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RVs... What's what?

Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheels, Pop Ups, Motorhomes- Class A, B, C... is your head spinning yet? If you are new to camping, you might not know what is what in the camping unit universe. Well, we have put together a basic guide just for you.

There are two basic categories when it comes to RVs: Towable and Motorized.


A towable RV is pulled by a vehicle to its camping destination. Depending on the type of towable RV, the size of the vehicle needed varies. There are many variations of towable RVS; for the basic overview of towable RVs, we will review travel trailers, fifth wheel travel trailers, truck campers, and pop up travel trailers.

Travel Trailers: The travel trailer is the most popular RV type due to their range in sizes, price, and variations. They can range from 10' to 40'. The average travel trailer can be towed by a mid-size vehicle such as an SUV, Mini Van, or Truck. This makes for convenient travel for families, and couples. Simply unhook your trailer when you've arrived at your destination and your vehicle can be utilized for sightseeing and errand runs. The standard travel trailer has a fully functioning kitchen and bathroom along with a dining area, bedroom and living area. Newer models even have kitchen and living features on the outside of the trailer. Many models of travel trailers have slide outs. These slide outs move the RV walls outward to create a bigger area inside the trailer. Regardless of your budget, there is probably a travel trailer out there that will fit your needs!

Fifth Wheel Trailer: The fifth wheel trailer has all of the features of a standard travel trailer. The difference is the raised front section of the trailer, creating a bi-level floor plan. They must be towed by a truck with a fifth-wheel hitch. With all the standard travel trailer amenities: full kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining area, and bedroom, the fifth wheel takes camping comfort to a new level... literally.

Truck Camper: The Truck Camper is a self contained RV unit designed to fit onto the bed of a truck. This type of camping unit is ideal for single or couple campers, especially if you need to tow an additional trailer for your boat or toys. They can range in size from 8 to 20 feet and are designed to fit most standard trucks. Room inside is limited but truck campers can have extra amenities such as kitchens and bathroom, if the price is right.

Pop Up Camper: Pop up campers (tent trailers/folding trailers) are the next step up from tent camping. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive. They can be towed by any mid-size vehicle and even some compact cars depending on the weight. They range in size from 8 to 25 feet. The standard pop up comes equipped with basic cooking amenities, a dining area, and canvas sides that fold out into queen size beds. Pop up campers make a good starting point for a newbie camper or small family on a budget.

Towable RV Size Limits in the State of Wisconsin RV height: 13 1/2 feet

RV Width: 8 1/2 feet

Trailer Length: 48 Feet

Vehicle/Trailer Combined Length: 60 Feet

License Requirements: This varies from state to state. Generally, you can tow most RVs with a standard driver's license. A special license is usually required if the unit and vehicle combination weighs more than 26,000 pounds, unit is longer than 45 feet, towing 2 units such as trailer and boat.


Motorized RVs (aka Motorhomes) come in many varieties, also. These units are roaming living quarters built on a motorized chassis. Here is a brief overview of Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes.

Class A

These motorhomes are big on size and luxury. They can range greatly in size depending on their amenities and price. They are built on heavy-duty frames like a commercial truck or bus chassis. Some class A motorhomes are considered mobile mansions because they can come equipped with amenities such as full luxurious kitchens (some with an island), dining room tables, living rooms with entertainment centers and fireplaces, large full bathrooms, master bedrooms with queen or king size beds, washers and dryers, and more. These mobile mansions can be priced in the millions of dollars market. Of course, this is not all class A motorhomes; and many of the lower price range ones are just as beautiful.

Class B

These motorhomes are the smallest of the three categories. They are also known as a van camper. They are built on a cargo/camper van base and drive like the standard family van. However, they have a raised roof and offer standing room for the family. They don't have all the amenities of a Class A but they do offer the basic needs and much better gas mileage. Most class B motorhomes have kitchen, dining, bathroom, and sleeping facilities.

Class C

Class C motorhomes are a blend of Class A and B. They can be just as luxurious as class A, just on a smaller scale like class B. They are usually built on a van or truck chassis with an attached cab. They have ample living space including kitchen, dining, bathroom, and plenty of sleeping area especially with the extra cab. They usually range from 20-35 feet in length. A great option for a family or couple looking for luxury camping without the hassle of huge motorhomes.

Motorhome Size Limits in the State of Wisconsin Height: 13 1/2 feet

Width: 8 1/2 feet

Length: 45 Feet

License Requirements: This varies from state to state. Generally, you can drive a motorhome with a standard driver's license. A special license is usually required if the unit is longer than 45 feet.

This was a brief overview of the different types of RVs on the road today. There are other types of specialty RVs our there such as Ice Fishing Houses. There are also permanent camping units such as park models that can be seen at campgrounds around the world. All of these types of RVs listed in this post have their advantages and disadvantages. The best thing you can do as a camper looking to buy is decide what your needs and budget are. From there weight out the options and start shopping.

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