What Are The Different RV Classes? [10+ Types Explained!]

Bradley Williams
Written By:
Bradley Williams
Last Updated:
February 13, 2023
Looking to hire an RV but not sure where to start? Here's a breakdown of all the RV classes so you've got an idea of what's most suitable for you!
different RV classes

More and more people are opting for a RV style vacation rather than the classic jumping from hotel to hotel trip!

Traveling via RV opens up so many more opportunities for exploring and getting out into nature, so it's not hard to see why it's such a popular option.

Whether you're looking to explore the highlands of Scotland, drive across Canada, or head to Norway, there are so many fantastic road trips in the world waiting for you!

Not only will you save money on accommodation, but you'll also have the flexibility to create your own itinerary and not have to rely on public transport.

If you're looking to rent or buy your first RV, or even convert your own campervan you might be overwhelmed with all of the different options on the market. 

From Class As to Class Bs to bus conversions, there are so many different types of recreational vehicles that it can be tricky to decide what will best suit you and your traveling style. 

We're going to break down each different type of RV to help you find out which is the perfect vehicle for you...

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Class A RVs

Class A RV

Best suited to: Larger groups 

Average price: $95,000 - $500,000

Class A RVs are actually classed as motorhomes rather than campervans and are probably what comes to mind when you think of a celebrity tour bus. 

These vehicles are usually very luxurious and range from around 25-45 feet in length. Being the largest type of RV a lot of them have full living areas, separate bathrooms, and can sleep 8 to 10 people. 

The chassis is part of what differentiates this type of vehicle from other classes of RV. Generally a Class A RV is built on a commercial bus chassis or a commercial truck chassis.

This can mean that they're significantly more difficult to maneuver than other types of RV and can require a specialized drivers license depending on the country you're driving in. 

Class A RVs can resemble more like an apartment than your standard campervan which means they're usually rented for a shorter style special occasion trip than longer-term use. 

Due to their size and luxurious style, they're the most expensive style of RV with prices starting at around 45,000 US dollars for a second hand model.

Here are some examples of Class A motorhomes/RVs...

A luxury motorhome

Pros of a class A RV

  • The large size makes them comfortable and spacious
  • Usually has air conditioning and heating
  • Many include separate bathrooms 
  • Ideal for larger groups
  • Luxury feel 

Cons of a class A RV

  • Expensive to buy, rent and run
  • Low fuel efficiency 
  • Harder to park and drive 
  • Too big for smaller RV and campsites 

Class B RVs

Dreamer Campervan

Best suited to: Solo travelers, couples and small groups

Average price: $50,000 - $250,000

Class Bs are the smallest type of RVs and are more commonly known as campervans. 

They have all the basic amenities you would need such as a small kitchen, a double bed or two single beds, some storage and some vehicles will also have a toilet and a small shower room. While they're not as spacious or as luxurious as a class A, they have a few extra perks too. 

Being smaller vehicles they tend to be easier to drive and park meaning they are perfect if you're less experienced with driving larger vehicles. Class Bs typically don't need a specialized driver's license to rent either due to their compact size. 

They're also widely accepted in campsites and road stops which makes them an easier option for a road trip. You'll benefit from more stops, and can get off the beaten path.

Class B RVs range from around 18 to 24 feet long and sleep between 1 to 4 people. This makes them the perfect choice for a one or two-person trip or weekend getaway. 

A more affordable option for RV rental and purchasing is a Class B. They usually start at around 50,000 US dollars to buy and are a lot more fuel efficient than Class As.

If you think this type of vehicle may be the most suited to you, then here's some information on Class B RVs.

Compact Class B RV

Pros of a class B RV

  • Lower cost 
  • Convenient to drive and park 
  • Fuel efficiency 
  • Compact size 
  • Ideal for first-time RV owners 

Cons of a Class B RV

  • Can feel quite claustrophobic if you have to spend a lot of time in one. 
  • Lack of storage space
  • Sometimes do not have toilet or shower facilities 
  • Fewer amenities than class A

Class C RVs

Class C RV in the Desert

Best suited to: Families 

Average price: $100,000 - $250,000

Class C motorhomes are sometimes known as the more affordable cousin of the Class A RV. 

