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A Guide to RVs - with Real Reviews from Real People

Amy Leal-profile-image
Amy Leal
June 20, 2024

TL;DR

Explore RV types with real reviews! Class A: luxurious; Class B: compact; Class C: balanced. Travel trailers: versatile; fifth wheels: spacious; pop-ups: beginner-friendly. Truck campers: rugged; teardrops: minimalist. Toy haulers: adventure-ready; Skoolies: customizable; semi-truck conversions: stable and safe. Find your perfect RV and enjoy the road!

A Guide to RVs - with Real Reviews from Real People

A Guide to RVs - with Real Reviews from Real People

Page 1: Rule the Road from Your Class A Motorhome

Class A owners often refer to their motorhome as a rolling palace. After all, these rigs come with all the comforts of home, and then some. Imagine preparing meals in your well-equipped kitchen or sinking into a sumptuous leather sofa to watch your favorite movie. You can have all the comforts of home, including a dishwasher (in some models)! Unsurprisingly, Class A motorhomes are a popular choice for full-time RV living.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 25 to 45 feet
  • Weight: Up to 30,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps up to 10 people

Class A Winnebago Tour 42QT

Class A Winnebago Tour 42QT

ProsCons
  • Spacious interiors
  • High-end amenities
  • Smooth, comfortable drive
  • Challenging to drive and park
  • High fuel and maintenance costs
  • Need to store when not in use

Lifestyle Suitability:

Ideal for the long-haul traveler or full-time RV enthusiast. Retirees or families appreciate the space, comfort, and ample storage.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $100,000 to $500,000+
  • Operational Costs: Expect to budget generously for gas and upkeep.

Class A GMC

Class A GMC

Popular Models:

  • Winnebago Grand Tour
  • Tiffin Phaeton
  • Newmar Dutch Star

Customization and Accessories:

  • Solar power setups, satellite dishes for constant connectivity, and custom exterior paint jobs are popular tweaks.

User Insights:

"Living in a Class A is like having a five-star hotel on wheels," shares a seasoned RVer. Watch out for blind spots and fuel expenses!


Page 2: Explore the Open Road in Class B Motorhomes

Say “hello” to the ninjas of the RV world! Class B motorhomes or camper vans feature compact designs, but that doesn’t mean they’re short on amenities. Many models include mini-kitchens, a wet bath, and entertainment systems. Built on a van chassis, you can usually maintain Class Bs with standard auto parts.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 18 to 24 feet
  • Weight: 6,000 to 11,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps 2-3 people

Class B Leisure Travel Van Unity FX

Leisure Travel Van Unity FX

ProsCons
  • Easier to drive and park
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Versatile floor plans
  • Limited space
  • Fewer driving comfort features
  • Can feel cramped on long trips

Lifestyle Suitability:

Best for solo voyagers or couples who prefer quick getaways or frequent moves. Excellent for stealth and off-grid camping and city trips.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $80,000 to $150,000
  • Operational Costs: Lower compared to bigger rigs, but still keep an eye on those premium features!

Popular Models:

  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Ford Transit Custom
  • Dodge Ram ProMaster

Customization and Accessories:

  • Interior upgrades like foldable beds and swivel seats, roof racks for extra storage, solar power and upgraded navigation systems are popular.

User Insights:

"Class B is my go-to for spontaneous road trips," a travel blogger notes. Space is a premium, so pack smart!

Class B Thor 18M

Class B Thor 18M


Page 3: Class C Motorhomes Offer the Best of Both Worlds

If you’ve never driven one, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Class C motorhomes pack many of the Class A amenities into a rig with the easy maneuverability of a Class B. Many RVers find it easier to drive a Class C because of the familiar driving dynamics. These spacious motorhomes feature a van or truck cab with a nifty overhead sleeping/storage compartment. Some even come with slideouts!

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 25 to 35 feet
  • Weight: 10,000 to 12,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps 2-8 people

Class C Motorhome Thor Chateau

Class C Motorhome Thor Chateau

ProsCons
  • Affordable entry point
  • Easier to drive
  • Can tow a small car or trailer
  • Limited living and storage space
  • Smaller freshwater tank
  • Cab area can feel cramped

Lifestyle Suitability:

Excellent choice for solo travelers, couples, or small families, Class Cs make a great first RV or an upgrade from a Class B or travel trailer.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $30,000 to $100,000
  • Operational Costs: Slightly lower than a Class A, but you’ll still need to consider maintenance, fuel efficiency, and storage costs (unless you can park in your driveway or side yard).

