RVing for Beginners: What to Know Before You Buy


Honey! Look at this one!

This RV is perfect. The kids could have this back area — oh wait, what about this one?

Whether you’re looking to go full-time RV or you’re looking for a weekend RV, it’s not unlikely that your head is swirling with ideas and questions as to how this RVing for beginners thing works.

Finding the best RV to live in can be confusing when you want to make this transition. We want to make the process as simple as possible so continue reading this article to learn about things you should know before you purchase your new RV.

RVing for Beginners – What Is an RV?

RV means recreational vehicle and means any vehicle that is used for recreation. This could be a driving motorhome coach or a tow behind. While some people now use RVs for a full-time residence, that doesn’t change its classification from being an RV.

When you shop here or another great dealer, you’ll find there are many options available but keep the following tips in mind while you’re shopping.

To Drive or Tow?

One of the biggest back and forths people deal with when choosing their RV is whether they should drive their RV or tow it. There is no clearly defined best choice but here are some of the things you should consider before you make the choice.

You are likely looking at the price tags of the motorhomes (especially the diesel ones) with big eyes. You might not be sure that you want to put that big of a dent in your wallet. You can go down a little bit in the price if you opt for a gas motorhome but it’s still quite a bit of money.

While tow behind RVs are generally less expensive than driving RVs, you have to think about the tow vehicle you’ll need to pull your RV and all the additional equipment for towing it. If you get a very large tow behind RV like a big fifth wheel — you may be looking at $80,000 and more for a truck that can handle the weight.

If you already have a big truck, it might make sense for you to go with a tow behind because you’re almost ready anyway. You’ll only need to put a brake controller on your tow vehicle and a hitch.

Getting Set Up to Tow

Depending on whether you’re going to be towing a pull behind RV or if you’re going to have a fifth wheel, you need to make sure you have the right setup. If you go for a tow behind trailer, you need to have a sway bar and a weight distribution system. While some people do drive without them, it can be dangerous to you and the other drivers on the road.

Another thing some people go without is the brake system. If you have a large RV, this can be extremely dangerous. A brake system allows you to control brakes on the trailer as well as brakes on your tow vehicle. Without a proper brake control system, your rig could bully your tow vehicle and cause a wreck.

“Sleeps 5” Isn’t Always Sleeps 5

When you see an RV that says it sleeps 5 — don’t get too excited. You need to look over the layout and make sure it would sleep your 5.

We’ve seen some websites list RVs that are supposed to sleep 5 and when you look at the inside, you’ll see that one of the places would need to have 2 very small children sleeping there to be counted as sleeping 2.

If you want to be able to sleep 5 comfortably and have plenty of room, you might want to select sleep 8 or higher if you have the budget to do so.

What’s Included?

If you notice a big price difference from the RV that you’re looking at to other RVs that you found online, you need to make sure what is included. You might think you’re getting a good deal but then you find out that you’re getting bare bones while the other RVs come with extras.

Neither way is wrong to buy — just a preference but you need to make sure that you know what you’re getting and why the pricing is different. If you understand why the pricing is different, you may have room to negotiate and get a deal that is going to work for you.

You’ll also find there are a lot of warranties that you can add to your purchase. Many times these warranties come in handy and can give you peace of mind. You should ask about total replacement plans and other additions that can give you peace of mind when you’re traveling.

Make sure to check with your insurance and make sure you’re not getting covered doubly as that just means you’ll be overpaying for protection on the same things.

Don’t be afraid to have your salesperson break down each item and explain why it is there and if it is optional or not. You may find some things that you don’t want on the list of items they add but are optional.

Having Fun with Your Family

When you’re researching RVing for beginners, don’t let it stress you out. Having an RV and exploring with your family is going to allow you to do and see some amazing things you might not have otherwise been able to do.

While it can be challenging to get started, you’ll find it is worth it when you take your first trip. Continue reading through our site for other helpful tips as you’re starting your RV life.

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RVing for Beginners: What to Know Before You Buy