What Is an RUV?

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You’ve heard of an SUV, and you’ve heard of an RV. Have you ever heard of an RUV? It’s kind of like a mashup of the SUV and the RV.

There are a lot of letters involved, we know, but once you understand the perks of an RUV, it may be your chosen method of exploration from now on.

Take the time to enrich your outdoorsy knowledge and learn a little about what an RUV can do for your next adventure. 

What Is an RUV? 

An RUV is a Recreational Utility Vehicle. It combines a Sports Utility Vehicle (or SUV) and a Recreational Vehicle (or RV).

RUVs are smaller than your typical RV but larger than your typical SUV. 

An RUV should have all of the same comforts and amenities as a Class A motorhome, but the vehicle will drive like a well-crafted SUV.

They’re easier to handle and small enough that finding a parking space or campground is no challenge.  

What Is the Difference Between an RV and RUV? 

In the world of motorhomes, you have classes. Class A is the largest motorhome on the road, while Class B campervans are the smallest.

Class C is somewhere in between A and B, but an RUV is a combination of them all. It’s spacious and comfortable like the Class A models. It’s also maneuverable and compact like the camper vans of Class B.

These vehicles are typically about 25 to 28 feet long, placing them in the range of a Class C RV. They’re a breed all their own and likely a solution to many issues faced when trying to find the perfect travel vehicle. 

Pro Tip: Want to learn more about the different classes of RVs? Read What Is the Difference in Motorhome Classes? to learn more!

Who Makes RUV Motorhomes?

Thor Motor Coach makes the mac daddy RUVs you’ll find on the market, and they do an excellent job at it.

The company was formed in 2010 through a merger. Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International joined forces to form Thor Motor Coach. 

Pro Tip: Thor actually manfactures TONS of RVs. Let’s take a look at All The RV Brands Thor Industries Owns!

The RUV Lineup 

Thor Motor Coach takes the cake on RUV production in the industry.

Consider whether or not these models offer what you think your travel party needs most while adventuring. 

Thor Vegas

The Vegas is built on a Ford E-Series chassis, which gives you the ability to tow up to 8,000 pounds on the hitch.

It’s just under 26 feet long and 11 feet high. The MSRP on the Vegas starts at $164,550, and each model is priced a little differently.

There are three different floor plans offered for the Vegas, with the sleeping locations being a bit different in each layout. 

This RUV has pretty much everything, with an option to have a solar panel for charging your batteries and even a Wi-Fi hotspot option. You can really take this vehicle anywhere and live in comfort. 

The coolest thing about this model is that you can control nearly everything inside the RUV through a downloadable app. The cab has a control panel, but using your phone gives you mobility and convenience. 

Thor Axis

The Axis isn’t really that much different than the Vegas. The specs are the same, with the length coming in just under 26 feet and the height at 11 feet.

Again, you can put 8,000 pounds on the hitch, and the price starts at $164,550. There are three different floor plans, with the same technology bells and whistles as the Vegas. 

The inside of a thor axis ruv
Source: Thor Industries

Thor Compass

There are some big differences between the Axis and Vegas when you begin exploring what the Compass offers.

The Compass is the smallest model of the three, at 23-feet-7-inches to 25-feet-10-inches. It can sleep two to three people.

The all-wheel-drive Compass packs a big punch for its size. It sits on a Class B chassis but has Class A space and luxury.

The Compass starts at $147,450, making it more affordable than the other models as well. 

A Thor Compass ruv
Source: Thor Industries

How Much Do RUVs Usually Cost? 

A new RUV will cost you around $150,000 or more. A used one will run you in the range of $65,000 to $80,000. 

The price will heavily depend on whether or not the vehicle you’re considering is used or brand new and the features you wnt included.

Benefits of Having an RUV 

You’ve probably already deduced that there are some notable perks to having an RUV versus a traditional Class A motorhome.

Take a second to look at a brief breakdown. 

Spacious Interior

Room to stretch your legs is important when you’re living out of a home on wheels. The models we’ve explored definitely have lots of room to relax.

They don’t have a super long body, making it easy to fit into most campgrounds.

The inside living room area of a Thor RUV
Source: Thor Industries

Saves You Money on Accommodation

Owning an RUV will save you money on accommodations, but it might be a little more expensive upfront.

However, the lifespan of one of these vehicles has plenty of potentials to make up for the cost of the rig over time.

It’s a solid investment if you’re going to put it to use. 

Keep in Mind: With inflation rising, you may want to find a few ways to save money. These are some of our favorite Money Saving RV Travel Tips We Use All the Time!

Compact Size Makes It Easy to Drive

The most notable perk is drivability. Instead of feeling like you’re driving a huge bus around, you’ll feel like you’re driving the family SUV down the road.

The Compass is even an AWD model, making it ideal for camping in all weather or on varying terrain. 

Get Exploring With an RUV 

Now that you have a little inside info on the subject, you can probably see why an RUV is a cool addition to the RV world.

Like any RV, it’s only right if it’s right for you, but the way today’s RUVs are built makes it hard to overlook. Where would you take one of these compact vehicles if you had one?

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