Popular Models:

  • Winnebago Minnie Winnie
  • Thor Chateau
  • Coachmen Leprechaun

Customization and Accessories:

  • Interior upgrades like foldable beds and swivel seats, roof racks for extra storage, solar power and upgraded navigation systems are popular.

User Insights:

"Easy to drive and park, easy to hook up, and no need to tow," a former Class B owner shared. Even though they’re easier to drive than larger rigs, navigating narrow roads and tight parking spaces can still be challenging.


Page 4: Travel Trailers - Hitch and Go

What’s not to love about a travel trailer? These versatile vagabonds offer a delightful blend of comfort and convenience. You can customize and personalize travel trailers to meet your needs and preferences. Weekend warriors and full-timers appreciate the flexibility. And a bonus? Travel trailers are often more affordable than other types of RVs.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 10 to 35 feet
  • Weight: 1,100 to 8,500 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps up to 10 people

Travel Trailer KZ Escape Towed by Vintage Ambulance

Travel Trailer KZ Escape Towed by Vintage Ambulance

ProsCons
  • Flexible and versatile
  • Detachable from tow vehicle
  • Range of sizes and layouts
  • Need a capable tow vehicle
  • Prone to sway in harsh weather
  • Parking limitations

Lifestyle Suitability:

Great for families! Perfect for campers who already own a sturdy tow vehicle. From luxurious to bare-bones models, there's something for every traveler.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $12,000 to $60,000
  • Operational Costs: Dependent on the towing vehicle and travel frequency

Popular Models:

  • Airstream Classic
  • Jayco Jay Flight
  • Forest River Flagstaff

Customization and Accessories:

  • Slide-outs to expand living space, custom awnings for extra shade, and tailored storage solutions boost both comfort and function.

User Insights:

"They're perfect for anyone who wants to hitch up and go," says a family of four. Stability upgrades are a smart investment for frequent travelers.

Keystone Cougar Travel Trailer

Keystone Cougar Travel Trailer


Page 5: Fifth Wheel Trailers - The King of the Campground

When you step into a fifth wheel, you’ll immediately notice the expansive living space and headroom. Fit for a king, these trailers are equipped with upscale amenities. Living and sleeping quarters are usually separated for more privacy. They hitch right into the bed of your truck, making them easy to hitch and tow.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 22 to 40 feet
  • Weight: 7,000 to 20,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps up to 8 people

DRV Mobile Suites - Luxury Fifth Wheel

DRV Mobile Suites - Luxury Fifth Wheel

ProsCons
  • Spacious interiors
  • Towing stability
  • Multiple slide-outs
  • Need a heavy-duty truck
  • Higher price point
  • Challenging to turn and back up

Lifestyle Suitability:

Ideal for long-term travelers, seasonal living, or those who enjoy spacious and comfortable accommodations on the road.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $30,000 to $100,000+
  • Operational Costs: Towing vehicle maintenance and potential site limitations due to size

Popular Models:

  • Keystone Montana
  • Grand Design Solitude
  • Forest River Cardinal

Customization and Accessories:

  • Luxury upgrades like theater seating, large flat-screen TVs, and electric fireplaces make it a home away from home.

User Insights:

"The fifth wheel is our four-season solution," a couple explains. "It handles well on the road and gives us room to breathe."

Keystone Fuzion Fifth Wheel

Keystone Fuzion Fifth Wheel


Page 6: Pop-Up Campers - Transformers of the RV World

Are you as fascinated as we are when you see a truck pulling a pop-up camper? These campers are deceivingly simple. They might look small when collapsed, wait until you see what’s inside. When expanded, many pop-up campers have small kitchens, a bathroom, and living spaces that transform into sleeping quarters. Compact and towable, they’re perfect for weekend camping. New to RVing? A pop-up camper is great for newbies!

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 8 to 16 feet (closed)
  • Weight: 800 to 2,800 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps up to 6 people

Pop-Up Camper

Pop-Up Camper

ProsCons
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to store and tow
  • Limited amenities
  • Not ideal for cold weather camping
  • Limited off-grid capabilities

Lifestyle Suitability:

Perfect for weekend getaways and short-term camping. Great for families and individuals looking to dip their toes into the RV lifestyle without a huge commitment.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $10,000 to $20,000
  • Operational Costs: Minimal; maintenance is generally low-cost

Popular Models:

  • Jayco Jay Series
  • Forest River Flagstaff
  • Coleman Lantern LT

Customization and Accessories:

  • Can be outfitted with roof racks, bike racks, and awnings. Upgrades could include solar panels, a larger freshwater tank, and an instant water heater.

