Choosing the best RV can be a difficult task! It isn’t always easy to pick the perfect solution on the first go-around, especially if you are new to the lifestyle. I drive a camper van but it may not be the right choice for you. There are times when I think it’s not even the right choice for me. I often think about owning a more spacious solution but the benefits of the Class B keep me content.
There are benefits to owning the Class B that I own and the same can be said for all the rest of the different RV types. Each has its pros and cons list and different things matter to different people. If you are unsure or still on the fence, this article will help you decide by looking at the different types of RVs and their sizes while laying out the good and bad of each.
RV Size at a Glance
|RV Type||Typical Size (length)||Who’s It For?|
|Class A||25ft – 45ft||families who want a luxurious, spacious experience|
|Class B||17ft – 25ft||single people or couples who seek adventure over comfort, those who want an easy-to-drive rig|
|Class B+||22ft – 25ft||couples or small families who want a small, drivable option|
|Class C||20ft – 35ft||families who want a small drivable, affordable RV|
|Truck Camper||10ft – 15ft||single people or couples who already own a capable truck and seek off-road adventure|
|Small to Medium Travel Trailer||8ft – 20ft||single people or couples who own a standard vehicle and want to spend less and don’t require much space|
|Large Travel Trailer||20ft – 35ft||families that need space but want a more affordable option than a motorhome|
|Fifth Wheel||25ft – 45ft||families that want lots of room and owns a capable vehicle to tow it|
Drivable RVs (Motorhomes)
Motorhomes offer a ton of benefits with my favorite being that they provide an all-in-one solution. You can move between the driving and living areas without ever leaving the vehicle. This provides more convenience and safety.
A class A RV is going to be the largest of all of the drivable types of RVs. This is the one you want if you have a large family or you want a lot of room inside so that you can get comfortable. It’s like a small house on wheels that has all the room and amenities inside that you can imagine. These come in all sizes and some of the largest ones can be upwards of 45 feet in length.
Some of the smaller class A RVs can be 25 feet in total length. However, even with this short length, these are often very accommodating with a well-thought-out floor plan and also may include slide outs that add additional living space inside.
These are usually gas hogs and will cost a lot of money to operate and drive long distances. If you are looking for an RV that will fit you, your family, and all of your belongings while maintaining a comfortable living space, a class A may be a good choice for you.
There are some downsides such as being more challenging to drive, being very expensive, and having to tow a vehicle behind for personal use.
- A class A RV has lots of living space inside
- A class A RV has all of the amenities you could expect for a comfortable living setup
- It’s drivable
- Gives you a luxurious, homey feel no matter where you go
- You will likely need a towable vehicle to pull along with you
- They are big and challenging to drive
- They are the most expensive type of RV that you can buy
- They are expensive to operate
- They require a lot of space for parking
Who’s It For?
The class A motorhome is for those who want luxury at its finest! You’re the type who has a lot to spend on an RV and wants to make sure you are comfortable no matter where you go. You’re the envy of every other camper in the campground as they look at your massive rig in amazement of all the space you must have inside. You’re not looking for the camping experience but for the feeling of traveling in comfort and style.
If you have the money, a small car to pull, and no fear of driving one of these big rigs, you’ll love it!
Class B – Camper Van
Class B RVs are the complete opposite of the Class A’s mentioned above. You won’t find lots of elbow room inside one of these RVs but you will find a lot of other conveniences. A class B (camper van) is an amazing vehicle for being able to get you into places that larger RVs just can’t go. Besides that, you can use it like a car without the need to tow an additional vehicle with you.
While you won’t find the space inside comparable to a larger motorhome, you’ll appreciate just how nimble a motorhome of this size is.
- Small and nimble, easy to drive and park
- No need for a towed car
- Fits into nearly any parking spot
- Resale value higher than most classes of RVs
- Good fuel mileage
- Small living space
- Expensive for what you get
Who’s It For?
