What is the perfect RV for me? Lessons Learned During our RV Travels (Guest Post) - RV Must Haves!

If you are new to the RVing lifestyle or are thinking about getting an RV, you probably have questions and some anxiety about plunging into this new lifestyle. It is both scary and exciting to start something new.

There are questions galore:

  • How does one begin?
  • What do I have to know before I start?
  • What kind of RV do you get?
    • Tent Trailer, Tag behind Trailer, Fifth Wheel, Truck
      Camper, Class B, Class C, or Class A?

Asking yourself how you intend to use your RV is important in making the right choice. Do you plan to do short vacations, longer trips or are you going to live in your RV full-time? There is a lot of information out the on the internet about buying an RV. Just
Google it, and 40,400,000 results will pop up.

The only thing we suggest is that you spend a few days in each type of RV by renting and driving/towing each before you spend big money purchasing your first RV. The other thing we can say is that there is no perfect RV out there and that what you buy now might not be the RV for you in a few years.

The average length of time most people have an RV before deciding they want something else is said to be three years. We must confess that we have been pretty average in this regard.

Our RV Story

We started with tents in our youth and advanced to a tent trailer when children came along. Next, we decided on a small trailer (18”) (used) because of the amount of rain where we lived and camped, and we wanted a dry bed. This rig served us well while our kids were young, but once they were gone and we were empty nesters we moved up to a 23-foot fifth wheel (used).

This was perfect for short vacations when we were still working but started feeling cramped as our vacations became longer. Once we retired and started traveling for 4 to 5 months at a time, we again changed and moved up to a 34-foot fifth-wheel (new). We found this to be the perfect rig until one time when we were boondocking in the desert, far from anyone. We began to feel a bit vulnerable as two older people with an obviously large rig (fifth-wheel plus Ford 350 truck) in the middle of nowhere. If something or someone had challenged us, we would have to get out of the RV and walk up to the truck in order to leave.

That night, we decided we wanted a Class A. That way we could just start up the rig and drive away if we felt the need. Since we
love boondocking rather than staying in campgrounds, this made a lot of sense to us.

So we moved up to a 32 foot Class A (used) and loved it for three years until we decided to go full time on the road. At 32 feet, it did not quite have enough storage space for what we thought we needed. The next rig was a 40-foot class A diesel pusher (used). It was perfect! We loved it and spent six years full timing in our home on wheels.

As we got older, we began thinking about health issues and the need for more stability in our life. We want to have a base so that when the inevitable time came and one of us would be alone, we would have a home. So we bought a stick home and sold our beautiful home on wheels.

Before too long we got itchy feet. A lifetime of loving camping and the outdoors does not go away. We no longer had a truck and only had our Jeep, which had been our toad for the motorhome. So what could we do? We found the perfect 18-foot travel trailer (new) that we could pull with the Jeep!

We were so excited and could hardly wait to get our camping again!

What we had not considered, is that we are older now. Our perfect little travel trailer had a queen bed that was across the back. One of us had to climb over the other when getting in and out of bed. Not a good formula for someone in their 70s. We kept this cute little trailer for two years, but it was obvious that we could not deal with the bed situation.

Thankfully, we were able to find a used truck and a 20-foot travel trailer (new) with a walk around bed that fit our budget. This travel trailer is our current rig, and we are happy part-time campers once again.

In this story, you might notice that we purchased some of our rigs new and some used. The decision each time depended on our needs and what RV we could find for sale at the time. We have been completely happy with all of our purchases. We have not had any more problems with the used rigs than with the new ones.

All RV’s have problems.

When you think of what you are asking them to do, it is not surprising that there times when repairs need to be made. When driving down the road, your RV is experiencing an earthquake for hours at a time. Things fall apart and wear out. That is part of owning an RV.

So what does this tale tell you?

There is no perfect RV out there. As your life changes, so does the rig that fits your lifestyle.

When you buy your first rig, you think that it has to last for the rest of your life. It doesn’t. We encourage you to take the plunge. Buy your RV and join the millions of people who are out there seeing the world and enjoying life on the road. Whether you are going to use your RV for days at a time or full time, it is worth every minute of it.

Happy Travels!

Dick and Melinda

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