Owning an RV brings a whole new lifestyle to the way you travel. RV owners share a special comradery from understanding the challenges and joys of the freedom to explore. Expect to meet others that are always willing to lend a hand or offer advice.
With that said, there are practical considerations to make before you buy an RV. Depending on the type of RV you choose, it can be like managing another whole home with regular maintenance and budgets.
In this article, discover the most important points to consider for owning an RV. These tips will help you find the best RV for you and help you to make safe and happy travels.
Types of RV’s
The first step to seriously considering owning an RV is learning the types there are and which will meet your travel goals. How often will you use the RV each year? Will you be one of the million American RV owners that live in the RV full-time?
Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers
The most important consideration of an RV you will tow is what you’re towing it with. Do you already own a truck? Check your owner manual to learn the maximum towing capacity.
If you need to purchase a tow vehicle, a reputable RV dealer can give you advice on makes and models that will work the best for the RV you’re looking to purchase.
The added expense of a tow vehicle may seem daunting at first. Keep in mind the convenience of being able to unhook and use your tow vehicle for traveling to scenic areas or towns. You can always tow a small vehicle behind a motor home, but a pickup truck offers the ability to haul off-road vehicles to locations other than your campsite.
Class A RV
These are the large bus-type RVs with big windshields. They are great for full-time RV traveling and offer all the comforts of home.
Because of their size and weight, plan to budget for reduced gas mileage. This style of RV works well for the RV owner that isn’t interested in taking secluded and rugged roads for remote camping.
Class B RV
This style is an RV camper van. Most offer 4 wheel drive for taking your Class B on rugged trails for camping. Even though it’s smaller than a Class A, high-end models can get pricey.
Looking at a Class B from the outside, you may find it surprising that many models offer bathrooms and fully functional kitchens. There are also features such as pop-up rooms for additional sleeping areas at the flip of a switch.
Class C RV
If you’re not interested in towing an RV, the Class C RV combines the convenience of an all-in-one unit with the luxuries of home. They come in a wide range of lengths. Driving a Class C can be compared to the same feel as a full-size truck.
Shop Around Before You Buy An RV
Perhaps one of the biggest questions about buying an RV is whether you should go new or used.
As a first-time owner, there are benefits to buying new. A new RV will have a warranty to cover mechanical problems that you may not be skilled with working on right now. As you learn more about RV systems and maintenance, you may later feel comfortable with working on a used RV later.
Most importantly, shop around. Look at reputable websites such as https://www.leisurelandrvcenter.com/new-rvs-for-sale. This will help you to get an idea of floor plans and chat with an expert that can give you advice.
Essential Tools for RV Maintenance
Just as you have tools for your home or vehicle, there are also a few basic tools for taking care of your RV. Purchase these before the first trip in your RV.
Socket and Wrench Set
You will want to make sure you have the correct size tools for every bolt and screw on your RV. Make a list of the size and head type for all bolts and screws. Check your lug size to make sure you have the right wrench.
Tire Pressure Guage
With long periods of travel and debris that gets picked up in campgrounds, always keep an eye on your tires for wear. A tire pressure gauge, in addition to your system alerts, will keep you aware of proper inflation.
An air compressor is a must-have for road travel. Fluctuations in temperature and extended hours of travel can lower your air pressure. Don’t risk a blowout hoping to get to a station for inflating your tires.
How Will You Store Your RV?
The height and length of most RVs make storing them in a standard garage impossible. Even if you have a long driveway, check with any municipal or HOA rules for parking your RV.
When budgeting for the cost of owning an RV, plan to factor in monthly storage fees.
Owning An RV Means Lots of Planning
Mistakes and accidents happen when you’re rushed. Have a written plan for unhooking and hooking up, especially if you slide outs. Nothing is worse than taking off only to have a slideout hit a tree because you forgot to make all of your checks.
It’s tempting to fill up a new RV with everything you can think of that you might need. Resist this urge. All of the extra weight will lessen your fuel efficiency and make for a cramped travel lifestyle.
Reserving RV sites for camping requires registrations sometimes months in advance. Create a notebook with your height and width measurements as they are always asked for when reserving campsites. You will need to have copies of proof of vaccines for pets, too.
Camping Apps and Memberships Save You Money
Memberships like Good Sam’s Club can save you money on campsite fees. You also get fuel and propane discounts at select retailers.
There are many useful camping apps for iOS and Android that can make planning and money-saving easier. Allstays is a great go-to app for finding campgrounds all over the country with reliable maps and up-to-date amenity information.
Lifestyle and Travel Advice At Your Fingertips
If you’re ready to embrace the RV lifestyle and enjoyed reading our tips for things to consider before owning an RV, check our travel and lifestyle blogs often. Be safe, well, and enjoy your new adventures!