5 Crucial Things to Know Before Buying Your First RV

Jun 25 2015

You set the RV of your dreams as the desktop background. It appears in your dream. You can rattle off the 15-digit model number off the top of your head.

Clearly, you’ve been thinking about getting an RV.

While this one is the apple of your eye, take a step back: is it really right for you? Will it really fulfill all of your camping and traveling needs?

Before you go for it, you need to know these five things about your potential RVing habits:

  1. Know what type of camping you want to do.

    If your idea of the Good Life means getting off the grid for months at a time, a pop-up camper isn’t going to fit the bill. But if you just need a quaint escape every once and a while, a pop-up would be great.

    Before you go to the dealership, have an idea on what kind of camping you want to do. What’s your dream camping scenario? The roads needed to get to some more rugged campgrounds may not be suitable for all RVs.

  2. Know where you plan on camping

    Once you know what type of camping you want to do—from off-the-grid to full-hookups—you’ll have an idea of where you plan on camping.

    If you’re planning on camping in remote areas, expect not to be parking in smooth RV slips. If you’re camping in RV resorts, expect the opposite of that.

  3. Know how often you plan on camping

    Here’s a big one: if you’re planning on going full-time and ditching your home, you’re going to need something a little more sturdy, spacious and durable than just a tiny trailer. But if you’re sticking to trips just a few hours away, and only going camping 2 or 3 times a year, a small trailer might be a good fit.

    By knowing how often you’ll go camping, you’ll be able to narrow down what model and type of RV is right for your needs.

  4. Know who is traveling with you

    Before you go to an RV dealership, know who is traveling with you on camping trips. Sure, your immediate family (spouse and kids) is obvious, but what if your kids want to bring a friend? Or your in-laws want to tag along? Maybe Fido wants to come along, too.

    Before you know it, a small trip can turn into a big deal!

    Or, if you want to use RVing as an excuse to squeeze in more “us” time with your partner, a smaller RV would be a better choice.

  5. Know how much stuff you’re bringing

    The more people you bring, the more stuff you need. Each additional person will need space for luggage, food, fun stuff (baseball bats, fishing poles, etc.) and more.

    On the contrary, if minimalist camping is more your style, you can escape in a smaller RV with little worries.

By knowing these five things about your potential RV use habits, you’ll get a better handle on what RV is right for you.