RVs fall into two general categories, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association:
Towable RVs, which are designed to be towed by a motorized vehicle (car, van or pickup truck) and are of such size and weight as not to require a special highway movement permit. They do not require permanent on-site hookup and include folding camping trailers, truck campers, travel trailers and fifth-wheel travel trailers.
Motorized RVs, which are built on or as an integral part of a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, combining transportation and living quarters in one unit. These include class A, B and C motorhomes.
Examples of each type are listed below.
folding camping trailer – A lightweight unit with sides that collapse for towing and storage. The folding camping trailer combines the experience of open-air tent camping with sleeping comforts, basic conveniences and weather protection found in other RVs.
truck camper – A unit loaded onto, or affixed to, the bed or chassis of a pickup. The truck camper is popular for back-road journeys, accessing remote locales and family recreational camping.
travel trailer – A unit designed to be towed by a car, van or pickup by means of a bumper or frame hitch, the travel trailer provides all the comforts of home and is perfectly adaptable for weekend getaways, family vacations and full-timing.
fifth-wheel travel trailer – Designed to be affixed and towed by a pickup equipped with special hitch in the truck bed, these two-level units can provide the greatest living of all towable RVs. Fifth-wheel travel trailers come equipped with all the comforts of home, and are perfectly adaptable for weekend getaways, family vacations and full-timing.
class A motorhome – Also commonly referred to as the conventional motorhome, it is the largest, most luxurious of the motorized RVs — a virtual "home-away from-home" on wheels, fully loaded and equipped for short trips, lengthy vacations and full-timing. Its entirely constructed on a bare, specially designed motor-vehicle chassis.
class B motorhome – Also commonly referred to as the van camper, it is a cargo van that has been customized to include temporary sleeping, eating and bathroom facilities.
class C motorhome – Sometimes referred to as a mini-motorhome, it provides the conveniences of a larger motorhome in a scaled-down version and at a lower price. It is built on an automotive manufactured van frame with an attached cab section.