RVing with your family can be a great opportunity to bond and build lasting memories, but selecting the right RV for your family can be a challenge. To help you in the process, we have created the how to guide to choosing the right RV for you and your family. Hopefully, with these added insights, you will be able to narrow down your options and select an RV that fits your family perfectly!
Have A Cautious Ear: Everyone has an opinion, but lets face it - not everyone is a knowledgeable RVer. Picking an RV isn't like shopping for a new outfit. You'll need to do some research on your own and determine your families own individual needs. Create a "wish list" and develop questions to ask a reputable source, so that the information you receive is conducive to your search. There are just as many differing opinions out there as there are differing RVs, so take them with a grain of salt and be sure to consider your families own unique desires.
Create a "Must-Haves" List: Buying an RV isn't going to be a quick decision, so don't expect it to be. After all, we're not just talking about an RV, we're talking about a second home away from home. The cost alone makes some buyers take up to two years to purchase the right RV. Creating a list of your needs, goals, and intended uses is important to knowing what type and brand of RV will work best for you. For example, if you like to go out and ride ATV's with the kids, then a toy hauler might work best for your family. If you're planning on taking the grandkids out and spoiling them with some outdoor adventures, then a roomie travel trailer or fifth wheel may be more ideal.
Prepare to be Pleasantly Surprised: We see this with almost every customer that comes in to our Lakeshore RV location, as well as those who browse our website from home. We constantly receive emails asking us what type of RV and what brand will work best, and we then help families to determine that answer for themselves. Hearing the rewards after a customer purchases their RV is what we live for! Owning an RV is a lifestyle change that can have unforeseen benefits and a dramatic impact on your family. We hear stories all the time from customers telling us how RVing has brought their family closer together, while letting them see more of the country and learn from other RVers on the open road. It's a lifestyle change that can take you by surprise if you've never experienced it before. When you browse RVs, you are not just deciding on your new home away from home, you are deciding to become apart of a much larger community of RVers across the nation!
How Long Do You Need Your RV to Last?
We all want everything we purchase to last forever, but unfortunately that isn't realistic. Determining how you intend to use your RV, including for how long and how often, will help to make the selection process easier. If you plan on using it for a short time during weekend excursions while the kids grow up, why spend the money on an RV constructed to last 25-30 years? If you plan on traveling frequently and for long periods, look for a top quality constructed RV that will last the duration. Always remember that you can spend the money upfront to customize your RV so that it fits all your needs for the years that you need it.
Test Out the RV Lifestyle!
Before you throw down money for an RV, it's completely understandable to feel compelled to test the lifestyle first. After all - how do you know if your family will enjoy something if you've never tried it before? We encourage everyone to test out the RV lifestyle to see if it really is a good fit for you and your family. But as we said before, don't be surprised when you get swept up in the wonderful community of RVers who are eager to take you in! Many full-timers started out unsure of how they would adapt to the change of lifestyle. Take your time and gain some experience before making any quick decisions.
What is Your Final Destination?
Determining how you intend to use your RV is a huge part of figuring out which RV will work best for your family. For example, if you enjoy the seclusion of the woods, state parks, and national parks, that 40 footer you've been eyeing may not be the best choice. Many campgrounds were constructed over 20 years ago, before people could even conceive of the monster RVs that are now readily available. A lot of these beautiful campgrounds were simply not designed to accommodate the new, big RVs. Consider the places you hope to stay at and where you want to park your RV to help you determine the best style and size for your family.
Are We There Yet?
Words a driver never wants to hear! Determine how many miles a day you intend to be driving and what destinations you will want to stop and see. Considering your intended travel habits, the size of your family, and the goals you want to achieve with your new RV will help to narrow down your search. Make sure your unit is comfortable for extended drives, so that you don't just enjoy the destinations, but the journeys too! Think about where you intend to stop and set up camp. If you're planning on traveling in the deep south, maybe that extra insulation package isn't as important as it would be if you were planning on heading into colder climates.
How Mechanically Handy Are You?
If you struggle to tell the difference between a hammer and wrench, then spending those extra dollars on new RV warranties are probably the best solution. If doing a few minor repairs on your RV doesn't make you break a sweat, then a pre-owned RV may be perfect for you and your family. New RV's require less maintenance and a warranty can save you a bundle in the first few years of ownership. Research the manufacturer's reputation, read reviews, and always ask questions. Asking an RV Expert will make your search for a new RV quicker and easier.
Home is Where You Park It!
If you'd like to save money by staying in locations where you can use the features of your RV without hook-ups, then you will want to consider a few items. How big are the holding tanks for fresh water, gray water, and black water? Do you need a generator? If you need a generator, what capacity do you need? Do you want solar panels? If you plan on doing a lot of dry camping, then consider an RV that is already equipped with an efficient boondocking set up.
How Much is This Going to Cost Me?
Nobody ever said RVs were cheap! We know not everyone has the money for a brand new souped-up RV or even a pre-owned RV, so financing may play a big part in what kind of RV you can and cannot own. You can finance most RV's over long terms, just as you could with a foundation house. If a low monthly payment is one of your goals, look into pre-owned RVs. They can still bring years of enjoyment to you and your family, without the hefty price tag. But if owning a brand new RV is on your must-haves list, call our financial department at Lakeshore RV Center and we can always assist you in answering any of your questions.
We want your whole family to enjoy owning an RV and the lifestyle that comes along with it! If you have any questions or concerns about selecting the right RV for your family, give us a call or stop in and talk to one of our RV experts. Don't regret a missed opportunity to take on this new and exciting lifestyle. Instead, make the most of the years you have with your family and choose an RV that will make you all happy campers!