Which Type of RV do we Need?

It’s been a while since we published a post on our plans for RV living. You may think that we’ve given up the idea – but nope! We’ve been in full research mode deciding which type of RV we should get. And guess what, we made a decision!

Researching Different Types of RV

Researching which type of RV to get was tons of fun. We went to RV stores, read books, wrote epic pros and cons lists, and even went to the RV fair in Hershey – one of the largest in the country. Prior to all this research, I couldn’t even decide whether to get a motor home or a trailer! This is such a huge decision; I didn’t want to take it lightly and make the wrong choice.

The good news is that we have decided! I think. Now, clearly, we still have a year or two until we can execute the plan, so things might change, but we have a much better idea of which type of RV will best meet our needs. And if you are interested in living the RV life, that’s the first thing you need to figure out.

Which Type of RV Do You Need?

In order to decide which type of RV to get, you need to identify your needs. Why are you pursuing the RV life? Is it for freedom? Adventure? To Save Money? Maybe it’s a combination of all of those things.

If your number one goal is to save money, then you already know you should probably get a smaller used tractor-trailer RV. They may not offer all the luxuries of high-end RVs, but they are durable and will get the job done.

If saving money isn’t your only concern, you might want to go with a larger, more luxurious trailer, or a smaller, more maneuverable motor home. I already laid out the pros and cons of trailers vs motor homes, so I’m not going to rehash that here, but both are great options and fit specific needs.  


You may have saved up a ton of money, and are now splurging on RV life to see the country! If you’ve been saving for this your entire life, you might want to get something that’s a little ritzier. I don’t think anybody really needs a three hundred-thousand-dollar motor home (though they exist!), but a roomy high-quality ride is a great option. You can travel in style and tow a small sedan around when you’re at the campground.

Another big consideration is who will be coming with you. Are you living in the RV solo? Going as part of a partnership? Moving an entire family into an RV? Bringing any pets along with you?  The answers to these questions will help you decide what size and class of RV you will need.

So, What Type of RV Are We Getting?

I know, I know. I made this like one of those recipe posts where you have to scroll through loads of nonsense to get the answer you were looking for. But, I wanted to stress that just because we figured out what was right for us, it doesn’t mean that the same type will be right for you. Do your research and get what fits your needs.

For us, our most important consideration was what to do with the menagerie. I know, it sounds weird to base a decision around pets, but they are family. They are the reason I’m getting an RV and traveling the US in the first place! I’d be in Asia teaching or working for the Peace Corps if it weren’t for them.

So, when we were RV shopping, finding a way to fit 4 cats and two dogs was the biggest concern. I searched every option for places to put the litter box, nooks that they could hide in, and nooks that could be dangerous for them. And guess what?  We found an amazing solution. As it turns out, a toy hauler is an awesome option for people with pets.  

Why a Toy Hauler?

We saw our first toy hauler at the big RV show in Hershey, and I was blown away by how perfectly it fits our needs. I didn’t even think to consider them – I thought a toy hauler was mostly empty space for the toys, and I didn’t need that. But I’m glad we decided to give one a gander, it really is the best solution to our cat problem.

 The toy haulers we looked at all had a “living area” in the front of the trailer, and a small, closed-off space in the rear to house ATVs, dirt bikes, small boats, and other small outdoorsy toys. This way, you can take all those fun things with you on your vacation, but they are tucked safely inside the RV when not in use.

"Which type of RV do you need?"
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The living area was just as nice and roomy as the living areas on the other small RVs we looked at. It had all the amenities that you’d typically expect from a traditional RV. A toilet, bed, and cooking area, and space to store all the RV essentials are really the most important things, and most toy haulers have that covered (although the smallest ones don’t have bathrooms).

But having a good place for the cats is also a necessity – and the back room of the toy hauler is perfect in this regard. The floor is generally made from a rubber material, which allows it to be easily cleaned when your toys get dirty. But it’s also the perfect space to house kitty litter, cats, and dogs. We can close it off if the dogs get a bit muddy on the road, which will prevent them from ruining the stuff up front. The rubber floors will make cleaning up spilt kitty litter super easy. Most of the ones we looked at even had loft spaces for them to hide! It’s the perfect solution to a weird situation.

What Type of RV Do You Need?

You may not have four cats and two dogs, so you might not need an animal space in your RV. Determining what you do have and what your intention is for living the full time RV life will really help you decide which type of RV you really need.


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Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.