How to choose an RV for your needs

How to choose an RV for your needs

An RV or recreational vehicle is a vehicle that speaks to the heart of those who enjoy the whimsy and excitement of travelling on the road. It is a vehicle that allows you to be free while also providing ample shelter throughout the trip. However, choosing an RV can prove to be tricky if you are not sure what you are looking for.

Follow the list below and find the perfect RV to suit your needs.

What type of camping or travel will you be doing?

This is an important first question to ask yourself before you delve into the world of RV shopping. For some, a camping adventure can be as short as a weekend but for others, it may be as long as two or even three weeks.

Some intrepid explorers consider a road trip to be pointless if it does not last several months… or even forever. Once you have decided on what type of camping or travelling you will be doing, you can work on the budget for your RV. You may be looking at a smaller RV or camper van for weekends away, or a larger more luxurious model for those month-long road trips across Africa.

Draw up a budget

Drawing up a budget is essential when choosing any type of vehicle. You can go online and use a car finance calculator for an accurate estimate or you can manually draft a spreadsheet with all of your expenses tallied to calculate your affordability.

Your budget should include all monthly repayments should you be using car finance to purchase your vehicle, maintenance costs if you are buying second-hand, initial costs like a down-payment or deposit and petrol costs depending on the model you prefer. It is important to have a budget in mind as it will prevent you from looking at expensive models and being swayed by persuasive salespeople.

Think about the features you want

The important thing to note here is that you should be thinking about features before models. The features that are important to you will help you make a better decision on which RV is perfect for your needs.

Features to consider include tankless water heater, solar panels, the sleeping arrangements, the dining room, the water tank sizes and the length and manoeuvrability of the RV itself. You should also consider the size of the kitchenette and how much storage you will need for any trips you take. Once you have thought about the features that are important to you, you will be able to find a model that matches exactly what you are looking for.

Make a list of models you would consider

There several different types of RV, which are outlined below. Once you have decided on the features you absolutely need, you can look at the different models on offer.


  • Class B motorhomes: These are more commonly known as camper vans or caravans by those in the camping world. You will find that they include many similar features to the Class A models but are smaller and more manoeuvrable.
  • Class C motorhomes: This model is a cross between the Class A and Class B models, and is the more popular choice among RV enthusiasts. They range between six metres to twelve metres in length and have enough space for an entire family to sleep comfortably.


Ask for a test drive

If you have made your decision on the RV that best suits your needs, then you should definitely look into a test drive, if possible. You will need to learn how to handle the vehicle and whether or not you can handle driving a much larger vehicle than you may be used to.

Some dealerships will allow test drives while others do not, but if possible, a test drive will offer important insight into the RV you have chosen. Be sure to take the vehicle on uneven roads, up hills and in traffic. This will allow you to see how the vehicle handles different situations. Drive without the radio on so you can listen for any strange noises when changing gears or idling.

Ride off into the sunset

The life of travelling in an RV is an exciting one, and so choosing the best RV to suit your needs is important for anyone who wants to ride off into the African sunset in their very own motorhome. You will need to consider what sort of camping or travelling you would like to do, and draw up (and stick to) a budget. Before you look at any models, make a list of features that are important to you in order to make the decision-making process easier. Once you have gone for a test drive of your model of choice, you will be one step closer to owning the RV of your dreams.

Photo by aresauburn™

Authored by: mjones

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