If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling down the open road before you are retired, this article is for you. While retirees are still the largest part of the RV population, more and more young people are embracing the lifestyle. With mobile job availability on the rise, singles, couples and families can enjoy many of the opportunities once reserved for the golden years. So, where should you start?
Let’s start from the beginning. If you plan to buy a recreational vehicle you have two basic categories to choose from. The first is anything towable like a trailer or a fifth wheel. The second is a motorhome. Motorhomes come in three levels: Class A is big and bad, Class B is more like a camper van, and Class C is a motorhome with a truck front.
If a slide in, also called a truck camper is more your style, there are plenty to choose from. These campers go anywhere because they mount on the back of a pickup truck. Truck campers offer a tiny space with massive flexibility. They are perfect for one or two people who prioritize adventure. Truck campers come as aerodynamic pop-ups or hard-sided units with a slide out.
Trailers are bumper pulled from your truck or car. They are cheaper because you are not purchasing the engine. They also contain less complicated systems and can be hooked and unhooked relatively easily. Some of the most popular trailer brands include Forest River, Shasta, Jayco and of course the ever classic, Airstream. Trailers require a vehicle to pull them, but they also offer the ability to leave them at your campsite and shop and explore with your vehicle. A trailer can sleep up to 6 people which make them a good option for many families.
Class B RVs
Class B campers are adventure vehicles. They can camp in remote areas that Class As Cs simply just cannot go. Class B campers offer a much smaller living space and minimal storage. The easiest way to get away in a hurry is with a campervan. The VW Camper was the original Class B, and today you can choose from campers like the Roadtrek or the Sportsmobile. Winnebago is now producing its own version of the campervan called the Travato. With its new design and bright body paint, fans are lining up for this 21 foot wonder! Used buyers might consider the Rialta which has a large and passionate following. If you’re a DIY kind buyer, you can purchase your own van and customize it to fit your individual style.
Class C RVs
If you need a bigger camper with a bit more living space, why not consider a small Class C. A class C is a motorhome squished and set on top of a truck or van chassis. Popular small Cs includes the Forest River Solera, which is 24 feet long with a small slide. Thor also makes the Freedom Elite 23 foot and Dynamax offers a 24 foot rig with a rear bedroom. Calling itself a Class B+, the Leisure Van offers 24 feet of well thought out living space. This luxury motorhome is built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Chassis and offers an automatic Murphy bed as the perfect space saving solution.
Class A RVs
Class As range from 30 to 45 feet in length, and are the big boys on the road. While Thor makes the ACE which is a lower priced Class A, these large rigs are not as popular with Gen X or Millenials who seek freedom from a traditional life style. Class As offer families and full-timers many promising options. Most offer multiple sleeping arrangements with a defined space for living, dining, kitchen, bedroom and bath. Class As are expensive, and buying a used model may offer a great deal of savings. Popular brands include Fleetwood, Tiffin and Winnebago.
Bus conversions are also available. These range from DIY school bus projects to customize Prevosts. Newell Coaches look like a bus/class A, and are built completely custom from the ground up. If you are looking for the brick house of RV’s, look no further than the Newell.
3 Questions To Help Determine Your Perfect RV
1. What is the RV’s most important function?
- A. Living Space
- B. Manueveriblitly
- C. Cost
- D. Work With Truck I Have
2. Which is your biggest purchasing factor?
- A. Space
- B. Cost
- C. Maintenance
- D. Ability To Live Off Grid
3. How often will you be in your RV?
- A. Full Time
- B. Weekends
- C. Just for Sleeping
- D. Rarely
So, which one is right for you?
- If you chose mostly A: Your best choice is a Class A or Class C
- If you chose mostly B: Your best choice is a Class B, a Truck Camper, or a small Trailer
- If you chose mostly C: Your best choice is a Bumper Pull Trailer, or a Pop-Up Trailer
- If you chose mostly D: Your best choice is a Class B or Truck Camper
There are so many things to learn about purchasing an RV. Now that you know what to look for, take time to review websites like RVTrader.com and CampingLife.com for reviews. You might also want to follow online forums and RV discussions. Do you enjoy Podcasts? Check out the weekly broadcast, Living the RV Dream. Need more RVing ideas? Check out these YouTube channels: RVGeeks, Gone With The Wynns, Technomadia, The Long Long Honeymoon and RVLove.
Well, which camper is right for you? What is the biggest factor in deciding which RV you will buy? Will you buy new or used? Add your thoughts to the comment box below. Tell us what you’ve been looking at, what you like and what you don’t like. Your input may help other’s who are trying to decide as well.
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Looking for more tips? Check out this article: 15 Things You Might Not Know About Owning an RV