The Complete Guide to RV Classes

Camper vans and RVs are cherished by many, which is why there’s such a rich motorhome lifestyle community. However, even the most passionate RV lovers might get perplexed: What are the differences between RV classes? What's the story behind the name of a fifth wheel trailer? Also, are camper vans classified as RVs or are they in a category of their own?

If you're considering purchasing a new camper or just want to enhance your knowledge of camper terminology, Berryland Campers’ convenient guide to RV classes is an excellent starting point!

Towed vs. Self-Propelled Recreational Vehicles

In the world of recreational vehicles (RVs), the primary differentiation is whether you're towing a trailer or not. While this may seem straightforward, it's an important distinction. If you aren't towing, your vehicle and living quarters are unified on a single chassis, allowing you to access the interior while driving.

Towing usually involves a trailer of some sort. The trailer's weight and the method of towing depend on several factors, and we elaborate on these in our guide. From the luxurious Class A RVs to the most compact featherweight trailers, we cover every type of RV you might encounter on the road.

Class A RVs: The Road's Largest Giants

Average Class A RV Weight: 12,500 to 31,000 pounds

Average Class A RV Size: 25-46 feet

Class A motorized RVs are the largest available, resembling massive rolling homes. They range from relatively basic to incredibly luxurious, equipped with amenities such as king-sized beds, washers and dryers, and even garages for sports cars. Class A RVs offer ample space and potential luxury. Another advantage is their ability to tow a car, which adds to their versatility for travel because you can drive your more fuel-efficient vehicle once you’ve parked your motorhome where you’re planning to stay. However, these larger RVs are typically more expensive, more fuel-hungry, and their size and hookup requirements might limit travel destinations for larger traveling parties. Berryland Campers has the widest selection of Class A motorhomes for sale today that are able to fulfill your traveling desires.

Class B RVs: Go Beyond Vanlife 

Average Class B RV Weight: 4,000 to 9,000 pounds

Average Class B RV Size: 17 to 23 feet

Often referred to as camper vans, Class B motorhomes offer a more modestly-sized option, typically much smaller than Class A RVs in fact, while still packing the comforts of home. Common bases include Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Ram Promaster. These compact campers range from basic (with beds and storage) to more equipped ones with bathrooms, dining areas, and sleeping spaces for six travelers. Their main disadvantage is less space and fewer amenities compared to Class As and Cs. Benefits of Class Bs include four-wheel drive options, good fuel economy, fitting in regular parking spaces, off-grid capabilities, and ease of driving thanks to a familiar layout. Imagine yourself at the wheel of the top-reviewed Class B RVs for sale today at Berryland Campers for your next journey; stay as nimble and versatile with your motorhome choices as you’re able to with your travel destinations!

Class C RVs: A Familiar-Driving, Mid-Sized Choice

Average Class C RV Weight: 10,000 to 13,000 pounds

Average Class C RV Size: 21 to 31 feet

Class C RVs sit between the larger Class A and smaller Class B. They often feature sleeping spaces over the cab and in the rear, with slide-outs similar to Class As. Class C RVs typically include a separate bathroom, unlike some Class B camper vans. Ideal for those seeking something more compact and affordable than a Class A but larger than a camper van, Class Cs usually can't tow another vehicle. However, they have the storage capacity to rival some Class As while being the more economical means of getting the gang out onto the open road and seeing the world. Berryland Campers has the broadest range of top-quality Class C motorhomes for sale today at our spacious lot in Louisiana.

Travel Trailers: A Broad Spectrum of Sizes

Average Travel Trailer Weight: 1,100 to 12,000 pounds

Average Travel Trailer Size: 10 to 40 feet

Travel trailers offer the widest variety within a single category. They range from lightweight bumper pull trailers to heavier models. This means the smallest ones can be towed by a small SUV, while others need a large truck. Travel trailers are convenient for those who wish to unhitch and store the camper when not in use. This allows you to drive around, explore, and run errands with your main vehicle without worrying about having to take your whole home-on-wheels with you. The category's diversity is evident in examples that range from 13 to 33 feet and everything in between! At Berryland, you'll find everything from convertible trailers to teardrops and vintage-styled models.

