Say your close friend was buying their first RV. They had never owned one before. If you were standing next to them having a conversation, what would you tell them?
What this breaks down to is this: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned about RVing? Do you think the most valuable bit of information is in the buying process? Do you think it’s in the way you travel or where you sleep at night? Or do you think it’s something completely different?
It could be a gadget that’s helped you in countless ways. It could a piece of information that’s saved your life. It could be a quick tip. It could be about a brand or type of RV. It could be about solar panels. It could be about a recipe. It could be about roof leaks or smelly holding tanks. It could be ANYTHING.
Below, in the comments, please tell your friend (our audience) ONE thing you’d like them to know about RVing. Take some time and think about it first. What is the most valuable tidbit of information you’d tell someone about RVs or the lifestyle? If someone had told you this ONE thing before you had bought yours or set out on your first trip, how would it have affected your travels or buying process?
Thanks for taking the time to do this. We’ll compile your answers and put a resource for newbies together. Hey, you’ll probably get some great info out of it too!
I tell my friends to avoid large RV unless they’re ready to pay storage and be limited to areas and camp area’s. They think they need a large spacious unit but how much is the vehicle going to cost that can pull it ? I had a fifth wheel and long trailer and several other RVs before and now have the one I will probably never sell. A fiberglass no slides used Bigfoot slide in truck camper. Yes at first it seemed too small but in no time I adapted and now I can park and camp almost anywhere. It took 6 RVs to realize what was important to me. That being 100% off grid solar and the freedom to go thousands of places my old big RV’s would never get !!!
Just bought my first Starcraft Telluride, now I am regretting it reading all the comments!
Research, research, research. Only by knowing what type of camping you will be doing, can you succeed in buying your ‘third RV first.” Tons of valuable info will develop from doing a lot of research. That includes forums, dealers, RV shows, and other RVers.
Read, read, read up on how things work, ask questions, learn from your neighbor in the campground, and places like rvtravel.com. I bought mine from a very good dealer who is always educating me, even via the phone when it wouldn’t unhitch.
Just relax and enjoy. You’ll figure out how to back up, hitch and unhitch, dump, and all the maintenance things. Enjoy, enjoy enjoy. Wish I’d bought mine sooner.
Install solar panels.
Rent a unit you think you want. Take it out and see how it fits. I was totally sold on a truck camper. Oh boy after a couple of days we realized it was way to small. We run hemodialysis when we’re on the road so need more room. After hours of online research and a local RV show, we we’re able to comfortable decide.
If at all possible, pay cash.
There are millions of acres in the U.S. in which you can camp for free in far more beautiful and quiet surroundings than you’ll ever find in a pay campground, no matter what it costs.
Buy used not new. Have at least 2 slides, 1 in the living area and 1 in the bedroom. The bedroom slide makes a big difference, especially in a trailer.
What ever you are doing, happens or cannot get to work ect. Don’t panic.
If buying a new motor home it will take a year and a half to work out and repair all the manufacturing deficiencies
Save your money and pay cash. If you do finance, no more than 5-7 years. Remember an RV is not an investment. Take a good look for a 1-2 year old unit. Much cheaper and most of the bugs are worked out (hopefully). Look past all the flash, look close at all the little thing. And the best advice ever, take a long time experienced RVer with you!!!!! Good luck.
Do your homework – don’t just wander down to the local RV lot to “browse” and end up buying. I know the temptation can be great and they will pressure you with the “deal that is only good today” BS, etc. Don’t succumb to the pressure.
Take your time, figure out exactly what your use scenarios will be, what type of rig best fits those, what you can afford, new or used, local dealer or distant, etc, etc, etc. When you figure it out and start to narrow your search down to a particular rig, do more homework! What kind of reputation does that rig have? Known problems? What about the dealer network or brand? Do you actually have a place to put the rig once you get it home? (I’ve seen folks get burned by their HOA rules, etc on that one) Then, have an independent RV inspection done to make sure there are no surprises waiting for you as soon as you pull off the lot! Yeah, it might cost a bit but trust me, a good inspection can save you thousands (and your life!) down the road!
But – when you get all that stuff worked out and you DO drive off the lot with a new to you rig, relax, have fun, go explore, meet people and make wonderful memories!
Rent several RV before you buy one. Get to know what type of RV you want that fits your lifestyle. Then determine the cost to maintain it, the cost to operate it, the life style changes you must adapt to, and be prepared to do a lot of minor repairs the longer you own it.
As also with boating, almost every RV’er eventually upgrades their first RV with a bigger/nicer one. Over time, they do it again and possibly a third time – or more. My advice is to buy your third RV first and don’t look back. You’ll save yourself a ton of money.
Every time I replaced a RV I kept getting smaller and smaller. Till I got a Bigfoot truck camper. Its known for 4 season use and quality build. Both are true,
Pack your patience.
It is a Test!!
Presuming you’ve already bought – keep an impeccable set of maintenance records – not just oil changes. Everything you do and when at what mileage you did it. Invaluable for your own use as well as resale. If you haven’t bought yet – ask for the maintenance records. None – keep looking!
I also have a “Go-No Go” or a “Discrepancy” book – which I use to identify items discovered which need repair. The labels are “Deferred”, “Critical” and “No – Go”. You will discover things which can be deferred but need repair or looking into. Then you will find items like a locking brake or knock or some odd event or noise which could be either Critical or No Go – depending!
Aaah Air Force Training!
Stay on top of tire pressure
Educate yourself on the details of a black tank, gray tank, their maintenance and your responsibilities as an RV owner. It will make your new adventure so much more pleasant!
Not knowing about this newsletter when purchasing a rv I would recommend reading many articles from this newsletter. Being new to rving you would not know the questions to ask but this newsletter will address so many different things that are relatable to this rv owning. No B.S. in here. No promotions of products that line their pockets. They test and research before they discuss products.
For recommendation to the newsletter. Please figure a way to let newbies or people looking into buying a rv that this newsletter exist. I really have a bad memory trying to remember how I came across this newsletter but it was maybe a year after owning a old model rv and spending tons of money trying to keep things working.
When I meet some RV people and there is a question or concern about something, I usually can direct them to the newsletter. Believe me I am not one that speaks about publication or products due to the fact I don’t know much about them and don’t want to have someone point the negative FINGER at me and say I steered them wrong. I don’t hesitate with this newsletter.
Keep going and keep safe.
I will State more clearly. Read these newsletters prior on buying an RV. It helps people be more informative on looking for a rv and problems and positives of many related things and situations if rving.
Thank you so much for your very generous comments, Nancy, and for recommending our newsletters to other RVers. That’s the only reason we’re here – to inform and educate RVers. We want you all to be safe and happy RVers – for a long time to come! Take care, and stay healthy. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com