Maybe you’ve been reading this blog for a while or maybe you stumbled on this while during some research on buying one. But either way, it’s exciting to buy a home on wheels. It opens up so many possibilities, not to mention all the fun and adventure! When you start looking around at RVs, you will notice there are a lot of options! It is like buying a car, which most of us think is fun in theory but actually sort of dread, and it’s also like buying a house, which is pretty stressful.
There are many things to consider, but the most important is how much you can afford to spend. Your head will spin at how fast you’ll get brought into the top of the line models with every bell and whistle at an RV dealer. People forget that it isn’t just the RV you’ll be paying for. You need insurance as well as camping and RV gear. Every trip will cost you money in gas, supplies, and site reservations. All those things also take a bite out of your finances, so factor that in. If you tell a dealer how much you’re willing to spend, you’ll likely be steered toward models in your price range (if not, leave that dealership as soon as possible). Buying used, or buying an RV that you can tow yourself, will lower the price tag.
If you’re towing the RV, look in your manual or on your car to find out what its towing capacity is. Then make sure the RV you buy weighs significantly less than that (remember, the RV won’t be empty when you tow it). The bargain you got when buying something you can tow will disappear quickly when you have to replace your vehicle too.
Another thing to consider is how many people will be joining you on your road trip. If you’ve got a big family, you will need lots of sleeping areas. Work that stuff out beforehand. Is the bathroom a deal breaker for you or will you always be at RV parks fairly close by with full bathroom amenities? Do you want a big dining table? If you’re going to camp in the middle of nowhere, maybe, but if you’re going to always be at well-appointed campsites, they usually have picnic tables. Just think about the logistics and come up with realistic solutions to your accommodations.
Once you’ve got those practical ideas down, it’s time to think about the fun stuff. What do you want to be doing? If you want to do a lot of sporting activities or you’re a bit of a fashionista, check out the available storage space and make sure it works for you. If you plan on cooking most of your meals in the RV, is there enough room for food prep and a fridge/pantry big enough to hold it all? If you can’t live without TV, make sure it either has one or you can fit one in. Where will you be going and when? If you will be heading to warmer climes, make sure the air conditioner can handle it. Same with the heat. If the model you are looking at can’t handle the stuff you want to do, that model is not right for you.
Lastly, spend some real time in there. Get a feel for what it would be like to spend a significant amount of your life inside it. If it feels cramped or too spartan for you, you might want to consider something else. If, however, it feels like home, then get yourself that RV!