An Overview of Recreational Vehicles

You’ve taken that first step and decided to rent or purchase an RV. That’s great, but which one? With the wide variety of recreational vehicles on the market, it can help to have a guide to the basic styles available. By reading through this quick list of RV style basics, you, too, can get up to speed on which motorhome is right for you.

Question: I see the terms “RV” and “motorhome” used frequently. Are they all talking about the same thing?
Answer: these terms are used interchangeably to mean a vehicle you can both drive and sleep in. There are several classes of these, as detailed below:

Class A Motorhome

Class A Motorhome

Class A Motorhome
These are premium camping vehicles, specially built on a commercial truck chassis. These RVs come in both gas and diesel models. Basically the size of a city bus, many Class A motorhomes have slide-out compartments that can be opened at the campground to increase the living space inside. These vehicles typically contain luxurious features such as ceramic tile baths, televisions with DVD players, custom kitchens and so on. Definitely not for “roughing it”, these beautifully built motorhomes provide the ultimate in camping comfort.

Class B Motorhome
Commonly known as van conversions or camping vans, these vehicles also provide the luxury of taking your hotel room with you, but on a much smaller scale. They might take the shape of a full-size van customized with a sleeping area, eating space, and a small kitchen with water storage tanks. A Class B motorhome can also be a “pop-up” camper van with extended head room and living space built in to the passenger area.

Class C Motorhome: If you’ve ever passed an RV on the highway that had an extra

Class C Motorhome

Class C Motorhome

compartment above a truck cab, you’ve seen a Class C motorhome. These RVs may or may not have slide-out sections to expand the living space, and usually have a separate bedroom plus additional sleeping space above the cab. A step down from the Class A models, they’re still a comfortable way to travel long distances and save the

Question: I understand now about motorhomes, but what’s a “fifth wheel“?
Answer: A fifth wheel trailer is one type of towable camping trailer, but there are other kinds of towables, as well. Here’s a breakdown of their similarities and differences.

Fifth Wheel Trailer

Fifth Wheel Trailer

Fifth Wheel Trailer


This type of camping trailer is towed by way of a large goose neck hitch, installed in the bed of a pickup truck. Someone who purchases a fifth wheel would need to have this equipment installed in their truck in order to tow it. Some RV rental companies deliver fifth wheel trailers to customers who intend to live in them for an extended period. These camping vehicles can be quite luxurious, with full-size refrigerators, microwaves and their own heating and air conditioning systems.

Towable Camping Trailers
There are several levels of these towable trailers, but, in general, they are travel trailers that are towed by a ball hitch attached to a truck, van or SUV rather than a gooseneck hitch. The largest of these can sleep up to five adults and feature comfortable kitchens and baths.

Whether you decide to purchase the most luxurious Class A “diesel pusher”, or to rent a comfortable, affordable travel trailer, RV camping can provide years of happy vacation memories. The most important thing is to get out on the road and start camping!

Be sure to check out the RV’s and Fifth Wheels that El Monte RV Rents

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The "Right" RV for Your Vacation

If the lure of convenient RV camping has captured your imagination, it’s time to find out which motorhome will suit your vacation plans best. Today’s RVs are a far cry from the tiny “Flintstone trailers” of the past. In fact, many people are opting to live full-time in their motorhomes, because they offer a luxurious lifestyle that can be moved when the mood strikes!

But if you’re simply headed for a trip with your partner, friends or family, how can you pick the right one from your many RV options? The best place to begin is by asking yourselves two questions:

  1. Where are we going?
  2. How do we like to travel?

Let’s look at the options that suit the most common answers to those questions.

What is Your Vacation Destination?

Some folks rent an RV for the thrill of tailgate parties and camping close to the big game or race. If you’re headed for NASCAR or football fun, and you’re taking a crowd along, why not look at a Class A motorhome? These specially-built full sized RVs feature slide-out compartments that double your living space once you’ve parked. Share the cost with your friends and camp in extravagant comfort when you come home from a day at the races or from cheering on your team.

If you’d like something a little smaller, but prefer the convenience of driving the vehicle you’ll be camping in, take a look at Class C motorhomes. Sometimes called “cabovers”, these RVs feature sleeping space above the vehicle cab as well as another bedroom, so they’re great for families or two couples. Larger models will even sleep up to four adults and two children!

If you’re setting up a base camp at a State or National Park, but want to use your vehicle for day trips, consider renting or buying a towable camping trailer. With special towing equipment that attaches to your vehicle (one rated for towing a trailer, of course) you can pull your “home away from home” to the campsite, detach it and set up camp, then visit area attractions easily in your own vehicle.

Your Preferred Camping Style

While you’re looking at all the options, it’s also good to keep in mind your preferred “on the road” lifestyle. For example, active campers who set up camp and take off for outdoor adventures may prefer the compact convenience of a towable camping trailer or one of the smaller Class C motorhomes.

On the other hand, if your group’s vacation plan is to settle in to a first-class campground, read your whole summer reading list and hike a few gentle trails, you’re great candidates for Class A RV luxury. Open a bottle of wine, cook a gourmet meal in the well-equipped kitchen and fall asleep to the sound of a nearby ocean, lake or river. Sound like your dream vacation? Sign yourselves up for a Class A motorhome soon!

It’s All About You

As you can see, choosing the perfect RV to rent or buy is all about what you need and where you’re going. Because motorhome camping is very affordable when compared to hotels, meals in restaurants and rental cars, you can plan any number of great vacations that include some type of camping.

Sit down with your camping crew and pick your destination, then create your “must have” list of camping conveniences. Armed with that of information, your RV selection is already half-way down the road!

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