They're considered a motorhome rather than a campervan but do often resemble a large campervan with an overhead cabin for extra sleeping space

Unlike Class As, Class Cs are built on a truck chassis. This makes the Class Cs significantly easier to drive despite their size!

Class C motorhomes usually range from 20 feet to 33 feet long depending on the model which makes them a comfortable size for 4-6 people, although some can even sleep 8. 

The Class Cs are a more affordable option for those wanting a larger vehicle than a campervan but without splashing out on a Class A. The price of Class Cs typically depend on the make and whether it's purchased brand new, but if you're lucky you might be able to find deals of around 35,000 USD.

With all the same amenities of the Class As including separate bedrooms, a living area, usually a fully working kitchen with gas stoves and a separate bathroom, Class Cs have everything you need in a more compact and slightly less glamorous style

Class Cs are commonly rented by larger groups for a trip away as they can comfortably fit a family or a group of friends for a shorter period. They're also a popular choice for families wishing to have a timeshare on an RV.

Class C RV in the Desert

Pros of a Class C RV

  • Easier to drive and park in comparison to a Class A RV
  • Larger and more spacious than a Class B
  • Comes in a variety of layouts and designs. 
  • More affordable to buy and run than the Class A. 
  • Sleeps 4-8 people 

Cons of a Class C RV

  • Not as spacious or luxurious as the Class As
  • Due to their larger size, they may cost more to park and go through tolls. 
  • Less fuel efficient than campervans
  • Some might need a special driver's license due to size. 

Other types of RV

Campervan conversions

Couple chilling by their Campervan

Best suited to: Solo travelers and couples

Average price: $5,000 - $50,000

Campervan conversions are all the range nowadays. Millennials are straying away from the giant RVs and are opting for smaller campervans and van conversions to feel more at one with nature and enjoy a more authentic experience. 

Campervan conversions tend to be simple, compact, purpose-built, and very aesthetically pleasing! 

By starting your own conversion project, you have the freedom to choose every aspect of the layout amenities and build it to meet your own personal needs. While this route can be expensive, you have the ability to keep the costs down in order to meet your own budget. 

It must be noted that if you're planning to register your conversion as a campervan, there are some requirements outlined by the Department of Transportation that must be met. 

If you're planning a longer trip for one or two people, converting your own van would be the perfect opportunity to create your own mini-home suited to your own needs and style. 

Alternatively, you can purchase an already converted campervan or find a company that converts a camper to your design if you don't fancy your own DIY project.

Completed campervan conversion interior

Pros of campervan conversions

  • Freedom to design layout and interior yourself
  • Easy to drive and park 
  • Smaller size means you can park off-road and travel to harder-to-reach places
  • More fuel efficient 
  • Fun DIY project! 

Cons of campervan conversions

  • Can add up to be just as costly as purchasing your own campervan
  • Takes a lot of time and hard work to convert yourself
  • Usually smaller and more compact than other RV options. 
  • Fewer amenities including full kitchens and a toilet. 

Bus conversions (& Skoolies)

Skoolie Bus Conversion

Best suited to: Long-term travelers and DIY lovers! 

Average price: $20,000 - $70,000

Bus conversions are also now growing in popularity and are a great option for those who want to design their own liveable vehicle to travel around on a larger scale. 

Buses are obviously larger in size than your typical campervan making them similar to a Class A RV in living space and driving style. 

Skoolies have been very trendy for a few years now and are a really cool option for a bus conversion. These are the iconic American school buses that have been converted into a motorhome. 

Bus conversions take a lot of work but ultimately give a great final result. Designed to be spacious, meet personal needs, and look pretty epic, they're a fantastic option if you don't mind driving a vehicle of this size.

