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Are Camper Trailers Considered RVs?

Published on December 10th, 2018 by Camper Report
This post was updated on January 10th, 2019

You might be wondering if a camper trailer is an RV. There are so many words out there for Recreational Vehicles. Along with that is a lot of misconceptions.

Are camper trailers considered RVs? A camper trailer is an RV. A Recreation Vehicle covers all terms including a “motorhomes”, camper trailers, popups, etc. RV covers all terms in this area. A camper trailer is literally a trailer pulled behind a truck on a hitch.

There are many different types of RVs out there. I want to cover the basics of camper trailers and what they are. I will then move on to other kinds.

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What is a Camper Trailer?

Like I stated earlier, there are many misconceptions about what an RV is and if a camper trailer is one. A camper trailer is an RV. RV is a generic term used to cover everything under the sun that is a vehicle which you can live in.

A camper trailer is an RV that you attach to a hitch either in the middle of your truck bed or on a ball hitch. I’ve mostly seen them being about 28 feet. These are great because it provides a lot of room for kids and they are fairly cheap.

If you are a family person, this is hands down the best option for you. It’s spacious for the amount you pay for it. Your kids will have a lot of room to play around in it. It’s just the best option for what you pay.

A motorhome is a trailer with the car built into it. I have a whole post about the pros and cons of both camper/travel trailers and motorhomes. It gives a lot of great insights on what to get. I will be writing about the pros and cons of campers here as well.

If you want to read it, click here.

Things to Know About Camper Trailers

One of the first things you should know is that they are cheaper and more family friendly than motorhomes. Camper trailers are priced around $20,000-$30,000. That sounds like a lot and it is.

That’s a full price. Compare that to a motorhome at $50,000 and it does not seem as bad.

I think that assuming you know how to drive with a trailer, it is best to start this way. It is cheaper. Used doesn’t cost nearly as much as straight off the market. It is just a better first experience.

If you have a family, I wouldn’t recommend anything but a trailer. You can get a giant bus motorhome which should be big enough but that thing is a beast and I would not recommend it.

What kind of traveling are you looking for? Are you more of the weekend traveler or are you cross country, “east coast or bust!” kind of person? If you are more into the weekend trip kind of person than you probably going to want a camper trailer.

You can take it on trips. You can park it somewhere when you are just going into town to see the nightlife. Having the ability to just unhitch and explore is so nice for a weekend thing.

You can do more and really get a fuller experience.

It is more of a hassle to find a place to park the big trailer and it might break the immersion a bit but it should not be that huge of a deal. With a family, you will probably have to wait anyway and it won’t be so fast-paced. That is assuming you follow my recommendation.

You will end up leaving your trailer in your driveway a lot because it will be more of a weekend thing but there are websites out there like where you can make some passive income on renting out your RV for a period of time.

While you do not have it in use, you can be making money off of it while someone else puts it to good use. I am all about the side hustle so I recommend this highly.

A trailer does not take gas itself but it takes gas to move it. Actually not even gas at all. It takes diesel. If you have a 28 footer out there behind you, I sure hope you are pulling it with a truck that runs on diesel.

Most people will say that you need a half ton truck to carry a 5th wheel but honestly, you need a 3/4-ton truck. If you have a 1-ton truck, even better. Here is a good website with solid information on what to have.

Since carrying a whole bus behind you (basically) is heavy, your gas mileage will be really small. I am talking about like 10 mpg. The upside to this is when you finally get to your camping spot, you can unhitch, stabilize, and hook everything up and then you’re free to drive wherever with high gas mileage than even a class C motorhome can do.

Another to note is the bigger your rig is the more it will cost to insure. No matter what though, it will not cost as much as a motorhome to insure. Just be aware of insurance because the next thing you need is another huge insurance bill.

Keep in mind that depreciation in vehicles is a real thing. I would not suggest buying a new one. If you buy a used one it won’t depreciate as much. Camper trailers actually do not depreciate as much as other vehicles because they do not have engines.

Repairs on the inside are probably things you can do. You can learn to do wood finish and other handyman things. You will probably have to have some professional work done on it though.

So with a trailer, you can’t really do much with it while you are driving. It’s not really possible to hop from the car into the trailer. Everyone say to stay in the car.

I do not think it is legal to have people in the trailer while the car is moving, or at least it should not be.

That is a nice thing when having a motorhome. You can just do whatever you want. Also if something goes wrong, like the fridge losing all of its contents, you can be there right away to fix the problem instead of having a surprise later.

With the price you pay and the space you get, I would recommend the camper trailer. It has much more space for your buck. If you have a family, this is a no-brainer.

Maybe put the older kids outside and the younger ones inside. A camper trailer is more family-friendly about 90% of the time. That is my recommendation.

Related Questions

Is a camper a trailer? A camper is a trailer. If you pull something behind you, it’s probably a trailer. The one time I can’t see it being that is when you are towing somebody. Another name for them is a fifth wheel or travel trailer. All of these are covered under the umbrella of what an RV is.

What is a Class C travel trailer? Well, actually there is not a Class C travel trailer. There is, however, a Class C motorhome. Travel trailers and motorhomes are two different kinds of RVs. A Class C motorhome is a mix between Class A and Class B.

It looks like large car or van. This is typical for a couple or some friends to have. It is really great for going across the country because it is compact. It can only hold about 2 people total.

 How do you maintain a camper trailer? You’re going to have to friendly with the vehicle. Inspect the roof to make sure it is sealed correctly. Make sure the wheels and lug nuts are tight before a trip and afterward.

Check the battery for the RV. Keep the waste-water system in good condition. Clean it well. Make sure the breaking system is working before a trip. Change out the oil in the RV if needed.

There are many things you can do. Just treat it like you would a car and then some.

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