What Is an RV Camper?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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An RV camper, or recreational vehicle camper, is a type of vehicle designed for short- and long-term living for one or more people. The specific design of an RV camper can vary: some mobile homes can be quite large, sometimes surpassing the size of a full sized bus, while others can be compact and convertible. Pop-up campers, for example, can compress for easy storage when being towed behind a vehicle, then they can be expanded for more spacious living when set up in a camping spot. Other campers are even smaller and mount in the bed of a pickup truck.

Larger RV camper models often feature many of the amenities of home, such as living spaces, beds, separate rooms, bathroom facilities, kitchen facilities, televisions, radios, and so on. These RV camper models are intended for longer living stays as well as more functional living should a person or family want a more comfortable space when traveling or camping. Smaller campers will still have many of these features, though the very smallest campers often lack many of them. All RV camper models feature basic living amenities, such as beds and protection from the elements, but beyond those, features can vary significantly by model.


Three basic types of RV camper models exist: tow-behind campers, bed-mounted campers, and full-sized RV campers that are motorized. The full-sized models are similar to buses or large trucks, and they can be difficult to drive because of their size. A driver will need some training in order to drive a full sized RV, and in some cases he or she may need a special driver's license or endorsement. Tow-behind campers will require a vehicle large enough to tow the weight of the camper, and the driver will also need to develop some skills for driving the unit safely. Truck bed campers will obscure the rearview mirror's view, and the driver will need to consider the height of the camper when driving under bridges or through tunnels.

A less common type of RV camper is the 4x4 camper, which features larger tires, overbuilt suspension, and four wheel drive for off road driving. These campers feature many of the same amenities inside, but the vehicle itself is designed for performance both on- and off-road in the most treacherous of conditions. While not common, these campers have grown in popularity, although the price of the vehicle can make the camper cost-prohibitive for many potential owners.


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Post 2

The lady who used to be our personnel director retired and she and her husband bought an RV and started traveling the USA. I would love to do something like that if I had the money. Unfortunately, I don't have the money to buy that kind of vehicle, to keep gas in the tank or pay for the insurance. It really is an expense, but Rheta said they moved to a patio home, which had a much lower monthly payment, so they were able to afford the RV upkeep.

One advantage is that you would always have a place to stay! You wouldn't have to worry about not having a hotel room available.

Post 1

My friend has a 20-foot RV, which is one of the smaller ones. She drives it everywhere, and she doesn't need a commercial license to drive it. She lives in northern California, and during wildfire season, she always packs her RV camper with things she wants to save and has it ready to leave at a moment's notice, in case a fire gets close enough that an evacuation order is broadcast.

I have a feeling she won't leave until the smoke is actually on her property, but then again, I wouldn't want to have to make that decision in those circumstances.

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