Okay, before you can walk the walk, you need to know how to talk the talk. This page is going to get you up to speed on the different types of RVs that are out there. Don’t forget to checkout our RV Electrical Crash Course and our RV Plumbing Crash Course.
There are essentially two types of trailers. A bumper-pull and a 5th wheel. They are considerably cheaper than a motorhome because they do not have an engine/transmission/etc. The low end starts around $10k (new) and tops out somewhere south of $100k (new). You need a separate Tow Vehicle (TV) to pull them, and you pretty quickly get into needing a big diesel truck to safely do so. Check out our Trailer Size Examples for a better perspective.
These are exactly as they sound. You pull them from a hitch that is under your bumper. They’re typically the cheaper of the two options and aren’t nearly as tall. You don’t need a truck to pull them (think SUV), and they’re a good option if your tow vehicle has a limited towing capacity.
These are the big rigs that overlap the bed of a truck. They attach to a hitch that is inside of the bed. As far as price goes, the low end starts where the high end of bumper-pulls ends. They handle better and aren’t as squirrely on the road (typically), but you need far more truck to pull them (again, typically). Light-weight 5th wheels that can be pulled by a quarter ton truck (F-150, Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, etc) are becoming more common, but for the most part, you’re instantly in big diesel truck territory. Checkout the 5th Wheel Buying Guide for a deep dive.
This type of RV has it’s own engine/transmission and are far more expensive for that reason. The low end starts around $100k and they can get up into the millions. There are three different types of motorhomes with a few variations: Class A, Class C, Class B.
These are the iconic ‘Bus’ style rigs, you know, the big ones. They come in two different types. On the less expensive end are Gas rigs. They have their motor up front. The other kind are known as ‘Diesel Pushers’, and they have a diesel engine at the back of the rig. They have more power to get you up hills, and you don’t have as much engine noise near the cockpit.
These are the next biggest type of RV. Almost all of them are built on the same Ford F-45 chassis. They’re the ones that look like someone slapped a big boxy house on the back of a U-Haul.
These are an emerging variation of Class C motorhomes that are basically the monster truck version of the above. They’re going to put you into the same price range as a Class A.
Essentially, these are cargo vans that have been tricked out. Nowadays, most are built out of Mercedes Sprinters (diesel) or the Ford Transits (gas).
These are rigs built on the same chassis as the Class B’s mentioned above, but they’ve shed the cargo van body for something bigger. You’ll still get slide outs and a rig that’s just a little too big to park into any old parking spot.
Also built on the Class B chassis, but not quite as big as a C-. They also aren’t as tall and stick closer to the original Class B body.