Deciding which RV is right for you can be a daunting decision. Determining what is right for you can be a fun but stressful thing. I know when you go to make what might be your second single largest monetary purchase in life there might uncertainty and even fear. Depending on how you will use your RV will determine the starting point of this process. Asking yourself the right questions can make this process easier and less intimidating.
Deciding Which RV is Right for You
RV is a universal term for Recreational Vehicle and is used interchangeably for anything from a truck camper or pop-up to a Prevost Bus. There are many types of RV’s. Deciding which is right for you begins with questions you can ask yourself.
What is my purpose? Weekend Fun? Extended vacation? Travel to ball games or car races? Living full-time?
What can I do without? Making a list of must-haves is an important place to start. If you can’t live without a shower don’t look at RV’s without one.
What do I need to bring with me? If you can’t live without certain things, find a vehicle that has the storage for your must-haves.
Types of RVs’ – There is no ‘right’ decision….only what is right for you!
Truck Camper – a truck camper is usually a truck with a camper attached to the bed. These were very popular back in the 70’s. You still see them today. This gives the owner the ability to travel light but still sleep off the ground and out of the weather with a little storage for their things.
Pop-Up Camper – This type of RV is what a lot of people choose when wanting to get off the ground after traditional tent camping. It still has the feel of traditional camping but gives amenities to make the meal prep and sleeping more comfortable. Some pop-ups have a toilet or shower combo. This type of RV has to be pulled by a vehicle rated to pull the weight of the rig.
The following RV’s have these things in common: They vary in size, sleeping space, price and length, and price. They can have King, queen, full or bunk beds depending on configuration.
Travel Trailer – This type of RV must be towed by a vehicle that is rated to pull its weight. This camper usually has a kitchen space, dinette and sleeping space, and storage for outside gear….coolers, chairs for the campfire, grill etc.
5th Wheel – This type of RV also has to be towed by a vehicle rated to pull its weight. Usually, only trucks can pull 5th wheels. They are designed to be secured into the truck bed for towing and stability. This RV can be much larger and have a more ‘home-like’ feel to it with a bedroom, kitchen, living room and even washer/dryers and dishwashers.
Motorhome – This type of RV is driveable and self-contained. There are several classes of motorhomes to choose from
Class B is a small motorhome much like a conversion van of the 1970’s only taller. They are compact and easy to drive park and maneuver. They offer basic amenities like a bathroom sleeping space and compact kitchen. They usually get better gas mileage than the larger motorhomes.
Class C motorhomes are next in size. They are on a truck chassis and drive like a bigger truck or van. You usually enter and exit the vehicle by the driver and passenger side doors as well as an entry in the center of the rig. Recently the size has become much larger and classed as Super-C. Depending on the size selected, if traveling farther a tow car (toad) could be necessary to avoid parking issues due to size.
Class A motorhomes are built on a specialty chassis much like a bus and only have one point of entrance/exit instead of a cab type environment of a class C. The driver and passenger seat can be turned around when parked to make up part of your living room and provide additional seating. These motorhomes have many amenities and a lot of storage capacity. Since these are usually longer you may want to pull a tow car (toad) to make it easier to get out and see places once you get to the campground.
Only you can decide what is right for you!
Taking your time when deciding what is best for you is important. Doing the research and visiting RV Lots is fun and exciting but can be overwhelming. This is usually a major purchase for most people and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The idea of camping and traveling is awesome but keep these important things in mind when setting your budget:
- You have to park it somewhere. If you don’t have land or space beside your residence to park it you will have to pay for storage.
- You have to insure it. It is an added expense monthly to your budget. Class C and A Motorhomes are more expensive to insure because they are driveable.
- You might need additional licensing in your state. If you buy a larger motorhome, your state could require additional driver’s license requirements. Check here to see what your state requires.
- If your state makes you pay property tax on what you own, the cost of this is higher depending on the value of your choice.
Throughout the year and all over the US are RV shows that can give you an opportunity to see for yourself what type of RV is right for you. Do yourself a favor and spend time looking and sitting in these at shows for an extended period of time and imagine yourself doing what you commonly do and seeing if you can accomplish what you set out to do. Be sure to sit on the toilet and stand in the shower. You will see just how much space this unit will allow for everyday activities. Another thing to consider is space when the rig is closed with all its slides in….can you access necessary things like the bathroom, bed, and refrigerator? If you are traveling or have to stop and boondock in a parking lot and can't put out your slides or your slide motors fail can you still sleep, tinkle and grab a snack?
How the Streets Wander
We live full-time in our 2019 Tiffin Allegro Open Road. It is a class A motorhome. We bought it new. This is the first NEW RV that we have purchased. Previously, we have owned a 2008 Tiffin Allegro Bus. We purchased that used to get a higher-end unit in our financial budget. This is our home. We don’t own other real estate. We fit everything we want and need in our RV. We had to change some of our ‘wants’ but after a year….we don’t miss anything.
When we considered our purchase, we made sure Luann could sew/quilt inside the RV and that there was storage for her sewing machine and supplies. There also needed to be space to work. We both earn an income remotely and needed space to be in front of our computers daily. We had to ask ourselves questions and determine what was best for our needs. Take your time in determining what is right for you!
Once you decide which RV is right for you, consider buying used. You will save a lot of money and depreciation. This takes more time but has its benefits. Be sure to get an RV Inspection if you do buy used. Another tool to keep your RV peace of mind is an RV warranty. You can buy an RV warranty whether you are buying new or used. We learned the hard way and purchased an RV warranty on our brand new RV…it cost way less at that point and included a lot of features that made owning it a no brainer. If you are buying used, buying an RV warranty from Wholesale Warranties can save you a lot of money. They are easy to work with and are very reputable!
Stop, think and ask yourself some questions in order to decide which RV is right for you.
If you have questions or comments please leave them below. Buying an RV is a big decision…use these tips to help you make your best decision when it comes to (what may be) the 2nd biggest purchase you do in your life!
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