Are you in the early stages of learning how to buy your first full-time RVing rig? It’s tempting to buy the first one you fall in love with, but remember, your new home on wheels is one of the biggest and most important decisions you’ll make as a full-timer. No matter what kind of budget you’re working with, the rig you buy will determine your happiness on the open road starting the minute you leave your previous life behind. Here are some quick tips for buying your first full-time rig.
Make it affordable.
Even if your first full-time RV isn’t the one you dreamed about, when you buy something cheap and affordable at least you won’t be out of a ton of money if the gypsy lifestyle isn’t to your liking. You can always upgrade to your perfect rig if you choose to keep full-timing.
Choose the right tow vehicle.
If you’re thinking of buying a fifth wheel, travel trailer or truck bed camper, you’re not going far without the proper tow vehicle. The right tow vehicle is the one that’s robust enough to pull your RV when fully loaded, with horsepower to spare when climbing steep mountain passes. RVers love arguing about the merits of gasoline versus diesel but the best one is the truck that works for your budget and your specific RV’s weight and size.
Choose the right toad.
Are you considering a motorhome? Then you’ll need a vehicle to get around town without the RV. I’ve known motorhome owners who try to get by with a motorcycle or bicycle, but using two wheels as your only source of getting around can make life tougher than it needs to be during bad weather.
Don’t buy too small
A seasoned RV salesman once said to us: “I’ve had many people come back to me after they bought their first RV, and tell me they bought too small. But I’ve never had someone come back and say they bought too big.” The ideal RV will be large enough to neatly contain your life without having to pile junk in the shower. You should have enough seating area to be comfortable indoors during foul weather. And finally, the rig should have adequate work space that will allow you to either generate income, as I do, and/or continue at least one or two hobbies that rock your world.
Consider Your Lifestyle.
Where you like to go RVing can help you determine the size of RV that best fits into your destination preferences. For example, if you know for sure you only like to visit full-service, newer RV resorts, a large Class A will usually be fine. But if you enjoy getting off the beaten path, or staying in public campgrounds and forests, a smaller rig is likely a better fit. Since many older RV parks and independently-owned RV parks were built for the smaller rigs of yesterday, owners of large RVs often have hard time finding a space during the busiest RVing months.
These are just a few of many tips you’ll find about choosing your first RV. I wrote an entire RV Life column dedicated to this topic, be sure to check it out for even more suggestions.
Are you a seasoned full-timer? What kind of tips do you have for buying a first full-time RV? I’d love to hear them!
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.