What is the Right RV for Me?
19 Dec 2018
Purchasing a recreational vehicle (RV) is one of the few tasks that people find quite impossible. These RVs come designed with living quarters and the total number of facilities made available to the user depends on the user depends on the type he or she settles for. While these vehicles come in handy in serving as a mobile home to a lot of people and family members, adequate care must be taken before making the right decision. This article was written as a guide to assist you in purchasing the best RV that fits your status and budget. Regardless of the fact if you are just buying the RV for the first or perhaps you are only thinking of purchasing a new one, this article will come in handy in assisting you to gain the needed insight into what is required of you as a potential RV owner.
Most often than not, the sales representatives of the RV companies will only allow you to see items such as nicely decorated accessories, which have been arranged to give you a warm welcome the moment you step into the RV, and this has succeeded in enticing lots of people into buying the wrong vehicle for their camping exercises and vacation. Contrary to the view of the sales representative, the right RV go beyond the apartments, decorations and kitchen utensils but focused on the quality and durability of these vehicles. After a careful study of most potential buyers, we have been able to identify one prevalent problem amongst them; experience. While most of them lacked the basic knowledge about RVs, others end up assuming they are versed in understanding every little secret about RVs and thus, may end up purchasing the wrong equipment off the market. Before we take a look at the factors to consider while buying the best RV for you, it is pertinent to note that experience matters a lot. You will need it not just in your purchase but also in the way you arrange your items in the coach.
Factors to consider while purchasing RV
There are a thousand and one factors to consider before thinking about buying any type of RV. For the purpose of this article, we shall narrow it down to the following;
- Ask Questions:
Most especially for the first time buyers, you don't just go into the market to purchase an item without having prior knowledge of what you need to buy. Ask relevant questions about the RV and get to know why you need one. Make sure you conduct proper research and read customer reviews for several products in order to know exactly what you should expect. While trying to purchase an RV, don't just rely on your knowledge, you could ask friends and family members to make necessary recommendations on the best brand to buy and the integrity of the company and middleman. You could also choose to walk into a sales office to seek professional advice from a sales rep or better still conduct online research to this effect. Asking questions will guide you on what is required of you as a potential buyer.
- Know what you want
Not just for RVs, the very first step to having a great purchase is to know what you want. Don't just go all out trying to purchase an RV without proper research from your end. Knowing what you want will go a long way in creating a chance for you to ask the right questions or better still, make the right decision. Before purchasing the RV, you can ask the sales rep to leave you for some time so as to remind yourself of all the features you want the RV to possess. Asking the sales rep to give you some minutes to yourself will allow you to also concentrate on what you want and not just what the sales rep has told you. Remember the fact that the sales rep is there to make sure you purchase the vehicle no matter what. They are saddled with the responsibility to make sure they give you reasons to buy their products. Once you are alone, kindly bring put your needs on the table and try to be as truthful as possible. Ask yourself questions if the RV meets your requirements or not. Do not be afraid just to walk away if the RV is not worth it.
- The type of RV
As stated earlier, RVs come in different designs and shape referred to as a class. These classes or types differ significantly regarding what they have to offer. The type of RV you purchase determines the level of utility you enjoy from the whole process. Kindly read the list in the next section in order to have in-depth knowledge on the types of RVs available in the market.
- Inspect the RV
Now that you already know what you want and perhaps the type of RV to settle for, the next step is to dedicate enough time into studying the RV. Don’t just make purchases based on instincts; try as much as possible to have enough evidence that the RV you are about to purchase has the right combination of tools you are looking for. It is highly recommended that you dedicate nothing less than 6 hours just to look at the RV. Don’t just rush through and be eager to make payments, go through every item provided in the RV and make your decision. Remember these RVs come at a price and it will be a totally bad idea if you end up channelling your hard earned cash into a vain cause.