A camper van is for someone who is looking to be able to travel far without the inconvenience of a large vehicle. A camper van can go nearly anywhere so this type of RV or for those who are a bit more adventurous and aren’t concerned as much with spacious living arrangements.
A camper van is great for one or two people but may be a challenge for a family. This type of RV has been my preferred choice for a few years now and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. While there are times that I wish I had more room inside, the benefits of driving a small home around like this outweigh any comfort issues.
Class B RVs can be quite expensive with some in the range of $200,000 or more. Most of them sell for over $100,000 brand new with only a few on the market that are below this amount. You can find used ones for a decent price but they do keep their value pretty well for an RV. You may be better off converting your own as I did if you want to save money.
If a Class B is too small for you but you still want a small footprint, the class B+ is a good compromise. These are also built on a van chassis but usually have a custom-built living area that is larger than the van itself. Because of this, you get more living space inside which can be a game-changer for this small of an RV.
Some of the best on the market include the Leisure Travel Vans Unity and the Airstream Atlas. While these are classified as Class C, they are smaller than the typical class C and more akin to a van than most. This is an expensive option but worth the price if you intend to travel and use it a lot.
- Good size without being too small or too large
- High-end features that rival that of a larger RV
- You may need to tow a vehicle
- Hard to find due to the popularity
Who’s It For?
This type of RV is for those who like the small footprint of a class B van but find the van alone to be too small. A B+ van will allow for more living space inside and be more comfortable to travel with. They maintain a small footprint but open up inside to a more spacious and luxurious living environment.
If you have a small family but want to stay small with your choice of RV, this size will fit perfectly. You will truly be traveling in style and will be able to drive and maneuver the rig without the troubles of a much larger one.
The Class C RV is the most popular of all the motorhomes on the road. This is mainly due to their spacious floorplans and affordable prices. You can find these on the new market at a good price but used ones for even better. These RVs come in all shapes and sizes and vary in total length.
Whether you are looking for a small one or a large one, you’ll find a huge range of sizes between manufacturers and models.
- Affordable motorhome option
- Variety of sizes and floorplans readily available
- Lot’s of living space inside
- Comfortable to drive, usually on a van chassis
- Lower priced models can be inferior in quality
- You will need to tow a car if you want the freedom to explore an area once you set up camp
Who’s It For?
A Class C RV is a great choice for a small family who wants to travel with a spacious living area. These often are designed with multiple sleeping areas and usually always have an extra bed over the cab. This area works great if you have children or other visitors while you are camping.
These range in size from about 20 – 40 feet in total length.
They usually have slide outs and the space can be opened up further for an even larger living space. They are often affordable and easy to acquire as most RV dealers have a wide range of this type of RV in stock.
Unlike the other motorhomes mentioned above, a truck camper requires you to have a vehicle in order to use it. This is a good thing since you can choose the exact model of truck you wish to drive. Many people use a four-wheel-drive option for this and a truck camper serves as an excellent adventure vehicle.
You can drive into locations and enjoy it where you might not be able to drive other RVs. These come in a range of sizes and the size you choose will be determined by the type of truck you have. There is a truck camper that will fit almost every truck model on the market including the most compact trucks, all the way up to the most capable trucks on the road.
Unlike the other motorhomes mentioned above, you’ll need to exit the truck in order to access the camper in the back of the truck.
- It can be removed from your truck as needed
- Small and easy to store when not in use
- You must have a truck that can handle it
- Layouts and interior space is minimal
- Larger models can extend up high making them top-heavy
Who’s It For?
If you already own a capable truck, finding a camper to put on the back of it may be a great choice for you. This is especially true if you only camp occasionally and it’s only you or you and another person. The space is limited inside one of these so you won’t be able to comfortably fit a family inside in most cases.
For the person who wants to get away on off-road adventures, and camp for the night, a truck camper makes a great choice.
Towable RVs are generally more affordable and offer spacious living arrangements for the size. You’ll need a vehicle to tow one and you’ll also have to get out of your vehicle in order to access the RV.
