Towable vs. Motorized RVs: Buying your first Recreational Vehicle

Posted on 7/9/2015 12:00:00 AM

There comes a time when camping in a tent just won’t suffice and owning a beautiful Recreational Vehicle just makes sense.

The options are endless; Travel Trailers, Tent Trail , Class A Motorhomes, new RVs or used RVs. It's a fun and challenging venture in selecting the perfect unit. Everyone's needs are different, as are the options available into todays modern RVs.

What are towable RVs?

Image: Keystone RV

Towable RVs are units that are hitched to a motor vehicle for travel and can stand alone. Units include folding camping trailers, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel travel trailers,

One advantage is that most vehicles today can tow these RVs, depending on their weight. As an example, the folding camping trailers are today's modern covered wagon. These lightweight units have the advantage of being easily towed, economical, and easy to store.

Exceeding the towing capacity of your tow vehicle can result in poor and dangerous handling.

An important rule of towable RVing is to understand that the size and weight of the RV is directly affected by the towing capacity of the vehicle. Exceeding the towing capacity of your tow vehicle can result in poor and dangerous handling as well as possible engine and transmission damage.

Pros:

  • The tow can be separated from the trailer and can be used to run errands or go sightseeing.
  • Operating costs of the towable can be lower, depending on the unit.
  • There is less change of mechanical maintenance since it isn't motorized.

 

Cons:

  • Setup can take much longer than a Motorhomes.
  • Maneuverability can be an issue, especially when backing up or parking.

Due to their affordability, easier storage, and size, travel trailers, folding campers and pop-up trailers are frequently opted for by first time RVers.

What are motorized RVs?

Diesel Pushers

Image: Thor Motor Coach

It can also allow for the ability to pull a toad (a small vehicle), making sure that you're mobile when you reach your destination.

Motorized RVs are built on a motorized chassis such as, Class A, B and C Motorhomes.

The advantages of a motorized RV is in its convenience. Imagine the ability to pull into a location after long day of driving and head straight to bed without the need to set up. It can also allow for the ability to pull a toad (a small vehicle), making sure that you're mobile when reaching your destination. There is also the fact that you can use the facilities when you're on the road. Remember, when you've got to go, you've got to go.

Pros:

  • Operate as self-contained single units
  • Motorhomes allow you to tow a vehicle for exploring local areas.
  • They are quite suitable for fulltime RVing.

Cons:

  • Depending on the unit it may have to serviced in a specialized shop.
  • Operating and purchasing costs can be higher for the same living space. This will all depend on the unit.

Choosing an RV will depend on many factors such as age, family size, vehicle and budget. RVers should do as much research as they can to select an RV that will meet their needs. Useful information can be found by visiting dealer websites, manufacturer websites, talking to other RVers, reading the reviews and technical comments about units.

If you're looking for additional information on the different types of RVs, head over to our 'Types of RVs page.

We always advise visiting your local RV Dealership and talking to a seasoned sales staff.

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