Buying an RV for the first time can be an exciting yet intimidating experience. An RV can take you through 10 to 1200 miles per day. You can live in your RV or travel around without worrying about where to stay for the night.
However, if you’re a first time RV owner, you may make some mistakes along the way. In this article, we walk you through what you need to know about buying your first RV.
Pick the Right Type of RV
Before deciding whether you should become a first time RV owner, you have to know the different types. There are two main types of RVs: motorized and towable. Motorized RVs consists of three classes:
- Class A for integrated motorhome
- Class B for semi-integrated motorhome
- Class C for alcove motorhome
Motorhomes are self-propelled recreational vehicles that offer living accommodations. This type of RV can carry about 2 to 8 people. They have a sleeping space, kitchen, and bathroom, which makes motorhomes more expensive.
The towable RVs are vehicles you can tow with your truck or car. Here are some of the most common towable RVs:
Fifth Wheel Campers
The fifth wheel camper is the largest among the towable RVs. It can fit a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom. This type of RV is ideal for those who travel in large groups.
This type of towable RV can accommodate gear and outdoor equipment. You can place your motorbike, snowmobile, kayaks, and other big objects. It’s a combination of living space with a garage, which is great for active RV owners.
Class A is for integrated RVs due to its wide floor plan and different styles. This type of RV is easy to detach and set up in your camping ground.
As the name suggests, this type of RV has the shape of a teardrop. It’s an excellent choice for those who only need basic amenities when traveling. Teardrop campers have a small floor plan, containing a bed, kitchen, and bath.
This type of RV has a hard base with canvas sides that can extend to provide more sleeping space. It’s an ideal choice for those who love camping but don’t want to sleep inside a tent on the ground.
Calculate the Cost
Once you’ve chosen a type of RV that matches you, it’s time you take a look at the total cost for your whole RV experience. You have to consider the monthly cost of your RV, costs of maintenance, and costs for trips like fuel and food.
Having an RV can be cheaper when taking vacations that usually involve flights, rental cars, and hotels. However, paying the monthly RV and insurance payments happen every month for the year. You need to make sure that you can afford the monthly payment before committing.
Try Before You Buy an RV
You can look at the RV all day long, but you won’t learn much from only looking. Ask the seller whether you can try it to make sure that it works well. Test the handle turns, swerving, and brakes.
After the test drive, you should also ask the seller some questions about the RV. Here are some essential questions to ask when buying an RV:
- Is the RV new or used?
- If used, how many people owned and drive the RV?
- Does it have a maintenance record?
- How far can the tires go, and when were they last replaced?
If the seller can’t answer any of the questions, you should move on to the next seller. You have to inspect every part of the RV to ensure there are no damages like the roof and windows. Be sure to test all the buttons like the engine and brakes.
Always Have A Checklist
Once you’ve become an official new owner of an RV, you need a list of steps and precautions. Forgetting the smallest maintenance task can put you and others in danger. Below are some precautionary steps to include in your checklist:
- Lower the antenna
- Turn off all the fans on the roof
- Make sure the water heater and pump are off
- Secure any loose items
Ensure that you also have a list of all equipment you need to maintain and operate the RV. Place the basic equipment like wheel chocks, water pressure regulator, and sewer hose. You can also install add-on features like outdoor gear, RV-specific GPD, etc.
Don’t forget to pack your clothing, bedroom items, and camping gear. Pack up your electronics and some games for relaxation and entertainment. Remember to keep a note of cooking supplies and toiletries.
Know the RV Measurements
Before driving out for your first trip, take a good look at the measurements of your RV. Note down the height of your RV. It will help you know if you can fit under bridges or signs.
It would help if you also took note of the length of your RV. Take note of the additional size if you place objects in front of or behind the RV. It’s useful for parking or driving backward close to other cars.
Note the distance between each of your tires. As you drive, space can get bigger or smaller, and it can require immediate attention. If the distance is not the same, then it could mean that you have a bent axle or broken center pin.
All it takes is a pothole or massive bump to add more problems to your RV. Engrain those measurements in your mind and know when to call a car mechanic for repairs.
Follow These First Time RV Owner Tips Now
These tips are sure to help you if you’re a first time RV owner. Use this guide to make a checklist and avoid making careless mistakes for your upcoming RV travels.
We hope we helped you from picking your first type of RV to getting ready for your travels. If you have any inquiries or want to understand more about RVs, consider checking our blog posts.