RV Types Overview
Generally speaking, the larger the unit, the more space, privacy and comfort it will afford you. However, the larger the unit will be more costly to rent and operate. It's important to fit the unit to your needs and desires, especially things like the level of privacy when sleeping.
Be careful of small units which claim to sleep five, six, or more. Check the size of the beds. Adults need a full 6 feet of length for comfort. (Note to overseas travelers: America is one of the few places in the world which hasn't adopted the metric system, so be prepared to convert feet, miles, gallons, quarts, acres, etc, to metric units you can comprehend).
The basic types of units offered for rent in North America:
Class A Motorhomes
A vehicle built on a self-propelled vehicle chassis weighing from 15,000 to 30,000 pounds and stretching from 24 to 40 feet in length. They contain a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping and dining facilities accessible to the driver's area. Systems include electricity, heating, air conditioning, water and propane gas. Sleep 2-7 people. Living systems are self-contained, but when staying at camping grounds, most users hook up to electricity, water, sewer drain, and cable television.
Class C Motorhomes
Class C Motorhomes are sometimes referred to as mini-motorhomes, and are scaled-down versions of Class A RVs. They stretch from 20 feet to 31 feet in length. They are usually built on truck chassis, with sleeping bunks atop the cab. The living area is accessible to the driver's area. They sleep two to six if you include kids. They have less features, space, and privacy than larger units, but are more economical, and easier to drive and park.
Class B Motorhomes
Built on an extended van as opposed to a truck chassis. Typically smaller than a class A or C motorhome, they can be just as luxurious with all the same creature comforts such as kitchen, shower and toilet. They are perfect for a couple or in some cases 3 passengers who want everything a larger motorhome has to offer, but with added maneuverability and fuel economy.
These might not be practical for overseas travelers or Americans who fly to a pick-up point since they need a heavy-duty vehicle to tow them. Towable units, 13 to 35 feet in length, have full living facilities, but it's illegal to use them while driving. Best when parked at a campground for extended periods while you use the towing vehicle for local transportation and sightseeing. Check with your rental agent to make sure your tow vehicle, hitch and wiring are adequate. A Toy Hauler is similar but with an added garage door on the back for motorcycles and other large sports equipment.
Sports Utility (SURV)
Sports Utility trailers might not be practical for overseas guests, or Americans who fly to a pick-up point since they need a heavy-duty vehicle to tow them. Towable or motorized units have full living facilities, as well as a “garage” area to bring ATVs, motorcycles, and all your favorite sports equipment.
Folding Camping Trailers
A lightweight, towable unit with collapsible sides which is about 10 feet in length when closed, and 15 to 23 feet when opened. When set up, they provide kitchen, dining and sleeping facilities for up to eight people. Check with your rental dealer to make sure your tow vehicle, hitch and wiring are adequate. These units are an option if you want to spend part of a motoring trip camping out, using toilet facilities provided at campgrounds.