RVs (Recreational Vehicles) are divided into two main types: those that have a motor and those that don’t. The first type are divided into Classes. When you say RV most people think of the big Winnebago, bus type, Class A. Class B RVs are the size of a van, and Class C are the ones you see on the road that look like a school bus with an overhang above the driver. I don’t know why they aren’t grouped in size order.
The second type are again divided into two main categories, trailers and 5th wheels. Both require a tow vehicle. Trailers are hooked to the rear pumper of the tow vehicle, which can be a car, van, SUV, or pickup truck. 5th wheels, usually larger than trailers, are hooked to a hitch, like tractor trailers use, in the bed of a pickup truck.
When deciding which RV to buy, consideration is given first to what you plan to do with the RV, then price. The most luxurious are the Class A. They have all the comforts of home, and cost as much, above $100,000.00. Because of their vast size, you can’t drive them into small towns, and most people will tow a car behind. The class B’s are for those that have minimum requirements, a place to cook, sleep, bathroom, and TV. They cost a little more than a mid size luxury car, and like a car, can go anywhere. The cost of a Class C are between the two. We rented a 31 foot Class C when we first thought of the idea of retiring to an RV, just to see if we liked the experience. We loved it. We spent a week in the finger lake area of New York State. The Class C was just the right size for camping out, and driving through the small towns.
You can get a trailer from just a basic pop up to a 40 foot trailer. From basic necessities to glorious living. Usually you won’t get a trailer longer than 30 ft. or so, you would then go to a 5th wheel. The term ‘fifth wheel’ comes from a similar coupling used on four-wheel horse-drawn carriages and wagons. The device allowed the front axle assembly to pivot in the horizontal plane, to facilitate turning. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (oh, look! I was able to post a picture, another first).
While a smaller trailer is easier to drive and gives you both maneuverability and gas mileage, if you plan to live in the vehicle, a bigger 5th wheel has more advantages, including more stability in the larger sizes, and easier to backup (but it does take practice).
So, how do I decide which vehicle is for me? Simple, my wife and I put on boxing gloves, and the last person standing decides.