If you’ve ever considered a road trip, you’ve probably thought about using an RV. But what is an RV?

Before you choose an RV at random, it’s important to know a bit about the different types you can choose from. That way, you can make the best decision for you.


The name RV stands for recreational vehicle. Basically, it’s a type of vehicle that you can use for camping, road trips, and similar leisure activities.

What is an RV good for? What isn’t it good for? If you’re just heading on a day trip, you probably don’t need to use an RV. Your car or SUV should suffice.

However, an RV is great for overnight camping trips or longer road trips.

On the road

If you want to go on a road trip, it can take a lot of planning. You have to know where you want to go and when. If you don’t plan your trip, you will have to hope hotels have an opening.

And even if you do book a hotel each night, that can add up.

Most RVs have plenty of room for you to sleep. Of course, you still have to find a place to park your RV each night. But it will probably save you money over a long road trip. Plus, the added space of an RV means you can take more stuff on your trip. That can also save you money on things like food, water, and other essential items.

In the wild

What is an RV if it isn’t great for any sort of camping? RVs are great for road trips, but maybe you just want to take a weekend trip to the lake.

An RV can be an excellent tool for your next camping trip. They’re usually bigger than your car or truck so that you can bring more gear. Plus, you can sleep in the RV so you won’t have to set up a tent.

Maybe your local campsite has rough ground, so sleeping in a tent is uncomfortable. Or perhaps you want some extra security. Well, an RV is great for storage and sleeping, and it’s thicker and sturdier than a tent.


rvs parked and all lined up

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RVs and campers come in all different sizes. And not all of those sizes are technically RVs. So, what is an RV? There are a few things that set RVs apart from campers.

Size is the first thing, but then the name is also important. A camper is just that. It’s a place for you to camp out. However, an RV is a vehicle that also happens to have a sleeping and living space.

There are a few different types of RVs, even within the realm of motorized vehicles.


The Class A RV, or motorhome, is probably what you picture when you think about an RV. They’re big, and passengers can move around even when the RV is moving.

These RVs also have more space than some other types of RVs. That means they’re a great choice for family trips or other small groups. And with the name “motorhome,” these RVs include a lot of the comforts you have at home. You can sleep in them, relax during the day, and some even have kitchens or other amenities.

Class A RVs are also the most expensive. If you buy one yourself, you can expect to pay close to six figures. And that means rentals fees aren’t cheap either.

Once a van

If you want a motorized RV but want something a bit smaller, then you might like a Class B RV. This type of RV usually comes from old vans.

RV manufacturers can turn vans into Class B RVs by raising the height of the roof, lengthening the vehicle, and adding extra hardware. The layout and dimensions of these RVs can vary. So make sure you look at a few before deciding on the right one. Since these RVs are smaller than motorhomes, they’re great for solo travelers or couples.

You might also be able to use one for a group if you don’t plan on doing much in it besides sleeping and driving.

A Class B RV is still going to be expensive, but it’s not as pricy as a motorhome. After all, you will have less space. Of course, not everyone needs a full motorhome.

Middle of the road

If you’re unsure about a Class A or Class B RV, the Class C RV is another option. This is the type of RV that looks like a truck instead of a van.

These RVs have a section that sits over the truck which gives you some extra storage space. Class C RVs also have some extra space within the cabin itself, and many of them have kitchen appliances and other home comforts. A Class C RV is a nice compromise between the previous two categories.

You get some of the space and features of a Class A RV. However, you can save a bit of money.

If you’re new to RVs, then a Class C RV is a good choice.

Power on wheels

The last type of motorized RV is a Super C. These RVs have the same basic design as Class C RVs.

However, the Super C uses a bigger engine that gives it more power. The engine is the same as that of semi-trucks, and you can do a lot with them. You can drive more easily on uneven terrain. And if you want to bring a smaller vehicle on your trip, you can hook that to the Super C.

But like with most things, more features means a higher cost. These RVs can top the price of Class A RVs. So make sure you really need or want that extra power before you shell out the extra cash.

Trailing behind

So, we’ve covered motorhomes. But they don’t completely cover the question of what is an RV. Of course, motorhomes are very popular.

However, other types of RVs don’t have their own motors.

There are multiple types of towable RVs. The first primary type is called a fifth wheel. You can attach the camper to your own truck, and you can tow your RV around on the road.

The second type is more like a tent. These campers aren’t really RVs, but you can set them up in a way that allows you to feel like you’re in a home. Like motorized RVs, towable RVs can vary in price. However, they’re usually cheaper than their full motor counterparts.

If you want to start living the RV life but are on a strict budget, a towable RV can be a great way to get started. Of course, you can always upgrade to a motorhome as your love for RVs grows.


an RV parked along the road overlooking a great view

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Once you get an RV, you’ll quickly learn that it’s not the same as driving your car or truck. RVs are bigger and require more space to turn. It can also be more challenging to park an RV, and you also have to know how to fill the gas tank.

What is an RV? It’s a recreational vehicle. But the emphasis is on the word vehicle.

Make sure you understand how to operate your new RV before you hit the open road. Yes, they can be a great way to explore the world around you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be responsible.


photo of an RV with the high mountain on its bakdrop

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What is an RV? It’s a vehicle that gives you a bit of extra freedom while on the road.

You can go where you want, and you can set up camp pretty much anywhere. However, not all RVs are the same. RVs come in different sizes, and the price difference can be huge. Some RVs have their own motors, while others are basically trailers.

Before you set off on your next RV adventure, consider your needs. If you are only traveling for a few days, you probably don’t need a huge Class A RV. So spending the money to buy or rent one would be overkill. However, a camper or trailer might not be enough for a month-long road trip. The extra space of a motorhome means you can bring more stuff from home.

Plus that extra space will make it feel more like a home than a vehicle.

Let’s return to the original question. What is an RV?

An RV is a vehicle that you can use to camp, go on a road trip, or even live in full time. Like other vehicles, there are tons of RVs to choose from. And you can’t forget that it is a vehicle. In other words, you have to operate it correctly.

RVs can be a fantastic way to travel. Luckily, many RVs have something for everyone.

Have you ever had an RV? Do you plan to get one? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image by Jairph via Unsplash.com