There are but two ways to tour the country by vehicle: Convertible and take as few of your possessions as possible or an RV and take all the comforts of home with you.
Here’s how to do the latter without breaking the bank or breaking your mind.
There is nothing particularly obvious about choosing an RV. It all comes down to personal choice.
And it’s not reasonable to expect that everyone will have a chance to drive every kind of RV before they rent or purchase one. I’ve driven a pop-up trailer, truck camper, fifth wheel trailers, a Class A gas motorhome, and a diesel pusher of varying lengths, but I’d never driven a Class B or Class C motorhome.
Purchasing an RV is a personal choice not unlike buying a new car or house, computer or smart phone, furniture or household appliances.
You cannot simply decide to buy an RV and buy it—at once. There are numerous things that should be kept in mind before you’re prepared to make that crucial decision.
When buying an RV that suits your requirements, you need to consider type of RV, new or preowned, size, ease of driving, type of camping, cost, manufacturer, dealer, and much more.
There is such an amazing variety of models and floor plans to choose from that it can leave the mind boggling.
Very often people buy the wrong RV, only to be disappointed and trade it in or resell it less than a year later only to lose thousands of dollars in the transaction.
Buying an RV can be a frustrating experience—it can be intimidating and confusing. Since there’s a myriad of new and preowned RVs available for purchase, it can be confusing trying to decide which one is best for you and your family and it’s not easy to know where to begin.
If you’re buying an RV for the first time, you can quickly get lost in the details—there are lots of them. There’s a considerable amount of information competing for your attention—along with some misinformation.
Buying an RV usually requires some trade-offs.
I’m not going to discuss all the different features and options on various types of RVs or tell you which models are best (something that is really quite personal and which changes over time); however, there are a few questions and factors to keep in mind when selecting the best RV for you and your family.
The right RV comes down to personal preference.
My purpose then, is to provide you with a basic framework to use in deciding which RV to buy.
There are a few factors that I encourage you to keep in mind when buying your RV. I’ll provide my advice on purchasing an RV which comes from my personal experience of buying numerous types of RVs and various models.
Here are a few questions that’ll help you narrow down what to buy.
What type of camping or RV travel will I do? Weekends at the lake? Summer vacation? Months at a time? Snowbird? Full time RVing?
What type of RV should I get? Pop-up trailer? Truck camper? Travel trailer? Fifth wheel trailer? Motorhome? The classing system for motorhomes starts with Class B as the smallest, Class A as the largest, and Class C in between. Gas or diesel?
Towing? Whether you’ll be towing your trailer or towing another vehicle behind your motorhome, make sure you have the right vehicle and appropriate towing hitch. Be aware of and check GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and CVWR (Combined Vehicle Weight Rating).
Where will I camp most of the time? Full service RV parks? Campgrounds with minimal services? National, state, or county parks? BLM? Off grid? Wilderness camping?
How much cooking will I do? Large kitchen with appliances, plenty of counter space, and food storage areas?
Related costs? Fuel? Maintenance and service? License fees? Insurance? Storage?
Financing? If you’re like most RVers, you’ll need to finance at least part of your purchase. Check with your bank or lending institution to determine your credit limit and interest rate prior to shopping for the RV of your dreams.
How much storage space will I require? How many people do you need to pack for? Consider the amount of food and clothes you will want to take—plus all the toys, games and sports equipment?
With any RV, there are bound to be some compromises. The important thing is to avoid surprises. As long as you keep your expectations in line with reality, you can still have a ton of fun and freedom in your new RV.
Safe travels and keep your wheels on the road.