Recreational vehicles (RVs) come in a range of shapes and sizes. Some are no larger than the camper shells of the 1950s, others are the size of a large bus. The majority of RVs today are either Class A, B or C. Oddly enough, class C is larger than B.
Choosing a RV can be a daunting experience. Especially since their are so many choices on the market. It will also depend on what specific tastes and wants. Lets look at some of the specific classes of RVs.
Class A is the largest type, the oversized bus you’ve seen on the highways. These are really motor homes and many people do, in fact, live in them full time. So-called snow birders follow the sun. As the weather gets cool they head for warmer climes, like some migratory birds.
These vehicles have several advantages. A class A RV has plenty of living room for two to four people, with an extensive kitchen, sleeping quarters and many extras. Most will be fitted with a TV/DVD player, wireless computer and other modern ‘essentials’. Small satellite dishes are available that can be attached to the roof, allowing Internet access in most areas.
Sleeping quarters can be very lush. Most class A RVs are outfitted with queens sized beds with high-end mattresses that would only be expected in lush homes. Entertainment can also come out on the high end. These rolling mansions come with automatic flip down flat screen TVs as well as high-end BOSS stereo systems. Just to name a few of the best. Lets not forget the backrooms. Who would have thought that a RV bathroom could be an extravagant as a home bathroom. With class shower stalls and gold fixtures. Of course these fixtures would not be seen on a low end Class A RV but the sky is the limit with the top of the line luxury buses.
Class A RVs is not for everyone, nor for every camping trip. Their large size makes them more difficult to drive, particularly since the width lessens visibility and makes correct backing up and turning specialized skills. Some manufacturers exceed the limitations of the chassis and the RV can be less stable on winding or slick mountain roads.
Class B RVs are really just regular consumer family vans that have been outfitted with a small stove and/or sink and a pair of sleeping bunks. For many, and especially for weekend trips, these are ideal. Gas mileage is considerably better than a
Class A vehicle and they’re as easy to drive as any other van.
Space limitations mean that more thought has to be given to packing. Also, some don’t have all the desirable power options and connectors that can be handy on a camping trip. Self-contained propane and a generator of electrical power can be a big benefit on longer trips.
Class C RVs are in between the other two in size and features, with some only slightly larger than vans, others almost the size of a large bus. The majority are about the size of a large emergency medical vehicle or a armored car. Class C RVs could be towed as well. Most have all the comforts of a low end Class A motor bus but are missing a few of the frails. But this line is a good choice if money is a object. For instance, since these campers don’t have engines there is a significant discount give to accommodate the missing feature.
These RVs make excellent choices for almost all camping trips, provided you don’t intend to live in them full time. They have plenty of space for two people, four if you don’t mind being cramped. They offer moderate-sized stoves and sinks, have space for a TV/DVD and many have fold out awnings and other extras.
Gas mileage is decent on many models, often only somewhat less than a van. In this range you generally have a choice between gasoline and diesel. Which you choose depends on your guess about prices and personal preference. Diesels are noisier and some people are sensitive to the odor of the exhaust.
Keep in mind that finding diesel on the road can be more difficult than finding gasoline. That’s uncommon – there are long-haul trucks all over – but it’s a consideration. Parking a Class C is much easier than a Class A vehicle, but still a squeeze at some smaller campsites.
Give some thought to what type of camping you intend to do and research your choice accordingly.