Types of RVs Explained: How to Choose the Right One for You

A guide to the most common types of recreational vehicles

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Written by Lauren Nicholson │ Edited by Amanda Push │ Updated May 24, 2024

Whether you’re in the market for a small camper van for an upcoming trip or you want to live on the road full time without compromising the comforts of home, finding the right recreational vehicle (RV) can make all the difference. We’ll cover the most popular types of RVs so that you can choose the best one for your next adventure.

Type of RVPrice rangeBest for
Class A RV$80,000-$900,000+Full-time RV living
Class B RV$50,000+Small families, camping in comfort
Class C RV$60,000-$500,000+Class A features on a smaller scale
Fifth wheel camper$19,000-$150,000Home comforts at a lower price point
Travel trailer$12,000-$80,000Large living space with small price tag
Toy hauler$10,000-$200,000Towing large sports equipment
Pop-up camper$9,000-$25,000Camping, short trips

Class A motorhomes

  • Price: $80,000-$900,000+
  • Size: 26-45 feet long
  • Transportation/fuel: Gas or diesel

Class A motorhomes are large motorized RVs built for long stints on the road or full-time RV living. With a Class A RV, you can take many of the comforts of home — bathrooms, kitchen appliances, storage space — on the road with you.


  Home amenities, like full-sized refrigerator and washer/dryer

  Capable of towing a car

  Potential to live in RV full time

  Large size can make them difficult to drive

  Poor gas mileage

  May require a special driver’s license in certain states

Class B motorhomes

  • Price: $50,000+
  • Size: 17-24 feet long
  • Transportation/fuel: Gas or diesel

Class B motorhomes are compact motorized RVs that come with the home amenities of a Class A motorhome, but on a much smaller scale. You’ll have a kitchen, sleeping space and bathroom, but the compact nature of Class B camper vans means that they’re easier to take on the road.


  Modified home amenities, including small kitchen and bathroom

  Easier to drive than Class A counterparts

  Can come with 4WD

  Not ideal for full-time RV living or large families because of small size

  Only sleeps up to four people

Class C motorhomes

  • Price: $60,000-$500,000+
  • Size: 25-35 feet long
  • Transportation/fuel: Gas or diesel

Class C RVs are the Goldilocks of motorized RVs — not too small, not too big — and offer some of the best features of their Class A and B counterparts. If you’re interested in the space and expanded home amenities of a Class A RV but don’t want to deal with the difficult maneuvering, a Class C might be the right choice for you.


  Sleeps up to eight people

  Space above the cab can be used as sleeping quarters or storage space

  Home amenities, like full kitchen, bathroom and several sleeping spaces

  Not as comfortable or luxurious as Class A motorhomes

  Larger size makes them more difficult to drive than Class B RVs

Fifth wheel campers

  • Price: $19,000-$150,000
  • Size: 25-45 feet long
  • Transportation/fuel: Tow

Fifth wheel campers are large trailers that attach to the bed of a truck for stable towing. They come with many of the amenities of larger motorhomes at a lower price point, making them a good choice for price-conscious RV buyers.


  Home comforts like kitchen, bathroom and sleeping space

  Stable towing

  Less expensive than motorhomes

  Large size makes them difficult to drive

  Require truck with enough towing power

Travel trailers

  • Price: $12,000-$80,000
  • Size: 12-40 feet long
  • Transportation/fuel: Tow

Travel trailers, also known as conventional trailers, have similar features to fifth-wheel campers but have a standard hitch, making them easier to attach to your truck.


  Easy to hitch and unhitch

  Less expensive than motorhomes and fifth wheels

  Home comforts, like kitchens and slideout living spaces

  Less stable towing than a fifth wheel

  Smaller living space

Toy haulers

  • Price: $10,000-$200,000
  • Size: 15-48 feet long
  • Transportation/fuel: Tow

Toy haulers are trailers that allow you to bring your sporting “toys” — ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes — with you on your next adventure. A toy hauler camper can come with living space in addition to the cargo space for your equipment, but this space is typically small.


  Ideal for towing large equipment like snowmobiles, ATVs and kayaks

  Can come equipped with small living space

  Require a truck with enough towing capacity

  Smaller living space than other RVs

  • Price: $9,000-$25,000
  • Size: 16-32 feet long when opened
  • Transportation/fuel: Tow

Pop-up campers are collapsible trailers that provide temporary living space that you can tow along with you. They’re popular choices for camping or short trips that don’t require all of the luxuries of home.


  Collapsible for easy storage


  Don’t require large truck or SUV to tow

  May lack amenities like bathrooms, running water and kitchen appliances

  Difficult to regulate temperature

  Require setup and takedown

How to choose the right RV for you

When deciding between different types of RVs, consider how you plan to use your new vehicle. Large motorhomes or trailers will give you the space you need to live comfortably on the road full time, while smaller RVs may be best for camping or shorter trips.

You should also consider how much RV you can afford. While you can significantly lower the RV’s purchase price by buying a used motorhome, you can find affordable monthly RV payments with an RV loan.

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Frequently asked questions

A recreational vehicle, or RV, is a mobile vehicle with living accommodations. Motorized RVs, also called motorhomes, have their own motors, while trailers are towed by another vehicle, usually a truck.

Camper vans, or Class B motorhomes, start at $50,000 for new models.