What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Each RV Model?

Class A

The Class A RV is the most prestigious of all the RVs on the market. The advantages to this RV are that there is always a market when you get ready to sell and there are many used models to choose from when buying. The newer Class A’s are very safe vehicles, your family can even move around in the vehicle while you are driving. Class A’s are easy to finance & insure and they have good repair records. This type of RV makes it very easy to “boon dock” (park anywhere without electrical hook-ups). You just pull up to wherever you want to go and have dinner that was prepared while you drove or just go to sleep. You never have to get out of your RV to set up because you are self-sufficient.

The greatest disadvantages to the Class A are that they are also the most expensive. Many of the new Class A’s get less than 7 mpg and the older ones may not even get more than 5 mpg. Every time you want to go somewhere you must break everything down unless you have towed a vehicle, but that makes your vehicle harder to drive and more difficult to steer. Many people find the Class A RVs impossible to back up and intimidating to drive. When major repairs are needed on the road, you are forced into a hotel until your “home” and your “transportation” is repaired.

Class B

The Class B RV is sometimes referred to as a conversion van. Because they are basically a truck, parts are easy to find and most mechanics can do the repairs. They are the easiest to drive, park, or fit into off-road locations that are impossible to get to with the larger RVs. The Class B offers great gas mileage as compared to the other RVs, and they are fast on the road.

The Class B is the most expensive per square foot and has very tiny storage compartments. They are best for one person but two could possibly handle a weekend together – more that a weekend might cause serious damage to your relationship. Some of the replacement appliances are hard to find because they were made for small accommodations. When it comes to staying in a campground, you will probably pay the same as a motor coach would for the same space. The front window will require a windshield cover to provide privacy & to reflect the UV rays.

Class C

The Class C RV is a recreational vehicle built on the frame of a van or truck. The advantages to this type of RV are that it is usually easier to get parts and repair work done. They offer the family the same conveniences of the Class A RV as far as the living space while being more economically priced than the Class A. They usually have better sleeping for families with an overhead sleeper with a queen size mattress. They are ideal for long camping trips with large families. The Class C does not intimidate the driver like a Class A since it is more like driving a truck or van than a bus. As a used vehicle they are often easy to find and can be purchased at a reasonably cheap price. They are especially well-kept if the owner has purchased a RV cover to protect the exterior.

The disadvantages of the Class C are that their price seems to depreciate faster than their big brother, the Class A, and the storage space is considerably smaller than the Class A. They do not have the luxury look of the Class A as they will always be more of a camper than a coach. The front windows in the cab sometimes leak where the overhead are is mounted and the windows will need a windshield cover to provide privacy for the occupants and to keep the cab cool.

Travel Trailer

The advantages of the travel trailer are many. The travel trailer provides a single level floor plan as compared to the fifth wheel’s upper level bedroom. If you are using a truck to tow the RV then you have not forfeited the use of the truck bed as you do with the fifth wheel. Some of the smaller, light weight models can be towed by a large car or van. The travel trailer costs much less that the motorized RVs. This is especially important if you need to have repairs done on the RV. In this case you can leave the RV to be repaired and still have the use of your truck or van. In addition when you pull into your vacation spot and set up for your stay, you have the truck or van to move about and visit other destinations.

The disadvantages for these RVs come from driving the travel trailer. The larger travel trailers have quite a bit of sway and handling problems. These are the most difficult to steer, drive, and brake of all the RV types. Slow and cautious driving is recommended. Trailers of any type (fifth wheel or travel trailer) do not have the luxurious look of the motor coach.

Toy Hauler

The toy hauler was designed for families and sports enthusiasts. There is a large cargo room in the rear that allows you to take your bicycles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, jet skis, or other outdoor recreational vehicles to places like the desert, forest, or boondocks. It is like carrying your garage with you. The garage of your toy hauler can be also used to house extra beds for larger families or your guests. You can even add a toy hauler screen to provide a shaded area that keeps out the mosquitoes and all other insects.

Something to consider if you are thinking about purchasing a toy hauler is if you have a vehicle that can pull the weight of the combined RV and toy hauler with a full garage. The weight of the RV and all of your toys will require the largest eight-cylinder or a heavy duty 250 or even a Cummings diesel.

Fifth Wheel

The fifth wheel costs less than the motorized RVs as far as the square footage is concerned. Some people like the split level floor plan that is caused by the hitch set-up. The newer fifth wheels have multiple slide outs. These slide out extend the square footage which will allow you to stay in one location for many weeks without wanting to kill on another. The 5th wheel’s raised neck section (called the goose-neck) connects over the bed of the tow vehicle to the fifth-wheel hitch. This hitch design reduces the overall length of the vehicle and because a large majority of the weight is over the rear axle of the truck, it improves the traction and handling of both vehicles. In the event the trailer needs repairs, the 5th wheel trailer can be left at the repair shop while you still have the use of your truck. In addition when you arrive at your destination and have set up for your stay, you have a truck that can take you wherever your dreams take you. This is much easier than driving a huge motor home to go to a nearby grocery store for a few items.

There are a few disadvantages to the fifth wheel. One is that the 5th wheel rides higher than the travel trailer so it tends to be blown around a little on the highways and in severe storms. The fifth wheel hitch limits the use of the truck bed for hauling large items and a fifth wheel cannot be hauled by a car or van.

Read More by Mary Speir

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