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.
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.
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.
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
My hubby passed 7 years ago and i have to sell my place…just cannot keep up a house and all that entails…
I want to live in a RV fulltime…
5th wheel or travel trailer….
Not going to travel…just park it somewhere safe….i m a seamstress….HELP !!! Wayyyy too many choices…..lol
Thinking RV living….
Thanks for stopping by and sharing Lynne!
Best wishes on your decision to to adopt the full time RV living lifestyle.
Hi, Howard and Pam ! I will be 65 in Sept. and my wife and I are thinking about full timing in an RV when I retire. We’ve never owned an rv but have spent time in them in the past . I’ve been a truck driver for the past 40 years. It’s been a dream of mine to just take off and see this GREAT country without deadlines or the hassles I had as a truck driver . We live near Denver , CO and we just want to get the heck out of dodge ! After reading many blogs , as well as yours , I think we would spend a good part of our time traveling to see family throughout the country . We would spend time in different places , for maybe a week or two , but would be on the road again soon for our next adventure .I had initially thought about a 5th wheel but the thought of having to unhook and level wherever we were staying wasn’t very appealing to me . The convenience of pulling in to park and using auto levelers sounds REAL good ! It would be nice to have space for our two dogs. What do you think/suggest ?
Thanks for stopping by our website.
The way Pam and I answered this question for ourselves was to rent different kinds of RV’s we were interested in. That helped us to decide which RV would be our first full-time RV. That choice was the right one. We had that RV for seven years until our needs changed.
Focus on wants and needs for your RV lifestyle as you see it. That is why renting gives you some practical experience.
My wife and I want to get an RV to take camping next year, so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about choosing an RV that can handle the weight load. I will be sure to ask about this so I know I can bring all my camping supplies without weighing down the whole trailer.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing Derek!
Hi we are an older couple retiring to Europe and intend travelling for a few years Europe and north Africa we are used to quite a large house and the scaling down our essentials are good space for us and two dogs, reliability and ease of operation while trying to bask in comfort.
We were intending on buying a used unit 35 ft and looking for as much advice as possible to help us through the investment
Thanks for stopping by our website Brian!
Since my niche is full time RV living in the United States, I can’t speak much about units manufactured in Europe or even what it is like to travel that way abroad. I have been to several countries in Europe and even stayed in an RV park in Spain. What I have noticed is that the RV’s are much smaller than what you find in the United States. I don’t ever recall seeing a thirty-five foot RV in my limited travels overseas.
My recommendation for you would be to rent first and see if you can actually live in such a small space before spending money on something that may not work for you. It is a different lifestyle and basking in comfort does not always occur in the RV lifestyle. It depends on the RV. The more systems you have in an RV to create that home-like experience, the more problems you are likely to have. “The more you mess with the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain,” so to speak. Take it from one who inspects them!
Anyway, best wishes on your future travels, and do rent first before you buy. That is the best advice I can give you. Them you will have the knowledge you need to buy what will work best for you.
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!
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!!
Good advice. Tell me please the model of your front living room floor plan. It looks like exactly what I want.
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.
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!
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.
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….
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!!
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.
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.
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?
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!
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
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!