Class A Motorhomes
Class A motorhomes are larger and more like a bus. They offer larger panoramic views for the driver and passengers. They contain all the amenities of home including a full bathroom, full kitchen, living area and sleeping area. Class A motor homes are all one level, and the RV facilities are generally fully accessible while traveling. Class A motorhomes vary widely in price. They range from inexpensive gas units to luxury diesel coaches.
Class C Motorhomes
Class C motorhomes are generally smaller than a Class A, and they have an additional bed over the cab or driver area. Class C motor homes have a step down into the drivers cockpit, and the driving area is much like that of a van or small box truck. They generally contain all the amenities of home including a full bathroom, full kitchen, living area and sleeping area. The RV facilities are fully accessible while traveling. A Class C will generally sleep more people than a Class A motorhome.
Class B Motorhomes
Also known as Van Campers, Class B Motorhomes may not have all the amenities of full-size RVs. However, the camper facilities are generally fully accessible while traveling. Class B motor homes are not as widely available for rent as the other RV types.
Truck Campers are regular trucks with a camper unit added on to the truck bed. They may not have all the amenities of full-size motor homes, and the camper facilities are not accessible while traveling. Truck Campers are generally not available for rent.
Fifth Wheel Trailers
Fifth Wheels must be towed by a truck with a special hitch, and the RV facilities cannot be accessed while on the road. Most fifth wheel trailers contain all the amenities of home including a full bathroom, full kitchen, living area and sleeping area. Fifth wheel trailer units are available for rent, but not as widely as other RV types.
Travel Trailers must be towed by a truck using a reese hitch, and the RV facilities cannot be accessed while on the road. Many travel trailers contain all the amenities of home including a full bathroom, full kitchen, living area and sleeping area. These types of units are widely available for rent.
Toy Haulers are a specific type of Travel Trailer. The back folds down to create a ramp into an open area for storage of "toys" such as motorcycles and ATVs. Toy Haulers must also be towed by a truck, and the RV facilities cannot be accessed while on the road. Toy Haulers contain all the amenities of home including a full bathroom, full kitchen, living area and sleeping area. The rear storage area often converts to a seating or sleeping area. Toy Haulers are not as widely available for rent as the other styles of RVs.
Also known as Tent Campers, Pop-Up or Pop-Top Campers, Folding Trailers must be towed by a truck or medium sized car. The RV facilities cannot be accessed while on the road. Pop-Up Campers are folded down for towing and must be set up to camp. These campers generally contain sleeping quarters, a refrigerator and a sink. Some have a cooking grill or a shower on the outside. These types of units are widely available for rent.
No, you may drive a motor home using your standard driver's license.
Most all rental companies require the drivers to be at least 25 years of age.
You will need to have insurance in order to rent an RV. This insurance can be purchased from your agent, or you may be able to secure insurance from the rental company.
You can often have your auto insurance extended to cover an RV rental. Check with your current auto insurance agent to see if you are covered in these types of rental vehicles. Your agent may be able to sell you special one-time or additional coverage to protect you and your occupants.
If you cannot secure your own insurance for the RV rental, you will need to get insurance from the RV rental company.
No, in general. Most RV rental companies do not allow pets in the units. However, be sure to check with the specific rental company you use - some may have specific units in which pets are allowed.
No, in general. Most RV rental companies do not allow smoking in the units. However, be sure to check with the specific rental company you use - some may have specific units in which smoking is allowed.
Gas mileage varies depending on travel conditions. However, you can expect approximately 6-10 miles per gallon for a Class A motor home running on gasoline. Diesel pushers can achieve approximately 8-14 miles per gallon. Motorhomes have larger fuel tanks than your car and you can travel farther between fill ups.
Driving an RV is different, but not exactly difficult. RVs are larger than cars and that may seem awkward at first. However, just be cautious and you will learn. RVs are larger and slower to brake and accelerate, so extra caution must be exercised. Be sure to allow greater following distances.
RVs are tall and you must know the height. Look up to avoid roof damage from low hanging obstructions. Avoid low awnings like you would find at a hotel.
