What is an RV?

By: Andrew Stratton

A recreational vehicle, RV, or motor home is any road vehicle which includes room for sleeping and food preparation, for camping, short term accommodation, and travel. Motor homes are typically self-powered, in the form of a fully enclosed van with immediate access to facilities, or a shell built over a light commercial truck chassis and cabin. Other RVs are in a trailer configuration, where the caravan is towed behind a separate vehicle, and can be detached and driven independently while the trailer stays in place.

There is a really wide variety of sizes, shapes, features, and of course, price ranges to choose from. Some RV dealers stock only new vehicles from the manufacturer, however, most good RV dealerships realize that a motor home is going to be a big investment for anybody, and so they offer trade-ins and second-hand vehicles for sale.

Some RVs and motor homes have only basic facilities. Class B camper vans and folding campers come under this category. Such vehicles may have room for beds, seating, and possibly a sink and counter area for food preparation. Some components such as tables may double as beds in a different configuration.

As the price goes up, so too does the feature set. Larger vehicles might include the wiring for an external electrical hookup, reservoirs for fresh and waste water, on board batteries with an inverter to allow you to run household appliances from the RV mains outlet, a shower, on-board generator (possibly powered by the vehicle's engine, if available), gas bottle and stove, refrigeration, and for very large vehicles, a rear tow hitch with which to pull a small tow car or chase car, which can be detached once the motor home is 'deployed', and driven around with much greater freedom and flexibility. The most obscene RVs, which can fetch more than 2 million dollars, have independent bedrooms and en suites, and an internal garage in which another vehicle can be carried.

There are more than eighty manufacturers supplying RV dealers within the United States and Canada, filling more than ten distinct classes. One of the most important markets are those catering to middle aged and retired Americans who wish to travel the continent - either on vacation or indefinitely - in comfort and style. It is possibly this group that has led to the RV becoming a feature of modern American life. Almost 8 million American households can claim ownership of (at least) one RV. Common on movie sets and television, motor homes are now considered a luxury championed by the rich and famous. The best part is luxury motor homes are more affordable than ever, so you don't need millions of dollars to have this ability to travel with freedom and comfort..

The smallest camper vans are about 13 feet long, and can be found for as little as $5000, while the largest Class A behemoths can approach 50 feet, priced anywhere between $80,000 and $300,000. In the long term, a motor home can offer you advantages in price and flexibility that no alternative can match, whether you intend to use one for camping, recreational travel, emergency or medium-term accommodation, for on-site office facilitiesBusiness Management Articles, or any of numerous other common applications.

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