User Insights:

"Pop-ups are game-changers for quick trips. Easy to tow and set up anywhere," a seasoned camper shares.

Photo by Gary Meulemans on Unsplash

Photo by Gary Meulemans on Unsplash


Page 7: Truck Campers - The Ultimate Outdoor Experience

Truck campers fit snugly in the bed of a pickup. Raise the roof, extend the slides (if included with your model), and you have plenty of space to stretch out. Truck campers can go anywhere. They’re equally at home in an RV park or a remote, off-grid campsite.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: Fits within the truck bed; extends up to 3 feet beyond
  • Weight: 1,000 to 3,500 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps up to 4 people

Truck Camper Northstar 850 SC

Truck Camper Northstar 850 SC

ProsCons
  • Affordable
  • Easy to drive and park
  • Well-suited for off-road travel
  • Limited interior living space
  • Fewer amenities than other RV types
  • Not as well insulated

Lifestyle Suitability:

Solo campers or couples love truck campers. People who appreciate minimalist living will feel right at home. Great for fishing, hunting, and off-grid adventures.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $15,000 to $50,000
  • Operational Costs: Dependent on the truck's fuel and maintenance

Popular Models:

  • Lance Truck Camper
  • Palomino Backpack
  • Arctic Fox Camper

Customization and Accessories:

  • Upgrades, such as solar panels, roof racks, and awnings, skid plates, off-road tires, and enhanced suspension systems are popular customization options.

User Insights:

"It’s like having a turtle shell; home is wherever I park," a travel enthusiast explains. "Perfect for escaping to the wilderness."


Page 8: Teardrop Trailers - The Minimalist's Dream

Talk about a versatile RV! Compact and efficient, teardrop trailers are at home in any setting. Characterized by their distinctive streamlined shape, these little rigs are perfect for quick escapes and long road trips. Inside, you’ll find a compact sleeping space—outside, a pint-size galley kitchen. You can tow them with just about any vehicle. If you love everything retro, you’ll love the teardrop!

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 8 to 12 feet
  • Weight: 1,000 to 2,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps 2-3 people

Teardrop NuCamp T&B 320s

Teardrop NuCamp T&B 320s

ProsCons
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Super easy to tow
  • Budget-friendly
  • Extremely cozy quarters
  • Basic amenities
  • No built-in bathroom

Lifestyle Suitability:

Ideal for solo travelers or couples who enjoy minimalistic camping. Excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a comfortable, but simple base camp.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $5,000 to $20,000
  • Operational Costs: Very low; minimal impact on fuel efficiency

Popular Models:

  • T@G XL
  • Little Guy Mini Max
  • Jayco Hummingbird

Customization and Accessories:

  • Options like custom paint jobs, upgraded mattresses, LED lighting, and ventilation enhance functionality without sacrificing the retro charm.

User Insights:

"A teardrop is perfect for those who love to just hit the road and explore. It’s simple living at its best," a happy owner shares.

Teardrop Trailer

Teardrop Trailer


Page 9: Toy Haulers - Amp Up the Adventure

If you love to take your outdoor adventure lifestyle on the road, you can do it best in a toy hauler. These sturdy, versatile RVs include living space and garage storage for motorcycles, ATVs, or bicycles. Traveling with big toys doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or luxury. Toy haulers often feature fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms, high-end amenities, and flexible floor plans.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 25 to 40 feet
  • Weight: 5,000 to 15,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps up to 8 people

Toy Hauler Keystone Fuzion

Toy Hauler Keystone Fuzion

ProsCons
  • Versatile living areas
  • Sturdy build
  • Generous garage space
  • Need a powerful towing set up
  • Limited payload capacity
  • Higher fuel consumption

Lifestyle Suitability:

Adventure seekers who enjoy motorsports or biking, love toy haulers! They get the best of both worlds with substantial storage and living space.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $25,000 to $100,000+
  • Operational Costs: Higher due to size and weight

Popular Models:

  • Keystone Fuzion
  • Grand Design Momentum
  • Forest River XLR

Customization and Accessories:

  • Enhancements like fuel stations, ramp extensions, and heavy-duty tie-downs cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts.
  • An outdoor kitchen and shower make traveling with family more convenient.
  • Enhanced security system adds a layer of protection for people and assets.

