RV vs Travel Trailer: Why We Bought an R-Pod Travel Trailer
RV vs Travel Trailer. C-Class vs B-Class RV. All questions we asked ourselves before eventually buying our first-ever rig, an R-Pod 192 travel trailer. Whichever rig you decide to buy, the whole process can definitely be overwhelming. There are so many options that come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, not to mention bells and whistles and pricing.
Get our guide on how to choose an RV right here!
At the end of the day, you yourself can only answer what Rig is best for you! No one knows you better than you, right?! For us, an active couple with a dog and no kids, we found that a travel trailer better suited our needs than an RV (A Class, C Class) or Van (B Class). We’ll get to explaining why just below!
Which Is Better RV or Travel Trailer
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Now, of course, there are the obvious differences between an RV and vs Travel Trailer, but the whole “which is better an RV vs travel trailer” question 100% depends on you – i.e. how you like to travel, and how you want to use it.
It’s human nature to tend to go price/budget first. However, you really, REALLY need to look at and focus on how you plan to camp with, travel with, and ultimately use your rig. If your rig doesn’t suit your needs, we hate to say it, but you won’t use it. Or, worse, you’ll have a miserable time adventuring, and no one wants that!
Now, it goes without saying that both an RV and Travel Trailer come in a variety of options, allow you to camp in a more comfortable setup, and offer you flexibility with your travel arrangements. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Benefits of a Travel Trailer vs RV
- Travel Trailers tend to be a lesser expensive option when compared to an RV
- Offers more flexibility – you can unhook and then take your tow vehicle anywhere (into town, down certain roads restricted to RVs due to length, etc.)
- Insurance is cheaper
- Maintenance tends to be cheaper (you don’t have an engine to deal with)
Benefits of an RV vs Travel Trailer
- Everything is with you all the time
- Break down and setup is easy – turn off the ignition and boom, you’re setup
- Passengers have access to food and a bathroom while driving, so there is no need to stop
- Smaller RVs (not Class A), are easier to maneuver – having a trailer behind you takes some practice
For us, and after renting both an RV (C-Class) and Travel Trailer, we came to the conclusion when comparing an RV vs a travel trailer, a travel trailer is the way to go! It not only fits our budget but the most important check box, it fits our lifestyle. We’ll get to all the reasons why just below.
Why We Bought an R-Pod 192 Travel Trailer Vs an RV
We were in research and absorption mode big time prior to buying our R-Pod. From going to an RV Show to renting different campers, vans, and RVs, to researching till we felt we crawled every RV blog on the internet, the time officially came to buy our first rig, an R-Pod 192 camper.
So why an R-Pod 192 camper? It all came down to our lifestyle. We wanted something that could keep up with us, our pup, and our big adventures. Here are the top reasons we bought an R-Pod 192 camper.
1. We Wanted To Boondock.
The R-Pod 192 is a smaller camper, allowing us the flexibility to maneuver this rig over rocky or bumpy terrain to gain access to off-the-beaten-path campsites. Nothing against RV Parks, but they’re just not our style. Don’t get us wrong, we stay at them when we have to but they tend to be a little too overcrowded and expensive for what we look for in a camping spot.
When we’re in our travel trailer, we want to be in nature. Whether it’s boondocking or using dispersed camping sites, a small and thoughtful size Rig that can maneuver over rough terrain mattered to us.
What Is Boondocking? It’s dispersed camping on public land. Essentially, it’s camping without amenities – no hookups, no flat concrete pad. You can find boondocking sites throughout the country by using apps like Campendium, FreeRoam, and The Dyrt.
2. The R-Pod Travel Trailer Came Already Wired For Solar.
We knew we wanted to boondock (as mentioned just a second ago) but one of the things with boondocking, is you have no hookups. Meaning no electricity. Buying and running a generator was just not in the cards for us, and plus, we wanted to go the more sustainable route when harnessing energy.
So, when we found the R-Pod was already wired for solar, it quickly checked a convenience and lifestyle box for us. Now, we had to pay for solar panels, batteries, and install separately. Our solar installation was not included in our “buy price”, so for you budgeters out there, this is something to be mindful of.
3. We Could Travel Into The City Or Access Any Trailhead.
Sometimes it’s just a pain in the butt to not have a vehicle. For instance, our past experience of driving an RV into town was an absolute pain. You have to pack everything up and then everything comes with you. Parking can be hard too. It’s just a hassle to find a spot and something we soon realized we did not like after renting a C-Class rig for 2 weeks in Arizona.
Separately, we love to hike. And some trailheads take a little offroading to get you. You can’t go offroading in a low-riding RV. Well you can, it’ll just potentially ruin the underbelly 🙂
Going the travel trailer route allows us to unhook from the rig and take our truck into town for dinner, run errands, or drive up crazy roads to get to trailheads. We simply leave our R-Pod at our campsite and take the truck anywhere we wanted to go. It’s an additional level of freedom and convenience you just can’t get with an RV or Van (in our opinion).
4. It Was Less Expensive Than a C-Class & We Got More For Our Money Than If We Bought A Sprinter Van.
We priced this a hundred different ways and every way came to the same endpoint, a travel trailer was cheaper than buying a C-Class or popular Sprinter Van. The bottom line, an R-Pod fits our budget way better than a C-Class RV or Van ever did. Plus, we got way more space and amenities per square foot than what we would have gotten with other rigs.