If this is something that you're interested in then check out this guide on how to convert a Skoolie...

School Bus RV Conversion

Pros of bus conversions

  • Spacious
  • Unlimited design choices
  • Fun to design, renovate and live in
  • Cheap to buy pre-renovation
  • They look pretty cool! 

Cons of bus conversions

  • Bus engine means poor fuel efficiency 
  • Can be costly to convert 
  • Tricky to drive and park 
  • The added expense of parking and tolls 

Truck campers

Camper Truck

Best suited to: Solo travelers and couples 

Average price: $10,000 - $50,000

With the growing popularity of vehicle conversions into motorhomes, truck campers are also more common! 

These are similar to van conversions but in the form of a box truck! As you can imagine, they tend to be pretty small and compact but have all the basics you would need for a shorter style of trip. 

They usually have a basic kitchen and a bed that folds down into a sofa when not in use and has some storage underneath. All of these amenities will mean you can travel around and stop and stay overnight in campsites with facilities. 

Truck campers are pretty cheap to buy and renovate, in comparison, which makes them a great option for young travelers. 

Pros of truck campers

  • Much more budget-friendly than other options on the market
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • You can convert a 4WD truck so you can reach those hard to access areas
  • They're the perfect option for couples or single people, as they still have the amenities you need

Cons of truck campers

  • They aren't very spacious as the layout you have is limited
  • It can be difficult to move around in them due to their size
  • Limited room for storage
  • Although small, truck drivers can still be relatively heavy

What about travel trailers?

Fifth wheels

Fifth Wheelers RV camped out in a vineyard

Best suited to: Larger groups

Average price: $35,000 - $135,000

Fifth wheelers are the largest form of RV travel trailers making them spacious and able to contain all the amenities needed for full-time living. 

They're known as fifth wheelers because their fifth wheel connects to a pin box connecting from the trailer to the bed of the truck. 

Due to their large size, there is an assortment of layout options and most of them include a fully equipped kitchen and multiple bedrooms. Fifth-wheelers have the most amount of living space and storage than any other forms of RVs making them ideal for groups and families. 

They usually sleep up to 8 people and can generally cost anywhere from 35,000 to 135,000 USD depending on the size and model.

Here's some more information about fifth wheel trailers...

Jayco Eagle brand fifth wheel

Pros of fifth wheelers

  • Easy to tow
  • Separate living and sleeping spaces
  • Ideal for long-term living 
  • A lot of storage space
  • Usually have a fully functioning kitchen and shower room 

Cons of fifth wheelers

  • Hard to park 
  • Need a heavy-duty truck to tow
  • Expensive to buy and tow
  • Extra costs for parking in RV sites 

Travel Trailers

European Travel Trailer

Best suited to: Families

Average price: $10,000 - $200,000

Travel trailers are the most common type of RV and they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. 

They generally have solid sides, giving better insulation than standard camping. However, it's common to see sliding pop-out sides and awnings for extra space. 

Your standard travel trailer will likely have a small kitchen, a separate toilet and bedroom, and a living space which can double up as another sleeping area. 

Usually travel trailers can be pulled along by any car or truck with a good enough tow rating and can be towed by the hitch attached to the front of the trailer. 

Travel trailers are a popular choice for families to own. It gives the freedom to go on multiple holidays where you can leave the trailer at the park and use the vehicle to travel around the area.

Here's some more general information about towable travel trailers...

Restored Travel Trailer

Pros of travel trailers 

  • Generally easy to tow
  • More amenities than camping 
  • Huge variety to choose from
  • Able to park the trailer and use the towing vehicle for day trips 
  • Suitable for a range of budgets 

Cons of travel trailers 

  • Need a vehicle to tow 
  • Often too large to keep on the drive or in the garage
  • Limited storage space 

Teardrop Trailers

unattached teardrop camper

Best suited to: Camping lovers

Average price: $10,000 - $20,000

Teardrop trailers are popular due to their small size and ease of travel. 