The chairs: While inspecting, it is not a completely bad idea if you sit in the RV or make use of any of the items provided by the company. Here is a little secret for you; some of the chairs provided in the RV may be very comfortable at first, so it is advised you sit in the chairs for at least 30 minutes or an hour (the longer, the better). While sitting, you could pretend to be reading, watching the TV or replicate any of the activities you love doing in the evening. If you currently own an RV, try to look for solutions to the reasons you are purchasing a new RV and not just the next available one. While sitting, you can ask yourself these questions; are the chairs comfortable enough? Do they really work and could guest love to sit in them for a long time? The answers you give to these questions will determine if you can proceed with the purchase or not.
The bed: To inspect the bed, you could also lie down on the bed. If possible, it will not be a terrible idea if you even take a nap. Make sure the bed is worth it. Ask questions about the level of comfort it provides. Remember to take your time.
The slides: Move in and out of every slide. This will ultimately assist you to determine the ease at which you move from one slide to the other. By moving the slides in and out, you will be able to understand how they work and how best to access them. Take note of the circuit breakers, drawers and cabinets you cannot access.
Other items: take note of other things such as the kitchen utensils and equipment. Know what is available and permitted to use in the RV. Understand to the tiniest detail what you need to know about every part of the RV. Remember, you are purchasing the RV because you need it. If it doesn’t meet your requirements, don’t proceed to check-out.
- Storage area
How much space is available for you to safely keep all your items? Our few years in the market has made us to understand that external storage compartments may look spacious when empty. To determine if they will serve their purpose, we suggest you stick your head into the spaces and try to look at what is hanging from the ceiling. If peradventure you have anything hanging down from the ceiling, it will reduce the total area available for storage.
- Utilities available
Are they working? This is the best question you should ask yourself. Carefully examine every efficiency in the RV. You can do this by screwing or pulling out on the water hose, attaching the sewer hose to the coach, and closing the door. Determine how easy it will be for you to kneel or gravel during a cold downpour.
How does it really feel when the RV is kept on an unleveled ground? You can determine this by driving the RV to a place where it will not level. Take note of your experience with this. If everything fits you well and the RV is leveled even when parked on an unleveled ground, then you can proceed to the road test. Map out a test drive with the RV and make sure you drive it on Interstate and side roads, over some gravel, rough railroad tracks, and through an industrial park. Make sure the road test lasts for at least an hour. You could ask the sales rep to come with you and also let them know that you are trying to spend enough time understanding what you are about to purchase.
TYPES OF RV
The types of RV available in the market include;
- Class A motorhome
This is constructed using a commercial bus chassis, specially designed motor vehicle chassis or a commercial truck chassis. It shares some features with a bus and has a vertical or flat front end with large windows. The provision of slides makes room for a wider living area and keeps the vehicle completely stationary during their extension outwards.
- Class B motorhome (campervan)
This is built using a conventional van which has a raised roof or has been replaced or added to the back of a low-profile body. In places like Australia, the Class B motorhome is entirely different from campervan. These motorhomes can measure up to 6.4 m in length and 4500kg in weight.
- Class C motorhome
Just like the first two motorhomes, this is built on a minimal truck platform which features a forward engine transmission that is connected by driveshaft to the rear axle that propels the dual-mounted rear wheels. These motorhomes are powered by gasoline engines with the exception of a few which are powered by diesel or propane gas.
- Truck camper
This is best described as a living space which is temporarily mounted into the bed of a pickup truck and secured against any wobbling or tipping whenever the truck is in motion. Adequate care must be taken while matching the weight and centre balance point of the truck camper with the capabilities of the pickup truck.
- Travel trailer
A travel trailer is unit with rigid sides that are designed to be towed usually by a minivan, SUV or pickup truck with a bumper hitch frame. They are often referred to as caravans and can measure between 19’ to 34’ long. These travel trailers come in different categories listed below;
- Teardrop trailer: a lightweight, compact travel trailer that resembles a large teardrop which can be towed by a motorcycle.
- Hybrid trailer: this is a blend of a travel trailer and a foldable trailer.
- Fifth-wheel trailer: specially designed to be towed by a medium duty truck or pickup which is equipped with a special in-box hitch known as fifth wheel coupling.
Please note: you need all the time you can get to inspect the RV before making a purchase. Don’t just purchase the next available RV, purchase one that suits your taste. Kindly share this article with friends and family members, and you can also contact us if you have any questions. The RVAholic team would love to hear from you.