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RVing 101: What you should know

RVING 101 | RV Types

Introduction into the different types and classes of RVs and what makes each type unique.  This is the perfect guide for “newbies”.

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Class A Diesel Motorhome
Often referred to as a diesel pusher motorhome. The large diesel engine on this motorhome is located in the rear of the coach, which ads extra power to the RV when compared to its gas powered counterpart. Having the engine in the rear also adds to the quietness and smoothness of the ride. The diesel engine essentially pushes the motorhome down the road. Class A diesel motorhomes are great for long trips, and cross-country adventures. In many instances they are the perfect RV for the full-time RV’er. The diesel engine usually lasts longer and is more durable than the gas engine on other Class A’s. Diesel motorhomes are the epitome of luxury RVing.

Class A Gas Motorhome
Class A Motorhomes are a popular option for full-time or long-term RV’ers. Class A’s offer many of the comforts of home including residential full-sized furniture, slide-outs for added space, often times a residential refrigerator, and even potentially a washer and dryer (depending on the RV). Class A motorhomes resemble a bus, with a vertical front windshield with large windows.

Class C Motorhome
These motorhomes are usually built on a truck chassis and attached to the cab portion. Some manufacturers of Class C engines include Chevy, Ford, and Mercedes Benz. Class C RV’s have a distinctive “cab-over” profile that makes them easy to recognize. Many class C’s offer similar amenities to their class A counterparts, just on a smaller chassis. Class C Motorhomes are perfect for RVers of all types from families, to singles, to those that love remote exploring and camping.

Fifth Wheel
Fifth wheels are the largest type of towable RV. They are pulled by large pick-up trucks with a special fifth wheel hitch. Fifth wheels have large living spaces, and are easy to tow given their size.

Travel Trailers
Travel trailers are quite possibly the most recognizable form of RV on the roads and in campgrounds today. The Travel Trailer is also known by many as the “camper.” It is designed to be towed by a bumper hitch or a frame hitch. Travel trailers were designed with all types of RVers in mind. Multiple floor plans and styles are available to suite your every need. Travel trailers are favorites amongst RVers who enjoy the freedom of having a vehicle to enjoy their destination and a complete home unit wherever they are.

Fold Downs
Fold Downs are also commonly known as a “camper trailer,” “pop-up,” or tent trailer. This form of RV is versatile, and perfect for the young family who is looking to enter the towable RV marketplace. Camper trailers have often been the constant fixture in family camping throughout the years. Many times “pop-ups” are the first trailer that an RV’er purchases. They are lightweight, which means they are towable by virtually every type of vehicle. These towable RV’s are available in a variety of lengths, and often are available with options such as refrigerators, hot water, air conditioning, and even bathrooms.

Truck Camper
Truck campers are in many ways the most versatile type of RV. These recreational vehicles are capable of going anywhere your pick-up truck would go. In fact they affix right to the back of a truck, over the truck bed. The truck camper has been around since the early 1950’s and innovations wheels usually have large ceiling heights and more slide-out rooms when throughout the years have made the interiors much larger and expansive than when they were first introduced.

Expandables
Expandable RV’s are designed to be towed by mid-sized vehicles with a bumper or frame hitch. Expandables are in many ways a camper trailer with hard sides, as opposed to tent material sides. However, they do have expandable tent ends. Expandables are often the second RV in which entry-level buyers turn to after the “fold-down” camper. Expandable RV’s are often viewed as an upgrade to the camper trailer due to their durable side walls. Many expandables come with a kitchen, living space, bathroom, and even a slide out.

Toy Haulers
Toy Haulers are built to haul all and accommodate all of your toys. They are perfect for those RVers who want to hail snowmobiles, ATV’s, four wheelers, or even motorcycles. Toy hauler RV’s have a large cargo garage in the rear of the RV and are available in toy hauler, fifth wheel, or even motorhome styles.

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Cheap Places to Travel in rent to own RV

Boondocking on public land is a great way to avoid the crowds in RV parks and save some money on camping fees. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has over 400 campgrounds and almost all of them have sites that can accommodate RVs.

These BLM campgrounds don’t have hookups or dump stations, but their low nightly rates reflect the lack of amenities. Come prepared and you can get total peace and quiet for less than $20 a night.

1. Ken’s Lake, Utah

South of Moab and Arches National Park, Ken’s Lake has 31 well-spaced sites that can fit motorhomes of all sizes. The campground has a quiet, beautiful setting with views of the lake and the nearby La Sal Mountains.

Sites are only $15 per night and available first-come, first-served. The campground has no potable water, so be sure to bring your own. The area has over three miles of hiking trails for views of the lake, Moab Valley, and Faux Falls.

2. Edson Creek, Oregon

Edson Creek Campground, only fifteen minutes from the Oregon Coast, is located in an open meadow where the creek flows in the Sixes River. The 27 campsites (and 5 group sites) have picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restrooms and potable water. There is also a day-use area and a boat ramp just across the street.

Edson Creek Recreation Site. Photo via BLM, Flickr

Sites are only $8 a night ($30 for group sites) and $4 per extra vehicle. The campground is only a short drive away from the coastal beaches, hiking trails, and shops and restaurants in Port Orford.

3. Devil’s Elbow, Montana

Northeast of Helena, Devil’s Elbow Campground has 42 campsites overlooking Lake Hauser, a reservoir on the Missouri River. The level, gravel sites can fit any size RV and all have views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Devil’s Elbow Campground. Photo via Recreation.gov

The lake also has year-round fishing for trout, walleye, and kokanee salmon. Sites are only $15 a night with a limit up to 14 days. You can reserve a site ahead of time for Loop A and Group Camping, but the rest of the sites are first-come, first-served.

4. Wild Rivers Recreation Area, New Mexico

In Northern New Mexico, Wild Rivers Recreation Area is located within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. It’s very remote and off-the-beaten-path, but you’ll be rewarded with solitude and impressive views for only $7 a night.

Wild Rivers Recreation Area. Photo by BLM New Mexico

The 13-mile Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway branches off the main highway and leads past the campgrounds and trailhead parking lots. The recreation area also has a visitor center with maps and more information on the local history and geology.

5. Goodale Creek Campground, California

The sites at Goodale Creek have sweeping views of the Sierra Nevadas, Inyo Mountains, and Owens Valley—and they’re only $5 a night. However, the primitive campground has no water or restrooms, and the nearest amenities are in Big Pine about ten miles north.

Goodale Creek. Photo by BLM

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