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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:

Motorhomes

Pros:
– 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.
Cons:
– 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

Pros:
– 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.
Cons:
– 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

Fifth-Wheels

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!

Class C Motorhomes: Benefits of Mid-sized Motorized RVs

You’ve thought about it, looked through your finances and made a plan. It’s time to purchase a new RV. Once you’ve committed to buying a new unit, the list of questions comes flooding in. Motorcoach or trailer? Which color scheme? How much storage do I need? How many beds do I want? The list can be overwhelming.

Here at Juniata Valley, we recommend most people choose a Class C motorhome. We prefer Class C’s because they’re mid-sized at a middle price point, they’re easier to drive, and they come with more flexibility.

Mid-sized Motorhome

Many people think you can’t get the luxuries of a Class A in a Class C. Although you have less space than a Class A, you have much more space than a Class B. The Class C is the perfect medium in motorhomes, the one Goldilocks would prefer!

Modern Class C motorhomes have many sleek, out of sight options for extra storage and sleeping space. This includes over-cab beds, convertible dinettes, cabin storage and more. Class C motorhomes offer many of the same coach amenities of a Class A as well, like a separated living room and a dry bath. Enjoy all these luxuries in a motorized vehicle with a Class C. No worries about how much your truck can tow, plus the option to bring your bikes, kayaks and motorcycles along in a cargo trailer.

Class C Motorhomes - RVing In The Mountains In Class C Motorhome Landscape

Save Money

The money-saving aspect of a Class C motorhome is dual-sided. Class C’s cost less upfront and in the long run.

Class A motorhomes can cost you up to $2 million! Our preferred manufacturer here at Juniata, Winnebago, supplies Class A motorhomes around $300,000 to $400,000. On the other hand, the top-of-the-line Class C Winnebago motorhomes we have in stock run between $100,000 to $200,000. A much smaller price tag when both RVs reach about 30 feet in length.

Aside from initial purchase price, Class C motorhomes cost less in maintenance and upkeep. Being smaller and lighter on average, a Class C has a much better fuel efficiency. The cost of gas is even less when compared to Class A diesel pushers. Class C’s are, in general, much cheaper to maintain. Service costs for Class C motorhomes are less than Class A motorhomes, even when requesting similar services.

Class C motorhomes - Holidays in Poland - winter with camper in the Tatra Mountains

Drive Safer

While Class C’s can be more than 30 feet long, they’re shorter than Class A’s on average. Struggling with tight corners and fitting into parking spots are a nightmare of the past with Class C’s. Although being behind the wheel of a Class C can be daunting to any new RVer, it’s no doubt much less stressful than handling a 45-foot Class A. Class C motorhomes are also lower to the ground, and a lower center of gravity reduces the risk of toppling over.

Although no one wants to think about crashing their motorhome, the possibility of a wreck still hangs over your head. Although a Class A may seem safer, more like a bus than anything else, Class C’s are a lot safer for head-on collisions.

In an RV, rear collisions are generally pretty safe. It’s the front collisions, where the cab is, that you have to worry about. Class C motorhomes have a large hood and engine in front of the cab, unlike the flat-fronted Class A motorhomes. They also include crash boxes designed to take the impact of the collision instead of the drivers. Class C motorhomes also come with airbags, which are normally left out of a Class A because you sit so far away from the dash.

Class C Motorhomes - Ojai, California USA - August 25, 2016: Winnebago Vista and Mini Winnie parked head to head with mountains and blue sky in beautiful Ojai, CA.

Camp Where You Want

The last major benefit of a Class C, although the list goes on, is the ability to maneuver on more roads and stay in more campgrounds. When planning your Class A route, you have to make sure not to pass under any low bridges or overpasses. You also have to make sure none of the roads are too tight, including the ones in the campground, and be confident you can make all the necessary tight turns. Class C’s are generally shorter, in both length and height, making trips easier to plan.

Many campgrounds also have length limits on their sites. It can be hard to find a place to stay in a Class A, especially if you’re looking to stay at government-sponsored sites. Most national and state parks can’t accommodate RVs more than 30 feet long. Choosing a Class C gives you more options, so you can stay at the campground you prefer.

With comfort, cost, safety and camp options in mind, Class C motorhomes are the clear winner for most RV shoppers. If you’re looking for a new motorhome or a new towable unit, Juniata Valley RV has plenty of options on the lot. If we don’t have the unit you’re looking for, we may be able to order it for you. Stop by any day of the week for a conversation with some of our knowledgeable staff members about choosing the right RV for your family.

