When I first starting dreaming about life on the road in an RV about 10 years ago, I knew very little about the subject. I just knew that it was something that I felt would suit my personality and lifestyle well. For years I dreamed about it, but when it came down to getting serious about it, it took a good two years of research and introspection to finally decide what type of RV I wanted to purchase. For me, there were a few must-haves mostly due to the fact that I was going to be using the RV for doing art festivals around the country. And, of course, a longer wish list of things that I desired to have in my RV for my own personal use and pleasure.
The first thing I determined was the type/style/class of RV that would best suit my needs and desires. Once that was determined, I then decided on what make and model I wanted. Next, I got financially prepared and then shopped around the entire country online for the best price. By doing so, I managed to save $20,000. I decided that I would be willing to fly to a dealer in a different state and drive the RV back to California. I was also able to purchase the last new 2015 model on the lot in 2016. The dealer was motivated to get the last 2015 sold so they could focus on the current years’ inventory. Lucky me.
I found a great deal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the make and model that I wanted. I flew down from San Francisco to pick it up and started on my first RV adventure in an RV that I could finally call my own – a dream come true. How exciting! I had rented RVs in the past to experiment with the possibility of owning one, but this was the first trip in what would become my new home on wheels. The process worked out well for me and I just LOVE my RV. I’m glad that I did not rush any of the decisions and did my research thoroughly before jumping in.
Here are some of the things that I considered, pondered and researched during the process of elimination and decision-making before I decided which RV to purchase. I hope that you will find this helpful in your process.
- Do I want a new or used RV?
- If used, would it need mechanical fixes, upgrades or renovation?
- If new, do I want to finance it or purchase it outright?
- Do I want a DIY RV where I purchase a new or used empty bus, van, truck or another type of vehicle and convert it into an RV?
- Do I want a trailer (an RV that I tow) versus a motor home (an RV that I drive)?
- If it’s a motor home that I want, which class/style would be best for me – Class A, B, B+ or C?
- If it’s a motor home, how much mileage does it get?
- If it’s a motor home, how good is the view from the driver and passenger seats?
- If it’s a trailer, how difficult would it be to hitch up to my tow vehicle?
- If it’s a trailer, how much will it cost for a tow vehicle?
- Do I want an RV that is short or one that is long?
- Do I want one that is small or one that is large?
- Do I want one that is heavy or light?
- Do I want to use it for weekend trips, part-time living, or full-time living – now or in the future?
- Where will I park or store it when I’m not using it?
- Will I be towing a car or booting around in the RV?
- Does the RV need to be winterized/all-season?
- Will I be dry camping in it or will I always be in campgrounds and hooked up to utilities?
- Is it important to have a shower that is separated from the toilet rather than an all-in-one wet bathroom?
- What kitchen appliances do I need/want in it?
- Is there enough storage for my needs?
- Does it matter what color the RV is?
- Does it matter what kind of graphics are on or not on it?
- Do I want a traditional interior design or a contemporary one?
- How many people would I like it to sleep?
- Is it easy to drive or tow?
- Do I feel safe driving it or pulling a trailer?
- Will other people be driving or towing it?
- Do I feel safe living in it?
There may be other questions that I asked myself and I will update this list if and when I recall them, but hopefully, this will give you a bit of framework to get started on your RV buying adventure. Let the fun begin!
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