant time (for example, a coast-to-coast trip in the US), then a Class B motorhome can be the best pick, since it is easy to drive and it is comfortable in terms of accommodation.
If it is a short trip we are looking at, choose a pop-up camper, or a truck camper if you drive a pickup.
As for long camping trips to RV parks and campsites, there is no better choice than a caravan.
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