There are two main types of recreational vehicles: Motorized Vs Towable Recreational Vehicles (RVs). Below I’ll talk about the main differences and why my family went with a towable RV.
According to Wikipedia, a recreational vehicle, often abbreviated as RV, is a motor vehicle or trailer which includes living quarters designed for accommodation. Typical amenities of an RV include a kitchen, a bathroom, and one or more sleeping facilities.
Motorized RVs are vehicles that have living quarters that are built on a motorized chassis. Types of motorized RVs are: Class A (looks like a bus), Class B (looks like a tall work van), Class C (looks like a Class B on steroids, usually built on truck chassis).
A towable RV is simply an RV that you tow with a truck or other vehicle capable of towing. Types of towable RVs are: 5th wheel campers, toy haulers, travel trailers, tear drop trailers, pop-up campers.
New motorized RVs are typically more expensive to purchase, typically starting at $50,000 up to $150,000. Luxury Class A motorhomes can fetch $500,000 to over $1 million. Singers often travel in Class A motorhomes when on tour. Whereas, new towable RVs can start as low as $15,000 and go up to over $100,000.
The obvious difference between a motorized and towable RV is that motorized RVs have an engine that you have to service, like a car. Oil changes, minor services, and major services, etc. And, insurance is more expensive for a motorized RV because it is like you have a third car.
Another consideration is that when you travel with a motorized RV, you have to tow another car. Why? Because, when you arrive at the campground you’ll connect electricity, water and sewer lines to your motorized RV. You’ll also deploy your stabilizing jacks and you’ll unload camping chairs and other stuff. So, typically you won’t want to disconnect your lines and pack up just so you can drive to the campground office/store or to your favorite fishing spot on the lake. You’ll need a car to get around the campground because many campgrounds are located on many acres of land.
Cost is the main reason why we went with a towable RV, specifically a travel trailer. Travel trailers are cheaper to purchase, cheaper to maintain, cheaper to insure and easier logistically speaking. And, with today’s building technology, travel trailers are made very light where many of today’s SUV’s can tow travel trailers.
As I mentioned, there are five main types of towable RVs: 5th wheel campers, toy haulers, travel trailers, tear drop trailers, pop-up campers. We didn’t choose a fifth wheel camper because you need to have a heavy duty truck to tow and we didn’t have one.
We didn’t go with a tear drop trailer because they are too small for a family of five, they are more geared toward couples or solo campers. Pop-up camper wouldn’t work for us because typically they don’t have built in bathrooms and they have fabric walls, not ideal for camping in colder weather conditions.
Ultimately, we went with a travel trailer because they are relatively inexpensive, there are good options that are SUV towable, they have solid walls for colder weather, they have a bathroom, and they can sleep a family of five or more.
I hope you learned something new from my article “Motorized Vs Towable Recreational Vehicles (RVs)” and happy camping!
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