How to Shop for an RV; Things to Consider When Buying an RV to Live In Full Time – Full Time RV Living

How to Buy An RV-Things to Consider Segment 2; Class B & Vans – Full Time RV Living The following is a broad overview of things I think are important considerations when shopping for an RV, especially if you are planning on living in it full time. This is a broad overview & is not meant to be an exhaustive list. The following will be represented as such: P=Positive, N=Negative

Class A:
P: maximum amount of space available; ideal for families
N: size makes them more expensive & difficult to move; may not fit some places or be suitable on certain terrains (not all facilities can accommodate)
P: tanks are bigger allowing more water storage which in turn allows you to remain boondocked longer
N: adds more weight to haul reducing gas mileage
P: lots of amenities, bathroom & shower facilities included = more comfort
N: typically the most expensive to buy, insure & repair (not all repair shops can accommodate & may not be certified to repair)
P: ability to tow a vehicle
N: towing a vehicle adds more weight reducing gas mileage
*additional considerations: If repair is needed then you may be forced out of your home

Class B (Camper Vans):
P: many of the same amenities offered in Class A motorhomes, but on a smaller scale
N: not ideal for more families
P: oversized van therefore, much easier to drive & handle; able to go places that a Class A can’t go & better on fuel
N: typically also very expensive if purchased new
P: appear to hold value longer
*additional considerations: If repair is needed then you may be forced out of your home

Class B+ (Hybrid)
P: more fuel efficient than Class A & C’s
P: more storage than a Class B
P: many amenities & facilities, but on a smaller scale
N: not ideal for families
*additional considerations: If repair is needed then you may be forced out of your home

Conversion/Cargo, Step or Minivan
P: a blank canvas to design & build as desired
N: no amenities
N: some step vans require entering the living quarters from the rear of the van only
*additional considerations: It could be a potential safety issue in the event evacuation of the immediate area is required. Additionally, poses a potential safety issue not having a secondary means of exiting the rig in the event of a burglary or fire.

Class C:
P: best of both Class A & B’s because they come in a broad range of sizes making them suitable for couples or families while being easy to drive & handle
N: may not fit some places or be suitable on certain terrains
P: bathroom & shower facilities included
N: similar gas mileage as Class A motorhomes
P: smaller prize tag making them a good option for the individual who doesn’t want to finance their rig
P: more options available for repair than Class A motorhomes
P: most are able to tow a vehicle
N: towing a vehicle adds more weight reducing gas mileage
*additional considerations: If repair is needed then you may be forced out of your home

5Th Wheel:
P: also very spacious & many amenities
N: due to weight & the need for an adequate truck which already has reduced gas mileage, they are expensive to move
P: more stability towing & backing up with a 5th wheel than a standard travel trailer
N: necessary to have a truck to tow & not just any truck is capable of towing something so big & heavy
P: can be left behind allowing the tow vehicle to be used separately reducing gas expense
N: hassle to hook & unhook
N: must exit the tow vehicle to enter the living quarters
*additional considerations: If traveling with pets where will they travel? Will they have a safe, comfortable place in the tow vehicle? It isn’t safe to transport them in the 5th wheel. Items could shift during travel injuring your pets & you would never know until you arrived at your destination.
*additional considerations: Having the living quarters isolated from the tow vehicle could be a potential safety issue in the event evacuation of the immediate area is required.

Travel Trailer:
P: typically lightweight, but sturdy, therefore able to tow with smaller vehicles
N: necessary to have a tow vehicle
P: can be left behind allowing the tow vehicle to be used separately reducing gas expense
N: hassle to hook & unhook
N: must exit the tow vehicle to enter the living quarters
*additional considerations: If traveling with pets where will they travel? Will they have a safe, comfortable place in the tow vehicle? It isn’t safe to transport them in the travel trailer. Items could shift during travel injuring your pets & you would never know until you arrived at your destination.
*additional considerations: Having the living quarters isolated from the tow vehicle could be a potential safety issue in the event evacuation of the immediate area is required.

