What is An RV? Definitions, Differences, History, Usage, and More |

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The acronym itself stands for "recreational vehicle". The category itself refers to a home away from home of sorts that you bring with you. The term RV includes travel trailers, fifth-wheels and motorhomes.

Some people classify folding tent trailers and tent trailers as RVs. You can find combination RV trailers and toy haulers, such as trailers that let you camp in the front and store your ATVs and snowmobiles in back.

For most people, however, the only categories they need to worry about are Class A, Class B and Class C RVs. 

Class A.

The Class A RV is the largest RV you can drive; they're built on frames similar to those used by 18-wheeler trucks. They're also the most expensive since they're the biggest and manufacturers tend to stuff in every amenity into what is often someone's home.

Class A RVs can be as long as 45 feet or as short as 20 feet. A few give you even more living space due to a slide-out section that you can expand when parked. These RVs often have a separate master suite bedroom. Fully functional bathrooms are standard. You may even find a washer and dryer in the closet.

Another benefit is the massive amount of space in the "basement" for cargo. If you buy a Class A RV, you could reasonably live in it full time as many retirees, and seasonal workers do. Or you could simply use it to camp out in style for several weeks at a campsite These RVs may be purpose-built or constructed within a converted bus. They may run on gas engines or diesel engines.

However, you don't need a commercial driver's license to drive these recreational vehicles. These RVs are popular with dedicated travelers because they give you the most space possible with these mobile homes. If you want to sleep six to eight people, this is the type of RV you want.

One issue many have with these vehicles is their sheer size. Some owners tow a separate vehicle for making day trips because you can't pull up this RV into the drive-through. They're expensive to insure, and filling it up regularly is expensive.

Class B.

The Class B RV is regularly called a camper van because these RVs are typically built onto a standard van chassis. They're sometimes called sleeper vans. The main difference between these RVs and vans, aside from the amenities, is the fact that the ceiling is raised so that you can comfortably walk around.

Class B RVs never have an over-the-driver storage or sleeping area The fact that these are the size of a large van means that they're easier to drive and park than a Class A RV. You can park it in the average mall parking lot and probably park it in your garage. They don't use as much gas as a Class A. They don't have as much room, but they always have at least one bed.

Most Class B RVs have a compact kitchen complete with fridge and sink. Many have a toilet, while some fit a shower in there. The "B, RVs have a standup shower and bath combination versus the small wet bath in the standard Class B RV.

Air conditioning and heating are commonly available in a camper van, something you're not likely to get in a pop-up tent trailer. These RVs don't have space or connections for laundry facilities. Conversely, you can drive it along road steep and unpaved roads unsuitable for a full sized RV.

Class C.

Class C RVs are mid-sized. Like Class B RVs, they're built on a truck or van chassis. Class C RVs are typically bigger than Class B RVs but smaller than Class A RVs; they range from 20 to 33 feet.

The main difference between the Class B and a Class C is the extended sleeping quarters over the driver's cabin most Class C RVs. The Class B RV is suitable for an individual or couple, while the extra sleeping space in the Class C makes it more popular with families. Class C RVs are intended to provide more space but at a more affordable price tag.

For that reason, you'll rarely find the full-fledged entertainment centers you find in luxury Class A RVs. Conversely, the truck or van chassis makes it easier to find service for the driving portion of the RV than you would with a Class A motorhome.

History

Living in your vehicle isn't now Gypsy wagons existed before the combustion engine did. The novelty of the RV was that it made traveling in comfort possible for the masses. RVs have existed for almost a hundred years, and the earlies models showed up in the 1920s as trailers that were pulled by cars.

In 1967, Winnebago started making the first motorhomes for popular use by families. Amenities like refrigeration and air conditioning made them popular, while their low price helped them sell.

Usage

There are now more than eight million households in the United States that own RVs. The average RV owner travels four weeks out of the year. They travel more than four thousand miles per year, though again, this is an average.

One of the benefits of most RVs is that they come with a generator and propane tanks. This lets you run electrical and propane-powered appliances whether you're stationary or on the road. Nearly every RV lets you connect to the water, sewer and electric connections available at many campsites and mobile home parks.

Yet you can take them to dry camping sites and draw off your water tank and fuel reserves as long as they last.

Demographics

Of the eight million plus households that own an RV, meaning that nearly nine percent of U.S. households have one About 10% of households over age 55 own an RV.

An estimated half million are lived in full time Right now; the average RV owner is over 55 though the share of 35-54 year olds who own them is on the rise.

Nearly forty percent of RVs have children living at home. Outdoor kitchens and toy-haulers are increasingly popular with younger RVers.

Final Verdict

RVs are a popular way to camp or travel in comfort. The right RV for you is one that you can easily handle and afford to operate. Beyond that, you want to find one with the amenities you'd like to have, be it enough sleeping space for everyone or a full bath. For more updates click here!