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How to Choose an RV

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Authored by Sylvia Cochran in Transportation
Published on 11-03-2009

Recreational vehicles (RVs) are a popular means of exploring the many different faces of the United States. They allow for on the spot camping decisions, make it possible to visit remote locales without worrying about available hotels or motels and they enable travelers to bring along many comforts of home. There are a variety of different options open to the consumer learning how to choose an RV, and first timers will do well to contemplate them all prior to making a buying decision.

Evaluate Your Need for Comfort

If you are a minimalist at heart and do not need a lot of creature comforts on your trips, then a smaller Class C motor home might be right up your alley. If you already own a truck that could double as a tow vehicle, you might even opt for a small travel trailer. Conversely, if you just cannot see yourself hitting the road without a fireplace, big screen TV and a washer and dryer combo, then a Class A motor home or fifth wheel travel trailer with slide-outs may be a better choice.

Decide on Your Travel Style

Do side roads and dirt roads frequently beckon to you? Are you tempted to leave the nicely paved highway behind, just so you can see what’s on the other side of the rise? In this case a larger – 40 feet or thereabouts – motor home is not a good choice for you. While these drivable mansions have all the comforts of home, they do not fare well on dirt roads, narrow stretches of unevenly paved motorways or travel easily underneath lower hanging trees and smaller overpasses. Class C motor homes may be a better choice, but camper vans or fold up trailers hitched to your truck most likely present the hands down best option.

Consider Your Hobbies

While crocheting or golf paraphernalia do not need a lot of storage space, dirt bikes, off road vehicles or the horse trailer do. When you are discovering how to choose an RV, remember that you most likely want to exercise your hobbies while in transit or at your target destination. A toy hauler is a must-have for hobbyist with dirt bikes or off road vehicles, while you may need to favor a motor home with a sturdy tow package for the horse trailer.

Target Destination: Death Valley or Fargo?

Where will your travels take you? Will you imitate the “snowbirds” that travel to Arizona in the winter and the Colorado Rockies in the summer? Conversely, do you plan on traveling year round in the colder climates or perhaps even make living in an RV your lifestyle year-round? In this case, it is a good idea to discuss your preferences with a sales representative, who can point you in the direction of cold weather RVs. The rigs feature plenty of heat saving insulation and other upgrades that make a vacation in colder climate settings an enjoyable undertaking.

When Learning How to Choose an RV Presents More Questions than Answers

Perhaps the easiest way to get a good feel for the different makes and models of RVs to choose one is to go ahead and rent one. Once you drive the motor home or truck and trailer around for a while, you will quickly learn which features you appreciate and which you could do without. It also makes it possible to discover which features you definitely need and miss, before spending a lot of money on an RV.

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