How to Choose the Right RV for Your Needs?

Life in a recreational vehicle is an interesting experience as you have the opportunity to explore new places and cultures. At the same time, your life in an RV is nothing but a condensed version of your life at home, except for the fact that your home now has wheels and a motor to take you everywhere. This is why it makes sense to buy an RV that is just right for you, and meets all your personal preferences and needs.

Here are some factors that you should keep in mind while choosing the right RV.

Some RV features and items are more important than others. What do you consider to be essential? Nice to have? Pictured above diesel pusher at Californian RV Resort, a full-service park in Acton, California. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some RV features and items are more important than others. What do you consider to be essential? Nice to have? Pictured above diesel pusher at Californian RV Resort, a full-service park in Acton, California. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Duration

How long do you plan to use your RV? The answer to this question can help you to choose an appropriate RV. For example, if you plan to use it full-time, but only for a short period of time, then it makes sense to buy a used RV and spend some extra money to customize it the way you want.

On the other hand, if you plan to use the RV over the next 20 to 30 years, invest in a top-quality one that is constructed to last a few decades. Plan your finances accordingly, and buy an RV that is built to last for a longtime by retaining its trade-in or resale value as well.

After all, an investment in RV is for life, so make sure you spend enough time and effort to choose the right one.

Understand the features

Some RV features and items are more important than others. What do you consider to be essential? Nice to have?

Fifth wheel trailer boondocking near Quartzsite, Arizona. Note the solar panels. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fifth wheel trailer boondocking near Quartzsite, Arizona. Note the solar panels. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Consider the following: the living area, kitchen counter and appliances, bathroom configuration, sleeping areas, washer/dryer, flat screen TV in living room and bedroom, exterior TV, diesel engine, interior and exterior storage, Sirius radio, solar panels, and generator.

Have a plan in place, like:

How long you want to use your RV?

Which campgrounds you plan to visit?

Do you want to stay in RV parks with full amenities?

How many people would be traveling with you?

What are the kind of amenities you and others would need?

What are your personal preferences?

Choose an RV that works for the size of your traveling family. Do you have pets? Where will they sleep? Keep in mind, numerous RV parks have rules about pets. Moreover, additional bodies require additional space. If you have children, consider an RV with bunk beds.

What are your travel priorities?

Travel trailer camping at Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Travel trailer camping at Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Based on the answers to the above questions, pick an RV. For example, many of the national parks in America were built almost 50 years ago when the size of RVs was not so big. They were not really built to accommodate the 40-footer RVs of today. In fact, there are many beautiful parks that can’t fit in large RVs. So, if you plan to visit many campgrounds, you’re better off compromising on the size, so you can have access to many campgrounds. Thus, the answers to the above question can help to identify the RV that works best for you.

Simple rule of thumb:

  • Smaller RVs are easy for parking, but less room for living
  • Larger RVs are easy for living but less room for parking

Test model

Enjoying life in an RV at Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Enjoying life in an RV at Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re unsure how life would be in a RV, it’s understandable and quite common too. In such a case, go for an inexpensive or used RV to see how your lifestyle fits into it. Experiment with it for a few months or years, depending on your plans, and once you’re ready for a life in the RV, invest in a more expensive one.

Ask yourself the tough questions, evaluate the answers, and see where this leads. Each answer will open a different door to your final decision. Your perfect RV will soon be sitting in your driveway ready for your first big adventure.

Worth Pondering…

Cherish yesterday, dream tomorrow, live today.

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