How to Shop for Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, and Trailers
You may have heard that RV sales have gone through the roof since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Travelers unable to get on planes and fly to their favorite destinations have decided to take to the roads instead. That is good for RV manufacturers and dealers alike.
It can be good for you too – if you can afford the investment. But as a potential first-time buyer, you may not know where to start. You might be so overwhelmed by the prospect of shopping for an RV that you have trouble understanding all of your choices.
Little can be done to reduce the number of units you have to look at. But by adjusting how you approach shopping you can make the experience manageable.
Start with a Budget
First and foremost, don’t even think about shopping for motorhomes, fifth wheels, and trailers without first establishing a budget. The cheapest pop-up units can be had for a few thousand dollars. On the other end of the spectrum are the million-dollar units that come with all the bells and whistles.
The point of establishing a budget is stopping yourself from getting carried away at the motorhome show. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a motorhome or RV you really can’t afford. And if that’s the case, how likely are you to use it?
Consider Your Sleeping Needs
Second only to your budget are your family’s sleeping needs. The number of people a unit will sleep is more important than the size of the kitchen or the level of luxury in the living area. Also consider how sleeping is accommodated. More often than not, sofas and dining tables are convertible to beds. But is converting every night something you really want to do?
The Realities of Driving
Next up are the realities of driving a motorhome or towing a trailer. If you have an aversion to size, you either have to get over that aversion or avoid the largest motorhomes and fifth wheels. Along those same lines, where do you intend to use your RV most often? If you are more into wild camping than public campgrounds, a large motorhome is virtually out of the question. You will be looking at a pickup truck and a trailer.
Set Up and Tear Down
Set up and tear down are part of the RV lifestyle. Every time you park for the night, there is a laundry list of things to do: hooking up plumbing and electric, installing skirting, deploying the awning, and so forth. Then you have to break down before you pull away.
Some styles of motorhomes and RVs require more set up. RV skirting is a good example. You might find it easier to deploy skirting around a motorhome than a long fifth wheel. You might be willing to invest in an AirSkirts inflatable system that is easy to deploy regardless of the type of unit you own.
After considering all of the other things on this list, you can finally start thinking about amenities. Do yourself a favor and don’t put amenities at the top of the list. Amenities are extras. There is little point in thinking about extras until your basic needs are met.
In closing, thinking all these things through ahead of time makes the shopping experience easier. If it helps, you can even jot things down on paper or make some notes on your cell phone. Knowing what to look for when you actually go to an RV show makes it easier to eliminate those choices that don’t make the cut.