When we first hatched the idea “let’s rv” – we had never even set foot in a trailer before. Like, ever. So you may be thinking, why? We liked the freedom associated with full-time RVing – the ability to go anywhere at any time.
It just so happened, when we came up with this half-baked idea, that we saw a billboard for America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey – just two hours away. So we went. We viewed this as a chance to walk inside different types of motorhomes and more importantly, talk to people who RV.
The show was amazing, we fell in love with the airstream (how could you not!?) but, c’mon really? How many twenty-something’s can afford that!?
After the show, we kind of had an idea of what we liked and didn’t like. But really, we didn’t know. We spent hours, days, weeks, months and truthfully years scouring the internet for the right fit.
Drivables – What you probably think of when you hear “RV”
These are the motorhomes you drive – obviously. But there are actually three types.
Class A – The Big Mamas
These are your big touring buses – it has all the bells and whistles including slide outs to make the rig wider. We’ve seen them with dishwashers, laundry, fireplaces, and bedrooms that are much bigger than our own. You also probably need to tow a car behind for groceries, daily driving etc. RVers refer to this towed car as a “toad.” These suckers can start at a whopping $100,000 new (give or take). So we immediately ruled these out.
Class C – The Little Mamas
Yes, we know this is out of order alphabetically but the Class C comes next, size wise. We don’t get it either. We’ve noticed a lot of young full time RVers have chosen this option, usually used. These are way more affordable than the class A and still offer space and comfort – usually having slide outs as well. Most people have a toad with a Class C. We definitely spent a long time thinking about getting this type of RV.
Class B – You can live in a van down by the river
Van culture is a real thing – especially among the millennials. While they are really cool particularly those vintage ones, easy to drive, better on gas, and don’t require a toad; they lack in other areas such as virtually no bathroom and kitchen. We ruled these out as we wanted to be a little more comfortable in a full time home. Not only were we looking for a place to sleep between hikes, but also a new house.
Towables – The car that’s driving really slow in front of you
These are the kind that get attached to the back of your vehicle with some sort of hitch. There are so many kinds of towables – fifth wheels, travel trailers, pop up tent trailers, teardrops, pods, toy haulers, truck campers, and probably more.
Fifth Wheel – The Big Mamas of the Towing World
You need a pick up truck for this one – it hitches in the bed of the truck, also known as a gooseneck hitch. It’s basically a Class A, but you don’t drive it. It’s got all those bells and whistles, slide outs, comfort, etc – even a kitchen on the outside! These are pretty big and the price tag’s pretty big too. At the time we were looking, we had The Jeep, Maxxie, so we ruled these out immediately. Apparently, these are the easiest towable to park.
Travel Trailers – The Most Versatile
Travel Trailers come in ALL sizes and options. A modest 13′ could offer a wet bath (toilet under shower head), mini fridge and fold down bed while a 40′ mirrors the feel of a fifth wheel with slide outs and more. Lots have pop outs to maximize sleeping space. Airstreams are travel trailers and the cream of the crop, in our opinion. Depending on the size of the travel trailer that will dictate your tow vehicle, so keep that in mind. Also, these are a bitch to park.
Teardrops and Pods – Cute and Cozy
We’ve seen a ton of homemade teardrop trailers and they are adorable! The way some are constructed, they really maximize storage and the use of the space. Since they are so light, most cars can tow them. There is usually no bathroom and just an exterior kitchen in a teardrop – so this may be best for a weekend warrior. The pods are a really good base camp option, often with a small wet bath and kitchen. The price tag for the pod is what deterred us the most, they can get pricey, but they are a great towable option.
Pop Up Trailer – Light and Cheap
This is basically a tent on wheels. The pop ups offer a small kitchen, sleeping space for four, and sometimes even a toilet. Overall, we never considered this as a home option for us. Not enough storage and apparently the set up and break down can get time consuming.
Truck Camper – A bed on your bed
Once again, you need a truck for this guy to sit on. These get put into the bed of the truck, you sleep over the top, and they usually have a kitchen and bathroom. At the time of the search, we didn’t have a pick up so we never even pursued this as an option.
Toy Hauler – For The Thrill Seekers
Toy Haulers are an option for Class As, Fifth Wheels, and Travel Trailers. Basically the back area has living space that can fold up onto the walls to make room for all those toys and a back door that becomes a ramp. We’re talking ATVs, dirt bikes, motorcycles, canoes, kayaks, and more. As we don’t own any toys, we pretty much only accidentally looked at these.
Not only did we hunt the internet and go the Hershey RV show – but we made a point to visit several RV dealers nearby to look through all the different floor plans and ask a lot of questions. We started to form ideas about what we needed, wanted and didn’t like.
There is no RIGHT option, only what fits your needs. And sometimes that’s more than one of these and you’ve just got to take that risk. Or at least, that’s what we did! Check out part 2 on how we chose the one, here.