Top 10 RV Questions Answered
In the last few years, there has been
an unprecedented desire to travel in recreational vehicles. 2021 was,
in fact, a record-breaking year for RV sales, with about a 40%
increase in shipments over the 2020 year-end total. All signs
indicate 2022 will equally be a big year for recreational vehicles.
But with so many people getting
on board with RV life, there are plenty of things to
learn, like how to pick the right motorhome or travel trailer,
mistakes to avoid, and costs to expect. Fortunately, we’ve compiled
and answered the 10 most popular questions about RVs to help you make
The world of recreational vehicles is
enormous, and it can be confusing making sense of each type of rig.
Generally, all RVs are split into two groups: motorized types and
These are the rigs you can drive, and
there’s no need for an extra vehicle for towing. They are further
divided into three classes, including:
- Class A RVs – They are huge
buses or semi-trucks fitted with luxurious floor plans and designs.
- Class B RVs – Commonly
known as camper vans, they are RVs built on a van chassis, and they
are the smallest of all motorized RVs.
- Class C RVs– Class Cs
combine the best features of Class As and Bs. They are built on a
truck chassis and are recognized by their over-cab sleeping/storage
These are the RVs you tow with a truck
or other vehicle capable of towing.
- Travel Trailers – Sometimes
called a bumper-pull, this popular RV is towed by a bumper hitch
that extends from the front of the trailer.
- Fifth Wheels – They’re
large and luxurious towables that connect to the tow vehicle via a
gooseneck extension mounted in the center of the truck bed.
- Toy Haulers – They’re
super large travel trailers, fifth wheel, or even Class As that
offer you a place to sleep while also having the space to carry your
outdoor vehicles like ATVs, dirt bikes, and jet skis.
- Pop-Up Campers – Also known
as fold-out campers or tent campers, they’re a type of RV that
features extendable side sections that are folded away during
- Tear Drop Campers – They
are tiny and super-light RVs with a streamlined shape. They get
their name from their teardrop profile.
This question’s answer is wholly
dependent on what you want out of your RV experience. Each RV is
built for different purposes. Some are only great for short road
trips, others are made for off-grid camping, while others can travel
ideal for any season.
If you’re traveling solo or with your
spouse, travel buddy, or furry
friend, a smaller campervan will do. For a family of
three or four, a Class C will offer enough personal space. If you
prefer to go off-the-beaten-path, get a rig with off-road and
If you’re unsure what suits your needs
best, you can always rent and test out different RVs before buying
one. Some dealers also allow you to try before you buy.
Choosing an RV for full-time living is
quite different from picking a rig for recreation only. The first
thing you’ll want is a spacious and comfortable floor plan and enough
storage capacity. The RV should also be able to handle the climate of
where you plan to camp.
If you want to stay in one place for
months at a time, then a big travel trailer, fifth wheel, or Class A
will give you ample living space. If you plan to move constantly, get
something that’s easy to drive or tow. Be sure to choose your RV
amenities carefully because that’s what will make your camping life
Here’s the average cost of buying an
RV in 2022.
- Class A – Between $100,000
- Class B – Between $40,000
- Class C – Between $50,000
- Travel Trailer – Between
$12,000 and $55,000
- Fifth Wheel – Between
$20,000 and 100,000
- Toy Hauler – Between
$20,000 and $250,000
- Pop-Up Camper – Between
$10,000 and $25,000
- Tear Drop Camper – Between
$5,000 and $20,000
To avoid nasty surprises, learn how
much you should expect to spend when you buy your own rig. Some
costs, however, will depend on the type of RV you own. Here are the
obvious and hidden
- Gas – Expect to spend
around $300 on gas every 1000 miles.
- Campground Fees – You’ll
spend between $25 and $80 a night on RV camping sites.
- Insurance – Expect to pay
around $300 to $2000 depending on the RV and travel lifestyle.
- Taxes and Registration Fees
– Varies depending on where you live.
Other significant costs include
maintenance, replacing worn parts like tires and brakes, food,
activities, and storage when you’re not camping.
It depends. If you can find a used RV
that has been well maintained and runs almost as if it’s new, well
and good. But if a professional inspection reveals serious issues,
then search elsewhere. If you look around, you can discover pre-owned
but well-cared-for RVs at a fraction of the cost of buying new. And
if you’re lucky enough, you may find one with some great custom
Although motorhomes are longer, wider,
and heavier than the average vehicle, they aren’t difficult to
drive. The size of the rig can affect its drivability, but with a bit
of practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Before you hit the road,
practice at home how to turn, back up, brake, and park.
To be safe on the road, drive slower,
keep a good distance between you and the car in front, start breaking
earlier, and check in advance whether the road you want to use has
height and width restrictions. Also, be aware of everyone around
you—especially in your blind spot.
Most motorhomes can be driven by anyone
with a regular driver’s license. However, some states require a
special license to register, own, and operate some rigs. That’s if
your RV, towing vehicle, or motorhome exceeds a particular length or
weight. Vehicles under 26,000 pounds don’t need a special permit in
any one of the 50 states.
Yes, you need RV insurance. That’s
why we’ve factored it in the cost of ownership. Insurance is
required in most states if you have a class A, B, or C vehicle.
However, it’s optional for towable RVs since they’re not motorized.
Note that lenders often require that financed RVs, whether motorized
or towable carry a full coverage policy.
RVs are awesome but not perfect. It’s
not uncommon to hear owners complain about burst water lines, window
and roof leaks, battery failure, toilet malfunctions, sticky
slideouts, and excessive tire
wear. Luckily, all these issues can be avoided if
you’re proactive with maintenance and perform an inspection before
every road trip.
The path to RV ownership can be quite
overwhelming if you aren’t sure of what to expect. Fortunately, our
answers to the most common RV questions will help you learn as much
as you can before making that investment.