By Debra Gibson Isaacs
Are you a fifth-wheel? A fifth-wheel kind of camper, that is. Or perhaps you want to be able to macho your way to the top of anything out there. Whatever your preferences and needs, there is a recreational vehicle (RV) for you. An RV is simply a vehicle that combines transportation and living quarters.
“A lot depends on what kind of trips you want to make,” says Kevin Broom, spokesperson for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. “RVing is just like any vacation except that you bring your own home with you.”
Choosing that “home away from home” is much like choosing a non-mobile one. There is no correct choice or wrong answer. The best decision is different for each person and family.
There is a lot to learn when choosing a recreational vehicle, however. Fortunately, there is also a lot of information out there to help.
RVIA’s website (goRVing.com) is a good place to start. Look over the broad categories on the first page. These include kid-approved fun; bring on the dirt; city exploring; RVs that giddy up; and cool RVs, among others. Clicking on the picture for “kid-approved fun,” for example, directs you to a page of more detailed information about campers who will be traveling with children.
Here’s an example of the details for families with children:
“RVs are built for family fun. Built-in bunks or trundle beds give everyone a comfortable place to call their own. Best of all, there are no strange beds to sleep in, and there are always familiar surroundings.
“Type C Motorhomes often have an over-cab bed that sleeps 2-3 and can be a fun, personal space for kids.
“RVs can have access to the bathroom directly from the outside when kids are messy or in a hurry.
“RVs have plenty of storage to bring along favorite toys and gear, with basement storage large enough for bikes.”
The next step is to choose the type of RV you think you might want. Click on “Find My RV.” The choices are:
• Towable RVs
• Motorized RVs
• Specialty RVs
• Park Model RVs
Each choice leads to an array of RVs that fit those criteria. From there you can get even more particular. Under “towable RVs,” for example, you can choose from a conventional travel trailer, fifth-wheel travel trailer, expandable travel trailer, sport utility RV, folding camping trailer and truck camper. Your specific answers to basic questions help narrow the choices. For example, one of the questions in this category is, “What type of vehicle you are going to use to tow the RV?” That helps you match your vehicle with an RV it can tow. In addition, there is detailed information on each RV along with photos.
Expandable Travel Trailer
Sport Utility RV
Folding Camping Trailer
Once you complete the process, you will have a better idea of what kind of camper you are. Perhaps you really are a fifth-wheel — a fifth-wheel camper, of course.
Debra Gibson Isaacs has been a writer and photographer for more than 30 years. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, she is an avid adventurer with a passion for animals, particularly black bears, dogs and alligators.