Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Recreational Vehicles 101 - Types of Campers, Part I

You have decided that it is time for you to reconnect with nature.  The idea of sleeping on the ground with nothing but a thin layer of cloth between you and the elements (and large animals) does not appeal to you, however.  You've decided that an RV is the right thing for you, but you're not sure what the difference is between a travel trailer and a fifth wheel.  Don't worry!  We will introduce you to the different types of recreational vehicles available!

Class A Motorhome
The class A motorhome is, to put it in the most basic of terms, an RV in the shape of a bus.  They are typically very roomy, featuring all of the comforts of home - kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, entertainment center, and even central air/heat.  Most have at least one slide-out wall to make an area more spacious, and have a more than adequate amount of storage space both in the camper and in external compartments.  It is also possible to tow a vehicle or trailer (to haul a boat, 4-wheeler, golf cart or whatever it is that you'd like to bring with you) with a class A unit. 

Class B Motorhome
Class B motorhomes are often called "van campers" and for obvious reasons - they are campers in the form of a van.  These units also have the standard features most campers do - kitchen, dining, sleeping and bathroom areas.  Though the idea might seem cramped, standing room is achieved with raised ceilings and, occasionally, dropped floors.  These units are as easy to maneuver as a standard van, allowing you to enter and move around in more crowded areas. 

Class C Motorhome
The class C motorhome is similar in size and shape to the class B.  The front of the unit is essentially a van cab, while the back is wider and more squared off.  What is most notably different in a class C is the additional space that is above the van cab.  More often than not, this additional space serves as an optional sleeping area.  Amenities are also similar to the class B, with kitchen, dining, bathroom and sleeping areas.  Class C's also tend to have more storage space and occasionally feature slide-out walls that will make the living area larger

Truck Campers
Truck campers are very similar to class C units in appearance and amenities, but they are smaller in design.  They can be loaded onto (or permanently attached to) the bed of a a truck, leaving the truck free to tow other vehicles such as boats, ATVs and other trailers. When arriving at a campsite, the camper can be removed from the bed of the truck and stood on posts that are attached to the unit, freeing the truck itself for other uses.  

It is always best to check with your local DMV to verify any special licensing requirements for the units above.  Typically, none of these units require special licensing, but in some states the rules are a little different.  Don't invest in a unit until you are sure that you've got the right license for it!

That covers Part I of our introduction to campers!  In Part II we will cover units that need to be towed, rather than driven.