RVing is the ultimate mode for adventure travel. Literally fun and adventure are always just outside your door, whether you are at the beach, in the mountains or near the river, you need only walk into the fresh air to experience life the way it was meant to be lived. We realized this immediately when the entire continent was our new backyard. Beach property? Check. Lake front? Check. Mountains? Check. You can be as tame or as wild as you wish! The continent is truly your oyster!
And today it seems that everyone wants to jump on the RV bandwagon, in one form or another. RVing is perfect for any travel experience and serves as a way to make family travel not only attainable but off the charts fun.
Looking back we knew NOTHING about the lifestyle, we learned it all the hard way … the way we learn everything. We got lucky with the RV we purchased, but you don’t have to wing it the way we did. In fact, we brainstormed the Top 3 Essential, Must Have, Must Know, Tips for Purchasing your first RV. So without further ado …
1: Buy the Biggest RV You Can Afford
Bigger is ALWAYS Better. I know I’m going against conventional thought and those with small RV’s will tell you it’s how you use it, but I’m here to tell you bigger is best. Bigger gives you more space to spread out and more storage so you can bring more stuff. A bigger RV equates to more bathrooms, more bunks, more counter space, a bigger fridge, a bigger pantry, more seating, more slideouts to make your living space even bigger, bigger parties, etc. Don’t break the bank, you don’t want to wake up one morning on the back of a repo truck, but buy the best RV you can afford because it is a major investment and even if you just vacay in it, you do live in it for periods of time!! Think rainy days, with kids. Nuff said!
Some people are super worried about being able to drive a big rig. I was one of those people. In fact, I didn’t even attempt to drive it until we were well past one year of travel. But, when I finally got the courage, it was easier than I ever dreamed. There is truly not much difference between driving it and our truck. I just have to remember that it doesn’t go 90, unless we are on I-70 going through Eastern UT where the roads are smooth as glass, and it takes longer to come to a complete stop. Don’t wait a year like I did, give it a whirl, you’ll be so surprised at how easy it really is!
2: Buy A Diesel Pusher
There are absolutely zero reasons why I would ever consider buying a gas RV. Zero. Our travels are extensive and we need reliability, big tanks, and mega power! We bought a much older RV (1999 Georgie Boy Cruisemaster) because we were sold on diesel from the beginning. It has been a workhorse, and we love it!
A quick glimpse as to why we chose a diesel may clinch the deal for you.
First, a diesel engine has more power for the mountain roads we travel. It also gets much better fuel efficiency, which is imperative when driving into some of the most remote of places as we do. A diesel pusher makes for a much quieter ride, or as quiet as you can get when traveling with 12 kids, because the engine is in the back. The generator is in the front, so if you are running it for the a/c at night you are not kept awake by its loud humming. Another major reason is that diesel engines last, like forever. They use less RPM and therefore there is less wear and tear. Another reason we chose diesel is that they feel like you are driving a nice sweet ride, due to their beefier suspension. They just drive so smooth! Another major reason was that the entry door is next to the front passenger seat. With kids, I’d be a nervous wreck and would have to sit in the back and guard the locks during every trip if the door was in the middle like in all gas rigs. I could go on forever as it was a no-brainer decision for us. Diesel, for our purposes, was the only option.
Now, of course, if you park your RV for long periods of time and you remain in flat areas, gas is a much cheaper option and could be perfect for your situation.
3: Buy Used
If it’s an option, buy used. That’s our mantra for everything we buy … we find great value, avoid instant depreciation, get a bigger and better RV than we could purchase new and all the kinks are typically well worked out! That’s a win/win for sure. Competition for quality used RV’s is pretty fierce out there and as a result, deals are to be had. Be patient, don’t settle for the first “decent” rig you find. Instead, be discerning and wait for the ultimate deal. Of course, if you have a very specific make and model and can’t be flexible on the floor plan, you’ll be forced to hit a dealer and pay the big bucks!
So there you have it, our Top 3 Tips When Buying an RV. Of course there are countless other things to take into account, like the type of travel you’ll be doing, limitations on size for the places you will be, the number of miles, the size of your family … but these are our TOP 3. Let us know if we missed a critical piece of information that you believe should have been listed in the TOP 3! 🙂
PS – If you ever find yourself with questions re: RV’ing, always always turn to the experts!