The Right RV for Your Needs
It’s a Matter of Travel Plans, Budget & Preference
RVing is an adventure that anyone can take. But an RV purchase is very personal. There are many models, manufacturers and sizes to choose from. To pick the right RV for your needs, think about the number of people you will be traveling with, what time of year you’re most likely to travel and, of course, how much you plan to spend.
Once you get out to the dealer lot and see what’s available, you’ll quickly discover that RVs have come a long way since the VW pop-top Caravan. Modern RVs are available with very high-end amenities including fireplaces, whirlpool baths, rooftop decks and granite countertops. Visit several dealerships and search the offerings of major manufacturers online. There’s pretty much something new to consider every year!
A Checklist of RV Shopping Considerations
- Hot & Cold Weather Vacations. A key factor in choosing your RV should be temperature and weather conditions. Are you a summertime beach bum or would you rather take in New England’s Fall colors? What about winter ski resorts and the chance of snow storms? You’ll want an RV that can handle your type of environment.
- Road & Off Road Travel. A big cruiser that’s made for traversing five time zones isn’t going to perform well if you slip off the road to some deserted ghost town.
- Sleeping Quarters. How many people and pets will you be traveling with? Children can usually double up, but probably not teenagers. Also, does anyone have a disability or back condition? They won’t want to use retractable beds. Does anyone like to stay up late and play cards? That limits the number of beds you can use in the living area. Size matters when it comes to accommodating guests.
- Storage Capacity. If you plan on taking really long trips – especially over a change of seasons – or if you take along lots of electronics and sports equipment, you’re going to need plenty of storage capacity. Another storage issue is presented to those who trek to out of the way places where restocking the pantry isn’t very easily accomplished.
- Setting Up Camp. The RV goer who frequents camp grounds with hookups and utilities has very different needs than the family that likes to explore out of the way off-road locations.
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Do you see yourself preparing most of your meals indoors, over an outdoor barbecue or a little of both? What about your space needs for appliances, plates and glassware?
- Dinner Table Location. Will you be eating inside the RV seated around a table, or outside at a picnic table under an awning? Is outside still okay if it rains?
- Amenities Of The Good Life. You’re going to need a roof rack for that set of golf clubs or a canoe, bikes and ski gear. Towing a boat or a small vehicle will mean looking at more powerful RVs than someone who travels light.
- Couch Potato. To some people, all the comforts of home mean taking along the TV, video game console, DVD player and stereo system. Now all you have to decide is how much you want to spend on all that. There’s an incredible array of options ranging from budget basement do-it-yourself to custom built-in extravagance.