The Best Winnebago Campers

Juniata Valley RV is a Flying W award-winning Winnebago dealer, and we love this brand of RV. We carry Winnebago travel trailers and motorhomes, and we’ve seen the Winnebago name speak for itself with years of happy customers. If you’re looking to drive off the lot with this classic RV brand, we’d be happy to help. The first task in narrowing down which Winnebago you want is choosing your model. Luckily, we put together this list of the best Winnebago campers to help you start your search.

best winnebago campers hike

Hike

The Hike is Winnebago’s perfect marriage of luxury style and off-road potential. Built with offset wheels, off-road tires and off-road fenders, the Hike is made for those who venture “beyond the beaten path” in their travels. There’s also plenty of room to bring along your favorite camping toys and tools. Store items in the front storage container, with room for a battery, LP tanks or adventure gear. The Hike is also built with a tough exoskeleton to strap in your bikes, kayaks and other outdoor toys while on the road.

best winnebago campers four people sitting under awning

Travato

This is one of our favorite Winnebago Class B options, and we’re not alone. The Travato is the top selling camper van in North America. It features energy and fuel-efficient systems, like the new Pure3 Advanced Energy System. It provides 9,600 watt-hours of power with automotive-grade technology, making extended off-grid stays more than possible in the Travato. Aside from its advanced power tech, the Travato earns its place among the Best Winnebago campers with its all-season roof and sidewall insulation. It includes above-floor waterlines, heated tanks, Eco-Hot water system and more for warm camping all winter long.

best winnebago campers man grilling outside class c

Minnie Winnie

Winnebago carries “Minnie” units towables and motorhomes. We’re first going to highlight the Minnie Winnie Class C as one of the best Winnebago campers. This coach is the king of flexibility in every interior room. With six floorplans to choose from, there’s one for every family. For sleeping arrangements, choose from a rear bedroom, cabover bunk, bunk beds and sofa beds. In the living spaces, the Minnie has a U-shaped dinette that converts to a bed, and some floorplans include theater seating. These features are just the beginning of flexibility when considering all the options the Minnie motorhome has to offer.

best winnebago campers family eating outside

Minnie Towables

If motorized isn’t for you, but you’re still after small stature, the Minnie towable series might be the answer. These lightweight campers are easy to pull and maximize a compact amount of space with expert design. Aside from 44 cubic feet of exterior storge, the Minnie showcases interior comfort and design. Relax in the comforts of home with the queen bed, spacious galley and large private bathroom. Enjoy stylish, bright and easy-to-clean linoleum surfaces, three-burner cooktop, double-door refrigerator and watch the season’s biggest games with the outdoor entertainment center.

best winnebago campers ekko driving thorough snow

EKKO

The all-new EKKO had to be on our list of the best Winnebago campers. This brand new design by Winnebago touts the efficiency of a camper van with the capacity of a Class C. The EKKO also includes four-wheel drive making it easy to head off-road and off-grid. It’s equipped with three solar panels, a second alternator for charging batteries while driving and a 50-gallon freshwater tank for extended stays.

best winnebago campers couple in doorway of trailer

Voyage

The Voyage travel trailer by Winnebago is here to help you venture outdoors for extended stays, and bring the comforts of home with you. Most floorplans include everything from washer dryer prep to a full fridge and king bed, so spacious you’ll forget you’re on the road. Until, of course, you spot the ever-changing window views every time you tow to a new site.

best winnebago campers couple sitting outside class c

View

This classic Class C is a fan-favorite for Winnebago owners, and was an easy fit for this list of the best Winnebago campers. Enjoy upscale comforts off-grid, thanks to the dependable diesel Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. Escape for longer with standard 200-watt solar, a 2,000-watt inverter and optional lithium smart batteries. Eye-catching final touches range from optional theater seating to classy curved countertops.

best winnebago campers class a driving down road

Inspire

Our final addition to our best Winnebago campers is an obvious choice, the Class A Inspire. The Inspire is a diesel pusher well-suited for Winnebago’s accessibility enhancement options. These include everything from a platform wheelchair lift to a roll-in shower. No accessory was spared, down to undercarriage lighting and a Pet Pal leash tiedown.

Choosing your Winnebago model is only the first decision. Juniata Valley RV is here to help you through the entire process, from floorplans to financing. If you’re interested in a new Winnebago, our knowledgeable sales staff will help you find the perfect camper. While these are the best Winnebago campers in our opinion, Winnebago makes a wide variety of trailers and motorhomes. We encourage you to dig deep, do your own research, and give us a call with any questions or when you’re ready to buy.

Our Favorite Aliner Features

Aliner campers continue to be the go-to style for both new and experienced RVers. These small units are light, easy to tow, and fit in almost any campsite. They have all the benefits and comfort of RVing without the five-thousand pound, 30-foot tow-behind beast. Aliner, one of the most popular compact camper brands, offers a lot of amenities in a little space. These snug little towables sleep up to four with a dry weight of just over 1,000 pounds. While there are plenty of different designs to choose from, here are six of our favorite Aliner features.

Tinted windows

The tinted windows in Aliners provide privacy and protection. The dark windows, plus the day/night shades, provide plenty of privacy at all times of day and night. The dark tint on the windows also helps keep these campers cool. Tinted windows block out some of the sunlight, preventing it from getting too hot inside.