Pop-Up Trailer: Compact and Convenient

Average Pop-Up Trailer Weight: 680 to 4,000 pounds

Average Pop-Up Trailer Size: 8 to 17 feet

Also known as folding trailers, pop-up trailers are lightweight campers that collapse for easy storage and towing. They offer an alternative to tents while still keeping that more rusting camping feel, providing a similar open-air experience with a central living space and sleeping areas on each side. Additionally, high-quality pop-up trailers are much more durable than the sort of shelters you might find at your local camping or hiking store. Pop-up trailers suit those who prefer minimal amenities to maximize flexibility, have towing restrictions due to their vehicle size, and campers who want to avoid ground sleeping. They are usually affordable but offer less insulation, making them suitable for three-season camping. However, there are always custom and specialized options for those looking to camp in colder climates in a pop-up trailer. The motorhome experts at Berryland Campers will be able to help you find the ideal trailer to suit your lifestyle. 

Fifth Wheels: The Largest Towable Trailers

Average Fifth-Wheel Weight: 7,000 to 21,000 pounds

Average Fifth-Wheel Size: 21 to 40 feet

"Fifth wheels" are named for the trailer's extension over the truck bed and are the largest towable options motorhome enthusiasts can purchase. Iconic for their convenient u-shaped coupling for a truck bed, these nimble travel trailers are often easier to maneuver than most other recreational vehicles. They often offer the same comforts as a Class A RV of similar size, including slide-outs, bathrooms, and multiple bedrooms. However, they require a pickup with a specific hitch. Who should buy a fifth-wheel trailer? In short, those who want the amenities of a large Class A but prefer a towable option that can be stored, the best of which can be found at Berryland Campers. 

Truck Campers: For Weekends to Expeditions

Average Truck Camper Weight: 1,000 to 5,000 pounds

Average Truck Camper Size: Slightly longer than the typical truck

Truck campers, like the example above, are ideal for off-grid travel. They suit small groups and are designed for rugged terrain, with limited storage and basic amenities. There are also more amenity-rich versions for regular camping, featuring rear doors and overhead sleeping cabins. Truck campers come in various styles, including long and short beds, hard-side and pop-up, and with slide-outs.

The Best Recreational Vehicles for Sale Nationwide

The world of campervans and RVs is vast and varied, catering to different needs and preferences. From the spacious and luxurious Class A RVs, ideal for those seeking a home-on-wheels experience, to the compact and versatile Class B camper vans, perfect for efficient travel and easy maneuverability, there's something for everyone. Class C RVs strike a balance between size and convenience, offering a middle ground for those who find Class As too large and Class Bs too small. For those who prefer towable options, travel trailers and fifth wheels offer flexibility in size and amenities, ranging from the lightweight and simple to the expansive and fully-featured. Pop-up trailers are great for those seeking a more minimalistic and easy-to-store camping solution, while truck campers provide a robust option for off-grid adventures.

Whether you're a seasoned camper looking to upgrade your current model or a newcomer eager to explore the joys of RV travel, the range of options is impressive. From luxurious motorhomes to practical trailers, there's an RV to suit every style of travel and budget. Understanding the different types and their unique features can help you make an informed decision about which RV best fits your lifestyle and camping preferences.

For those ready to embark on their next adventure, Berryland Campers offers a wide selection of motorhomes and trailers to suit every need. With a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, Berryland Campers is the go-to destination for your next RV purchase. Explore their extensive inventory to find the perfect RV that aligns with your travel dreams and embark on unforgettable journeys with comfort and style. Visit Berryland Campers today and take the first step towards your next great adventure on the road!