PHASE 2 – SimpleLifeRVing.com – Purchasing The Perfect RV

 
Phase 2 – Purchasing the Perfect RV
 
How To Live ‘The Good Life’ in a Car, Van, RV, Bus, Boat, etc. 
                                                                                                   
Now that you have the right mindset as discussed in Phase 1 of Full-Time RVing, follow me along to the next step, which is PHASE 2, “Purchasing The RV.” Figure out if you will be a Full-Timer, Seasonal or Weekend Warrior. 
 
Before purchasing your RV you first need to figure out how you will travel using it. For instance, figure out what type of Nomad you will be?
 
Here are a few of the many types of Full-Time RVers out there: 
  • Singles or couples that stay constantly on the move and seldom stay over a day or two. 
  • Then there are the ones that set up camp and stay longer periods may be a month or so or even longer.
  • Then there are the seasonal retired full-timers that travel weather patterns and just enjoy the journey.
  • Then you have the permanent or stationary full-timers.
  • Next, you will find traveling Nurses traveling from job to job similar to contracted workers in the construction industry.
  • Then lastly there are the very wealthy that travel anywhere and stay forever at anyplace they chose. They more than likely still have a home, but do have a full- time residence in their RV. 
What type of Full-Time RVers are you?  Also, look at where your HOME STATE will be as a Full-Time RVer and if you will be a Snowbird. All of these will help you figure out WHAT TYPE OF RV to purchase. 
 
Gasoline is also a major expense. Some RVs and motor homes get just a few miles per gallon, so you’ll spend a lot of time and money at the pump. You’ll also need to budget for regular maintenance, tires, and insurance.
 
Become A Member of a Nomadic Tribe
 
Now that you are preparing to buy your RV, first figure out how you will live your NEW FOUND FREEDOM. Will you become a member of a nomadic tribe? 
 
Remember that SOCIALIZING is important for your health and you can be isolated anywhere — even in a ‘sticks and brick’ home. If you don’t have a rich built-in social structure, you might need to go out and build it. 
 
It can be a little isolated RVing around the U.S., but some people want peace and travel solo because of this, while others may want to follow a group of people or other Nomads.
 
A lot of people are part extroverts and introverts and this is how they live their lives. How much interaction you need with others varies by person. You can have a couple of people you talk to every day. Others you talk to every so often. 
 
The good thing about going Full-time RVing is if you get lonely, you can pack up and go and meet people. You will have more of an opportunity to meet people who have SIMILAR INTERESTS when you go Full-Time RVing or live in a car, van, bus, boat, etc.
 
And don’t forget — you can also start your own TRIBE. A lot of women meet every week or every quarter and travel by caravans together. Some meet every day and have lots of fun. 
 
RVingWomen.org is a community of women, 18 and older, who travel independently. Some of them are retired and travel full time, while others are still working so you can join them for weekend rallies or other gatherings.
 
Remember, it’s a million RVers out there. If you are in a tribe don’t be offended if people have to go. You get to decide how often you are with a tribe — how long you stay there and when to go.
 
Become a Snowbird
 
Snowbirds move south in the winter and then north in the summer to avoid temperature extremes. The problem with that is you may have to drive a long way to get to better weather. 
 
Much better for the environment and your checkbook is to go up in elevation in the summer and down in elevation in the winter. For every 1,000 feet of elevation you go up, the temperature drops 3 degrees. 
 
For example, the temperature at Orlando, FL may be 100 degrees, but if you drive 500 miles north to North Carolina, the temperature will be 80 degrees because it is at 6,000 feet. 
 
Or, if it is 100 degrees at Quartzsite, AZ, if you drive 250 miles north to Flagstaff, AZ, the temperature will be 75 degrees because it is at 7,000 feet. And, of course, in the winter it is just the opposite. When it is 30 degrees at Flagstaff, it will be 55 in Quartzsite, AZ. 
 
Many RVers, car, van and bus dwellers live in the western states in the winter because they have a GIGANTIC amount of public land, which is called BLM.gov (Bureau of Land Management/BLM Land) so they can live on it for FREE while they are following mild weather.
 
The southwest is mostly desert land owned by  BLM and is opened for FREE dispersed camping (also called “dry camping” or “boondocking”) in the winter. There is an equally large amount of National Forest at high elevations you can disperse camp on for FREE in the summer. 
 
Of course, many (maybe most) of us can’t leave where we are. We have family, friends or jobs that tie us down to one place. Unfortunately, most of those places have hot summers or cold winters, or maybe both. In this case, you need to work on making your RVs, cars, vans, and buses as comfortable as we can in the heat and cold.
 
Decide on A ‘Home State’ for RVing
 

The next BIG STEP after deciding if you will be a      Snowbird, is to decide where your HOME STATE will be to see where you will register your car and RV, receive mail, go for regular health physicals, and just call HOME ON THE ROAD. 

Most RVers use the below states, which has NO STATE TAXES and all of these states have great mail forwarding services specifically designed for RVers: 
  • Florida: Escapees RV Club and the Good Samaritan Club is a famous group for RVers and they have a very popular mail forwarding service. 
  • Texas: Texas is the home of the Escapees RV club, and it has a very popular mail forwarding service. 
  • South Dakota: The state actively pursues Full-Time RVers to make it their home state so many very well-known mail forwarders have sprung up to service them. 
Other options for mailbox services are  www.MyRVmail.com and www.Americas-Mailbox.com.
 
