If you are a first time RV shopper, you might be surprised—and a little overwhelmed—at how many options there are out there! Once you have settled on the type of RV you are looking for (travel trailer, fifth wheel, motorhome), you’ll still have to decide the size and floor plan that will best suit your needs.
There is something for everyone out there. Here are our top 10 tips for finding the perfect RV model FOR YOU.
Know Your Numbers
Research your tow capacity and payload capacity if you are purchasing a towable. Use your VIN to get the specs directly from the vehicle manufacturer. If you are buying a motorhome, check the weight of any vehicle you plan to tow behind the RV. Purchasing an RV that doesn’t work with your current vehicle situation can be expensive and unsafe.
How Many Dedicated Beds Do You Need?
Check for RV floor plans that offer a dedicated bed for everyone who will be sleeping in the rig most of the time. Having to make up the dinette or pull out the sleeper sofa every night soon becomes a drag and a frustrating chore. Families with children will be happy to find bunk models in select models. Other models offer a Murphy bed floor plan option.
Full Bath, Wet Bath, or No Bath?
Some RVers love having their own private bathroom no matter where they travel. Others are fine with the idea of using campground comfort stations. Since this is an important part of the RV experience, you will want to think this one through carefully.
Many smaller RV offer wet baths, bathrooms without a separate stall for the shower. Think hard about whether this will be a deal breaker for you.
Will You Boondock?
If you plan to boondock (dispersed camping in places without hookups), search for RVs with larger fresh water, gray water, and black tanks. Other attractive features for folks looking to get off the grid are on-board generators and solar panels.
Consider How You Plan To Live Inside the RV
There’s no right way to camp. Some people are shopping for an RV with a clean bathroom and comfortable beds that will keep them warm and cozy at night. Other campers are seeking a smaller version of their sticks and bricks house, with all the creature comforts of home. Think about how you want to live in the RV, and make sure the floor plan will support that dream.
What Cooking Arrangements Best Suit Your Camping Lifestyle?
Some people use their RV kitchens on a daily basis, and other people always eat out. If the RV kitchen is a major draw for you, check for storage, counter space, refrigerator size, and oven availability. If you love to cook in the open air, check out outdoor kitchen options.
Will You Work Out of the RV?
The ability to work remotely leads numerous people to check out the RV lifestyle. If you’re planning to work on the road, make sure you choose a floor plan with a built-in desk or space for a mobile office.
Where Will All the “Stuff” Go?
Storage capacity varies between models and floor plans. Consider the items you want to pack. From the big stuff like bikes, kayaks, and golf clubs, to the smaller things like clothes, linens and towels, food, and kitchen supplies. Imagine where all your stuff will go.
Kitchen and Bathroom Access in Travel Mode
One of the benefits of RV travel is being able to use the bathroom and prepare lunch in the RV kitchen while at rest stops. Make sure you can access everything you will need without extending the slides. Can you access the bathroom, open the refrigerator, and get into the bedroom? Ask the salesperson to bring in the slides for you to check.
Take your time and have fun with this part of the RV shopping experience. There are so many great RVs out there right now, so make sure to find the perfect one for you.
In the interests of full disclosure, we currently own a 2019 Dutch Star diesel pusher. This is our fifth Newmar motorhome and Midtown RV in Penticton, British Columbia, is our trusted dealer. Yes, great customer service matters.
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