How to choose the right RV for you
Before you buy, you need to ask yourself some basic questions, while you are looking at all the different types and models of RVs at an RV Show or at your local dealer. Once you have the answers to the following questions, then this information will help your dealer to recommend the right RV for you.
- Do you plan to use your RV all year round?
Will you be making trips in the fall and winter, or just use it for summer vacations?
- Will you be making long trips?
Do you expect to do a lot of highway driving, or will you be using your RV off-road in remote locations for such things as fishing, hunting, hiking or skiing?
- How many beds do you need?
Who will be with you on your trips? Adults or children? Do you need extra sleeping accommodation available once in a while? Do you have anyone with disabilities or special requirements? How much privacy do you need? Do you mind having to make up beds every night in your living area?
- How much storage room will you need?
Do you need to pack for long extended periods? How many people do you need to pack for? Consider the amount of food and clothes you will want to take – plus all the toys, games and sports equipment?
- Where will you camp most of the time?
Will you be staying mainly at developed campgrounds with utility hookups and other facilities, or will you often camp in remote locations?
- How much cooking do you plan to do?
Do you need a large kitchen with appliances, plenty of counter space and food storage areas? How many do you need to seat in the dining area?
- What activities will you pursue?
Do you need to take specialized gear or equipment? Will you need carrying racks and extra storage? Will you require the ability to tow a boat, canoes, snowmobile, ATV or an additional vehicle for use on arrival at your destination?
- Do you need a good entertainment center?
Should it be top quality with TV, VCR and stereo? Where do you need speakers – both inside and out?
- What is the towing capacity of your vehicle? Your dealer will help you with this information.
- How much do you want to spend on an RV?
Are there some special options and accessories that you cannot do without, that should be factored into the price? Will you need financing?
Towing or Driving
Towing or driving a mid-size or larger-sized RV is much easier than you would think. Most first-time RVers trade up to a larger unit once they discover how easy it is. Your choice of RV will depend a lot on the amount of driving you plan to do, and whether you might need to drive off the highway on rough and uneven roads and trails.
If towing, you will have to consider the towing capacity of your present vehicle. Will you need to buy a much sturdier tow vehicle, or can your present vehicle be used? If you decide on one of the larger motorhomes, how will you get around once you arrive at your destination?
Did you know that towing your family car behind a motorhome is an option? Do you need to tow additional equipment, boats, trailers or other vehicles? Make sure you pick the right RV for your particular family’s activities.
If you are concerned about towing or driving a really large unit: remember you can always select a model that is much smaller in size, with the additional slide-out options (there is often a choice of 1, 2 or sometimes 3 slideout units) to give you that additional living space that you need.
Do you want the basics or real luxury?
Many first time RVers will start with a model that provides just the basics. But sometimes there are options or accessories that you cannot do without. Review our list of some of the options that you might want to consider to make your RV feel like home.
- Choice of beds: twin, double, queen or king-size beds
- Full bath with shower
- Refrigerator plus freezer, and ice-maker
- Microwave/convection oven
- Trash compactor
- Washer and dryer
- Whirlpool bath
- Air-conditioning and furnace
- Upgraded insulation for hot summers, or cold winters
- Higher BTU furnace and heated tanks
- Full entertainment center, indoor and outdoor speakers
- Internet-ready computer station
- Satellite dish
- Closed circuit rear view camera for backing up
- Hydraulic leveling system
- Global positioning system
- Security system
- Driver’s seat with built-in heat and massage
- Patio awning
- Basement storage
- Carrying racks for bicycles, kayaks, canoes, etc.
- Slideout options to give you extra living space
- Extra large windows for panoramic views
- Rooftop skydeck
Visit your local dealers and an RV show
Go and see all the different classes of RVs available. Discuss your budget and needs with the dealers, and find out about leasing options and the availability of new and used RVs, so that you can get the right RV to meet the needs of your family.
Make sure you understand the differences between the various RV types and what options are offered with the large choice of floor plans available from different RV manufacturers. Do your homework on the Internet and make use of our links to their websites, to see examples of what they offer in their basic units, and what options can be added to customize a unit to suit your requirements.