So We Want To Buy an RV: 10 Things Beginners Should Know
My husband and I got serious about buying an RV after we attended the California RV Show in Pomona for the first time, but the yearning to explore has been in my veins since forever. The thing is, like most American families, we have busy work schedules and a fixed budget. My husband gets a couple weeks off from work each year, the kids have school and, well, family travel can be expensive!
I was tired of waiting all year for our week of summer vacation and decided to do some research on ways to cut costs and make shorter getaways a possible all year long. I scoured the internet and found GoRving.com, an amazing resource for would-be RV owners and lifers alike. Big thanks to them for sponsoring this post!
And that’s when our RV shopping began…
First Time RV Shoppers!
Though we’re excited to buy our RV, this isn’t a process we’re moving quickly on. D and I want to be 100% sure we’re making the right choice for our family when we commit to our home-on-wheels. This is a BIG deal to us, as it likely is for anyone who invests in an RV lifestyle.
So when it comes to our experience in shopping for an RV, here are 10 things we know for certain…
How to Buy an RV for Beginners
We’re not alone: The word is out: RVing appeals to many young families who are eager to take outdoor vacations with their kids. In fact, my age group (35-44 year olds) are the fastest-growing group of RV owners! 9 million American households now own an RV, which is the highest level recorded. So, if you’re wondering if you’re the only family with a deep desire to hit the open road, rest assured – there are MANY of us out there. Do the research and see for yourself why the popularity of RV life has taken off!
Why RVing is so popular: Traveling by RV is a great way to sightsee and enjoy the outdoors. RVing makes even the shortest weekend vacation possible without having to dig deep into the pocketbooks and accommodates busy schedules. You can easily visit family and friends without intruding and make it easy to bring your family pet on the journey, too.
RV Shows are a must-do: Yes, dealerships are a great place to start, but if you can, attend an RV show. This is where our dream of owning an RV turned from a dream to an actual plan. At an industry show, you’ll find all the current trends and models, you’ll learn so much from all the knowledgeable representatives and the energy is just so uplifting and exciting! Go RVing has an RV Show Locator to make it easier for you to find a show nearby.
Take your time, find your match: The RV market is such a fun place to shop and it’s totally possible to find your perfect RV match! The industry is plentiful and diverse, making it possible to find everything you need – including all the comforts of home. You can have flat screen TVs, gourmet-like kitchens, even washers and dryers! There are RVs for every lifestyle and budget, from folding campers to motorhomes and sports utility RVs with built-in garages for all your extra toys. Green technologies such as solar panels and energy-efficient components are appearing on the market, too. We used the Find Your RV Tool on GoRVing.com to start our research. Answer just a few simple questions (like the number of people in your family) and it will help you find your RV style.
Rent an RV before you buy: Try before you buy so that you feel confident in your decision when you finally do. Some campgrounds even have park models available to stay in!
List 10 RV getaways you can take NOW: Immediately after my husband and I visited our first RV show, we sat down and made a list of 10 vacations we could take with an RV. We wondered if this was actually a lifestyle we would embrace. We listed everything from week-long road trips to two-night adventures at local KOAs, and it hooked us! Making a list helped us realize all the ways in which owning an RV would make spontaneous outdoor adventures more possible.
List 5-10 outdoor activities you love or want to explore: D and I didn’t grow up outdoorsy people, but we both love taking on challenges with our kids. We enjoy hiking as a family and recently have been touring the city on via bikes (my 5 year old is officially off training wheels!), which has been so much fun. So in addition to our list of vacations, my husband and I jotted down new activities and hobbies we’d like to explore with the help of our RV. D wants to fish and maybe surf, I want a Stand Up Paddleboard and to push ourselves to backpack overnight.
How to afford an RV: This is the step we’re currently in – deciding how to purchase and maintain an RV. Ideally, we’d like to pay cash. That’s our plan, although there are loans that make it easy, too. GoRVing.com has some great articles on affording an RV on everything from planning a budget, tips to save on fuel and insurance recommendations. I especially loved the 4 tips to afford an RV that listed out the possible expenses of owning an RV, including stuff I never thought of!
Where to store your RV: Once you’ve bought your RV, where will it sit when not in use? That’s one thing we have thought a lot about is where to store our RV when not in use. There are lots of options available, including in your own driveway. Our RV will be on the smaller side and will be stored on our property.
Redefining the American Dream: Quite honestly, the main reason we haven’t bought an RV yet is that I’m afraid we’ll be tempted to… well… MOVE IN. Who knows, right? There seems to be a wave of families ditching the status quo and redefining the American dream according to their own values. I LOVE THAT!
I have to admit, this is really appealing to me: hitting the open road for slow travel across the USA and beyond is a dream I fall asleep to. But during the day, we’re working hard, saving our pennies, waiting for the right time to buy our RV.
We might not be RV experts yet, but we know that this lifestyle is a beautiful way for us to spend our weekends and summer vacation together. And you never know, maybe our home-on-wheels will one day turn into just…. home!