OK, so you are interested in RVs.

Fantastic, until you realize that there are so many different styles, brands, descriptions, and names.

I know when we first started, we had a tough time knowing which RV was what.

There were the trailer types and then the motorhomes, but even these had subcategories.

In this post we will help you figure out the different RV types and maybe help you decide which is right for you and your family.

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There are two (2) different types of motorhomes:

Class A

Class C

They are either gas or diesel powered, and let’s get it out of the way:  diesels pull more, but cost more.

They all have sleeping accommodations for at least two (2) people, and from there – the sky’s the limit.

Class A Motorhomes:

These are the large, flat front motorhomes.

They tend to have plenty of storage and a large price tag (when new).

They can sleep up to 12 depending on the layout and furnishings.

Whether gasoline or diesel powered, they are able to tow a vehicle/boat or storage unit behind them.

They have seating for the driver/passenger (co-pilot), other passengers sit in the dinette/sofa sections.

Make sure that you have enough seat belts for all your passengers, although those not in the driver/co-pilot seats have only lapbelts.

Newer Class A’s almost always come with one or more slides (a side of the motorhome that slides out) that increase living space when parked.

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Find out more about the RVing adventures of The Martins and The Highleys



Class C Motorhomes

These vary greatly in size and pricing.

We have seen some very tiny ones not much larger than a van and some that just keep going.

Some have sleeping quarters above the driver/passenger cab, while others use this space for entertainment/storage.

They can sleep 12 or 2, depending on the layout and furnishings as well.

The driver/co-pilot have cab seating while other passengers have lap belts in the dinette/sofa areas.

Like Class As, these can tow a vehicle/boat/storage unit behind them.

They can have multiple slides like the Class A motorhomes that can dramatically increase living space.

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Find out more about life in a Class C, check out Modigazzi Travels on YouTube.


While you can sleep in just about anything, I’m talking about the vans that have been modified in some way to comfortably accommodate at least a bed.

Some also have small kitchens and maybe even a small wet-bath (toilet, shower, sink all together).

Vans are small and fit anywhere…allowing for some stealth camping.

Some also look like regular vans, and are great if you want to boondock (RV without being connected to electricity, water, etc., also referred to as dry-camping) without anyone knowing (urban camping anyone?).

These are small enough that you don’t need to tow another vehicle for getting around town, but you can add a cargo rack for your bike or kayaks.

They do have limited storage and typically accommodate 2 passengers.


Class B “Bertha” used with permission from Nomadic Fanatic


There are two (2) different types of trailers:

Travel Trailers (with Hybrids as a subcategory)

5th Wheels

These have to be pulled by a large truck based vehicles.


Travel Trailers (TTs)

TTs attach to the frame of the towing vehicle with a hitch.

It is near impossible to describe a typical travel trailer.

The possibilities are endless: King sized master bed, a full bunkhouse with a half bath, washer/dryer hookups, residential fridge…

The size and price vary greatly as well.

They often have slides like Class A and Class C motorhomes as well and can sleep 2 to 12, depending on layout.

Storage capabilities vary greatly, but usually not as much as the motorhomes so you have to be thoughtful and creative with how you organize .

Passengers ride together in the tow vehicle, not in the RV.

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Want to learn more about traveling in a travel trailer? Check out these YouTube channels: The Long Long HoneymoomTrial by Fire: Enjoying the Journey, and Exploring the Local Life.


Pop-up Trailers

Pop-ups are small, light-weight towable trailers.

The sleeping quarters are heavy duty nylon/canvas, like a tent, and have a built in mattress.

Pop-up Trailers are collapsed until you are ready to set them up. Then they literally pop-up.

They are the next step from tent camping, but have electrical outlets, kitchens, A/C units, and some have bathrooms.

These are more for weekends and vacations… I’ve heard of folks full time RVing in them, but I wouldn’t recommend them.



These are a combination of pop-up trailer and a typical travel trailers.

They are towable and the sleeping quarters are heavy duty nylon/canvas, like a tent, and have a built in mattress.

They can be quite basic, or fully outfitted with wet-baths, refrigerators, heat and air conditioning like any other RV.

Don’t let their appearance fool you, these are capable machines and viable options for the RV life!

Elizabeth DeGrazia Boyce’s RV from Wandering the World Below – A blog about their adventures


Fifth Wheels

Also referred to as Fivers, fifth wheels, attach to a hitch in the pickup bed and directly over the rear wheels of the tow vehicle.

They have high ceilings and they offer the greatest variety in floorplans – some are toyhaulers (for motorcycles, four wheelers, or even golfcarts); others have porches, multiple bathrooms, ceiling fans, or bunkhouses.

They can sleep 2 to 12 depending on floorplan.

Fivers generally have multiple slides that drastically increase living space.

Well designed Fifth Wheel trailers also have a great amount of storage and room for a washer and dryer!

Passengers, as with Travel Trailers, ride in the tow vehicle, not in the RV.

Pricing can also vary greatly.

The price and space value of a Fifth Wheel, however, can be hard to beat.

It is critical to be sure to have a tow vehicle that can handle the weight of the trailer, and be able to stop safely.

We know many large families from Facebook and Youtube that have gone with this option!

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Want to learn more? Check out the following YouTube Channels and Blogs:

Spot The Scotts YouTube Channel

Tour the Vetetoe’s 2015 Heartland Silverado 37QB

Find out how Becka Robinson is “unapologetically building my dream life + helping others do the same”

Find about more about the Giggey’s Open Range Light Fifth Wheel on their blog


Final Thoughts:

Make sure to look at the various RV types in person.

You may be surprised at what you end finding that will fit your needs.

There is model out there whether you are single, a couple, or a large family traveling around the country.

If you are ready to learn more? Check out our post about our top resources for researching the RV life!

Best of luck in your research.

Please let us know if you have any questions in comments section below! Thank you.

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So many RVs - Trailers, Fifth Wheels, Motorhomes, Vans. How they are different and which one is best for your and your travels.


I’m a blogging, YouTubing, RVing, roadschooling mama of two who is married to the fantastic Robert (the other half of Exploring the Local Life).

Jessica – who has written posts on Exploring the Local Life.

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6 thoughts on “RV 101 – The Different Kinds – Travel Trailers, 5th Wheels, Class A, Class B, Class C

  1. Why would you use a criminal.con man Eric(aka nomadic fraudmatic ) He scams people. He sold stickers for a transmission that was already fixed. Then he did not send them all out to those who bought them. This is fraud. I sure hope he claims all those sold stickers to the IRS.. Because I tipped them off and they are watching you ERIC

    1. We learned about living in a RV watching Eric’s channel. He has given great tips about how to live the life and discussed things we were curious. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Very informative article. We are thinking about RVing ourselves. Thank you so much.

    1. Yes, Casita. We have a family friend that has one and they have no complaints. They look super cute and capable. Thanks for sharing and commenting.

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