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The Basics of Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Campers

The Basics of Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Campers

Who doesn’t like the idea of taking a trip in a campervan or RV in order to get away from it all for a while? It shouldn’t come as any surprise that so many people decide to purchase RVs. However, you might be surprised to know that there are many different types of RVs in existence. In addition, the history of RVs is rather interesting. If you’ve been thinking about purchasing one for yourself, you may want to read through this first in order to find out more about them.

What is an RV?
The term RV stands for recreational vehicle. It can cover a lot of different types of recreational vehicles, ranging from a small camper that fits on the back of a pickup to a full-blown motor home that has every amenity you can imagine. For most people, something in between these two extremes tends to work best. In short, an RV is virtually any type of vehicle that you can stay in overnight while travelling. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a motor, although some do. If you can find it when you go camping and it’s not a tent, it’s probably an RV. If you’re confused, don’t worry. Everything will be sorted out very shortly. In order to get a better idea of what an RV actually is, it is necessary to learn a thing or two about the history of RVs first.

The History of RVs
You might be surprised to learn that the first RV was invented as far back as 1915. That’s right, RVs have been around for more than 100 years. Make no mistake about it, this first example of a recreational vehicle wasn’t exactly fancy. In fact, it was actually a Ford Model T with a bed attached to the back of it. There wasn’t much else to it, but it certainly did start a movement that is still going strong today. By the 1930s, the iconic Airstream trailers were so popular that they could be found all over the country. With their iconic brushed aluminum finish, they were easy to spot from a mile away. Even as early as the 30s, they incorporated both a stove and a refrigerator. They weren’t exactly economical as far as the purchase price was concerned, but for those who had the means, they were definitely worth the price.

In the 1950s, people were looking for a way to travel with RVs, but they had to be able to do it with the automobiles they already had at their disposal. This created a need for smaller recreational vehicles that could easily be towed with a car. As a result, the Shasta trailer was born. It was anything but roomy, yet it became one of the more popular trailers in existence. It’s important to remember that this was after World War II. People were looking for something that was more economical and the Shasta fit the bill.

Things didn’t change too much with regards to recreational vehicles until the late 1960s when Winnebago finally came on the scene with their iconic motorhome. It was big and boxy but it was a self-contained recreational vehicle that had all of the amenities of that time period. They became popular because people didn’t need to have a separate vehicle to tow them. Instead, they simply drove them. This marked the first time that a true motorhome gained any real leverage in the world of RVs.

Speaking of the 1960s, who could forget the popular VW Bus? This became a hallmark in the world of recreational vehicles during the 1960s and 1970s. It’s still something that’s widely sought after today. Because of its popularity, a few of them still exist, despite the passage of a significant amount of time since they were produced. If you’re looking for a VW Bus in good condition, be ready for it to set you back quite a lot. Because of their popularity and the fact that there aren’t that many of them left in good condition, they typically command a price tag ranging from $80,000 to $150,000.

Today, it’s all about both nostalgia and luxury. Some people prefer to take an older RV made in the 50s, 60s or 70s and refurbish it so that it has modern-day amenities. Others prefer to skip that step all together and purchase something that has more amenities than many site-built homes. There’s definitely no shortage of options available in today’s recreational vehicles. If you have the money to spend, there is a product out there that has everything you want.

The Different RV Types
As previously mentioned, there are campers that are designed to attach to the bed of a pickup. Some people consider this the most entry-level RV. However, if you’re talking about different classes of recreational vehicles, they include travel trailers that can be towed behind another vehicle and motor homes, which are driven. The different kinds of travel trailers include those with slide-outs for additional room and those that are towed with a fifth wheel. These types of trailers are usually much bigger than their counterparts. They’re all so much heavier, requiring a larger vehicle to tow them.

The biggest type of motorhome is the Class A. These are the longer, full size motorhomes that you see on the road. They are typically the most expensive. They also tend to have the greatest number of amenities. Next in line is the Class B motorhome. This particular design looks more like a converted van than anything else. It’s bigger than a Class C, but not nearly as big as a Class A. Last but not least is the Class C motorhome. This is the smallest size in the group, yet many of them still offer more than enough room for one or two people to be comfortable. They’re also more economical to purchase and operate than a Class A. However, they may not have as many amenities.

Now that you know more about the different types of motorhomes and how long they’ve been around, it may be time for you to go look for one that works well for your needs. At least now you might have a better idea about whether you want a trailer or motorhome and if so, which class interests you the most. In the end, it’s all about having fun and enjoying the freedom that comes with owning an RV.


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