Road Trip Essentials: The Top 10 questions RVers should ask before RVing

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So you want to travel and see the world.  What better way than with your own RV? 

  You may have heard terms like Class A, diesel pusher, toy hauler, half-bath, dry camping!  It all sounds like a foreign language.  How in the world do you make sense of all the terms and technology so you’re a savvy camper?  It can all be overwhelming but there are plenty of places to research from manufacturer websites,RV dealers, consumer reports, neighbors, YouTube, and friends.  To help get you started, here are a few questions you should ask yourself as you consider your options for your first RV.

1. What type of camping is best for me?
Do you need all the comforts of home or do you want to literally “rough” it?  If the idea of being out in the forest under a canopy of trees is your ideal, there are tradeoffs.  Limited resources like water and internet service may not matter to you.  But if your idea of “roughing it” is long showers, hot meals, and speedy internet connections, you may need to consider full-service campgrounds as your home away from home.  Most RVs are capable of being self-sustaining for limited periods so their capabilities will factor into your RV purchase decision.


Do you want to park in RV parks with full amenities?  If so, a large Class A or 5th wheel might do the trick.  RV parks vary from location to location, and not all RV parks are actually “RV friendly”.  The larger the RV, the more variables come into play.  Will the park have 50-amp electric service? (Many bigger RV’s run on 50 amps as opposed to 30 amps, which is found in many state parks.)  Are the sites pull-through, or will you have to back in?

Some questions you should ask yourself:
Are you less likely to stay in state parks due to size restrictions?
Is there room for a tow car or trailer?
Is camping in the wild as important to you as good internet and close proximity to towns?

Simple rule of thumb:
Smaller RV's are easy for parking, but less room for living.
Larger RV's are easy for living but less room for parking



3. Will I be an RV Mover or Sitter?
The bigger the RV, the more fuel it will burn.  If you plan to stay full-time on a lot, you will want an RV that meets your daily living needs.  An RV is more like a vehicle and less like a house.  It won’t experience wear like a brick and mortar residence, but you should be prepping yourself for ongoing maintenance.
If you label yourself an “off the grid” RVer, you'll need an RV that has massive holding tanks and solar. Living on your own terms means choosing something that can go where you want to go, without causing damage to the RV.
If you’re planning to call your new RV home, you may want to buy something that is built as much like a home as you can afford.   Maybe you plan to stay in one place for months at a time with the ability to “dry camp” off the grid on the weeks that you’re on the road.  Once you have a clear idea of your priorities, choosing an RV becomes an easier process.

4. What number of individuals/pets will I be going with? 
Pick an RV that functions admirably with your family. Do you have pets? Do they go outside? Where will they rest? Where will they contemplate? Each of these inquiries will refine your rundown of flawless RVs. Keep in mind, numerous RV parks have rules about pets and kids. Moreover, additional bodies mean additional space. On the off chance that you have kids, you might need to consider an RV with additional sleeping areas otherwise called a bunkhouse style. In the event that you have vast pooches, you may require more space in the event that they are kept inside while stopped or voyaging.

5. Do I have a vehicle to use for towing? Is the appraised enough to pull a trailer? 
Heaps of RVers commonly use a travel trailer or a fifth wheel since they effectively own a truck or SUV. This is a smart thought in principle. Shockingly, your truck size must match the measure of the fifth wheel or trailer you plan to pull. Ordinarily, new RVers wind up expecting to buy another truck after they acquired their fifth wheel or trailer. Do the examination in the first place, and don't expect you will spare cash utilizing the truck you have. You may find that a fifth haggle (one that is sufficiently huge to pull the fifth wheel) costs as much or more than the RV that you truly needed. Take an ideal opportunity to get the realities and measure your choices.

6. What is my financial plan(Budget)? 
Financial Plan.Budget. Very feared words. As with any RVer( new or current), you should choose a financial plan. What amount would you be able to stand to spend on your new unit? Keep in mind, when you buy an RV, you're acquiring a condo-on-wheels, and they are estimated in that capacity. Suppose you plan to spend a certain amount( under 50K) on an RV and you don't have the right truck or SUV to haul a trailer. Yikes!! You have recently committed yourself and thus limited yourself to various options. You won't have the ability to purchase a new class A or C RV , so you promptly know you have to purchase pre-owned. In the event that your financial plan is $300,000, you have an assortment of decisions, however, you may in any case not have the capacity to purchase the level of RV you need. Settle on your spending first. This will help you figure out if you will have to hunt down or utilize different options.


7. Who’s going to take the wheel?
Driving or towing an RV takes a certain skill set( much like Jason Bourne), and it is definitely NOT for everyone.  If you plan to share driving responsibilities with your better half, you must choose an RV that is comfortable driving or towing for the both of you. If you aren’t sure, take a few test drives or attend an RV Show and see which type of unit feels best. When you really think about it, you will soon be driving your home. RV's are very much like cars. The handle is different on each one. You simply need to find a style, size, and comfort level that fits your family’s needs.

8. What are the  most important features for my RV lifestyle?
Living in an RV is like living in a tiny house, and you'll probably need to downsize, especially if you plan to go full-time.  Some items are easy to give up, while others seem more important.  What do you consider essential?  Here are a few things to choose from:
Living Area
Dishwasher
Washer/Dryer
Electric Fireplace
Flat screen TV in the bedroom
Kitchen Countertop
Diesel Engine
Storage
Bluetooth Enabled Radio
Sound Bar
DVD Player
Multipurpose Areas
Multiple sleeping areas
Side by Side Refrigerator

1800 Watt Inverter

9. Do I finance?

Planning on financing a new or used RV? Your first step is getting approved.  Once you know how much you can spend, it will be easier to shop.  Whatever amount you qualify for, remember that it doesn’t mean you have to spend what you qualify for.  You should look at the monthly payments and work up a basic budget. Keep in mind expenses you will incur like parking. You need to factor that and other proposed expenses in your budget.  If you plan on paying with cash, then you should determine your RV needs to be based on the amount of available cash you have. 

10. What is my  RV Timetable?
Will you be a weekend warrior?  Are you ready to become a full-timer?  If you plan to make RVing your lifestyle, don’t be surprised if your version of a “perfect RV” changes over time.  Many full-time RVers start big and downsize over time.  Others start smaller and move up.  As they travel they discover the perfect fit for their lifestyle or the need to change due to a growing family. If you are buying an RV for weekend getaways, think about who you will be taking with you, and for how long.  
Truth be told, you may never have an idea how long you will RV.  It might be one year and it might be indefinite.  You may not always have the answers, but it’s worth asking the questions.


Your first step is to ask yourself the tough questions, evaluate the answers, and see what you come up with.  Each answer will open a different door to your overall destination. All of sudden your "Perfect RV" will be sitting in your driveway ready for your first big adventure.



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