Popup Camper
P: small & light therefore, very little extra weight is added making them inexpensive to move
N: minimal room & once cranked down into the storage/tow position there is no room for storing personal items
N: typically shower facilities are not available although it is possible to have one installed, but is quite expensive; a chemical toilet may or may not be provided with purchase
P: typically can be towed with a wider range of vehicles including minivans
N: necessary to have a tow vehicle
N: hassle to hook & unhook
P: inexpensive to purchase & insure
N: prone to tears & not ideal for some weather conditions
N: must exit the tow vehicle to enter the living quarters
*additional considerations: Having the living quarters isolated from the tow vehicle could be a potential safety issue in the event evacuation of the immediate area is required. Additionally, there is zero security since it is merely fabric between you, the elements & any potential threat.
*Note: I wouldn’t discard the popup as a feasible option. Although there are certain challenges that need to be addressed & worked out it is possible to live in them. In fact, there are individuals living in them & I, myself previously purchased a popup camper to live in.

Trailer (Utility, Toy Hauler)
P: inexpensive to purchase & insure
P: available in a broad range of sizes
N: necessary to have a tow vehicle (adequacy of tow vehicle will depend on size & weight of trailer chosen)
P: can be left behind allowing the tow vehicle to be used separately reducing gas expense
N: hassle to hook & unhook
N: must exit the tow vehicle to enter the living quarters
P: a blank canvas to design & build as desired
N: no amenities or facilities
P: very little that can go wrong with them; low maintenance & maintenance expense
*additional considerations: If traveling with pets where will they travel? Will they have a safe, comfortable place in the tow vehicle? It isn’t safe to transport them in the trailer. Items could shift during travel injuring your pets & you would never know until you arrived at your destination.
*additional considerations: Having the living quarters isolated from the tow vehicle could be a potential safety issue in the event evacuation of the immediate area is required. Some trailer/toy haulers have only a single door which poses a potential safety issue not having a secondary means of exiting the rig in the event of a burglary or fire.

Truck Camper
P: if using a truck with 4 wheel drive more weather & terrain options
N: necessary to have a truck
P: less expensive than Class A, B & C’s
N: not as spacious, less storage available for supplies, although many contain many amenities
P: similar to trailers & 5th wheels in that it can be left behind to increase gas mileage & reduce gas expense
N: must exit the tow vehicle to enter the living quarters
*additional considerations: If traveling with pets where will they travel? Will they have a safe, comfortable place in the tow vehicle? It isn’t safe to transport them in the camper. Items could shift during travel injuring your pets & you would never know until you arrived at your destination.
*additional considerations: Having the living quarters isolated from the tow vehicle could be a potential safety issue in the event evacuation of the immediate area is required. Additionally, poses a potential safety issue not having a secondary means of exiting the rig in the event of a burglary or fire.

Car
P: One of the least expensive ways to live
N: minimal space; least amount of storage for supplies & no amenities or facilities
P: most simplified method of living
N: can present some challenges in certain climates & weather conditions
N: minimal comfort level
P: least amount of work to maintain, although space may become cluttered more easily

Additional things to consider when choosing a rig to live in include defining a budget & determining whether you plan to buy a new or used rig. The price differences are vast. If you are thinking about purchasing a rig with pull outs, consider that more can go wrong with pull outs. Additionally, where do you intend to live in it? Campgrounds, boondocking on public land, private land or urban camping? Where you intend to live primarily should influence your decision. Some rigs are better suited to certain situations, terrains & climates. Whatever you end up deciding, it isn’t uncommon once you begin living in your new home on wheels full time to learn what you’ll do different next time. Furthermore, your needs may change over time.

Until next time, Live Authentic. Live Intentional. Pursue your dream. Live with purpose.

To watch the videos that goes with this blog, click on the following links:

How to Buy An RV-Things to Consider Segment 1; Class A’s – Full Time RV Living

How to Buy An RV-Things to Consider Segment 2; Class B & Vans – Full Time RV Living

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