Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are available in two types, motorized and towable. A motorized RV is commonly known as a motorhome; this could be a large Class A, a Class C built on a van chassis, or a Class B van. On the other hand, travel trailers and fifth-wheels are towable, since they are towed with a truck.
Different Types of Towable RVs
Towables are generally divided into two categories; bumper-pull travel trailers and goose-neck 5th Wheels. This refers to the type of hitch used to pull the trailer.
A bumper-pull hitch goes into the hitch receiver commonly found on pickup trucks and SUVs. This is the typical “ball hitch” you may be familiar with. On the other hand, a goose-neck hitch is mounted in the bed of the pick-up truck; it’s similar to the type of hitch used by 18-wheeler trucks.
Travel trailers can further be categorized as a travel trailer, a pop-up camper or a teardrop.
Travel trailers: Travel trailers come in many lengths, typically 18 to 35 feet. They are fully equipped with all the amenities, such as a full kitchen and bathroom, as well as a bedroom.
Pop-Up Camper: These are a relatively inexpensive type of bumper-pull, with a “pop-up” canvas tent section. These are low profile and light-weight, and easy to tow into the backcountry. These simply provide beds enclosed within a tent-like sleeping space, a small kitchen and a dinette. They don’t have a bathroom.
Teardrops: These are very small, light-weight retro-styled trailers. They can be pulled by a small truck or SUV. They simply provide a sleeping space, and a minimal kitchen enclosed in an exterior back hatch.
These are large, two-story trailers with a section that extends over the bed of the truck. The upstairs is typically the bedroom. Fifth-wheels are roomier, and many owners feel they are easier to tow than a travel trailer. Fifth-wheels typically come in lengths from 30-40 feet and are the most expensive type of towable RV.
Matching the Truck
It’s very important to match the truck or SUV to your towable; exceeding the weight limit is a good way to cause an accident, as well as wreck the transmission and drive-train of your truck.
If you already have a truck, be sure to get a towable one that is under the towing weight limit of your truck. Remember, all of the stuff you put into your trailer will add even more weight.
If you don’t have a truck, you’ll need to consider the trailer you want to buy, then match a truck that can handle towing that weight.
In addition to the towing weight limit of your truck, you must be mindful of the cargo weight limit of your trailer; overloading the trailer with stuff is a good way to get into an accident.
In conclusion, a towable RV can be a good, entry-level recreational vehicle for those on a limited budget.