What’s The Difference Between An RV Motorhome And Camper?

There are a lot of different terms for an RV including motorhome, camper, trailer, and travel trailer. It can get confusing, especially for beginners and those who are just beginning to look for the right RV for them.

So, what’s the difference between an RV motorhome and a camper? It’s a tricky question because everyone has their own term for them.

However, people generally use the term camper for a fifth-wheel or travel trailer that you pull behind a tow vehicle, but sometimes they are referring to a truck bed camper. A motorhome is a type of RV that has a motor and doesn’t require a tow vehicle.

Difference Between An RV Motorhome And Camper

Is An RV The Same As A Motorhome?

Once again, this can be confusing. Technically speaking, because RV stands for ‘recreational vehicle,’ an RV is any type of vehicle that you can live in.

This includes motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, popup campers, and truck bed campers. By this definition, an RV is the same as a motorhome.

However, you have to be careful, because technically, a motorhome is a type of RV, whereas the term RV could be applied to many different types of campers.

In other words, all motorhomes are RVs, but not all RVs are motorhomes.

Main Differences Between An RV And A Camper

Because I’ve probably just confused you more without even answering the question yet, let’s look at some of the most common RV, motorhome, and camper classifications so you’ll have a better idea of what people are talking about when they use these terms.

Class A Motorhome

Class A Motorhome

The class A motorhome is what most people envision when they think of a motorhome. It’s a large, luxurious RV that can range in price from around $100,000 to well over $1 million.

You can find class A motorhomes with diesel or gas engines, and they usually have slide-outs to give you more space inside. They’re big enough that you could live in one full-time if you wanted to.

One of the most beneficial features of a class A motorhome is the amount of storage space they have. Not only do they have a lot of slide-outs, but they have more basement storage than any other type of RV.

Another great benefit to class A motorhomes is the similarities they carry to your full-time home. They have residential features like full-size appliances, washer and dryer hookups, and fireplaces.

However, due to their size, class A motorhomes are some of the most difficult to drive and park.

Once you reach your destination, you’ll need alternate transportation as well. Most people who drive class A motorhomes tow a vehicle behind them.

Class B Motorhome

RV Class B Camper Van

The class B motorhome is also called a campervan, and it’s a van that’s been converted into an RV. These are much smaller than class A motorhomes, and they’re easier to drive and park.

They don’t have as much space or storage as a class A, but they’re still big enough that a single person or a couple could live in one full-time if they wanted to (you can also find some bigger ones that sleep up to 4).

Class B motorhomes can range in price from around $50,000 to $100,000.

The primary benefit to having a class B motorhome, which is the smallest motorhome you can get, is that it doubles as your everyday driver.

It’s easy to hookup and unhook, so when you do need to run errands, you simply take your home with you, and you don’t need two vehicles.

Plus, because they’re smaller, they get much better gas mileage than a class A.

Class C Motorhome

Class C Motorhome

The class C motorhome is somewhere between a class A and a class B in terms of size. They’re built on a truck chassis, so they’re easy to drive and park.

Class C motorhomes can range in price from around $60,000 to $100,000.

They have more space and storage than a class B, but they’re not as big or luxurious as a class A. Class C motorhomes are a good option for families who want to RV full-time or take long trips.

You can easily recognize a class C motorhome by the truck cab with a portion of the living quarters on top of it.

Pop-Up Campers

pop up camper

These fun little campers are exactly what they sound like. They pop up when you’re ready to use them and then collapse when you’re ready to travel again.

You tow them behind a vehicle, but because of their small size, you can tow them behind something as small as a sedan.

They’re easy to pull and park because they’re so small, but they’re only large enough for 2-3 people at a time.

Popup campers are a good option for couples or small families who want to RV on a budget. Prices for popup campers start at around $5,000.

These campers have soft-sided tops that allow them to collapse easily, so they’re not as durable as some of the other types of campers on this list.

However, their small size makes them easy to store at home in your garage so you don’t have to pay for extra storage space.

Truck Campers

Truck camper

Truck campers are exactly what they sound like, too. They’re campers that fit in the bed of a truck. Most truck campers can be removed from the truck easily, so you can use your truck for other things when you’re not RVing.

Truck campers are a good option for couples or individuals who want to RV on a budget. Prices for truck campers start at around $5,000.

These campers are small and lightweight. Because they rest on top of your truck bed, it’s much like having a camper shell, which makes them easy to maneuver.

But because they’re small, they don’t have a lot of space or storage.

Fifth Wheel Trailers

RV Fifth Wheel Camping

A fifth wheel trailer is a type of travel trailer that’s designed to be towed by a pickup truck with a special hitch in the truck bed.

These trailers are usually larger than regular travel trailers because they’re designed for full-time RVers or people who take long trips.

