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RV Types 101

Whether you are trying to determine which kind of RV you should buy, or you’re curious to how many RV types exist, this article will answer all your questions. An RV is a huge investment, but a very practical and rewarding one. The popularity of RVs is on the rise, and younger generations, like millennials, are surging sales as they are discovering the comfort and versatility of RV living.

Pros & Cons by RV Type

All RVs can be classified as either motorized (you drive it) or towable (you pull it). Deciding which RV type is best for you depends on your budget, driving preference, and what features matter most to you. Both types of RV yield the basic offerings like kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms in various shapes and sizes. However, here are some key differences between them:


– Can pull a boat or automobile behind.
– Drives more like an automobile, making it easier to maneuver on the road and in parking lots.
– You can switch between cabin and coach without getting out of the vehicle.
– Don’t need to use a tow vehicle.
– Usually more expensive to purchase and maintain than towable RVs.
– Not fuel efficient compared to regular road vehicles.
– Larger motorhomes can be difficult to drive in small parking lots or on narrow roads.

RV Types - Indianapolis - Circa September 2019: Winnebago Recreational Vehicles at a dealership. Winnebago is a manufacturer of RV and motorhome vacation vehicles

Towable RVs

– Are more affordable and less maintenance than motorhomes.
– Are detachable once parked, making daily travel easier on tow vehicle.
– Can handle off-road driving better than motorhomes.
– More living space for size because there are no driving components.
– Puts extra strain on your tow vehicle.
– Cannot tow a car or boat behind.
– Harder to maneuver when in reverse.

Motorhomes: Motorized RV Classes

RV Types - Motorhome sits in a beautiful mountain campground near Redstone, Colorado.

Class A RV/Diesel Pusher

Length: 21 to 45 ft.
MPG: 8-14 (Diesel) / 6-10 (Gas)
Average Cost: $50,000 to $250,000 and up!

Comfortably sleeping two to six people, Class A RVs are the most spacious and provide a comfortable ride on the road. With the luxury of space comes cost, making these RV types the most expensive to own. Diesel engines are preferred in Class A RVs for more power and better fuel efficiency. They go by the name “diesel pushers” because the engines are located towards the rear of the coach, thus “pushing” the RV down the road. This gives them a quieter ride compared to gas engines located in the front. Class A gas RVs are shorter, have less power, and must have the engines replaced more often than their diesel counterparts. Class A motorhomes with diesel or gas engines have comparable amenities, so it comes down to personal preference when deciding which is best.

RV Types - Woman at sunset with mobile home on the beach

Class B RV (Camper Van)

Length: 17 to 19 ft.
MPG: 18-25 (Diesel) / 10 -25 (Gas)
Average Cost: $40,000 to $80,000

These RV types get the nickname “camper van” because they look more like a van more than a motorhome. They come in both diesel and gas engines and are the smallest motorhome class. They can sleep one to four people and are perfect for weekend getaways due to their small size and maneuverability. Be aware that some Class B motorhomes don’t have self-contained toilets or fresh water tanks.

RV Types - roadtrip with motorhome in Indian summer Quebec Canada

Class C RV

Length: 20 to 31 ft.
MPG: 14-18 (Diesel) / 8-15 (Gas)
Average Cost: $50,000 to $100,000

Being easily recognized by the “cab-over” or overhang that houses a bed or extra storage above the driving cab, class C RVs provide the same features as a Class As, but are smaller and thus more affordable and easier to maneuver. You can expect some pop-outs to expand floor space and amenities like a toilet, kitchen, living area and space enough to sleep up to eight people.

Towable RVs: Trailer RV Types

Early autumn travel trailer came at Falls Lake North Carolina

Travel Trailers

Length: 4 to 36 ft.
Average Cost: $10,000 to $45,000

These kinds of RVs are all pulled by a towing vehicle connected with a bumper hitch or hitch frame that extends from the front of the trailer. The greatest advantage travel trailer RVs have is versatility. They can be as small or as large as you want, fitting any buyers’ budget and preferences. Most standard travel trailers feature sleeping quarters, kitchens, bathrooms, living and entertainment areas. Some may increase their space through slide-out compartments, making it easier to walk or stand depending on the RV type. Common travel trailer types include: classic, teardrop, A-frame, expandable and pop-up.

a fifth wheel in yellowstone national park


Length: 22 – 40 ft.
Average Cost: $75,000 to $100,000

With a dual wheel axle trailer, an over-cab, and a gooseneck hitch fifth-wheel RVs are usually pulled by a powerful truck. Fifth-wheels offer some of the most space for living and storage options for your belongings. This RV type shares all the features found in larger towable RVs, including the ability to detach the trailer at the campsite, making daily travel easier for your tow vehicle.

RV Types - Apple Valley, CA / USA – May 16, 2020: A truck towing a RV trailer on Interstate 15 in the Mojave Desert near the Town of Apple Valley, California.

Toy Haulers

Length: 18 – 40 ft.
Average Cost: $12,000 to $250,000

Toy haulers combine a garage with a towable RV.  They accommodate snowmobiles, ATVs and dirt bikes as well as other and sports “toys” like motorcycles, bikes and kayaks. Heavy duty foldable doors located in the rear of the trailer can be used as a ramp to load your belongings. Depending on the size of the garage, your living space will be limited compared to a towable RV of similar length. Toy haulers come in both travel trailer and fifth-wheel RV types.

A camper heads down the road on vacation.