User Insights:

"You can bring your hobbies with you on every trip. It’s like having a mobile garage or workshop," a toy hauler fan explains.


Page 10: Bus Conversions (Skoolies) - The Creative Nomad's Canvas

Bus conversions, or Skoolies, are full-sized buses transformed into custom RVs. They offer endless possibilities for personalization, which means you’ll never find two identical Skoolies on the road. You can go minimal or high-end with bus conversions —both can result in a beautiful RV that reflects your unique personality and creativity.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 20 to 45 feet
  • Weight: 10,000 to 30,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps 2-6 people

Bus Conversion - Bluebird Wanderlodge

Bus Conversion - Bluebird Wanderlodge

ProsCons
  • Highly customizable
  • Built for durability and reliability
  • Sustainable living and travel
  • Can have high conversion costs
  • Regulations and insurance
  • Challenging to drive and park

Lifestyle Suitability:

Perfect for the DIY enthusiast, artist, or long-term traveler who wants a unique and personalized home-on-wheels.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $3,000 to $20,000 (pre-conversion)
  • Operational Costs: Variable, depending on the extent of customization and maintenance needs

Popular Models:

  • School buses from brands like International, Bluebird, and Thomas

Customization and Accessories:

  • Options range from eco-friendly installations like solar panels and compost toilets to luxury interiors with hardwood floors and custom cabinetry.

User Insights:

"Building a Skoolie is a journey of creativity. It's more than an RV; it’s a home that truly represents you," a Skoolie owner remarks.

Skoolie Interior Photo by ModCatShop on Unsplash

Skoolie Interior Photo by ModCatShop on Unsplash


Page 11: Was that a Semi-Truck Pulling an RV?

We’re seeing these tractor-trailer rigs traveling down the road more and more. But these aren’t your average 18-wheelers. They usually accompany luxury RVs, such as custom-built motorhomes or high-end fifth-wheel trailers. And many people choose to customize the semi-truck to match the RV, turning their rig into a work of art. Safety is a big reason to choose this set-up—stability, reduced sway, and safer towing in harsh weather.

Specifications:

  • Average Lengths: 55 to 80 feet
  • Weight: 20,000 to 100,000 pounds
  • Capacity: Sleeps 2-10 people

M2 Freightliner and Grand Design Momentum

M2 Freightliner and Grand Design Momentum

ProsCons
  • High towing capacity
  • Safety and stability
  • Customization and flexibility
  • Significant initial investment
  • Higher fuel and maintenance costs
  • May require a CDL license

Lifestyle Suitability:

Full-time RVers who travel long distances and people who run a business from their RV make excellent candidates for tractor-trailer rigs.

Cost:

  • Purchase Price: $70,000 to $200,000 (truck only)
  • Operational Costs: Variable but much higher than traditional RVs due to higher fuel consumption, specialized maintenance, higher insurance premiums, registration, and licensing.

Popular Models:

  • Freightliner, Peterbilt, Kenworth, and Volvo all manufacture trucks suitable for towing RVs.

Customization and Accessories:

  • Custom paint and graphics are popular customization options but don’t forget about engine and suspension upgrades.

User Insights:

"Traveling in our custom rig feels amazing. We’re safer and can go anywhere the road takes us. Plus we get to talk to a lot of people who want to know what it’s like to pull our RV with an 18-wheeler.”

HDT and Dune Sport Toy Hauler

HDT and Dune Sport Toy Hauler


Whether you travel in a luxurious Class A or prefer the coziness of a teardrop trailer, a Harvest Hosts Membership is the perfect companion. With over 5,000 locations at wineries, breweries, and farms, there’s a host waiting to welcome you just about anywhere you can dream of traveling. Join Harvest Hosts before you set out on your next RV adventure.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,657 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Amy Leal-profile-image
Amy Leal
I’m a free-spirited travel and lifestyle writer who loves the RV life. I spent several years living in my vintage Holiday Rambler and exploring the beautiful United States. Today, I live in a casita on the Sea of Cortez and take shorter road trips. I’m excited to trace new maps with stories of Mexico’s sun-soaked magic and the joy of roaming without borders.