What are the differences between RVs and campers? Let’s take a look!
Camper Vs RV Differences
The abbreviation RV stands for “recreational vehicle”, yet there are several other terms associated with an RV. A recreational vehicle can be driven by itself, towed behind a vehicle or built into your truck bed. There are many names given to the various RV types, but all are still considered RVs at the end of the day. RVs have been known to be described as anything from motorhomes to pop-up campers.
It’s quite common for people to associate campers with vehicles that can be towed. RVs, meanwhile, are motorized vehicles that can towed or driven. Below is a look at the different types of RVs and campers.
Class A RVs
Class A motorhomes are the largest and most the expensive motorhomes on the road today, and are a favorite by the more committed travelers. Some variations include purpose built motorhomes and converted busses. Their drivelines can usually be set up as pusher or puller configurations and are powered by either a gasoline or diesel engine. Some of motorhomes may be as long as 45 feet, and no commercial driver’s license is required to legally operate one.
These types motor homes offer you the most interior space and the most available motorhome features. Some are equipped with sections that slide-out to expand the living quarters, and it’s not uncommon to have a master bedroom. The list of amenities, features, and appliances are countless. Some of the benefits include a washer and drier, ice machine, full shower and bath facilities, and home entertainment systems. They also have a lot of basement storage for your cargo. These motorhomes can be stocked to travel the road almost forever.
These are great options for quick weekend getaways or full-time camping. But their price in expensive and their size is daunting for many. Narrow forest roads simply can’t be accessed. Driving these vehicles through twisty forest roads can be a dangerous and parking in smaller camping sites may prove to be a pain. After setting up, it is often difficult to leave again to simply running into town, and a lot of owners choose to tow along a smaller vehicle to circumvent this concern. In addition to the expense of the motorhome, the costs fuel, insurance and repairs are also the highest of any other classes.
Class B RVs
These are sometimes called camper vans, and it includes many of the smaller types of vehicles that can barely qualify to be considered a motorhome. They are usually built on a normal full-sized van chassis and has a raised roof to let you walk upright. Like class A motorhomes, you can usually find both diesel and gasoline powered styles.
These smaller travel campers provide you with comfy sleeping quarters and all of the basics of life. Because of their smaller size, they are easy to drive, navigate and store. You can to take one of these on quick day trips or to run down to the corner market. Class B motorhomes can comfortably fit one or two people, and are typically fully self-contained. Campers can enjoy access to a fridge, sink, showers, toilets, a/c and heating. While they still a little expensive to purchase, they are more economical to operate.
The interior space on these classes is often crowded. If more than a two people are going to be camping in it, the quarters can promptly become uncomfortable. The size of the appliances are also much smaller than you are used to. There is no space for laundry facilities or full sized entertainment systems. They also do not have the cargo space to carry many items.
Class C RVs
These are mid-sized motorhomes that range anywhere from 20 to 33 feet. They are typically built on top of existing van and truck chassis and are usually designed for families or groups that need to vacation on a tighter budget. These types will have many of the same benefits and considerations as the class A, but at a lower price tag.
These types offer a more living space than the smaller class B motorhomes and many of the same niceties of a class A. They usually will have toilet and shower facilities, a sufficient kitchen and bigger area to sleep. Some of the larger models will feature a master suite in the rear. Couches and tables can convert into beds and the overhead sections above the cab can be used for storage or even additional sleeping areas. Due to the design of the cab, it is a lot easier to gain entry through the side doors.
Class C motorhomes can be every bit as difficult to drive as the class A, but they are usually easier to navigate in confined camp sites. Travelers often will tow another vehicle for daytime excursions and errands. The fuel costs are slightly improved, as is the upkeep and insurance; however, these are still moderately expensive to operate.
Pop-up campers are some of the most compact/lightweight recreational vehicles. Measuring anywhere from 8-16 feet, pop-ups can also be referred to as folding trailers.
Pop-ups can be towed by several different vehicles, depending on length and width. These camper types have the ability to fold into themselves, which allows for easy towing and storing. Typically, this is the most affordable camper type. While most pop-ups offer few amenities, some can come complete with bathrooms, kitchens and sleeping areas.
Travel trailers are one of the broadest camper categories. This category encompasses all types of non-folding trailers. Measuring from 10-40 feet in length, travel trailers can also weigh up to 12,000 pounds.
These trailers can range from small to large, lightweight to heavy. Since this is a such a broad classification, these trailers can both be affordable and expensive. Travel trailers, like pop-ups, can be towed using a traditional hitch.
Fifth Wheel Campers
This is the largest camper produced today. Fifth-wheel campers can measure anywhere from 22-40 feet long. Fifth wheels offer a lot of the same amenities as some of the largest motorhomes. The biggest benefit is these large campers can still be towed.
These campers can be towed by using a specifically fitted hitch, found on certain full-size trucks and pickups. The hitch will be coupled to a u-shaped mechanism on the bed of the truck. This will make the front of the trailer extend beyond the bed. This is where the name “fifth wheel” comes from.