What Type RV To Purchase

If you’re new to the RV world, knowing the differences in campers, pull behinds, fifth wheels and motor homes can be a bit confusing. This article will help you understand the differences of each and help you choose the right coach for your family.

Travel Trailer

The most common trailer is the Travel Trailer. These are known as bumper pull trailers. They hook to a hitch located at the bumper level of the vehicle. Travel trailers typically range in size from 14’ up to 33’ in length. Most are towable with a regular half ton truck.

The typical travel trailer is great for weekend camping, or vacations. Available in aluminum sided trailers or fiberglass sided trailers.

Another common trailer will be the Pop-up or tent style trailers. These trailers fold down into a small trailer that looks like a small rolling box. Light and easy to tow, with even smaller vehicles like Mini Vans, and in some cases medium sized cars.

Pop-ups are fun for weekend adventures; they offer a step up from camping in a tent. These trailers will have A/C units, toilets and small kitchens. When camping you still have a sense of the outdoors with a few creature comforts of home.

Fifth Wheels

These are larger trailers and normally purchased for the full time RV’er. These trailers hook-up to a truck via a king pin or gooseneck style hitch. The hitch sits over the rear axle of a pickup.

This style RV comes in a great many styles. From a basic camper to a luxury coach, with such amenities as side-by-side refrigerators, faux fire place, ceiling fans, washer/dryer and leather furniture. They are truly a home away from home.

With lengths from mid twenty feet up to forty feet long, the fifth wheel can be decked out for extended use. Traveling the country for months at a time, fifth wheel trailers are for the seasoned RV family. You will need a three quarter ton truck to tow most, however the half ton towable units are making their way into the marketplace in a big way.


The Motorhome approach to RV’ing is hugely popular. These are coaches built on van or truck frames.

  • Class C – Built around a van chassis
  • Class B – Built around medium truck frame
  • Class A – Built around large truck frame such as frieght-liner and Mac truck

Most of these larger class A coaches are called diesel pushers because the engine is in the back of the coach.

People love motor homes for the fact that while driving you have many of the amenities available to the passengers. You can stop for a break, take a nap in your own bed, get take a shower make coffee and get back on the road without ever leaving the coach. This is possible because of an onboard diesel generator that provides full power to the coach even while in operation.

It allows families to interact in a comfortable setting. Great for long trips!

Each style of RV has advantages and disadvantages. When you venture out to look at RV’s consider a few things:

  • How many times a year will you need a coach?
  • Camping or actually full time RV’ing?
  • Where you travel to may have restrictions on size of coach. Many National and State Parks have length restrictions. Do some research before you buy.
  • What type of vehicle do you have to tow with?

With a little research you can find the right RV for your family. It’s fun and easy! With lots of great choices take your time, the right trailer, or motor home is awaiting to help build family memories.

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