5. It Was 19ft of Perfect Layout.
The layout was important to us. We wanted and honestly needed our rig to feel spacious. Anything but cramped. So a B-Class / Van was automatically out of the question for us. We like our space and just being frank, want our space from each other 🙂
Now, we fully understand that space is more than the interior of your rig, it’s the exterior too! We 100% understand and wholeheartedly agree! We spend loads – probably the majority of the time – outside our rig, enjoying the great outdoors. However, we both work full-time and need the space – i.e. table, chair, enough outlets for us to charge our devices, and enough distance for us to both be on the phone or zoom calls. Plus, just being honest, being able to stand upright in your rig was a non-negotiable for us.
The more we looked into Vans (B-Class rigs), the more we can to the realization that they are probably not the best fit for our needs or lifestyle.
Ok, back to the floor plan. Our rig is on the smaller end of what travel trailers can be, which we love. What we love even more is that our interior space feels much bigger than it actually is. The bathroom in the back and the murphy bed turned couch upfront seriously opened the space up. Plus, the many windows let in so much natural light. It feels spacious and welcoming. It feels like home.
6. We Wanted Something Modern and Ready To Go.
Yes, we bought brand new and have zero regrets about doing so. We have nothing against flipping an RV or Van. We actually think it’s so cool and under different circumstances, would have done it ourselves! However, flipping something was just not in the cards for us. We spent upwards of 2+ years intensely renovating our home, plus the three other units we own, and we were frankly over renovation projects.
We kept finding, time and time again, how outdated the interior of SO MANY RVs are. Like, beyond outdated looking and we hated that. We didn’t want to buy something that didn’t fit our style. We wanted a space that was bright, and airy, and made us feel good.
Thankfully, we found more modem décor features and trimmings in the newer model R-Pods.
7. With Minimal Updates, Our R-Pod Travel Trailer Felt Like Home.
Yes, we bought new, but still made some enhancements. We did minor updates, like purchasing seat covers, adding a runner rug, adhering sticky backsplash to the kitchen wall, and finally, adding a pop of color by applying sticky wallpaper to the murphy bed wall.
With minor updates, expenses, and time, our rig quickly became an expression of ourselves that felt like the cozy home on wheels we always wanted.
8. The R-Pod Travel Trailer Came With So Many Convenient Options
Who are we kidding, features and extras are nice selling points! Like…an outside griddle, warm shower sensor (shower miser), built-in Bluetooth interior and exterior speakers, USB plugs, a vacuum, lighted hanging closets, electric awning with LED lights, and so much storage. And let’s not forget, wired for solar.
Between the modern look, the thoughtful floor layout, and these added features, the R-Pod quickly started to rank number one on our list.
9. We Didn’t Want Everything With Us At All Times.
Weird, but it’s true. While a C-Class and Van are SUPER convenient because your things are with you at all times, for us, we didn’t want our home with all the time. By allowing us to detach our truck from our camper, we could reserve primo first-come-first-serve spots and not have to worry about losing that spot if we had to pack up and run into town or wanted to explore.
With the few rentals we did do, we found having everything with you at all times wasn’t really needed. We simply detached our rig, packed our essentials in our bags for the day, leave our home behind, and come back to her later once our day is done. Easy peasy. This style worked best for us and our needs!
We’re sure some of you are thinking, aren’t you worried about your travel trailer getting stolen? To this we say, your Van or C-Class can get stolen while you’re not in it too. Theft happens and all you can really do is take precautions. We have hitch locks and hidden tracking sensors in and on our rig to deter and also help track it down if anything was to ever happen. And hey, what’s insurance for?
10. We Didn’t Want a Third Vehicle.
Finally, maintenance. We didn’t want to add another engine to our fleet. We each own a vehicle so we definitely didn’t want to add a third vehicle and engine into our current maintenance rotation. The overall maintenance cost on a travel trailer tends to be less than a van or RV as it doesn’t have an engine or all its engine parts to break and then fix.
So that’s it! 10 reasons why we bought an R-Pod travel trailer vs going the C-Class or Van route. The best and most useful advice when we can give when looking for your first or next camper is to base it on what works for you and your lifestyle. We promise if you do that, you’ll love every single second in your home on wheels!
Also, TRY RIGS OUT! We rented RVs and Travel Trailers and did road trips around the U.S. before buying our first-ever rig, the R-Pod. Renting allows you to avoid the ever-dreaded buyer’s remorse. You’ll get a good feel for each option, and once you use each for a week, you’ll soon learn what works and what doesn’t work for you.
RENT OUR R-POD TRAVEL TRAILER
That’s right! You can rent our R-Pod 192 for an epic road trip vacation or just to give a travel trailer a test run as you determine which type of rig you’d like to buy. Regardless if you want to rent it for research or an unforgettable long weekend or vacation, our R-Pod 192 is available for rent!
Get all the details in the link, like pricing and availability. Happy Travels!
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For more travel tips, guides, and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, and follow us on Instagram @wanderingstus, Pinterest, and Facebook. Oh and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!
– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)