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Find the Best RV Brands

by Sharee Collier RV Manufacturers Expert

If you’re in the market for a recreational vehicle (RV), use our guide to discover the best RV manufacturing company for you. We explore some of the top brands on the market, looking into their features, pricing and available models.

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What to look for in an RV

To figure out the best type of RV for you, first think about the trips you want to go on. Consider how much room you need and what luxuries you wish to include, such as televisions, recliners and couches.

For instance, those who want a lot of interior space and full amenities should look into a Class A motorhome. It has the most interior space and storage of any RV on the market, and you can outfit it with deluxe furniture and appliances.

If you plan to take an RV on short trips and don’t need a full kitchen setup, a camping trailer is better. It's smaller, lighter and less expensive.

Once you know what type of model you’re looking for, narrow it down based on which brands you trust. Read reviews and look for any complaints or lawsuits against the company. Chat with the RV brand's sales staff to learn about any features unique to its brand, in addition to pricing for specific models and upgrades.

Standard RV features

As you compare motorhomes, you may wonder what exactly comes standard in a trailer or motorhome. Though the finer points of these features will vary among models, each RV will have a version of the following rooms:

  • Bedroom: Bedroom areas usually have either a double or queen bed. Depending on the size of the RV, it may have more than one bedroom space and multiple closets for storage.
  • Bathroom: Almost all RVs have a bathroom or “lavatory” area. This area includes a toilet and sometimes a sink or shower.
  • Kitchen: An RV has a kitchen with a sink and a range for cooking. It also has a microwave. Next to the kitchen, you’ll usually find a table and chairs in a small dining area.
  • Living room: The rest of the RV is a sort of living room. Couches, chairs, recliners, a television, a stereo and more may be available to use in this area.

Safety features

An RV needs to be safe. Read up on your RV’s construction and safety features before you make your purchase.

  • Chassis construction: Your RV’s chassis consists of a combination of aluminum, steel, fiberglass and wood. Ask your RV dealership or check online to read about the safety features built into the chassis.
  • Reinforced roof: You’ll want an RV with a reinforced roof if you might end up camping in rough weather. A reinforced roof will protect your interior from falling branches, snow, rain, hail or anything else that could fall on your RV.
  • Handling: See if your RV has high-quality handling features for trips over rough terrain. A good system of shocks can mean the difference between a bumpy trip and a smooth one.

Additional features and upgrades

Here are a few additions to make your RV comfortable inside and outside.

  • Bed upgrades: Though many RVs come with a standard double or queen-size bed, the sleeping space can usually accommodate a larger bed. King-size beds are common upgrades for RV bedrooms.
  • Connection upgrades: Most RVs come with a TV, but you may need a satellite dish or internet access to watch regular programming. Your optopns for connections may vary depending on whether or not you're in an RV park or campground.
  • Solar panels: Solar power is becoming more popular with RVers. Installing solar panels on the roof of your RV (or taking portable solar panels with you) can help power all your accessories. With a solar battery, you can store energy for future use.
  • Grill mount: A grill mount attaches to a foldable arm that extends from the RV so you can mount your portable charcoal or electric grill at a safe distance from the vehicle.
  • Sunshades: When you set up your outdoor area, you’re going to want to create some shade. Sunshades and retractable awnings fasten to the side of your RV, and you can pull them out to create a more comfortable camping area.

Types of RVs

RVs come in all shapes and sizes, from luxury-style motorhomes to small camping trailers.  As you compare your options, it helps to understand the different types of RVs and RV lifestyles.

