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Nov 29

The Best RV Buy For Full Time RV Living!

What is the best RV buy if you are looking at the full time RV lifestyle? There are many considerations to be made when finally deciding to choose an RV that will be your home on the road!  Let’s see if I can’t help you out a little by suggesting some things to think about as you move forward.

best rv buy

Example Front Living Room Floorplan

 

If you have traveled in an RV before it does make the choice a little easier because you can visualize your self living in an RV full time.  You have had some experience with what may work and what will not work as far as the best RV buy for you.  You may have already decided between a motorized vehicle and a towable.  You may have decided between a bus style RV known as a class A RV or a cab-over style referred to as a class C RV.

best rv buybest rv buy 

You may have seen travel trailers that are quite nice!  They do give you a lot of bang for the buck.  Perhaps you have looked at 5th wheel RV’s.  They are more like living in a one bedroom condominium.  The thing is that each one of these types of RV’s has there own advantages and disadvantages depending on how you plan to use your RV home.

best rv buy

best rv buy

5th Wheel Living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Question to Ask Yourself: What is Your RV Lifestyle Going to be Like?

 

For full time RV living, will the best RV buy for you be a class A RV?  If you are moving around a lot you don’t want to have to worry about backing trailers and hooking up the tow vehicle to the trailer all the time.  Do you want more kitchen space so you can prepare the kind of meals you are used to?  Kitchens in 5th wheels are the best when it comes to that consideration!

 

Are you going to be workamping where you will be sitting in a location for months at a time?  In this case that kind of lifestyle is really tough on a diesel pusher class A RV because they don’t do well when they sit all the time.  They are meant to drive in order to keep the systems from deteriorating.

 

Will you be running a business from your RV while you are out traveling the country?  You will want to find an RV that gives you the features that make for a comfortable workspace, and one that does not interfere with the rest of the living space in the RV.  Both class A RV’s and 5th wheels have nice features in this area!

 

What Do You Really Need to Have in Your Best RV Buy Home?

 

This is where a list should be made!  What do you have to have as you consider the best RV buy for you?  The biggest mistake you can make is to start looking for an RV before considering all these things I have just mentioned.  Before you know it you are at a dealership and a good salesman shows you an RV based on a few of the things you may think you want, but may have not really considered.

 

Then you see an RV: you have fallen in love with the colors, the curtains, the way the interior lights look, the cool rope lighting, the high-tech features, etc.  It is so important to know what you really want, or at least even think you want, and get those features included in the RV you choose! If you make concessions now, you will be unhappy later.  Pam and I have talked to so many who admitted they made mistakes in choosing their first full time RV home!  We went through this exact process and we still have the RV that we bought over seven years ago.

 

Let’s Make a List!

 

  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?
  • Do you need an office or a work area?
  • How much storage do you need to have?  More importantly how much weight are you planning to put in the RV?  If you have three thousand pounds of stuff, you better find a rig that can carry all you plan to load in it!
  • Where are you going to travel with your RV?  An RV can require anywhere from one to four air conditioner units depending on the climate you choose to visit.
  • Do you need a washer and dryer?  I would say for the full time RVer, an apartment type washer and dryer is a must!  Many nicer RV’s automatically include this feature.
  • What kind of extra vehicle do you need?  If you choose a class A RV, you will need a car.  If you pull a trailer trailer RV then you will have a truck to use when not towing the RV.  But is that going to work out all the time?  Some people add motorcycles to the list to fill the gap in either of these RV choices.
  • Do you need 30 or 50 amp electrical service?  The difference is on the low end you only have 3,600 watts of electrical power available at any one time in your RV.  On the higher end you can have 12,000 watts of power which is more appropriate when considering the best full time RV for you.
  • Do you want a class A gas or diesel RV?  Do you want a travel trailer or 5th wheel?  What kind of truck will work best to pull a trailer?  What kind of car can you pull behind your class A RV?  They don’t all work.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages!

