Like many products and pursuits that have developed over the decades, recreational vehicles have come a long way from the tow-a-longs of the early to mid-20th century. Before motorized recreational vehicles hit the road, pulling a trailer behind your car or truck – loaded with food, sleeping and cooking gear – was the best way to get you and your family out of the city and into nature for a long weekend.
Today there are many types of RVS available from wholesale RV dealers or individuals, and these RVs can be purchased in new or used condition, which is quite attractive for new RV enthusiasts who want to “test the waters” before investing in a new model.
There are some dealerships that specialize in used, retro-fitted and reconditioned RVs only. Most differences between new and used RVs are simple updates to interior design or added accoutrement in the form of appliances and mobile living technology.
Travel trailers are the core of recreational vehicle sales each year. These trailers are pulled behind vehicles and then parked in RV parks, campgrounds or at festivals to be used as the base of operations for families while traveling. Travel trailers can also serve as mobile offices for construction assignments or research projects and as living quarters for individuals in certain lines of employment. Today’s travel trailers can come equipped with beds, televisions and even shower units.
Fifth wheels are a particular type of travel trailer that have taken on a life of their own. Unlike regular travel trailers, fifth wheels must be pulled by pickup trucks with a flatbed. The hitching system for fifth wheels connects to the pickup truck in the center of the truck bed. This system reduces the overall length of the truck-and-trailer assemblage while driving and also reduces the possibility of jack-knifing on the road. Fifth wheels are a good choice for RV owners who are not so comfortable pulling a large object behind them for extended distances on the road.
Sport utility RVs have arisen out of the need for outdoor enthusiasts to bring along their quads and four-wheelers, motorcycles and mini-bikes, snowmobiles and even larger bicycle fleets with them on the road. With a sport utility RV, it’s as if you’re not only bringing your home on the road with you – you’re also bringing your garage. Often called “toy haulers,” sport utility RVs make perfect sense for individuals and families who want to experience life on the road with more of the comforts of home – those comforts being their additional motorized vehicles for outdoor play. An extra portion of the RV is reserved just for these vehicles – normally featuring a drop-down door that functions as a ramp for loading and offloading the smaller vehicles as needed.
Expandable travel trailers, once known more familiarly as pop-up trailers, have several advantages. These collapsible or semi-collapsible trailers require much less room to store than ordinary trailers, and are lighter so lighter vehicles can haul them. They also save on fuel costs, as their lighter weight does not require as much energy output from motors in order to tow them. Due to their collapsible, expanding nature, fewer materials are required to build them so expandable trailers are also less expensive.
Lastly, a newer entry in the world of RVs are destination trailers. These recreational vehicles are also called “park models” and tend to be about 40 feet in length – longer by far than regular RVs. They are normally parked in one space for long periods of time and come equipped with more luxuries and added-on features than regular RVs.
In the RV market, there is a style and design for just about every interest and price bracket. As new innovations continue to develop, don’t be surprised to discover solar-powered RVs as well as RVs that feature Jacuzzis. Recreational vehicles are truly no longer a one-size-fits-all lifestyle product in North America.