  • Class A motorhomes: Class A is a large, heavy-duty RV, typically built on a commercial bus or truck chassis (18-wheeler trucks have a similar build). Class A motorhomes are great for families or people who are going to spend months on the road. However, they can be difficult to drive and expensive to maintain.
  • Class B motorhomes: Class B is the smallest motorhome on the market. Class B motorhomes don’t have the interior space of Class A or C for amenities and comfort, but they are less expensive and easier to drive. They're suitable for short trips for couples.
  • Class C motorhomes: Class C is the middle-of-the-road motorhome. It’s smaller than Class A and larger than Class B. Class C RVs are reasonably easy to maintain, and they can fit into most camping areas. They can accommodate families and handle long or short trips.
  • Travel trailers: Travel trailers are towable RVs that work on any vehicle with a trailer hitch and enough power to pull them. Travel trailers are less expensive than full-size motorhomes, and they come in various shapes and sizes, from family-size deluxe models to small campers.
  • Fifth wheel trailers: Fifth wheels are similar to travel trailers except that they have gooseneck connectors to secure them to a trailer hitch in the bed of a truck. This limits the number of vehicles that can haul them, but the trailers are easier to maneuver than travel trailers. They also tend to be larger, with more space for deluxe features and family members.
  • Toy haulers: Toy haulers are trailer RVs with extra space to store motorcycles, ATVs, bicycles or other small vehicles you want to take with you. This design gives you less overall interior space, but it’s a good compromise if you want to transport small vehicles.
  • Camping trailers: Camping trailers are small, lightweight RVs that are good for occasional camping trips. Some models fold out to increase interior space, but camping trailers do not generally have kitchen or plumbing amenities.

Common questions about RVs

RV costs range from $10,000 for a simple trailer to up to $1 million for a deluxe motorhome. Pricing varies based on the type of RV and what features you want.
  • Motorhomes: Motorhomes are divided into three classes. Class A motorhomes are high-end models that cost about $55,000 to $300,000, depending on features and floor plans. Class B motorhomes are the smallest motorhomes on the market, costing around $40,000 to $80,000. A Class C RV (smaller than Class A and bigger than Class B) costs $50,000 to $150,000.
  • Trailers: The cheapest types of RVs are trailers. These cost anywhere from $10,000 for a basic, foldable tent camper to $60,000 for spacious fifth wheel trailers.
  • Luxury RVs: Select RV manufacturers allow you to customize an RV completely, with deluxe features and layouts to turn an empty shell into a high-end vehicle. A luxury RV costs anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million.
When you’re looking for an RV, you want to think about the fuel cost as well. Here are your fuel options:
  • Gas: Most RVs run on gasoline. Gasoline RVs usually work with regular unleaded fuel. You can use premium gasoline, but you likely won't see any change in towing power.
  • Diesel: RVs that need more power to move take diesel fuel. These RVs are usually capable of more demanding trips in the mountains or across rough terrain.
  • Towables: Towable trailers and campers require a vehicle capable of hauling them. If you have a large truck or SUV, you may want to look into towable RVs.
An RV is an expensive investment, so you’ll want to make sure it’s protected. Here’s how you can keep your RV running:
  • Warranties: Your RV will come with a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts around two years. Some companies may offer to extend your warranty coverage for an extra fee.
  • Insurance: Like any other vehicle, your RV must be insured before you hit the road. Check with your current vehicle insurance provider to see if it offers multi-vehicle discounts. You can also look for RV insurance from specialty providers.
  • Roadside assistance: Most RV dealers offer roadside assistance plans in case of a breakdown on the road. Services include tire changing, emergency refueling, towing and more. Some insurance companies also offer these plans, or you can buy one from a third-party company.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Coachmen RV

    Headquartered in Middlebury, Indiana, Coachmen has been developing and manufacturing RVs since 1964. Coachmen became a brand of Forest River, Inc. in 2008. Coachmen has a full range of RVs, including motorhomes, toy haulers, fifth wheels and more.

    Read more about Coachmen RV
    La Mesa RV

    La Mesa RV is a marketplace for used and new RVs. La Mesa RV began as a simple RV dealership in La Mesa, California, in 1972. It has since moved its headquarters to San Diego and expanded, with dealerships in Florida, Arizona and New Mexico.

    Read more about La Mesa RV
    GulfStream Coach RV

    Gulf Stream manufactures RV and RV products, offering 26 brands and over 100 models. It has been a family-owned and -operated company since its founding in 1993. You can find Gulf Stream RVs at dealerships across the United States.

    Read more about GulfStream Coach RV
    Jayco

    Founded in 1968, Jayco, Inc. is an RV manufacturer located in Middlebury, Indiana. Jayco distributes its full line of RVs to almost 300 dealers across the United States. Products include Class A and Class C motorhomes, camping trailers, travel trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers.

      Winnebago

      Founded in 1958, Winnebago Industries is one of the most well-known RV manufacturers in the world. Winnebago builds motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels and specialty buses. Winnebago’s ability-equipped RVs are designed for people with physical challenges. Wheelchair lifts, showers without step-ins and convenient controls are all tailored for people with mobility challenges.

