For most, the word “camping” conjures images of sleeping in a tent-or under the stars, cooking over an open fire and taking sponge baths in a lake or stream. If that sort of primitive vacation doesn’t appeal to you, consider RV camping. Camping in a recreational vehicle allows you to enjoy the great outdoors without roughing it.
RVs are available in many shapes and sizes. The smallest are simply campers that fit in the back of pickup trucks. Despite their economical size, however, many have full kitchens, beds, showers and toilets.
Class B motor homes, which are cargo vans converted into campers, have more headroom than truck campers, and they often have more amenities, too.
Class C motor homes resemble a pickup truck from the front but look like any other motor home from behind. A sleeping compartment extends over the cab, making the Class C more visually interesting than a basic cargo box RVs. These motor homes have copious amenities, including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms. Those who are looking for temporary living space-or even permanent accommodations-could do much worse than a Class C.
Class A motor homes are the most spacious. In fact, they’re comparable to a small one-bedroom apartment. Fully self-contained, they offer a queen-sized bed, a dinette with seating for four and a kitchen complete with refrigerator, stove and microwave. Some even have icemakers.
Travel trailers are another option for RV camping. These are pulled behind large sedans, SUVs or pickup trucks. Fifth wheel trailer hook onto the back of pickups. Both types can be just as luxurious as the finest quality motor home, and on average, they are less expensive.
When shopping for an RV, be sure to attend RV shows, which are often located at fairgrounds and stadiums. These feature a wide variety of makes and models. Often RV shows are given by area dealers to showcase their inventories.
Once you start looking, you’ll quickly realize that RVs can be very expensive. If you’re unsure about investing $40,000 to $250,000 in a new RV, consider buying used. Some Class A’s sell used for less than $10,000.
Of course, older, larger motor homes are less fuel efficient than new ones. Some older models average only five to seven mpg. Motor homes from the 1990s average seven to nine mpg, while new ones can get up to 12.
When you choose a new RV or a used one, research your prospective purchase on the internet first. It’s also a good idea to learn all that you can about RV living in general. Use your favorite search engine to find RV forums. Soon you could be joining thousands of others who happily travel and camp in a recreational vehicle.