What’s That Big Thing in Your Driveway?
By Monique & Barry Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
What is an RV? Easy question, since you either own one or are considering which type will best suit your RVing lifestyle.
But is it all that easy? For instance, the Good Sam Club Buyers Guide lists the following types of RVs (and who would know better?):
Non-motorized versions include travel trailers, fifth wheels, folding camping trailers and SURVs, which is like an SUV. Then there are the Motorized RVs, which the Buyers Guide breaks down into Class A Motorhomes, Class B Van Conversions, Class C Motorhomes, Truck Campers and Custom Coach/Bus.
But is that all … and are non-motorized vehicles RVs? On the Wikipedia website, there is a good argument made for 4-Wheel-Drive vehicles being considered RVs. There was the night when Monique and I were tent-camping in Joshua Tree National Park – the wind picked up dramatically and blew live embers from the campfire into our tent. The temp dropped into the 30s, so we “camped” in our SUV. Apparently SUVs are often used as RVs in Australia.
Then there is another entry in Wikipedia arguing that park models on wheels are RVs. Well, maybe.
I bring this up to open a forum in the Comments Section below about what you consider an RV, but first, I’d like to share a few experiences.
Our home is in a 28-foot travel trailer*. We parked in front of our son’s home in Huntington Beach last November, where we were cited for parking on the street on a street-sweeping day. I got out of the ticket, but in the discussion with the city’s officer, he told me according to local law, a travel trailer is not a “Recreational Vehicle.”
I explained that we use it for recreation, spending most of our time in public campgrounds, and we bought it from an RV dealer. That should make it an RV. He said no, but the head of the traffic department told me the next day she would investigate further.
Recently on Coronado Island near San Diego, a diesel pusher owner asked me when I was going to buy an RV. I took deep breaths before explaining the issue to him.
And in Wikipedia, there is the definition, “Recreational vehicle or RV is, in North America the usual term for a motor vehicle equipped with living space and amenities found in a home.”
My personal thoughts on the subject are that anything on wheels and used for recreation qualifies as a “Recreational Vehicle.” As for the term “vehicle,” since states license travel trailers, fifth wheels and other towables under their Department of Motor Vehicles or a similar title, they are officially vehicles.
There are a few other directions that this blog could go, like discussing travel trailers used as construction-site offices. Or, the historic question, “Were the pioneers who crossed the Great Plains in their Conestoga Wagons our RVer forefathers?” And I don’t like thinking of the “recreation” that goes on in those million-dollar buses that transport rock stars on concert tours.
*There was an asterisk when I mentioned our home is a travel trailer. Last week we bought a cabin in the woods 5,700 feet above sea level, which will serve as a base while we continue our love for the RV life. We’ll soon batten down the cabin’s windows and doors for almost a year while we enjoy many more wonders of North America.
We love our home on wheels, big enough to provide full-time RVing comfort; small enough to lodge us in size-restrictive parks. Is your RV really a “recreational vehicle”?
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© Photo by Barry Zander. All rights reserved