Dinette bed

Sleep four in these 15-foot popups thanks to the dinette bed. The booth seating and table easily convert to a 46”x76” bed. Thanks to the creative design, the whole family can camp in this lightweight option.

our favorite aliner features spare tire

Spare tire kit

Be prepared for anything with the spare tire kit. Aliner campers are designed with a spare tire attached so you never get stuck in a sticky situation. Small doesn’t mean sacrifice with Aliner’s genius designs.

Indoor microwave

One feature that should never be overlooked is the microwave. The magic of having food ready in one to three minutes is too often taken for granted! Aliners, like most compact campers, have an “outdoor kitchen” feature, which refers to an outdoor stovetop burner in this case. But the beauty of a microwave, despite the speedy food prep, is the indoor comforts. No worries about trying to cook up dinner in the cold or the dark with your outdoor kitchen!

External shower

Limited space doesn’t have to mean sweaty kids! Keep clean on long camping weekends with Aliner’s external shower. An outdoor shower saves indoor space, and is easy to store when you’re towing down the highway.

our favorite aliner features couch bed

Sofa bed

Rear sofa beds provide comfort day and night! The comfy cushions make a great couch for reading, talking or sheltering from rainy weather. When it’s time for bed, just flip the backrest down for a roomy mattress that sleeps two to three. Aliners are known to make the most out of limited space.

The list of features worth bragging about when it comes to Aliners is long. If you’re interested in learning more or purchasing a trailer from Juniata Valley RV please contact us online or give us a call at (877) 714-0415. Our team of RV-loving experts would be happy to help out!

A-Frame and Teardrop – Why You Should Buy Compact

Through the nation, the tiny movement is on the rise. From the tiny home takeover to Marie Kondo teaching us the magical ways of minimal lifestyle, small and simple has taken the world by storm. Keeping with the trend, the RV industry has expanded its A-frame and teardrop builds. Despite their trendy arrival, compact campers are likely here to stay. As they’ve grown in popularity, people have begun to see the benefits of buying small. In this post, we’ll go through some of the reasons you should buy compact.

Compact campers for compact cars

For those who long to camp but are held back by highway hatchbacks, a smaller RV is the perfect solution. A-frame and teardrop campers are lighter and can be towed by much smaller cars. Along with their lightweight benefits, these smaller options are much easier to tow and park. Towing a 40 foot, 12 thousand pound fifth-wheel down the highway can be difficult, making for long, stressful hours on the road. Compact campers can be as low as 1,200 pounds, light enough for almost any car to handle.

Compact saves cash

Buying an A-frame or teardrop comes a couple thousand dollars cheaper than travel trailers or truck campers, but the unit price is just the beginning of your savings. Lighter campers mean towing with smaller, less expensive cars and spending much less on gas during your road trip. Even if you aren’t ready to make a big purchase there are plenty of financing opportunities available.

More campsite choices

When planning trips, many campsites will have size and weight limits on RVs. Even if there are lots big enough for a 40-footer, there usually are not many options available. With a small RV, size limit issues will likely be nonexistent. When the size of the lot doesn’t matter as much it gives you more options on where you’d like to stay. Near the bathrooms or on the water? The choice is yours when your camper fits into almost any lot available.

why you should buy a compact camper, truck pulling a-line RV

Spend more time outside

With motorhomes and fifth-wheels, the space and amenities provide a lot of comfortable entertainment. More along the lines of glamping, these RVs are equipped with cushioned armchairs and flat-screen TVs that might draw your attention away from the great outdoors. When you choose compact, there isn’t much room for hanging out. They’re designed to be slept in after a long day in the sunshine. There are often built-in outdoor kitchens and sometimes an outdoor shower attachment so you don’t have to completely rough it in the woods. Aside from sleeping, the rest of your time will be spent outside.

Cozy and snug

Compact campers provide a closeness not found in larger RVs. Although if you’re traveling with plenty of little ones, compact might not be the way to go! If you’re traveling solo, with your boo, your bestie, or even a four-legged companion A-frames and teardrops are the perfect place to cozy up at night. With their small spaces it’s easy to keep warm on cold winter nights and the shared space can provide plenty of time spent together. Plus, a warm bed to tuck into after a long day beats a sleeping bag or tarp.

Simple at-home storage

Between picky HOAs and one-car driveways, most homes don’t have the space or opportunity to park a large RV. While renting a parking spot may be an option, it’s cheaper and often brings more peace of mind to park your unit at home. Smaller dimensions provide a perfect opportunity to store your compact camper in your driveway, or even in a garage, for safekeeping at a great price – free!

While there are plenty of other benefits to be found in compact RVs, these are some of the most common ones when you ask teardrop-enthusiasts why they’ve chosen the style. Juniata Valley RV offers an ever-changing variety of new and used compact units. Check our site or give us a call at (717) 436-8883 to see what we have available.

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