So you've found yourself dreaming of the open road, traveling across our beautiful country in comfort and style. Whether the desire came from friends, family, or even a movie - you can hardly resist the temptation to purchase an RV.
Frankly, we don't blame you! RVing is a travel experience like no other, but you you should be aware of a few things before you dive head first into this decision. Here are five things to consider before buying your RV.
1. Choose an RV that fits your lifestyle
The first consideration to make when searching for an RV is your lifestyle and how an RV will fit into the way you plan to travel. RVs are NOT all created equal, so it is essential that you choose a class of RV appropriate for your comfort level.
So, what are classes of RV? Well... there are quite a few, but here's a quick breakdown. All RVs are basically broken into two categories: Motorcoaches and Towables. Simply put, towables must be towed by a vehicle and motorcoaches power themselves with an engine. Within these two categories, there are a number of classes of RV, delineated by size and other factors.
Here are a few common RV classes:
2. Buying used? Check condition, very thoroughly...
Much like buying a personal vehicle, the used RV market offers significant value for your money - if you know how to shop... Used RVs are a wonderful option, but you'll need to thoroughly inspect every inch of the motorhome before making your decision. If you aren't comfortable doing it all yourself, enlist a professional or veteran RVer to assist you. Here are a few common problems you'll want to look for:
- Tire health (based on wear & age)
- Exterior damage (rust and more)
- Leaky windows, roof, or floor
- Burst water lines
3. Will you be towing a vehicle?
If you're like many RVers, you've probably considered towing a vehicle behind your rig. This is a great way to bring along a vehicle that can go places your RV simply cannot once you arrive at your destination.
The big question here is HOW will you tow your vehicle? There are a few popular towing methods: like tow dollies and trailers, for example. Our favorite way to tow a vehicle is called Flat Towing (also known as four-down or dinghy towing). This is when you tow your vehicle on all 4 tires using a tow bar, it's a less expensive method of towing which is also faster and simpler to set up and go!
If you'd like to learn more about flat towing, check out our free Flat Towing Guide.
4. Consider storage costs and possible limitations
There are a few common ways to store your RV, whether it be a fully enclosed unit, a covered area, or an uncovered parking spot - RV storage can get costly and sometimes can even be difficult to find in your area. Before purchasing your RV, check your area for all RV storage options, any limitations they may have due to RV size, and the cost associated with each option.
5. First-time RVer? Visit an RV show or rent an RV
If you've never owned an RV before (and quite possibly never even driven one), it will serve you well to visit an RV show or stop by an RV dealer to get a close-up, hands-on look at your potential investment. Doing this will help get all your questions answered by a professional so you don't get in over your head!
There are plenty of things to consider and worry about when making a big decision, like buying an RV. However, RVing is all about fun and adventure! So be cautious and aware of what to look for, but remember to have fun doing it. Grab a coffee and a loved one and get out there to see what's right for you.
Here at RVi, we're passionate about RVing and have developed a line of products to make your RV journeys less stressful. If you'd like to learn more, click below!