Every day we receive at least one or two emails asking us what the best RV for families is. And every day I answer with the same answer … “The best RV for your family is the one you can afford.”
Now that may sound trite, but it’s the absolute truth. Because, in all seriousness, any RV is better than no RV. If you have an older RV like us, it serves as a vessel to get you wherever you need to go. If you have a newer or a luxury RV it makes the getting wherever easy and luxurious.
We literally bought the first RV we found, we didn’t do a ton of research because it met our three minimal requirements. 1) Diesel, 2) seating for 14 and 3) a door at passenger seat.
For those of you not confined by a tight budget, I’m jealous, because I’m not going to lie and say our Georgie Boy is anywhere in the same class as the Newmar DutchStar 4312 we demo’d last summer, because it’s not.
But, what I am telling you is to not let that stop you! Instead, get what you can afford and enjoy the adventure. That said, if you do hope to buy an RV and you aren’t so spontaneous to just grab the first one that comes your way, here are some things we recommend for families! Keep in mind, though, that any RV you purchase will have the must-haves. Like heat and a/c, seating and eating and sleeping areas and a generator and storage. That’s what our RV has … the basic necessities. The following list is our really really REALLY wish ours had because it’s another tier above roughing it … I’ve included videos from our time in the Newmar because it has some of the absolute wish to God we had in our RV, and I’m not talking about heated tile floors or gorgeous marble bathrooms.
Full Sized Fridge
OMGsh, the fridge in our RV is the worst. It’s one of those mini fridges that wouldn’t be adequate for a family of 4, let alone our family of 14. If you can swing it, finding an RV that has a full size fridge will really make your life easier and cut down on the incessant trips to the store! In a bigger and newer RV, you get a bigger and newer fridge. If you fast forward the above video to minute 4 you will see the fridge in the Newmar Dutchstar 4312 … that fridge is nicer than the 16+ year old fridge in our house!!! Seriously!
While demo’ing the Newmar DutchStar 4312 I learned how much a bunk room really REALLY makes life luxurious when camping. It was a great place for the little kids to retreat to play with their toys, read a book or at night when it was their bedtime and none of us older peeps were ready for bed. Just a awesome … it kept their stuff contained. I’m serious when I say this is the one amenity of the Newmar I’m going to miss the most!
Induction Burner/Convection Oven
All the new RV’s are equipped with Induction Burners and Convection Ovens, but the older RV’s like our Georgie Boy are equipped with the world’s worst appliances ever! Like, in the 3 years we travelled in the Georgie Boy and never once did I use the ridiculous oven … it’s the size of an Easy Bake oven for Pete’s sake! And the stove takes about 1 hr to heat up a pot of water for spaghetti! Soooo, we acquired a True Induction Burner and our dinners are so much faster and our old RV gas stove is a thing of the past!
Our Georgie Boy actually has a diesel engine as that was one of our must-haves. A diesel is great if you will be traveling mountain roads with steep grades and need a lot of power. A diesel motorhome is also more fuel efficient and I was adamant that the entry door be beside the passenger seat and the diesels all had this layout. On the other hand, gas motorhomes are less expensive. If you are planning on being a weekend warrior family in the south where there are no mountain passes and money is a concern, a gas RV is probably a great fit for you!
I’ll be honest, when we bought our Georgie Boy, neither Dan nor I had a clue what an inverter was. After living in the DutchStar 4312 for 5 months we have no idea how we lived without one for 3 years! Let me be clear … an inverter will make your traveling lives so much easier. Why? In short, because you don’t have to run your generator all day long to charge your appliances and your electronics. An inverter makes the RV more like a home … you plug a chord into an outlet and viola!, you have power. Inverters do more too, but trust me … you need one!