Motorized RV versus Towable RV

Published: Thursday, July 26, 2007

With improving economic conditions and a higher percentage of the American population enjoying disposable income, a significant percentage of the general population are today preferring to enjoy their leisure hours and vacations by traveling to exotic locations across the country. With both the retired generation and younger people opting for this mode of recreation, the demand for recreational vehicles have significantly increases over the last few years. While in the past, owning a private recreational vehicle was considered a luxury of the rich and elite, today, with a wide variety of RV models being manufactured, recreational vehicles are available on a range of prices. This, in turn, is making them more affordable to people from all strata of society. While in 2001, the total number of recreational vehicles on the streets of America was about 7.2 million, the number increased manifold over the next few years, making the RV industry a $15.75 billion a year enterprise today.

Broadly speaking, recreational vehicles can be subcategorized into the two major groups of towable and motorized vehicles. Whereas, the major varieties of towable RVs include tent trailers, slide in campers, travel trailers and fifth wheels, the major types of motorized recreational vehicles are Motorhomes of Class A, Class B and Class C varieties and truck campers. The major structural difference between the two types of RVs is while motorized recreational vehicles have their own engines and are capable of independent travel, towable RVs (as their very name implies), require some other towing vehicle to tow them along. Depending on a number of factors like family size, towing facilities, budget and lifestyle preferences, modern travelers can today conveniently select the style of RV suiting their specific requirements best.

Because of their better affordability, easier storage and easy towability, travel trailers, folding campers and pop-up trailers are frequently opted for by first time RVers. As many of these trailers are light in weight and can be easily towed by family cars, many people prefer to use these travel trailers for weekend getaways and short trips. If you already own a pickup truck, the fifth wheel trailer is one of the best towable vehicles you can opt for. Providing you ample room, living comforts and luxury facilities, fifth wheels are some of the best investments for full time travelers. Be it a fifth wheel, travel trailer or tent trailer, one of the major advantages all towable vehicles have over their motorized counterparts is that as the RV is basically hitched to the towing vehicle, once you reach your destination spot, you can easily set up the RV unit on its own and free the towing vehicle for exploring the new location, sightseeing or running errands. The engine is one of the most expensive parts of any vehicle. As towable recreational vehicles have no independent engines of their own, their total cost is usually lesser than that of motorized vehicles. Some of the other main advantages towable vehicles have over motorized recreational vehicles are better gas mileage and better stability under windy conditions. However, unlike motorized recreational vehicles, in the case towable RVs, you do not have the facility of towing another vehicle or boat behind your RV. The truck camper is one of the most useful towable units you can select. Especially, if you already own a pickup truck, you can easily tow a camper unit along and detach it once your camping destination is reached. While the camper unit can be used as your residential unit, you can travel around the local area in the pickup truck.

Motorized recreational vehicles, comprising mainly of different types of Motorhomes, are some of the most luxurious home on wheels you can select. Providing you the best of luxuries and all comforts of home, these vehicles are structured to make your travel as good as it gets. Complete with luxurious bedrooms, elite living areas and the latest entertainment facilities, Class A Motorhomes redefine luxury in their own terms. One of the major advantages of motorized recreational vehicles is that as they operate as self-contained single units, from eating meals and playing games to watching television and sleeping in comfort, you and your family members can perform all your everyday activities with full convenience in these vehicles even while traveling from one place to another. It is also easier to keep track of your little children while traveling in these Motorhomes. Once you reach your holiday destination, all you need to do is level the vehicle, set it up in the camp-side hookups available and your holiday home is ready for use. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of these motorized vehicles is that as, unlike towable vehicles, these units do not have any separate towing units to detach, even if you want to explore the new area locally or want to buy something for daily needs, you have to drive around the entire vehicle. For this reason, for travelers who prefer to camp at one location for days and weeks at a stretch, a towable recreational vehicle forms a better option than motorized one. If you want to avail the best of both worlds and decide to tow along a small car or motorbike, the decision may prove useful during your RV trips, albeit, an expensive one. Carrying a two-wheeler in such a case often proves both handy and economic as you can both explore the local areas and save on fuel costs.

No matter whether you are opting for a towable vehicle or a motorized one, as a RV is a big financial investment, make sure all parts of the vehicle you are selecting are structured and functioning properly at the time of purchase. No matter whether you are opting for a new recreational vehicle or a used one, it is better to check all the details, both inside and outside the vehicle, at the time of purchase. Taking someone experienced in dealing with recreational vehicles and knowledgeable about its various parts will help you further in making the right selections.
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