 

  • Class A gas motorized RV’s are less than their diesel counterparts.  You can get a lot of bang for the buck in this motorized RV.  Maintenance costs are less.  However, they do not drive as well as diesel RV’s and can be affected by wind and semi trucks that are on the road too.  They will need engine service sooner at higher mileage as they are not as durable as their diesel counterpart.  But these are better at sitting for longer periods of time.
  • Diesel class A RV’s do have a higher purchase price.  They also have higher maintenance costs if you are worried about expenses and have a tight budget for your full time RV lifestyle.  But you can drive it many more miles than you can a gas version.  A half million miles in not uncommon for this type of vehicle.  They definitely drive better on the highway and also in the mountains.  They have much more torque and can pull a more significant load if you want to pull a cargo or vehicle trailer behind.
  • Travel trailers are light and can be pulled with a production truck suited to the specs of the RV trailer.  You can get a lot of bang for the buck with this choice.  The newer models have large slides, all the amenities of their motorized counterparts, and they can be lived in full time.  The downside will be traveling long miles with them and the lack of storage. Travel trailers can be squirrelly on the highway depending on road conditions.  And you have to be prepared to back your rig.  This can be an issue if you have not done much trailer backing.
  • 5th wheel trailers are much better in most of the downsides I listed for travel trailers.  They trailer better and have vast amounts of storage.  I believe they are easier to back than a trailer, but that is just my opinion. When you get one of these that is up to forty feet long you have to practice a while before you get comfortable handling this type of RV setup.

 

Okay, that should get you started thinking about what is the best RV buy for you.  After you have made your list of must-haves, and you have decided on the class of RV that suits you, go looking.  Don’t let any salesman talk you into something you don’t want or need.  If you find something you really like, don’t jump at it.  Sleep on it!  Take pictures and go home and consider all that you saw.

 

Whether you choose a new or a used RV, take your time!  Get a certified RV inspection if you choose a used RV!  There is nothing wrong in choosing a used model.  You may have to look a lot longer to find one that will suit you, but the savings could make for the best RV buy for you!

 

Thanks for stopping by our website!  I hope this information has helped you out!  Please leave a comment before you go!  Let us know if we can help you out in your decision.  If you would like more information about certified RV inspections, leave me a comment below and I will get back to you!

 

Blessings as you search for your full time RV home!
Howard and Pam

14 comments

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  1. Mark

    Glad I found you site as we are in the long-range planning portion of our future going fulltime.

    I’m going to be spending a few days reviewing you content. Nice blog!

    Mark from Missouri

    1. Howard

      Thanks Mark!

      Glad to hear you are in the planning stage! Lots of research makes for a great fulltiming experience! If you have not already been RVing, rental of an RV is a great way to see what different class of RV’s are like. Pam and I did that for years. We learned a lot and used that knowledge when we finally did go fulltime.

      Please let us know if we can be of assistance as you journey towards this wonderful lifestyle!

      Howard

  2. Mark from Missouri

    Howard,

    I’m looking for a few good reference materials regarding RV construction methods. I’ve read a few articles and watched a few videos. I’d really like to find one single source document that at least lists what components are most important with maybe the pros and cons of various methods. Any ideas?

    1. Howard

      Hi Mark!

      The one source that controls the manufacturing safety of RV’s is the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. There is an area on their site that may give you a little more information: http://www.rvia.org/?ESID=73dZDufQTJoi Ninety-eight percent of the RV’s rolling off the assembly line have an RVIA sticker on them showing they meet the minimum standards set by the industry. These standards protect the consumer. Unfortunately, they do not set standards of general RV construction. Just that they have to meet safety standards in regards to electrical, plumbing, propane, and fire and life safety.

      http://www.rvbg.com/Articles/?id=2007793 had a good article about the best ways to assure the RV you are buying is built so that you are happy with its construction. Pam and I visited the factory of the RV manufacturer we decided on to see how they built them. For me, the weight of the RV is very telling. If you find a 40′ 5th wheel that you can pull with a 3/4 ton truck, that should tell you it is not built as well as one that requires at least a one ton dually to safely pull it. Over the years of looking at RV’s at shows, I have noticed the relationship between RV weight and quality. That just makes sense I think. Newer technologies are allowing for lighter RV’s, but I still think this weight to quality relationship applies.

