The RV Buyer’s Guide
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The RV Buyer’s Guide
Thinking about buying an RV? Here are five questions to ask before purchasing the RV of your dreams.
- Who will use your RV?
- Large family
- Just the two of us
- Somewhere in between
- Where and how will you use it?
- Mostly on weekends; short trips in our local area
- Long vacations with travel throughout the U.S.
- What’s Your Budget?
RVs prices range from $10,000 to $1 million+. Your budget will determine what size and type of RV you can afford.
- Top-end. Money is not an object; we want top-of-the-line inside and out.
- Mid-range. We want a good family-sized RV with a few “bells and whistles.”
- We’re just looking for a basic RV we can camp in comfortably.
- Drive or Tow?
- Big rig for less cost
- Don’t need a separate car for short trips
- Lack of engine increases living space
- Lower maintenance costs
- More room and comfort
- Direct access to food, drinks and bathroom while driving
- Don’t need special equipment or experience towing large vehicles
- Faster setup once camp is reached
- Which Class of Motorhome Fits You Best?
Class A Motorhome – $$$$
- Largest style, with the most features
- Rear-mounted engine (gas or diesel) provides power and performance
- Quiet, comfortable ride
- More storage options
- Ideal for long trips and extended camping
Class B Motorhome (Camper Vans) – $$
- Limited space; comfortably holds 2 to 3 campers
- Offers some class A features, such as bathroom, television and kitchen
- Similar handling/gas mileage as a family car or SUV
- Good for short and long trips
- Can be used as an everyday car when not camping
Class C Motorhome – $$$
- Smaller than Class A RVs; 20 to 40 feet long
- Cab-over design provides additional sleeping space
- Front-mounted gas engine provides ample power
- Offers many Class A amenities on a smaller scale
- Larger models can accommodate slide-outs for extra space
Fifth Wheel – $$$$
- Biggest type of towable RVs
- Requires big pick-up truck with special fifth-wheel hitch
- Large living spaces
- Safer to tow because they attach directly to the truck bed
- Unhitching lets you drive around while in camp
Travel Trailers – $$ to $$$
- Less room than larger models
- Available in many sizes and types
- Towed behind a truck using a bumper or frame hitch
- More versatile than other models
- Gives you a separate vehicle after unhitching
Fold-Downs – $$
- Small, lightweight and versatile
- Flat camper top pops up to increase living space
- Larger models can include bathroom and other amenities
- Good entry to the RV lifestyle
Truck Camper – $$
- Fits in the back of a pickup truck
- Can go where larger RVs can’t
- Ideal for small families who enjoy simple camping
Expandable – $$
- Towed by mid-sized vehicles with a bumper or frame hitch
- Has fold-down tents at the ends or sides for sleeping
- Larger models can include a kitchen, living space and bathroom
Toy Hauler – $$$ to $$$$
- Designed to carry snowmobiles, four-wheelers and other toys
- Large cargo space for carrying oversized items
- Big rear door for easy loading/unloading