Before you leave make sure you have a thorough understanding of the proper use of mirrors, etc. Look further down this page for more RV driving tips.
Class C motorhomes are smaller than Class A motor homes, and they have an additional bed over the cab or driver area. Class Cs have a step down into the drivers cockpit, and the driving area is much like that of a van or small box truck. Class As, on the other hand, are more like a bus and have large panoramic views for the driver and passengers. They are all one level and are generally fully accessible while traveling. Travel trailers must be towed by a truck, and the trailer facilities cannot be accessed while on the road. Look at the top of this page for more detailed descriptions of RV types.
Hooking up an RV is not difficult. There are a few steps and your RV rental company should go over them with you at the time of pickup. If you need assistance while on your trip, RV campgrounds are friendly places full of knowledgeable folks willing to assist anyone in need.
Today's motorhomes can make use of many different power sources. This is so that you can enjoy modern conveniences under all circumstances. Your rental representative will demonstrate all of this to you. These systems are designed to be easy to use and to provide you with power when you need it.
Motorized RVs are powered by large V8, V10, or diesel engines. RVs also make use of AC power from a generator, inverter, or from an outlet. They make use of DC electricity from a dedicated "house" battery, from the alternator, or from a converter that produces DC power. A motorhome also uses propane or LPG for the water heater, stove, and refrigerator. Your rental company will show you how all of this works.
This depends on the RV rental company, so be sure to check with them. Motor homes are capable of towing a vehicle or boat, but there are several things to consider. RV rental companies vary widely in their policy concerning towing. Some companies ban towing while others allow it for free or for a small fee.
There are thousands of campgrounds throughout the US that provide parking and hookups. Many also provide washing machines and dryers, swimming pools, recreation rooms, playgrounds and on-site convenience stores. Many roadside hotels and motels also have 30 amp electrical hookups available on site for a small fee.
You can easily pick up a 10 gage (it must be 10 gage), 50 foot regular household type extension cord at many hardware stores. This will power your RV, but will not give you enough power to run your air conditioner.
There are over 16,000 campgrounds (not all with RV hookups) in the US. About half are privately held, and half are national and state parks and forests. Sites are located in and around major cities, in rural areas, near popular attractions, and just about on any public roadway in the US.
Overnight quick stays are welcome at truck stops, outlet malls, Wal-Mart parking lots and more. In addition, many roadside hotels and motels have 30 amp electrical hookups available on site for a small fee.
Rates will vary depending on time of year, facilities, location, and availability. Prices for full hookups can range from $10 to $70 a night, and services will vary. Many offer shuttle services, etc. to assist in your camping needs.
In many cases you can just pull in. However if you know where you are going in advance, it is advisable to call ahead. Also, depending on season, availability will vary.
Being without an RV hookup does not mean being without the RV's amenities. You can use the generator for electricity. You can use the kitchen and bathroom facilities, though you will have to periodically fill your fresh water tank and dump your black and gray wastewater tanks in approved facilities. The units are self-contained and depending on usage and duration your time between these needs will vary.
In some cases, yes. It is advisable to discuss this when making a reservation.
Driving a motor home opens up a new world of on-the-road travel adventure. It requires no special license, and it's easier than many newcomers think. Experienced automobile drivers already have the skills to drive a motorized RV. Automatic transmissions, power brakes and power steering are typical features. Your motor home vacation can be the experience of a lifetime. These guidelines can help make it a safe one too.
GENERAL RV DRIVING TIPS
Adjust and use all rear view mirrors. As in any new vehicle, before leaving on a trip, sit in the drivers seat and adjust all mirrors for optimal road views.
Be aware that the driver sits higher in a motor home. This is a distinct advantage because you can see farther and react more quickly.
Allow more time and space for an RV. It takes significantly longer for these bigger vehicles to accelerate, slow down and stop. Therefore, do not follow too closely in traffic, and allow more time to brake, change lanes and enter busy highways.
Be aware that the driver is farther to the left of the center of the vehicle. This causes most drivers to drive too far to the right side of the road. Be aware of this and make the necessary adjustments.