Because fifth wheel trailers have a special hitch, they’re very stable when they’re being towed.

They’re also easy to maneuver because the hitch is located in the center of the trailer. In fact, many people find fifth wheel trailers much easier to tow than bumper pull trailers.

Most fifth wheel trailers are equipped with 2-4 slides, a lot of storage, and sleeping space for 6-10 people, sometimes more.

Many of them have a master bedroom and a bunkhouse. They may even have 1.5-2 full bathrooms.

These types of trailers are equipped with larger appliances than all other RVs. You can get full-size microwaves, large ovens, up to 4 burners on the stove, and residential refrigerators.

Travel Trailers

Travel Trailer

Travel trailers are the most popular type of RV, and they come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from small teardrop trailers that only sleep two people to large pull behind trailers that can sleep up to 10 people.

Travel trailers are popular because they can be towed behind a wide range of vehicles, from SUVs to trucks.

They have a rigid frame, so they’re more durable than popup campers, but they’re still lightweight enough that you don’t need a heavy-duty truck to pull most of them.

These types of RVs can range in length from around 16 feet to over 40 feet, and they start at around $10,000 but could cost as much as $150,000.

How To Decide Between An RV And A Camper

If you’d rather have an RV with a motor that you can drive, a motorhome is your best bet. It’s a single unit that eliminates the need for a tow vehicle. It has a lot of storage and living space, and it’s comfortable for long trips.

A camper is a good choice if you already have a vehicle that can tow it, or you’re looking for something more budget-friendly.

You can get a lot of the same features in a camper that you would find in an RV, but they’re usually smaller and lighter.

Camper RV

Here are some things you may want to consider before deciding between an RV and a camper:

  • What kind of tow vehicle do you have? If you already have a vehicle you’re going to use for towing, its towing capacity will determine the size and type of camper you can get. If you don’t have a tow vehicle, you’ll need to factor in the cost of buying or renting one. If you’d rather not have to have a tow vehicle at all, then a motorhome is the way to go.
  • How much space do you need? RVs and campers come in a range of sizes, from small teardrop trailers that only sleep two people to large fifth wheel trailers that can sleep up to 10 people. Consider how many people you’ll be traveling with and how much space you’ll need for everyone to sleep comfortably.
  • How long do you plan on staying in one place? If you’re only going to be camping for a weekend or two at a time, you may not need all the features that come with a larger RV. On the other hand, if you’re planning on living in your RV full-time or taking long trips, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space and all the amenities you need.
  • What’s your budget? RVs and campers both come in a wide range of prices, from around $10,000 for a small travel trailer to over $100,000 for a high-end fifth wheel trailer. Motorhomes can be even more expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider a used camper or something smaller. You can also save money by opting for a smaller RV or camper with fewer features. If budget isn’t a concern, this opens up a lot more options, one of which may be a large class A motorhome.
  • How many vehicles do you want to maintain? Many types of RVs require the use of an additional vehicle for transportation because you simply can’t take your RV with you everywhere you go on vacation. It’s not easy or practical. If you don’t mind needing an extra vehicle, a large class A motorhome may work for you. If you want to eliminate the need for an extra vehicle, then towing a trailer may be the better choice. When you get where you’re going, you can unhook and use your vehicle for sight seeing or running errands.

FAQ

What Is A Driveable RV Called?

A driveable RV is called a motorhome. Motorhomes come in a variety of sizes and styles, from small class B vans to large class A rigs.

They have a lot of storage and living space, and they’re comfortable for long trips. You don’t need a tow vehicle to use a motorhome, so they’re convenient for travel.

Motorhomes can be expensive, so they may not be the best choice if you’re on a tight budget. You can save money by opting for a smaller RV or camper with fewer features.

Is A Camper Van The Same As An RV?

Technically, the term RV is broad enough to encompass any type of recreational vehicle used for traveling and camping.

A camper van is an RV, but not every RV is a camper van. Camper vans are smaller and more compact than other types of RVs, and they’re built on a van chassis.

They’re convenient for travel because they don’t require a separate tow vehicle, but they may not have as much space or features as other types of RVs.

What Is A Small RV Called?

A small RV is generally classified as an RV that is 25 feet long or less. Small RVs include travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-ups, and truck campers.

Even some class B motorhomes fall into this category because they’re no larger than a van.

They’re lighter and easier to tow than larger RVs, and they’re more budget-friendly. Small RVs may not have as much space or features as larger RVs, but they’re more convenient for travel.

Conclusion

Motorhomes and campers both have their pros and cons. It’s important to consider your needs and budget before deciding which one is right for you.

If you need a lot of space and all the amenities, a motorhome is the way to go. If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, a camper may be a better option.

Whichever you choose, make sure it’s the right fit for you.

Madeline Cooper
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