Just how does one respond to the call of adventure? From the deepest forest to the driest desert, we are enthralled by the beauty that nature provides for our enjoyment. While some are content with a day-trip, others prefer staying as many nights and days outdoors to further proffer from the sights. Some visitors prefer staying at a log cabin. While these can offer comfort, the vast majority of locations simply do not have any. Some prefer camping in tents, but this might be too close to nature and the elements for others.

In that case, it doesn’t hurt to consider using an RV to provide for your lodging needs. You can choose from a vast array of options depending on your towing vehicle capability, cost of purchase and maintenance, space desired and relevant regulations. It helps to become familiar with the many types of RVs available and see what works best for you.

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  • Class A, B and C Motorhomes Motorhomes generally refer to RVs that have their own engine and driving mechanisms and thus have no need for a towing vehicle. These vehicles are not as easy to drive as a typical car, so it is important to invest time in learning the peculiarities of motorhome driving.
    • Curiously, the Class B motorhome is the smallest of the three (just slightly larger than the typical van, with a raised roof) and have the fewest amenities, including a combined shower and toilet area known as a “wet bath”. Class B motorhome manufacturers usually do not make other kinds of motorhomes, so they are more friendly to customizations. (Related: The 6 Best Composting Toilets for RVs)
    • Class C motorhomes are built over a stronger van chassis and can provide for larger interiors, which means more amenities and storage space. However, fitting them in a garage may prove difficult due to the wild variations in length, so it is best to get dimensions of your garage if you intend to place it indoors so that you don’t have to rebuild it from scratch.
    • Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious types of motorhomes. Their use of truck- and bus-strength chassis adds durability to these RVs. However, this equates to poor gas mileage and significant upkeep in other amenities. Because of their considerable expense, Class A vehicles require a complete commitment from the owner but can prove worthwhile if you plan to travel for long periods of time.
  • Toy Haulers: These vehicles contain one compartment for living quarters and another compartment for payload purposes. Thus, you can bring along sports vehicles such as ATVs, motorcycles, boats and jetskis without sacrificing the need for an inviting place to stay. Toy haulers are especially useful if your family has multiple outdoor interests, to which storage space apart from the living quarters will be necessary.
  • Park Models: Park models serve as a compromise between an RV and a permanent motor home, where you can accommodate your vehicle in any trailer park, even on a continuous basis. As a result, these are more likely to provide connections to utilities such as water and electricity. This also means that they will be better insulated and energy-efficient for the benefit of the long-term dweller. Because of its permanent nature, the Internal Revenue Service can consider these vehicles as “second homes”, bringing about a tax advantage to the owner.
  • Travel Trailers: These vehicles are connected to the towing vehicle through a hitch. The lower height allows for greater fuel economy, and being lower to the ground than most other types of RVs allows for easier user access. There is also greater variety in the kind of towing vehicles that can pull the trailer, depending on horsepower and the weight of the trailer. If you tow with a pick-up truck, its bed can be reserved for other equipment. In addition, hitching equipment tends to cost less for travel trailers.
  • Fifth Wheels: For towed RVs, fifth wheels provide for maximum space and stability during transport. Unlike travel trailers, fifth wheels must be hitched onto the back of a pickup, thus severely reducing the amount of towing options. However, this setup also allows for living space that is often comparable to Class A motorhomes. Because it is towed on the flatbed of a pickup, swaying and bouncing is greatly reduced.
  • Truck Campers: Like fifth wheels, truck campers are also loaded onto the bed of a pickup. Unlike fifth wheels, the living space is place over the pickup truck instead of behind it. This helps keep the hitch free for towing other vehicles if desired. Moreover, because most states classify truck campers as “cargo”, you are free from paying registration and insurance fees that are usually charged on other RV types. The fact that they sit on top of the pickup bed lends to even greater stability, meaning that pickup drivers will find it easy to drive, even in off-road conditions.
  • Pop-Up Campers: These vehicles have the particular advantage of folding down and thus conserving space. This allows for a more aerodynamic towing that reduces air drag and, in turn, fuel consumption. However, pop-ups are especially vulnerable to mold damage after intense rains. It is recommended to leave the pop-up outside and upright after a storm so that it is adequately dry.

If these options seem daunting, don’t hesitate to visit a dealer or speak with other RV users on their experiences. Instead of purchasing the vehicle outright, find a location that rents or leases them so that you can try it out for a while and get a feel for it. Finally, make sure you are abreast of any laws that could affect your ability to drive, store and park the particular kind of RV you choose. Once you pick the perfect RV for your trip, you will be able to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing comfort.

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