      Just some thoughts from my end. I am not aware of one source that outlines all RV manufacturers construction methods. Each manufacturer shares what they are doing in their brochures, and the RV dealers are more than willing to tell you about construction of the RV’s they are selling. It’s up to the buyer to do their research so they are happy with the final purchase. You are going about it the right way Mark! This time of year is a great time to get out and visit some RV shows. I don’t know where you are in the US, but if you are going to be at the Tampa RV Super Show in January, let me know!

      Merry Christmas!

  3. Kenny

    Very good advice on buying RV. Never thought about getting one inspected was looking for dealer I could trust within 200 miles of Southern Indiana.

    1. Howard

      Greetings Kenny!

      Thanks for stopping by my website!

      Most dealers are reputable, but these days they are so busy they may not have had time to spend the 3-6 hours that the NRVIA certified inspector will to be sure you are not buying a money pit. It is for sure that if it is a motorized vehicle that they did not perform an engine or coolant analysis. When buying a used RV, just like a home inspection, get one done on your RV home!

      We do have certified NRVIA inspectors around that area. Please contact me at 850-585-1811 and I will get you in touch with one once you decide on the RV you would like us to offer an unbiased opinion on.

      Happy hunting!!

  4. Steve Brewer

    Very informative. I realize now my 1/2 ton GMC just won’t do the job. The Class As’ are out of my price range, so the travel trailer gets the vote. Now, if I can convince the Mrs….

    1. Howard

      Awesome Steve! I am happy to hear you are doing your research and choosing to travel safely given the equipment you have. Travel trailers are quite nice these days. We have known other full timers we have work camped with that started in a TT to see if they liked the lifestyle. It worked out well. Just realize they are not designed for full time living so things will wear out faster – nothing a good maintenance program can’t solve! Best wishes on your RV search!!

  5. Max Jones

    I’ve always dreamed about finding some good RV’s for sale and being able to transition to full time living there while my wife and I travel the country. I like how you talked about finding some things to look for with RV’s for sale, and that you can answer some simple questions to help you make the right choice. I think that being able to figure out how many beds we want while we’re deciding on RV’s for sale is going to be crucial, because that will help us narrow our search a lot! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website Max! Pam and I are glad you found our information useful.

      Best wishes on your search and maybe we’ll see you on the road.

  6. Sue

    Hi,
    Good advice. Tell me please the model of your front living room floor plan. It looks like exactly what I want.
    Thanks

    1. Howard

      Hi Sue!

      I am assuming you are looking for a newer model. That model shown in the post is no longer made. But, if you search “front living room fifth wheel models” you will find several manufacturers that are making floorplans with them. Just be sure if this is for full time RV living that the RV is warrantied for full time use.

  7. Lisa Caddell

    Thanks for info, I’ve been trying to decide between new truck and travel trailer or a class c, or small class a? I’m retiring in January! Selling house and seeing the USA while in search for a place to settle down at in few years…or not? Plan on staying months at a time in couple warm places during the winter 5 months, but hooking up for the summer in Ohio to be near family. It will be just me, my little dog Jack and a cat! I like the convenince of the MH because of animals, but love the room a TT offers. The more I look, the more I’m undecided. The only thing I am sure of is I will be full time and what ever I buy will be my home!

    1. Howard

      Greetings Lisa!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      The decision to buy a travel trailer or a motorhome is a tough one. Each provides its own benefits. There is not one that is entirely perfect because they each have unique properties to them.

      The best thing you can do is to picture your life as you like to live it and imagine the RV you choose meeting your daily needs, from the time you get up in the morning till the time you go to bed. That is going to be the best way to choose wisely!

      Best of luck in your search!!

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