Hybrid travel trailer
These nifty trailers have pop-out beds that increase living space without adding loads of weight—meaning that they can be hauled by the family SUV or minivan. Price: $12,000–$35,000.
You need a truck to use one, but the camper is easily loaded on and off the truck bed, and easily stored when not in use. Sleeps up to four people, and more expensive ones have kitchens, toilets and A/C; some models are fully winterized for four-season camping. Price: $15,000–$55,000.
Class A motorhome
A luxury home on wheels, loved by snowbirds and rockstars like Willie Nelson, and they have everything you need to live very comfortably, indeed, wherever you want to be. Price: $70,000–$500,000.
Class B motorhome
Also called camper vans, these are easy to drive, park, and more fuel-efficient than larger campers. They sleep up to four, can be winterized, and can still fit kitchens and bathrooms inside. Price: $70,000–$170,000.
Class C motorhome
Built on a van chassis, often with sleeping space above the cab, these campers can sleep up to eight people, and range from basic to super deluxe. These offer plenty of storage space, full kitchens, bathrooms and all the comforts of home. You are attached to your accommodations, though, which can make parking tricky when touring urban areas. Price: $60,000–$200,000.
This term covers any trailer you pull behind that isn’t designed to sit over a truck. They range greatly in size, from trailers made for two, right up to mega-trailers that sleep 10 and have slide-out compartments to make them wider when parked, and can be as luxurious as you’re willing to pay for. A variation on this is the fifth wheel trailer that is designed to only be towed by a bigger truck (usually ¾-tonne, like a Ford or Ram 250) with a special bed-mounted hitch. Price: $18,000–$120,000.
Financing an RV
Financing is available from dealerships or directly from banks and other financial institutions. Scotiabank bills itself as the number one choice for dealership financing, and offers both variable and fixed-rate loans for up to 20 years (though, as with a car loan, the rate you are offered may vary according to your credit rating). It is always worth taking the rate the dealership offers to your financial institution, and seeing whether they can offer you a better deal.
RVs cost “about the same cost as a regular vehicle to insure,” Mahony says. You’ll also need to factor in regular servicing, storage and winterizing. If you don’t have the space to park a 35-foot-long trailer in your urban yard, then you’ll need to budget for the cost of storing it over winter or whenever you aren’t using it. Ask your dealer to break down all of the costs you should expect to pay in your area, Mahony advises.