Truck Campers

Truck campers neither qualify as motorized nor towable RVs, as they are “mounted” in a bed of a pickup truck. Although they have similar features to smaller trailer RV types, 42 states don’t count them officially as an RV. This is because they are so small that they can be carried on a regular vehicle, so truck campers are considered more cargo than a vehicle themselves. They do make camping anywhere possible and give you a small taste of the RV life, but don’t plan sleeping more than a few comfortably.

When you’re ready for your first RV or ready for an upgrade, Juniata Valley RV is here to help. We have a variety of towable and motorized units for sale here in Pennsylvania. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for just yet, our expert staff is here to help. Contact us online, call or stop in today!

Camping in the Mountains Safely

Here in Pennsylvania, we have a variety of landscapes to choose from when camping. With a combination of sweeping rivers, roaring waterfalls, smooth valleys and towering mountains across the state, you’ll never run out of beautiful campgrounds.

Although the rounded peaks of the Appalachians may look intimidating, we can guarantee that the experience camping in the mountains is unforgettable. But such a beautiful landscape comes with a lot of danger, and camping in the mountains is particularly risky. At Juniata Valley RV, we want to be sure that your experience along the Appalachian trail is all positive. So, we made this list of tips for safely camping in the mountains.

Plan ahead

If you’ve never been overlanding, or even camped, in the mountains you’ll need to plan ahead. Our best advice for camping in the mountains is to make sure you set up camp on the leeward side of the mountain. On the leeward side, you’re better protected from the wind. Especially at a higher altitude, you’ll have less wind to deal with. The weather is often milder in general on the leeward side of the mountain.

Once you’ve researched the area and have an idea of where you’re headed, you need to prepare for anything. Make sure to bring extra fuel, in case you end up somewhere you didn’t expect and need to do a little more driving than planned.

It’s also a good idea to bring any maps you can find of the area, and a GPS if you have one. These will help you figure out where you are in case of an emergency. Plus, it’s a good camping (or hiking) rule of thumb to keep a standalone GPS on you at all times.

Part of planning ahead is planning with other people. Traveling in groups is always safer than traveling alone. Even if you’re an experienced off-road RVer, we strongly recommend bringing at least one other person with you. If you don’t have a family member or friend willing to adventure through the mountains with you, try joining a local camping group. This can be an in-person group or an online group. An easy way to meet people with common interests is through a Facebook group, for example, for RV enthusiasts in your state. If you prefer to meet the old fashioned in-person way, research local clubs, trainings or seminars focused on RVing or camping. These are great ways to find people interested in RVing and willing to join you on your next trip.

If bringing someone with you isn’t an option, we strongly recommend telling someone where you’re going. Let them know the general area you plan to stay in, or the campground you’re staying at, and how long you plan to be there. This is a last line of safety precautions when it comes to overlanding, camping, or even hiking safely.

Safely Camping in the Mountains -Road trip concept; Woman driving in USA enjoying nature

Bring the right supplies

The right supplies are essential to safely camping in the mountains. This, of course, starts with your basic RV safety supplies. Bring a first-aid kit, basic tools, extra food and water, and any other supplies you’d normally take on a camping trip.

But, camping in the mountains comes with extra risks. Aside from plenty of water, we recommend bringing a whole bunch of bananas. In high altitude areas, staying hydrated is essential to keeping your electrolytes balanced. While water is helpful, we also recommend high-potassium foods like bananas. Potassium helps prevent muscle cramps and headaches that can occur in high altitudes, especially when people aren’t used to the elevation.

If you’re like the writer of this blog and hate bananas, that’s okay! Here are some other high potassium foods: oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, potatoes, peas, cucumbers, apricots and grapefruits.

Aside from high altitude food, we recommend bringing some mountain-specific supplies. This includes extra stakes and ropes. In mountainous areas, winds are going to be much stronger than they are near sea level. You’ll need to tie down nearly everything, like tablecloths and tarps. Having supplies to secure your materials in place will make your trip much easier.

Safely Camping in the Mountains - A pickup truck and an RV trailer cross a bridge over a river

Vehicle maintenance

A working vehicle is essential for safely RVing, especially in the mountains. The Appalachian Mountains are known for their notoriously rough terrain and steep slopes. Your vehicle needs to be prepared to handle rocky paths, rushing streams and sharp inclines.

You need to trust the truck you take RVing. The first thing you should do is check all the fluids in your vehicle. Check the fluid level and cleanliness, and take your car for a preemptive oil change if one is needed soon.

Next thing to check is underneath your truck. Make sure that the steering and suspension links are tightened and in good shape. Check that the brakes are operating well, and that the brake pads are in good condition.

The last thing to check before your trip is your tires. They should be in good shape, not well worn, and have the appropriate tread for the environment you’re about to take on. Mud tires are often a good choice when you’re driving off-road, but you should research the best tires for wherever you’re headed. If you don’t want to change tires every time you go camping off-grid, all-terrain tires are a good way to meet in the middle.

While all of these are important parts of your vehicle to check, you should be confident in the truck you take RVing. A well-maintained vehicle is essential for safely camping in the mountains. When you’re camped out in the middle of the Appalachians, the last thing you need is a vehicle malfunction. And stuck on the mountainside is the last place you want to be.

This blog includes just the basics when it comes to camping in the mountains. While bringing the right supplies and checking on your truck are important steps, it will always be dangerous to camp off-grid. We strongly urge you to bring other people with you, newbie or not.

Once you’ve got your supplies and you’re ready to take on the Appalachian Mountain range, Juniata Valley RV is here to assist you in the most important step – choosing your trailer. We’ve got plenty of RVs on the lot, and many are equipped for off-road camping. Stop in to take a look at our units in person, or give us a call to find out what we can do for you.

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