Buying the right RV looks like a daunting task, particularly if you have not yet made up your mind about what you are looking for in a model. RVs are different from one another regarding the size, the capabilities, and even the price. Before choosing one model over another, it might be a good idea to set a budget and determine just what your expectations are in terms of the destinations you want to go to. Spending a lot of time in an RV where the space is somewhat limited isn’t exactly the adventure you’re looking for.
Types of RVs
The vast majority of RVs that exist on the market can be split up into three categories: towable trailers, slide-in campers, and motor homes. These categories can also be split up into various other types of RVs. To make matters easier, we’ll describe the things that best characterize the major kinds of vehicles in the line.
The main advantage behind getting a towable trailer is that it allows you to use your own vehicle, and even unhitch it and go on a drive with your car. Trailers can be hard or soft-walled.
Slide-in campers require the use of a truck. By their nature, slide-in campers are significantly smaller compared to other kinds of RVs, which is why the room in them might be insufficient for some people. However, a number of models have been found to be roomy enough to allow six people to sleep in them.
Motorhomes are separate vehicles, so you will strictly have to use them as they are. There are three major types of motorhomes, from A to C. The Class A alternative is the largest one, with some models resembling real-size homes.
With RVs, the rule is rather simple: the larger the vehicle, the higher the price. The most affordable alternatives in the line are towable trailers. Some of these models can often be bought for acceptable prices. By contrast, motorhomes are the most expensive, as they have all the comfort of a home.
Number of beds
If you plan to use the RV just with your family, you won’t bother your mind with incessant calculations. On the other hand, you never really know when you might want to take a distant relative or a friend on an adventure. Therefore, the actual number of beds and the comfort they offer is something to consider when choosing the right RV.
If you are not the owner of an SUV or a truck, you might want to choose between a motorhome or a towable trailer. Going for the latter, however, will require you to learn how to tow. Believe it or not, it’s not as easy as it looks. Start by discovering the towing capability of the vehicle you own and keep in mind that the weights of RVs are calculated when the vehicle or trailer isn’t filled with your supplies or fuel.
Getting the right RV depends on how much you’re willing to spend, on how you intend to use it, and on your towing ability.
How big should your next RV be?
Buying an RV will be a much harder task compared to getting a home or car, since it will basically be the second or third purchase you will make second to a car or home. In some cases, RVs shares many similarities among them while also having plenty of differences, which can make the selection and decision-making pretty challenging. Whether you are getting an RV to spend retirement in, have an occasional holiday away from home or use in your working life, there are elements you need to check out.
Condition: New or Used
A new unit will not have a lot of maintenance issues initially, while some type of warranty from the manufacturer can also come in the package. However, even when you are ready to plunk down thousands of dollars on a new RV, you should also prepare yourself for the rapid depreciation rate of this kind of rig compared to a car.
A used RV, on the other hand, will have the previous owner bearing the crappy depreciation value instead of you as the buyer. The price is both a huge advantage and disadvantage, since the value depreciates as soon as the unit leaves the RV dealer’s lot. Majority of consumers think used RVs are a far better value despite the higher maintenance costs that come with them. They are also more challenging to find financing support for. Many RVers trade in their old RVs to get newer models after a few years’ of use. The disadvantage to you here is that you have no idea what the unit has been through, including water damage, bumpy roads or irregular maintenance.
Getting an RV is nothing like buying a car, as what you are actually shelling out money for is a bus or truck AND a cheap apartment on wheels. The fit and finish of an RV is nowhere near that of a mass-produced car and absolutely not the same as that of a luxury automobile.
The term ‘motorhome’ is typically associated with Class A RVs. The most self-contained and widely popular, Class A motorhomes also boast full features. They look so much like a well-endowed bus and normally come with a gas engine or rear diesel engine. There are an endless number of configurations as well as numerous manufacturers to choose from. With a chassis designed for a large truck or bus, this type comes in a wide price range ranging between $60,000 to a cool million.
Class B motorhomes or campervans are built in a similar manner as Class A units except that they are designed using the chassis of a full size van. They offer the same handling and fuel mileage as a regular SUV or car. People like this type because it can be used as a family car whose only difference is it offers the normal conveniences of home including a kitchen, bathroom, TV and others. The smallest of motorhomes, this type is ideal for two or three people who want fuel efficiency, car-like handling and ease of navigation in the tightest spaces.
Class C types combine the characteristics of Class A and Class B motorhomes. A hybrid type of RV, a Class C motorhome has an overcab sleeping area that is generally used by owners as a storage area instead. It has a gas engine and this component is housed
in the front end of the van structure. Many Class C motorhomes come with a Ford or GM chassis, but some companies have successfully transitioned to using big rig chassis for an altogether different and luxurious look.
Travel trailers offer exceptional flexibility and are quite a favorite among towable units. Available in a variety of lengths and weights, travel trailers can be towed by minivans, SUVs or regular trucks. They are lightweight, making them favorites for gas mileage optimization. Varying between 12 feet to about 33 feet in length, travel trailers typically will not allow the carrying of passengers during the drive. Compared to a fifth wheel type, a travel trailer fits via a regular ball hitch, has lower height requiring overhead clearance and attaches and detaches effortlessly.
The fifth wheel trailer provides a larger living area compared to the other motorhome types. The front-end is a gooseneck-looking segment that facilitates connection to a truck bed for towing. Ordinary pickup trucks can be used to haul it from one destination to another, but you can opt to use a tractor trailer or flatbed truck, giving you the additional advantages of tow capacity and safety.
Popup campers are the lightest and smallest, Toy Haulers are made for watercraft and motor toys, and truck campers can be used with or without a truck and are designed for solo or couple travel.