Minimum height clearance is 11 feet in a motor home. Be on alert to avoid hitting overhanging tree branches, carport roofs and low canopies over filling stations, motels, etc. Finding out the exact height of the RV you're driving is best.
Due to the length of the motor home, its turning radius is greater. The front and rear wheels will track paths much farther apart than those of a car. Also, when driving from a flat surface up an incline or vice versa, the rear end will drag. Though the motor home is built to handle most of these types of situations with the built-in drag skids, driving very slowly will minimize the possibility of any damage. Very steep inclines should be avoided as damage may occur for which you will be held responsible.
Be aware that a motor home is buffeted by cross winds and air currents created by passing trucks. Slow down your driving speed when big trucks pass. Anticipate the wind effects and compensate for them.
When backing up the vehicle use the mirrors and have someone watch out the back window. In close quarters, have someone give directions from outside, while you view things through a side mirror. If another person is not available, the driver should get out and inspect the area behind the vehicle. By evaluating the situation before backing up, drivers can avoid surprises and accidents.
RV DRIVING IN THE MOUNTAINS
Watch the engine temperature carefully. If the engine overheats, immediately pull off the right side of the road for the engine to cool. Check the engine for coolant. Use low gear on inclines where the transmission is repeatedly upshifting and downshifting. The proper way to descend is to put the transmission in low gear, thus avoiding the overuse of the brakes. If at any time it appears that the brakes are fading, the vehicle should immediately be stopped and the brakes allowed to cool before proceeding.
RV DRIVING ON GRAVEL ROADS
Motor homes operate reasonably well on dirt and gravel roads. However, on such roads, gravel thrown up by oncoming traffic can produce dents in the fiberglass or windshield damage.
RV DRIVING ON SLIPPERY ROADS
Motor homes are actually better at negotiating slippery road conditions than are automobiles. The fact that a higher percentage of the weight of the coach is on the rear wheels means that the traction will be good. However, slow down and exercise caution when you encounter slippery conditions. Traction may be better due to weight, but if you start to slide, that same extra weight will carry you further than a car.
RV DRIVING ON BACK COUNTRY ROADS
Motor homes are not suited for traveling on really rough roads. These roads frequently wind through woods that have not been cleared sufficiently to permit the huge bulk of a motor home to pass. Also, due to the height of a motor home, any unevenness in the road, especially side-to-side unevenness, may result in a constant throwing about of all items stored in the upper part of the coach and the possible tipping over of the vehicle.
RV DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAYS
Frequently, long lines of cars collect behind a motor home. When this happens, the driver should pull off the road to let the cars go by. If you do not do this, particularly daring drivers will take dangerous risks to get by, and the motor home will be the focal point of a potential accident.
RV DRIVING IN WINDY CONDITIONS
Motor homes, by their very nature, are high profile vehicles. Like all such vehicles they are adversely affected by windy conditions. If the wind is blowing, your best bet is to slow down. Speed and wind make for very dangerous situations. Turn on the radio and check for wind advisories. If the situations are dangerous (or you see other high profile vehicles such as large trucks or other motor homes pulled over to the side), pull over and wait for the wind subside.
RV DRIVING IN FREEZING WEATHER
When the temperature drops, driving conditions change. In addition to making roads icy (including the hard to see "black ice"), cold weather may cause freezing of the vehicle. If the temperature drops below freezing, the operations guide gives specific actions to take to prevent damage to the vehicle systems. If you have any questions, please call.
RV DRIVING SAFETY
When you're driving a motor home, make every trip a safer one by buckling up your safety belt and making sure passengers are also secure. Wearing a safety belt is the single most effective thing you can do to prevent serious injury and death in a traffic accident, according to the national safety Belt Coalition. Besides, it's the LAW.
With proper attention to the differences in vehicle size, height and weight you'll find it fun and easy to take the wheel of a motor home. A motor home is not difficult to drive, however it is substantially wider, longer and heavier than an automobile. These differences do call for special driving procedures. The procedures are easy to master and make your trip that much more enjoyable.