The journey of a thousand miles starts by defining your terms. Wait, that’s not how the saying goes, is it? Well, anyway, it is pretty important to understand all the basic ins and outs of a topic (or in this case a lifestyle) before you move forward with it. For those of you who are brand new to RVing, we know that it can seem a bit overwhelming to grasp all the terms and practices that go along with camping in a home on wheels. Maybe, though, you’re just wondering what all the hype is about? What is the RV lifestyle, and why should you be a part of it?
Well, today we’ll be going over all the basics about RVs, RVing, and the RV lifestyle in the hopes of helping you decide whether RVing is right for you!
If you were really paying attention, you’ll know that we already kinda gave you the answer. In fact, one way to think about an RV is simply a home away from home, or as in some peoples’ cases, your full-time home!
But in a strictly technical sense, “RV” simply stands for Recreational Vehicle. This is a sprawling definition that includes a bunch of different types of RVs (examined below). In general, though, an RV is indeed a temporary (in most cases) home-on-wheels that carries you to your place of choice. Typically, people prefer vacationing to exciting and adventurous locals in their RV, some of which we will list below!
So we’ve piqued your interest, but before you hit the road, you first need to understand what kinds of RVs are out there and which one might be right for you. There are class A, class B, class C, travel trailers, and custom types of RVs.
Let’s start from the biggest type of RV and work our way down.
The largest type of RV available is a class A motorhome. These are very large, drivable RVs that offer the most amenities (like lots of beds, multiple bathrooms, laundry machines, ice makers, and full entertainment suites).
If you’re really looking for luxury, this is the way to go!
Like you might have guessed, class B RVs are smaller and don’t offer quite as many amenities and luxuries as a class A RV. In fact, these RVs can be very small! Still, if you’re willing to give up some space, these are very capable RVs that will comfortably get you where you want to go.
Class B RVs are often called “camper vans” as well, since the living quarters of the RV are attached to some kind of van.
It might seem counterintuitive, but class C RVs are actually a lot larger than class B RVs. These RVs tend to be used by larger families or groups. Class C RVs have many of the same amenities that a class A RV offers, but without some of the excessive size.
Travel trailers are a class apart from the other three types of RVs. The main reason is that they are not drivable. Instead, travel trailers are non-folding RVs (see below) that must be towed by a truck. Many travel trailers boast a ton of great amenities. In fact, some might even rival the class A motorhome in terms of luxury!
One special type of travel trailer is a fifth wheel. A fifth wheel is different from a regular travel trailer in that it attaches to the bed of your truck instead of hooking up to the hitch at the rear of the vehicle. Because of this, a fifth wheel has a goose neck design that allows the hitch to reach into the bed of the truck. The fifth wheel gets its name from the hitch itself. The U shaped coupling device on the hitch is called the “fifth wheel,” and this name has since been adopted to describe the entire RV unit.
Like a fifth wheel, a pop-up camper gets its name from its design. A pop-up camper is considered a “foldable” camper because it is composed partially of heavy duty fabric that can be folded, making the camper smaller during towing. Once you arrive at your destination, you can, quite literally, “pop up” your camper, making it twice or sometimes three times larger.
Pop-up campers tend to be very small, and due to the fabric component, are best used during the summer. These campers still have many amenities but are generally not as fancy as other RVs. But if you’re looking for a little more rugged experience, a pop-up camper might fit the ticket!
A custom RV build might be perfect if you really want to take control of your RVing experience. A custom RV is designed by you. There are various companies and services that will custom build an RV for you!
Custom RVs go by many names. A skoolie, for example, is a school bus that has been converted into an RV. Additionally, many people choose to convert a regular van into an RV. Because of the various ways you can custom build an RV, there’s not necessarily a definite size for a custom built RV. Some are quite small and others can be gigantic! That’s one nice thing about custom RVs: everything is to your preference! So if you really want your RV to have a personal touch of uniqueness, consider going with a custom RV build!
People travel in their RVs to various exciting locals, and you can, too! Below are several of peoples’ favorite RVing destinations in the U.S.
These are just a few of the many awesome destinations available!
To read our series of Fire Pit blogs on The Blue Ridge Mountains, touch or click here!
Let’s just assume that you’ve decided to bite the bullet and purchase an RV. What next?
What exactly is there to do when you’re out there camping in your RV? Well, we’ve compiled a few things that are great to have while RVing as well as some fun activities you can do!
There are tons of opinions, DIY hacks, and old wives’ tales out there that will try to tell you how you should care for your RV. It can be so overwhelming to new RVers, that they give up before they even start.
Some practical items you’ll need while camping are:
Other than these fairly basic items, one of the biggest areas of confusion for new RVers is in wastewater treatment—basically, how to deal with the poop and pee and other water in your RV! This topic is worth diving into in more detail.
Every RV has a black tank (for poop and pee and toilet paper) and a gray tank (for water from your kitchen sinks, showers, etc.). People can often get tripped up on wastewater treatment. In fact, wastewater treatment is something that often initially turns a lot of new RVers off. But it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Actually, here at Unique, we’ve spent decades perfecting our wastewater treatment process through thousands of in-depth conversations with new RVers like you as well as tried-and-true veterans. All that knowledge has been condensed and crammed into our comprehensive program called The Unique Method. It is easy-to-follow and will virtually eliminate all your holding tank issues!
On your first RV trip, we recommend that you closely follow all the guidelines in The Unique Method. This will help your first trip to go smoothly and allow you to focus on what you’re there to do in the first place: relax, explore, and have fun!
Maybe you’re still not understanding the why behind RVing. Why can’t you just relax in an armchair at your real home?
All in all, there is more to RVing than just sitting in a home-on-wheels; instead, RVing is about action, as evidenced by the term itself. It implies a pushing forward toward adventure, a spirit that drives people to thrive, to see the world and experience everything it has to offer, all the tastes and sights and sounds that enliven our minds and feed that inner child who yearns to see the world.
Beyond the philosophy, there are many practical benefits to the RV Lifestyle:
In the end, the RV lifestyle is about discovery, getting outside your comfort zone, and the thrill of knowing that you yourself have seen and experienced all that our world has to offer. The RV lifestyle is lived in nature and models nature’s carefree way. It is not just about existing; it’s about thriving!
Perhaps RVing has always seemed mysterious to you, something you could never understand. Why would people want to live in a metal box on wheels away from the comforts of their real home? Well, as this article has shown, there is much more to RVing than first meets the eye!
We hope that we have helped you to understand what RVing is as well as whether or not you should pursue it! If you have decided to get an RV, we hope that you will choose Unique as your companion on the road. We would love to walk (or, more accurately, drive) with you every step of the way! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, it’s time to take that next step. The road is open to you. Where will you go first?