Recreational Vehicles (RV) were popularised by the US. It started on August 21, 1915, when the Conklin family decided to leave Huntington, New York, to go on a camping trip using their customised vehicle called the “Gypsy Van” built by Ronald Conklin.
The van began to draw people’s attention and the media, which made it known worldwide. But before that, RV-like structures such as the covered gypsy wagon have been travelling around Europe. Fast track to the 21st century, the RV has now been modernised, and many people are using it.
Types of RVs
Before you ought to buy an RV, it is good to know that there are different types. These types can be categorised into two: Motorised and Towable. Motorised RVs are a single unit, while towable RVs are a separate unit that needs another vehicle, perhaps a truck, to tow it.
- Class A Diesel Motorhomes
This type of RV is also known as diesel pushers. It has a specially designed chassis and a large diesel engine that can endure long trips. It has ample living space and cargo storage, which makes it perfect for full-time RVers. However, because of its great features, this type of RV is expensive and considered a luxury.
- Class A Gas Motorhomes
This type of RV is famous for full-time RVers. It is powered by gas and is less expensive compared to a Class A Diesel Motorhome. It also provides the comfort of your own home and usually has slide-outs for added space. Both Class A Motorhomes (Diesel and Gas) resemble a bus structure with an estimated length of 30 to 40 feet.
- Class B Motorhomes
Usually referred to as the B-Van, this type of RV is built on a van chassis. You can either buy it with a diesel or gas engine, and it is usually 20 to 25 feet in length. It is popular among travelling couples. Although small, this type of RV has a unique design that can fit your needs, such as seats that can convert into a bed in minutes.
- Class C Motorhomes
This type of RV is smaller compared to Class A motorhomes but has similar amenities. Also, it offers more space than a Class B motorhome because of its distinct “cab-over” design that can be used as a storage or a sleeping area. This RV ranges from 20 to 30 feet and is usually built on a truck and van chassis. Since it is smaller, it can go through places where Class A motorhomes can’t go due to its large size.
- Fifth Wheel Campers
This large towable RV is usually towed by pick-up trucks. This is great for a large number of campers due to its extended length and slide-outs. RVers who use this type usually hire a pick-up truck to pull the RV to a campsite and detach it for a few days to enjoy.
- Toy Haulers
This is sometimes called sport utility RVs. It has a large cargo area equipped with heavy-duty doors that also serves as a ramp. Hence, it has a vast storage space that can fit other vehicles such as a motorcycle, golf cart, or snowmobile. It combines the features of a home and a garage, making it perfect for those who wish to bring their gear and outdoor toys.
- Travel Trailers
Travel trailers are portable containers equipped with the comfort of living in a home and have slide-outs that offer additional space. It is easy to set-up and detach, making it a favourite for most RVers. Also, this type of RV is not picky when it comes to towing. Different towing vehicles can be used to pull travel trailers such as a van or SUV.
- Teardrop Campers/ Tiny Trailers
This type of RV is shaped like a teardrop. Most consumers chose teardrop campers because of its vintage vibe. It usually weighs less than 4,000 lbs and is similar to class B motorhomes.
- Pop-Up Campers
This type of RV is lightweight- it means it can easily be towed by any vehicle. It has collapsible compartments that look like a tent when popped up. It doesn’t offer a lot of living space, but it is considered cheap.
Motorised vs. Towable: Pros and Cons
Motorised RVs are single units, which means you only have to take good care of one unit. When it comes to moving, motorised RVs don’t need to attach to another vehicle for it to travel, plus it can tow a small vehicle from behind.
On the downside, motorised RVs are much more expensive compared to towable ones. Also, if a motorised RV is up for maintenance or repair, it means you have to leave the house that comes along with it as well.
Besides having a wide variety of options for Towable RVs, they are considered affordable for consumers. They are also less expensive when it comes to repairing and maintenance, plus they are easier to customize. However, since it is not a single unit, most tow vehicles needed to move it are expensive. And if you choose to tow it by yourself, it can be difficult.
RV financing can be a bit tricky, but many buyers rely on having a loan to own an RV faster. An RV loan is a long term type of financing (usually 10 to 15 years) and is similar to a car loan. Sources of RV loans are online lenders, credit unions, banks, or an RV dealership.
Before applying for a loan to finance your desired RV, here are a few things to consider:
It is essential to know what type of RV you can afford and want to buy in order to determine how you will be able to finance it. You need to figure out first the necessity of having an RV. Consider the size, durability, and special features in choosing what type to buy. Don’t forget to include in your budget the other expenses that go along with owning an RV such as repairs, maintenance, gas, insurance, utilities, and other fees.
- Credit Score
The higher the credit score, the good are the chances. To get a better deal in RV loans, it is essential to have a good credit score. It is good to check your credit reports with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion in advance.
- Type of Loan
You need to consider what type of loan you want to get: either secured or unsecured loan. A secured personal loan has lower rates but needs to be supported by collateral (usually the RV itself). On the other hand, an unsecured personal loan can offer fast funding but with a higher rate.
RVs are used for vacations and camping trips, while some use it as their residence. With all the variety of RVs available in the market and the ways to get one, knowing the differences will help you choose what you want. Hence, it won’t be a waste of time and money.
Lauren Cordell is a wanderlust who is also interested in the financial world. She writes stories about her travel experience and destinations including camping, RVs, Airbnb’s, and the likes. Her goal is to help her readers discover great deals and enjoy the best out of their travel plans.