Buying a New RV

Are you thinking about buying a new RV? Whether you are a seasoned camper or not the time may come when you start longing for a newer, bigger, better or simply any RV.

For me that time came when my kids were born. If you spent numerous rainy days camping you will know what I mean. Camping in a tent while it is raining is not much fun, and even less fun when you have to feed, entertain and keep warm the little ones. Family camping is enough chores as it is.

So for me roughing it in a tent was over with the arrival of my son. Now with two kids I feel sorry for all the campers in tents when the weather gets ugly.

So what to do, what to do?

If you really enjoyed your tenting days and are not ready for a big RV, a pop-up trailer might be all you need. It is easy to tow, since it folds down flat. But it still resembles a room with a kitchen and a table when unfolded and it can sleep comfortably a few people. Surely it can leak in a storm, as the sleeping areas are covered with canvas, just like tents. But overall I think that this is a best and most economical option for all the tent lovers who need an upgrade.

Depending on your situation you may consider a bigger trailer or even a motorhome. There are many things to consider regarding your choice and there are so many options that they can make your head spin. It is the easiest to just go slowly step by step. So first of all you have to decide how much travel you want to take. Are you planning on going coast to coast or only a few hours away from home? If you plan on travelling a lot, then a lightweight trailer would be better, since you will use less gas for towing. The fifth-wheel models are also easier to maneuver. Motorhomes are great if you can afford them, but then they become cumbersome on city streets if you are planning on any sight-seeing. That is why some big motorhomes tow a car behind them.

On the other hand shorter trips or seasonal camping (where you stay in one park all summer) are suitable for the larger trailers or park models, which are like little cottages.

Once you decided what is right for you, you should decide if you can afford a brand new RV or a used one. It all depends on your budget and availability of used trailers in your area. You can search on-line listings and visit RV dealers, who usually have a variety of new and used ones for sale at any given time. Obviously the used ones are cheaper, but they may have hidden defects (especially leaks), not covered by warranty. It is up to you to decide how much risk you are willing to take.

Deciding on a particular model and floor plan is another story. There are hundreds of them out there. But if you have done your homework so far, you should know by now if you can afford the priciest model (top-of-the-line) or you can live with a cheaper one. By now you should also know what is the most suitable for you: do you need a separate bedroom for the kids with bunk-beds and a fold-out kitchen on the side of the trailer? If so then limit your search to these models that have it. A visit to your local RV dealer is always a good idea and a learning opportunity. RV shows are also good, if you are planning on buying the latest model. Word of mouth may be (as usual) the best way to go. If you happen to know the owners of an RV for sale that meets your criteria, or if you see such an RV for sale at a park you are currently visiting, this might be your best bet.

This is exactly how we purchased our current trailer. It became available for sale at the park where we are seasonal campers. As we already knew what we were looking for (bunk beds, big glass sliding doors) this was a great opportunity for us. Moreover, when you are a seasonal you may also get some extras with your purchase, like we did. We receive a huge deck and a gazebo at no extra cost. How great is that?

Like with any other major purchase research is very important. The more research you make the better. As I mentioned above visiting RV dealers and RV shows is a great start. Reading RV magazines and consumer reviews can also be very helpful. Having a good look at other people’s trailers while socializing at the campground is usually the best way since you can also learn their first-hand opinions. This way your research can be fun as well. So don’t be shy. Most people really like to talk about the benefits of their RV’s.