Understanding the Different Types of RV's
Recreational Vehicles are divided between ones with a motor and ones without – called towable.
Motorized RV's are categorized as Class A Motorhome, Class B Motorhome or Class C Motorhomes. If you think good, better, best, that little mnemonic won't work. Most people ‘think' of Class A Motorhomes when they think of the word RV, but something like 85% of all RV's sold are Towables. People like these because you don't have to fool with hooking up to a tow vehicle but they seem to have less living space than the fifth wheels (in my opinion) and if you want to have a car you still have to tow a car.
Towables are classified as either fifth ( 5th ) wheels, travel trailers, truck campers, or camping trailers. Our RV, which we call Puma, is a travel trailer.
This is the classic RV. It is specially constructed to be a true RV from the ground up. Sometimes you'll hear them called Diesel pushers or Gas Pushers based on the type of engine they use. These are the big daddy machines.
This is a VAN, like a GMC or Ford, that is converted to an RV. I think of a student criss crossing the country and having a little pad like this as the mini-home. This is the smallest type of motorized RV or motorhome.
This is a cross between a Class A motorhome and a Class B motorhome. It has a the cab, cabin, or drivers area usually in a separate area, making this look like a pickup with a topper or drop in the bed camper, but these are designed to be TRUE RV's.
This RV is named after the hitch (which looks similar to the hitch on a tractor trailer), but it is more easily identified by its distinctive shape which is meant to allow the hitch to connect to a receptacle IN THE BED of a pickup truck (or larger). You might use terms like gooseneck trailer to describe the shape. Believe it or not, the newer RV's (since approximately 2005 or so) allow you to completely STAND up in the section that goes over the truck bed. To me, this looks like the most livable and PRACTICAL RV for full time living or even traveling across the country. The NEAT thing is you can just disconnect your tow vehicle and use it to get around town. Being a fifth wheel in shape makes it easier to handle than a travel trailer, both while towing in regards to safety, and while backing too.
I actually don't known the numbers, but this RV is the most plentiful and common. They range from small car towable designs to very large models that rival, well almost rival, fifth wheels. Puma is a travel trailer. These have a straight design – they look like a loaf of bread with a hitch that comes out directly to connect to a hitch on the bumper ( or thereabouts ) on a pickup. Because of this hitch, no special equipment is needed other than a “ball” on the bumper. This convenience makes this the RV of choice for most families.
This camper fits in the BED of a pickup truck. This is a far cry from the old days of a a “topper”. Truck campers have showers, hot water heaters, toilets, cook stoves, large beds, air conditioning, and big screen TVs.
These campers could be considered tiny travel travel trailers, but they typically lack most of the RV amenities and are essentially “hard sided tents on wheels”. They are great for get-away from it all weekends. One of the big differentiating factors is that these RV's can usually be pulled by a smaller vehicle, like a Honda Accord.