Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Is this how motorhome shoppers and towable RV shoppers differ?

It looks like RVers differ in how they think—and shop. Leave it to the RV manufacturing industry to “psych us out,” and find out how to best promote different types of RVs. Yep, RV shoppers differ, and this is how Go RVing categorizes you.

“Rent” versus “Tent”

RV shoppersMotorhome owners are much more likely to rent an RV before buying one. They want more input into the features, finishes, and amenities that make the RV feel like their own. On the other hand, those who buy travel trailers and fifth wheels were much more likely to have tent camped before buying a rig. Go RVing says they generally want to have an “upgrade in accommodations being a key indicator in initial RV ownership spark.”

Influenced—but by whom?

Motorhome-shopping RVers often look to “social media and YouTube,” says Go RVing. They dive deep into motorhome brands and their surrounding culture. They look to social media “influencers” to tell them “how the lifestyle works, and gain first-hand owner accounts to help make a purchase decision.”

RV shoppersWhat about RV shoppers looking for towables? We hope this doesn’t mean that industry looks at the towable crowd as “gullible.” But the Go RVing report says, “Towable owners show the highest level of trust in traditional in-person dealership visits to make their purchase decisions.” They’re not as “brand conscious” as motorhome buyers, but rather, they’re looking for features and layout.

Not always “Show me the money”

When RV shopping, statistics are important to both motorhome and towable buyers. But when shopping for a motorhome, the most important statistic is cost. The big-number issue for towable buyers? Towing capacity.

Features – go figure

Finally, the Go RVing report says when RV shopping, the motorhome and towable crowd differ greatly for what features they’re most interested in. “While Motorhome owners put greater emphasis on a want for privacy, Towable owners seek slides, fireplaces, and new configurations.”

So what do you think? Does the RV industry have you down when you shop? We’d love to hear your comments. Let us know using the “reply card” below. Please include “RV shopping” on the subject line. 

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Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Gene Bjerke (@guest_257742)
1 month ago

When I became interested in RVing, I looked at a crewmates Roadtrek camper van and said, “This looks like the cabin of a sailboat, I can live with that.” So we rented a Roadtrek and loved it. We bought a used one. A year later we traded for another brand of Class B. Another year and we traded for a new Roadtrek. Thirteen years and 140,000 miles later I still love it.

KellyR (@guest_257605)
1 month ago

No social media or renting when we started. My gosh, how did we manage??

Split Shaft (@guest_257571)
1 month ago

One thing not mentioned in this article was “Age” and “Ability.” My wife and I started camping in tents. From there we went to a used towable based on affordability after our first child was born. And another new towable after our kids out grew the first rig. And then when retired, my wife could not hitch up the trailer and drive it. So, we progressed to a motor home. When becoming ill in Yellowstone, my wife drove our motor home to Big Sky, Montana hospital, while paramedics treated me in the ambulance. Age and ability make for purchasing choices too. 

Bill Byerly (@guest_257554)
1 month ago

The Go RVing report sounds like the A.I. kind of reporting that Chuck has been warning us about. 😳

Scott (@guest_257858)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill Byerly

It does have that “happy stink” to the article to be generated by AI. Even a kernel of truth can make the worst article look better. I don’t know about everyone else, but I do not fit nicely into there profile for a towable with such shallow requirements as the glitz

CeeCee (@guest_257528)
1 month ago

We upgraded from a popup to a class A. Originally looking for a TT large enough to accommodate 6+ that our SUV could pull, we found a used MH more affordable. It cost less than the new truck we would have had to purchase along with the trailer. Now on our second MH, we have taken several cross continental trips, often dry-camping in BLM/FS sites on the way. We are so glad we didn’t go the TT route. We did have to set up a vehicle to tow behind, but it is our daily driver anyway.

DW/ND (@guest_257526)
1 month ago

I and then we, were not influenced by social media in the purchase of our first or second class A motor homes. That is because I, for several years, wanted a motor home versus the tent we previously used and the lack of interest in towables. Further, I should add – the internet did not exist so no social media at that time. We have, and still, enjoy our motor home – vs- any other combinations or options.

Neal Davis (@guest_257517)
1 month ago

Thank you, Russ and Tina! My discussion above pertains to our initial RV purchase, July 2016. Our second purchase, July 2022, was driven by a desire to get a motorhome with an emergency exit door. That focused us on Newmar diesels, Tiffin Allegro Buses, and American Coach. Further we wanted to downsize from 43′ to < 40'. Floorplans and availability (or lack thereof) of units to walk-through left us with Newmar New Aire 3545 or American Dream 37S. Once we discovered that one must crawl over the bed to use the bathroom in an American Dream in travel mode, we defaulted to the New Aire. Social media influencers played no role in either of our two purchasing decisions.

Mikal H (@guest_257478)
1 month ago

Well, far be it from me to argue with Go RVing! 😉

I’d bet that on average the years of RVing experience of a buyer dictates how they shop and what they look for more than what type of RV they are in the market for. For example, if motorhome buyers are not that interested in slides and fireplaces, how come most motorhomes on the showroom floors have them?

Robin P (@guest_257459)
1 month ago

I shopped for my rv by what my truck limits were and sticking to them. Settled on a 2021 KZRV Escape 201BH which turned out to be the right choice over the Hatch model which is the same size with a different layout. Have upgraded in size since then into a well kept 2013 Jayco Eagle 298RLDS that is almost finished with the interior facelift, would love to share the changes/upgrades we’ve done to it and maybe show the industry to come out of using brown and dark coverings and better fixtures that could draw in buyers.

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