Use Type

Use Classification

The use classification will help you determine whether the size, construction features, and interior design will satisfy your needs for temperature control and homelike qualities. This designation is determined by the quality of the standard equipment and features as shown in the brochure — not the optional equipment and features. The numbers in the livability code (indicated by the temperature comfort zone of the RV) are determined by construction features such as insulation, windows, and venting. The two letters preceding the numbers indicate the use type as follows:

WE stands for weekending. A weekending RV is considered good for short, camping-type stays. Weekending RVs include fold-down trailers, class B motor homes, slide-in truck campers, and other small RVs not adequate for longer stays because live-in amenities are limited. These RVs generally work best in temperatures ranging from 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit (5-25 degrees Celsius).

VA stands for vacationing. The vacationing classification applies to RVs designed for jaunts of 2 days to 2 weeks at a time to a total of 60 days a year. A motor home or travel trailer designed for this purpose may have vinyl-wrapped cabinet doors and cabinet framing. It does not require a backsplash on the galley counter. It should have a good combination of slider and torque windows to allow plenty of air circulation while keeping out blowing rain. Even though a vacationing RV does not need a full wraparound shower stall, it should have a good shower and solid tub. A vacation-class travel trailer should be equipped with shock absorbers.

Vacation-class RVs vary widely in quality. Some come very close to satisfying snowbird or fulltiming requirements while others appear as if they won't make it through the first year. Vacation-class RVs provide comfort for the occupants in temperatures from 30-90 degrees Fahrenheit (0-30 degrees Celsius).

RT stands for RV trekking — or getting in where most people fear to go. If you want an RV that will take a beating on the back roads and as a camp home, you will want to look at the RT classification. An RV trekking motor home or travel trailer will have a tough exterior, a heavy-duty chassis, and a well-built interior. Because RV trekkers generally keep their RVs for decades, it is important that such vehicles have well-designed houses made with high-quality materials and consistently good workmanship.

An RV trekking trailer or motor home should have an efficient heating system and stove-top pilot controls. It should have natural wood in all the cabinets. Any vinyl wrapping must be of the highest quality. It must have good windows and roof venting. The shower stall must be close to live-in quality. The floor must be built of high-quality material and protected from water spills and plumbing leaks. The roof should be covered with good fiberglass or thick EPDM rubber. Although segmented aluminum for a roof covering may be acceptable, thin, one-piece aluminum is not. RV trekking motor homes and trailers must have heavy-duty chassis. Trailers must have shock absorbers. Because RV trekking trailers and motor homes are often used by adventurers who travel to places with extreme temperatures, they should have insulation and temperature-control equipment that satisfies human requirements in temperatures from below freezing to Death-Valley-hot. With all this said about RV trekking, we have a tough time finding brands that fulfill this use classification.

Since 2005, RV trekking classification for fifth wheels has been limited to 32 feet in length, and travel trailer coaches to 26 feet in length. Because RV trekking is getting back in the woods, it is obvious that there has to be a limit on the overall length.

SB stands for snowbird. RVs for snowbirds are designed for live-in situations of up to 6 months a year in temperatures from 30-90 degrees Fahrenheit (0-30 degrees Celsius). Snowbird use is primarily determined, however, by the design of the interior. If our analysis shows that a motor home or trailer has an interior designed for 6 months a year live-in use, it will receive a snowbird type.

FT stands for fulltiming. Fulltiming RVs must have the interior designed for live-in use on a full-time basis. We consider things like good galley design, proper environment controls, stove-top pilot control, well-built baths, good bathroom venting, good appliances, and quality upholstery and furniture.

The temperature comfort zone of an RV is important to a fulltimer. If you always go south during the winter and north during the summer, the insulation factors will not be very important. But if you think you might want to spend some time where water turns to ice, you will need to consider insulation, wall structure, window size, interior venting, heating equipment, cooling equipment, and window venting.

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