        Fleetwood RV

        Fleetwood is a manufacturer of Class A and Class C motorhomes. The company has been in operation since 1950. It’s part of REV Group, Inc., one of the largest producers in the motor vehicle industry. You can build your own RV with Fleetwood’s online building tool. Choose the model you want, a floor plan, a color scheme and any amenities. Fleetwood will give you an instant estimate and free quote.

          Thor Industries

          Thor Industries began in 1980 as a manufacturer and distributor of towable trailers and has grown into one of the largest RV companies in the world. Thor is the sole owner of several subsidiaries, including Airstream, Bison and Jayco, Inc. The flagship vehicle is the Thor Motor Coach. Thor Motor Coach models include Class A, Class C and toy hauler motorhomes.

            Dutchmen

            Dutchmen RV is a manufacturer of RV towables. The company offers travel trailers, expandable trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers. Thor Industries acquired Dutchmen in 1991. Dutchmen’s line includes Aerolite, Aspen Trail, Coleman, Denali, Kodiak, Rubicon and Razorback. Each RV brand has different floor plans available to view online.

              Forest River

              Founded in 1996, Forest River is one of the largest RV manufacturers in the United States. Forest River manufactures motorhomes, fifth wheels, camping trailers, toy haulers, travel trailers and destination trailers.

                Keystone RV

                Keystone RV is a North American RV manufacturer. It specializes in towable RVs, with products including travel trailers, fifth wheels, lightweight campers, toy haulers and destination trailers.

                  Newmar

                  Newmar is an RV manufacturer that started handcrafting RVs in 1968. Though Newmar began by building fifth wheels, it now primarily sells Class A motorhomes. Newmar’s product line of handcrafted coaches includes both diesel and gas motorhomes.

                    Prevost

                    Prevost traces its manufacturing back to 1924, when the company’s founder built a wooden coach for an REO truck chassis. Now, its legacy of craftsmanship manifests in its line of shells for RVs and buses. Prevost’s RVs are built to your specifications, and you can use Prevost’s partnered converters to turn any bus shell into an RV.

                      Rev Group

                      REV Group manufactures several different types of large vehicles, including firetrucks, buses, ambulances and RVs. REV is the parent company of 29 specialty vehicle brands, and among these are several manufacturers of high-end Class A, Class B and Class C motorhomes. If you are looking to finance your RV, REV financing can help set up a payment plan that works with your budget.

                        Heartland RV

                        Heartland RVs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with fifth wheels, toy haulers and travel trailers to choose from. Prices run from $22,000 to $171,000. Use the company's RV finder tool to discover which RV is right for you.

                          Happier Camper

                          Happier Camper offers two models of travel trailers — the HC1 and the HCT. These RVs have modular living spaces, solar-ready systems and other unique features that come standard with every vehicle. Happier Camper trailers cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

                            CrossRoads RV

                            CrossRoads RV sells travel trailers, fifth wheels and destination trailers, with luxury models available. CrossRoads' products cost between $15,000 and $98,000. Start a new RV build on the manufacturer's website or visit a local dealership to customize yours.

                              Grand Design RV

                              Whether you're looking for a travel trailer, fifth wheel or toy hauler, Grand Design RV has an RV build for you. You can expect to pay between $30,000 and $137,000 for these RVs. Vehicles are covered by a three-year limited structural warranty.

                                Tiffin Motorhomes

                                Tiffin builds its luxury Class A and Class C motorhomes on a proprietary heavy-duty chassis. They’re then finished with premium materials, comfort features and safety packages. Get the full experience with floor plans, 3D tours and photos of each model online. Pricing is available through a local dealer.

                                  Airstream

                                  Airstream is a popular travel trailer brand that also offers touring coaches, with pricing running from $40,000 to $250,000. Its Special Edition trailers include custom furniture and unique aesthetics. Take a 3D interactive tour on the company website and compare different models to find the right trailer for you.

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                                    by Sharee Collier RV Manufacturers Expert

                                    Sharee Collier is a blogger and RV lifestyle expert. She has explored the country while living and working on the road full-time for five years. She is the author of the “Live.Camp.Work.” blog, podcast and book.

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