Small to Medium Trailer
A small travel trailer such as a teardrop trailer or a pop-up camper is an affordable option that allows anyone with a capable vehicle to tow it to a camping destination. While these aren’t very spacious, they do provide all that one needs to be able to enjoy a comfortable getaway in nature.
The main benefit of these types of RVs is that they are small and affordable. Not only that but they do not require a large vehicle to be able to tow them. Many SUVs and small passenger vehicles can tow a small travel trailer with no problem. This makes it a great choice for a family who already owns cars and just wants an RV to be able to go camping occasionally.
These range in prices but a small teardrop trailer can be purchased for as low as $15,000 and a small trailer that you may be able to walk around in such as the R-Pod, can run up to $30,000 and beyond for a brand new model.
- Can be towed with almost any car
- Once camp is set up, your car can be used to drive freely
- The used market is full of them
- Not very spacious
- Requires a vehicle to be towed rather than being drivable
Who’s It For?
A small travel trailer is great for someone who wants to get away on camping trips but doesn’t want to spend the money for a drivable option. The interior in small travel trailers can often be compared to a smaller class C or class B van. They are easy to maneuver around even though they do require towing.
If you already have a capable vehicle, a small travel trailer can be an instant way that you can become an RVer. They are affordable and with many of them on the market, you can purchase used for deep discounts.
A large travel trailer can provide the space needed for real family fun. These are larger than the smaller ones mentioned above but can be perfect if you are wanting more room with more luxurious amenities during your travels. These often come decked out with features and provide a great experience at an affordable price.
A large travel trailer ranges in size from about 20 feet to 40 feet. There is something for everyone but some of the larger ones will require a more beefy vehicle to tow them. Some of the large trailers can weigh over 10,000 pounds so will need something that can do the job of towing it.
These are popular and you see them all over campgrounds. They are easy to find and purchase and are readily available at an affordable price.
- Spacious interior with a homey feel
- Class A motorhome size at a more affordable price
- Insurance is cheaper than a motorhome
- Lots of used options are available
- A larger vehicle is needed to tow it
- No easy access to the trailer while traveling
- Size may be too big for maneuvering in small campgrounds
Who’s It For?
If you like the size of a class A motorhome but don’t want the costs associated with one, a large travel trailer will be a great option. If you already own a vehicle capable of towing a travel trailer of this size, it may be the perfect solution for you.
For people who have families and need a large capacity RV, a travel trailer is a good route to go.
A fifth wheel is a behemoth of an RV that requires a vehicle with a large towing capacity. These RVs are amongst the largest on the market and are like a luxury home that you are towing around. These require a fifth wheel hitch and are considered safer to tow than traditional trailers.
With a fifth wheel, you will have a small turning radius even though it is such a large rig. This is helpful when needing to back in or maneuver around in small areas. These are not cheap and when combined with a truck capable of towing them, becomes a very expensive package.
The interiors of fifth wheels are among the nicest that you will find in an RV. They contain all the essentials and plenty of room for families to not only stay in but stretch out and be completely comfortable.
- Large capacity living area
- Easy to tow if you have a capable vehicle
- Requires a vehicle with a fifth wheel hitch capable of towing it
- Requires a lot of parking space for camping and storage
Who’s It For?
A fifth wheel is perfect for someone who wants the largest RV that they can get in a towable solution. If you already have a truck with a fifth wheel hitch or one that is capable of handling one, these make a great option. If you don’t mind towing around a huge trailer, these can feel like you are in a luxury home at the campground.
There is an RV for everyone and each person will require a different solution. This all depends upon personal preferences and the type of camping that you will be doing. It also depends on how many people are involved and the amount of space required for a comfortable experience.
My suggestion is to rent some RVs to find out which one may be perfect for you. If you have never been inside the different types and sizes of RVs, go look at some on a dealer’s lot. Just don’t get suckered into buying one before you are ready! Figure out which sizes you are most interested in and look into a few rental options. Only after spending some time camping in them will you know the type that you prefer and will work best for you and your family.