A country song has a line, “…takes all kinds of kind….” That is true in all circles of society, but it’s never more accurate than among RVers. They travel in all kinds of rigs from shiny motorhomes with all the “bells and whistles” to fifth-wheels with enough slides to form a small apartment when parked. In between are Class C and B motorhomes, tag-along trailers, and conversion vans. And not every RVer drives a big glossy vehicle. Some of us have older models with character marks and dents.
Take Heartland RV Park in Campbellsville, Kentucky, where approximately 200 Workampers formed a community while working from September through December at amazon.com. The rigs ranged from high dollar Class A motorhomes to Class B and C rigs, and even a few conversion vans. Trailers came in all sizes, some still with that “new vehicle” smell, and others with fading paint. These types of conventional trailers vary in size from 12 to 35 feet in length and are typically pulled by a truck, although some folks use a van or SUV, depending on length and weight of the trailer. According to Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), new pull-behind trailers range in cost from $8,000 to $95,000.
A folding camping trailer, often called a “pop-up,” is an option especially for summertime camping. Many young families start out with a folding camping trailer, expanding the ends when it’s parked to give sleeping areas for several children. While we may have had one trailer similar to a folding trailer at Heartland RV Park in Kentucky—one end bumped out with canvas material—most Workampers preferred a rig with more weather-proof sides. Many of the Workampers who lived at Campbellsville locations for those months are full-timers. However, a folding camping trailer can open up a world of RVing fun to some individuals and families. Sizes range from eight to 24 feet and cost for a new one can be as low as $6,000 or as high as $22,000.
One advantage to owning a truck camper—a unit that slides in the back of a pick-up truck—is its maneuverability in traffic. The truck camper ranges in size from eight to 20 feet. When not in use, the unit can be removed and set aside until the next RVing trip. A new truck camper costs from $6,000 to $55,000.
The fifth-wheel travel trailer offers a floor plan with a raised bedroom, feeling as though one goes upstairs to sleep. The raised room, anchored to a fifth wheel bolted to the truck’s bed, rides above the truck’s bed, creating a stable condition while driving down the highway. I started RVing in a fifth-wheel, although not in one as luxurious as some on the market today. Slides create a livable space, especially for full-timers. The fifth wheel trailers can be as small as 21 feet or as large as 40 feet. Their cost ranges from $18,000 to $160,000. A consideration: the bigger the fifth-wheel, the bigger the truck needed pull it. When Lee recently looked over trucks on the market, I gained a new respect for truck owners. Trucks of all sizes are expensive!
The Class A is the “king” of the motorhomes. Somehow, the world looks different through its wide, flat windshield when traveling down the road. The Class A also makes a comfortable home, especially with today’s slide outs. They range from 21 feet to over 40 feet. The cost is a big consideration—going from $60,000 to over $500,000. However, even among Class A’s, there are differences. For example, the Trek has a bed that lowers from the ceiling with the flick of a switch; thus giving move living space. A consideration in any size or type of motorhome: diesel or gas power. Keep in mind that repairs and routine maintenance on a diesel rig are more expensive. Also, as luxurious as the big motorhomes are, they do not always “fit” in backwoods camp sites or navigate easily on the road less traveled. As I said, RVers are all kinds of kind…and thinking through where you want to travel and park a vehicle is the first step to creating your own dream lifestyle.
The Type C motorhome is built on a truck chasis and has over-the-cab space for sleeping, storage, or even an entertainment center. A consideration is ease of driving and parking. A few couples who worked at amazon drove a Class C and had no tow car. They unhooked and drove their “home” to grocery shop, to the library, to movies, or out to restaurants. Class C motorhomes range in length from 21 to 35 feet and cost from $43,000 upward to $200,000-plus.
The Type B motorhomes, or often called van campers, are built using automotive manufactured van or panel-truck shells. The Class B drives like the family car, but also offers the comforts and conveniences of home—on a smaller scale. Their average length is 16 to 22 feet and new costs range from $60,000 to $130,000. Keep in mind that pre-owned trailers and motorhomes make up a large market. Also remember that dealerships always say a unit sleeps from six to ten people—depending on the size and type. As for me, I never accepted that statement. My motorhome is 40 feet long—and it sleeps two! But that’s the beauty of RVng. One can decide the kind of rig he or she wants and can also determine how many people to fit inside. As I said, “…it takes all kinds of kind,” and we are all one-of-a-kind RVers.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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Traveling in their motorhome several months each year, Arline and her photographer husband, Lee Smith, make their permanent home in Heber Springs, Arkansas. She currently is a presenter for Workamper Rendezvous, sponsored by Workamper News. Arline has dozens of magazine articles published, as well as five books: “Road Work: The Ultimate RVing Adventure” (now available on Kindle); “Road Work II: The RVer’s Ultimate Income Resource Guide”; “Truly Zula; When Heads & Hearts Collide”; and “The Heart of Branson”, a history of the families who started the entertainment town and those who sustain it today. Visit Arline’s personal blog at ArlineChandler.Blogspot.com