When you picture an RV, do you imagine a tiny, teardrop trailer you can tow behind a car, or do you imagine a giant motorhome? RVs cover a lot of styles and capabilities. Here are some of the basics.
New vs. used RVs
That new RV smell is almost as good as the one in a new car. But, similar to a car, you face some steep depreciation on a new RV. You could save a lot of money by buying a used RV, but the trade-off is that you might need to pay for repairs sooner and out of pocket. If you’re debating, here are the differences between new and used RV loans.
Motorhomes are RVs that you can drive. Motorhome financing tends to be more expensive since you’re borrowing more money for longer. There are three types of motorhomes:
Class A: These RVs are usually the biggest — typically 30 to 40 feet long — most expensive and most luxurious.
Class B: Also known as camper vans, Class B RVs can have everything you want in a tiny package — they are often passenger or cargo vans outfitted as RVs.
Class C: Typically built on the frame of a truck, Class C motorhomes can offer a midpoint in both space and price between Class A and Class B RVs while still offering towing power.
These are RVs that you tow behind another vehicle. They tend to be less expensive than motorhomes because they don’t have an engine. You can also park them and use your regular vehicle as normal. Here are the types of towable RVs:
Fifth-wheel trailers: Often large and luxurious, a fifth-wheel trailer needs to be towed by a pickup truck with a special hookup. The “fifth wheel” is a gooseneck hitch that extends from the front of the RV trailer over the tailgate to connect to a hitching mechanism in the bed of the pickup.
Travel trailers: Travel trailers can be towed by many types of vehicles, offering versatility. They connect to a hitch under the bumper of a towing vehicle and can be anything from teardrop trailers with interior room only big enough for one person to sleep to 40-foot-long trailers complete with granite kitchens and room to sleep six.
Campers: On the lower end of the scale, campers can be pop-up trailers or RVs that are made to slide into and fit the bed of a pickup. They’re usually less expensive, so camper financing might be possible with a personal loan if it doesn’t meet the requirements of an RV loan, such as a minimum amount financed.
This RV type can transport a motorcycle, an ATV, a jet ski or other powersport vehicles. Due to the added weight, toy hauler RVs tend to be either Class A motorhomes or fifth-wheel trailers.
Check out our guide on the cost of owning an RV for more details.