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What Does RV Stand For?

  • 8 min read

Key Points:

  • “RV” stands for Recreational Vehicle—a home away from home.
  • There are many different types of RV. The type you choose will depend upon what you’re hoping to use it for and how much luxury you want. (See below.)
  • People have a bunch of favorite RVing destinations, some of which are listed below.
  • Following the right maintenance processes while RVing is crucial to the ease and ultimate success of your first experience. We recommend that you follow The Unique Method for the best results! 
  • The RV lifestyle is about action—the daring to step out of our comfort zones and experience the world first hand. When it comes down to it, the RV lifestyle is all about a spirit of adventure. 

Introduction to RVing and The RV Lifestyle

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!

What is an RV?

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! 

Types of RVs

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. 

A class A RV

A picture of a class A RV (Source)

What is a Class A RV?

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!

A class B RV

A picture of a class B RV (Source)

What is a Class B RV? 

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. 

A class C RV

A picture of a class C RV (Source)

What is a Class C RV?

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. 

A Travel Trailer RV

A picture of a Travel Trailer RV (Source)

What is a Travel Trailer?

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!

A Fifth Wheel RV

A picture of a Fifth Wheel RV (Source)

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. 

A Pop Up Camper

A picture of a Pop-Up Camper (Source)

What is a Pop-Up Camper?

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

A picture of a custom made RV (Source)

What is a Custom Built RV?

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!

Guide Continued Below

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Favorite RVing Destinations

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. 

  1. Yellowstone National Park
  2. Zion National Park
  3. Williamsburg, VA
  4. Grand Canyon, AZ
  5. Horse Thief Lake, SD
  6. Moab, UT
  7. The Florida Keys
  8. Blue Ridge Mountains
  9. South Padre Island
  10. Shenandoah National Park

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!

Success on Your First RV Trip

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!

Fun Things to Bring and Do While Camping
  • Hammocks
  • ATVs (if you can legally ride near where you camp!)
  • Camping chairs 
  • Propane grill
  • Propane fire pit (if open burning isn’t allowed)
  • Roaster sticks (don’t forget the hot dogs either!)
  • Fishing gear (assuming you have a valid license!)
  • Football, basketball, baseball and mitts, frisbee
  • Yard games
  • Books and magazines
  • Playing cards
  • Headphones
  • Laptop
  • Guitar

Caring For Your RV While Camping

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:

  • RV surge protector
  • Electrical adaptors
  • Clean hose for drinking water
  • Leveling blocks
  • Wheel chocks
  • Shovel
  • Extension cords
  • Emergency road kit

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!

The RV Lifestyle

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:

  • Explore new and picturesque locations from the comfort of your “home on wheels.”
  • See all the seasons in different parts of the country.
  • Enjoy more simplicity of life.
  • Experience many unique cultures.
  • Capitalize on a cheaper way of life.
  • Take advantage of unique job opportunities and break away from the 9-5 grind.
  • Take control of your life and experience true freedom!

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!

Sending You Off

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

Now, it’s time to take that next step. The road is open to you. Where will you go first?

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