I wrote about what process we went through to find the perfect motorhome for us earlier this year. This has lead to many questions from friends and strangers on what would be the best RV for them. I really can’t answer that question for anyone. What I can do is give you a list of items that you might want to review before you take the plunge into RV ownership.
- What type of camping do you want to do? This is an important question. If you are a resort camper than you can get away with a larger RV. National and state parks usually have size requirements.
- Do you plan on dry camping or boondocking? If so, you will want to make sure you have the right set up to stay off the grid for the time period you wish to be off services. When you dry camp or boondock you are not hooked up to electricity, water or sewer services.
- Do you plan on full time travel, weekend getaways with family or plan to use for tailgating? This is important because want to think about size, amenities (such as an outdoor TV and sink set up if tailgating). Storage would be an important issue for a full timer. For a weekend getaway with the family, sleeping capacity would probably be the most important.
- How much money do you have to spend? How will you pay for this RV? Cash or finance. How long will you finance? RVs are expensive. You must have a budget so that you know what you can and cannot handle.
Once you have thought about the above questions, I think you are ready to start looking at rigs. I cannot state emphatically enough how YouTube can be a help. RV dealers won’t have every type of motorhome that you will be interested in viewing. We lived in Georgia when we bought our motorhome. Georgia is 5th wheel heaven. Finding a Class C is hard. Many RV dealerships will take an entire line and do a walk through on the RV. This way you can figure out what type of styles you like. Keeping an open mind will allow you to see what types of RVs are available to you. This will help you narrow down what type of RV you like – Class A, Class C, Class B, travel trailer, 5th wheel Toy Hauler or Truck Camper.
- Class A – looks like the bus. They range in 26 to about 47 feet long. These are the big rigs of the road.
- Class B – looks like a van. They can range in 18 to about 28 feet long. These are smaller. Great for couples or those who want to only have one vehicle. They can go about anywhere fairly easy.
- Class C – looks like a truck with the overhang over the body of truck. These can range from 18 to about 37 feet long.
- Travel trailer and 5th wheel must be pulled by an appropriate size vehicle usually a truck. These can range from 22 feet to 45 feet long.
- Toy Hauler can be a TT or 5th wheel where you can drop the back wall to carry your toys (golf cart, motor cycles, etc).
- Trunk camper – the camper fits into the bed of the truck. Today’s models utilize space in unique ways. Some even have wet baths.
Class A, B or C can either have a gas or diesel engine. I am not going to address the pros or cons of gas versus diesel. There are many articles out there. We gnashed our teeth for about one day before we realized in our situation it did not matter. You will need to make the decision on this. Diesel motorhomes do cost more upfront than gas fueled motorhomes.
I also recommend you go to RV shows. We went to three before we bought our rig. This way you can see many manufacturers and floor plans before you purchase. It also helped us form our budget. We entered some beautiful home motorhomes that we would never buy due to cost but it was fun to dream for a moment.
I took pictures and wrote in a notebook every motorhome that we were interested in; listing pros and cons while at the show. I am a little OCD so this is the method that worked for me. We also started to feel more confident so we dipped our toe into going to RV dealerships. I don’t like being sold to but I knew that we also needed to test drive any potential RV that we would buy to see how it drove and whether we liked the size. I drove a few. It was interesting that a few motorhomes got crossed of the list once we drove it.
Now that you have done all of this. You probably have an idea of what type of RV you wish to purchase. Then it is all about floor plans. Each manufacturer will have multiple floor plans for each of its models. With your budget in hand,you are ready to figure out what is best for you. Don’t be afraid look further than your home state for your RV. We found our RV in Missouri. I hope this helps. Are there any other factors you used to find your perfect fit?