They typically don't have a bathroom and only have a small kitchen or food prep area that can often only be used when open and a living area that doubles as a bedroom. 

These are the perfect addition for a camping trip as they provide a basic insulated sleeping arrangement, some storage space, and cooking facilities. 

Due to their compact size, they don't need a large vehicle to tow and can easily be kept in a garage when not in use.

teardrop camper attached to an suv

Pros of teardrop trailers

  • Easy to tow and store 
  • Low cost
  • Sleeps one to two people

Cons of teardrop trailers

  • No toilet or shower
  • Lack of storage 
  • Limited space 

Pop-up Trailers

A pop-up camper

Best suited to: Large groups and families 

Average price: $10,000 - $20,000

Pop-up trailers are somewhere in between an RV and a tent. 

While on the road they may appear to be a standard travel trailer but once parked they're able to extend making them a lot larger in size. 

The inside areas are usually the main living space and a separate toilet, with the pop sections being extra sleeping sections and an outside awning for extra living areas, and sometimes a pop-out kitchen. 

These are a great option for people who love the classic form of camping but want a bit of extra comfort and to be that bit more protected from the elements.

Here's a guide to pop-up travel trailers...

A pop-up camper trailer by the park

Pros of pop-up trailers

  • Small and lightweight so don't need a huge truck to pull them
  • Affordable option
  • Easily stored in the garage 
  • Great for tent lovers as has a similar feel 

Cons of pop-up trailers 

  • Requires more set-up time than a regular RV
  • Similarly to camping, you are exposed to the elements and noise 
  • Limited storage space 

Toy Haulers

Toy Hauler with an ATV

Best suited to: Lovers of outdoor activities 

Average price: $20,000 - $80,000

Toy haulers are ideal for those that want to travel with a large amount of equipment or ‘toys’. 

They are designed to carry large amounts of cargo including vehicles and jet skis! 

If you regularly go on camping trips that involve a lot of outdoor activities, this might be the RV for you! 

They will have all the amenities of a basic travel trailer with an extra section on the back as storage. 

Toy Haulers are available as either a fifth wheeler or a travel trailer. The sheer size and weight of them mean that you'll need a larger vehicle to tow them but if you're an outdoor enthusiast, they are fit for purpose.

A Parked Toy Hauler

Pros of toy haulers 

  • Can carry a large amount of cargo 
  • Plenty of storage space 
  • Usually have good amenities, especially in the larger models 

Cons of toy haulers 

  • Heavy to tow 
  • Less living space for such a large trailer
  • Can be expensive 

RV class FAQs

What are the 3 classes of RV?

There are three motorhome classes; Class A, Class B, and Class C. 

What do the different RV classes mean?

They differ in size, chassis, style, and levels of luxury. 

What is the difference between Class A & Class B RVs?

Class As are a large bus style of motorhome and Class Bs are smaller campervans. 

What is the difference between Class A & Class C RVs?

Class Cs are slightly smaller and less expensive than Class A and are shaped differently with a different chassis. 

What is the difference between Class B & Class C RVs?

Class Cs are larger and usually have an extra sleeping compartment above the driving section at the front of the vehicle. 

Which RV Class will you go for?

Hopefully we have helped you understand the key features of each RV and help decide whether an RV might be a good fit for you and which one would suit your needs best! 

The RV lifestyle isn't for everyone and if you're still struggling to decide, try renting a couple of options for a few different trips before deciding on one to buy. 

You might think the campervan life is for you but in reality you prefer the luxury of a Class A or alternatively, a travel trailer might suit your needs more.

You'll find endless rental options across the world including popular road trip destinations like Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom, and Iceland!

Either way, if you're looking to rent an RV or buy an RV, I hope this guide has cleared things up for you!

We love traveling around in our van so check out some of our other articles on van life...

These posts are a great start if you're looking to build your own campervan:

Or, if you're looking to rent a van instead we've got endless guides on this too:

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