I feel so lucky because I have lived a total of 8 times (4 times each) in both Florida and Texas, so both of these states are very familiar to me, but I selected Texas as my HOME STATE instead of Florida. 
 
The reason for this is as a Veteran, I just feel the state of Texas will offer me more opportunities to take better care of myself as I AGE GRACEFULLY, even though I plan on spending more time in the state of Florida than Texas. 
 
Best Time To Purchase An RV
 
Best time to purchase an RV is in June or July when the model year changes (new RVs arrives) or Winter when it’s dead — in ‘off-peak’ travel seasons. Spring is the worse time to buy when everyone is looking forward to their Spring and Summer adventures. 
 
Where to Buy an RV
 
  • Check RVTrader.com. Used and new RV dealerships also advertise on there too.
  • Check out RV forums on facebook and other social media.
  • Check out RV blogs.
  • Craigslist from personal sellers.
  • eBay from personal sellers.
  • RV Shows (some say it’s great to buy there, however, do your research upfront. Also many say buy right after an RV show to get a good deal).     
  • Check online complaints at PissedConsumer.com.
  • Check manufacturers and dealerships on BetterBusinessBureau.org.                                                                                                                                                      Ethical RV Dealerships

So far in my research, I have come up with 4 RV dealerships they are working as ‘consumer advocates’ on behalf of their customers so these are the RV dealerships that everyone should check out: 

Read my article entitled “The Truth About the RV Industry – What You Need To Know About Camping World.”

10 Things You Never Say To an RV Salesman
 
Do your research ahead of time and understand how dealerships and an RV salesman work. Be careful of the information that you are actually sharing with the salesman. Don’t trust the sale’s person. They are not your friend. Be nice to them, but don’t be afraid to WALK AWAY from the deal.
 
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of homeowners make is not buying the RV before they sell their homes or move. You need this ‘permanent address’ for the application at an RV dealership. 
 
Many people choose to keep their status of ‘Full-Time RVing’ a secret because many banks won’t finance you because of this, but many will though. Many banks do believe you might just take off in the RV and skip your RV payments, especially retirees because this is another trend that is happening today.
 
Again, don’t give the salesman too much information — ‘online’ or ‘in person’. Never say the following when you go to a dealership to buy a new or used RV:
 
NEVER SAY: 
  • I really love this RV.
  • I don’t know anything about an RV.
  • My trade in is right outside.
  • I don’t really want to get ripped off.
  • My credit is not good.
  • I am going to pay cash.
  • I really want to buy an RV today.
  • I need to have a monthly payment below $500.
  • You are a doctor, lawyer, engineer or in some other career where the salesman perceives you make a lot of money. 
  • And don’t ask crazy questions such as ‘where is the cup holder’, especially when you can be using this time to ask good and relevant questions. 

RV Loans – What You Should Know

 
According to the IRS.gov, you can write off your interest on your RV as a second home. For you to take a home mortgage interest deduction, your debt must be secured by a qualified home.
 
So, if your RV has these three (3) categories that make up a home (sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities), you can deduct your interest paid on your RV loan.
 
The goal is not to buy the wrong RV the first time. Buying an RV or motor home is an enormous expense. An RV can be more expensive than some houses. 
 
RV Industry Association (RVIA.org) reports that a modest camping trailer can cost $22,000, while a motor home can cost as much as $500,000.
 
Since few people have that much cash, they turn to motor home loans and other RV financing options. You should get 30% off MSRP price. But before you head to the dealership, make sure you know what to expect.
 
If you don’t have that money saved in the bank, you’re risking thousands. Even with RV financing options, interest rates and other fees will cause your balance to balloon. If you still dream of hitting the open road, consider renting a vehicle (but it can also be very expensive) or start saving to pursue your goal. 
 
Buying an RV is a recreational loan so unlike a car or house loan, you need to walk in there with a credit score of at least 700. However, a 750 might be borderline so it’s best to have a credit score of at least 800. 
 
Raising your credit score will be a plus and remember that medical bills are the most forgivable on your credit file when trying to get a loan.
 
The lowest interest rate will be 4%, but if you have good credit, you might get away with 5, 6 or 7 percent. Just remember credit unions will give you the SHORTEST TERM of maybe 8 years and banks will give you the highest interest rate, but LONGER TERMS anywhere from 10, 15 and even 20 years. 
 
RV Financing Options
 
If you’ve decided that owning an RV is right for you, but don’t have the money in the bank, there are THREE (3) financing options to consider:
 
1. Dealership Financing
Like car dealerships, most RV and motor home dealerships offer on-site financing. Depending on your credit and the type of vehicle you’re purchasing, you could qualify for a rate as low as 4.99%. In most cases, you can choose a loan term as long as 20 years. However, opting for a shorter term often results in a lower rate.
 
2. Bank or Credit Union Loans for RVs
You might be able to get a better deal from a credit union or bank than you would at a dealership. However, you can’t just apply for a car loan. Instead, you’ll have to apply for a recreational loan or specialty loan. Because RVs and motor homes are luxury vehicles, the lending criteria tend to be stricter than they are for a typical car loan.
 
If you have good credit and a stable income, you could qualify for a loan with an interest rate as low as 3.99% and a repayment term of up to 20 years.
 
3. Personal Loans
If your credit or income isn’t good enough to qualify for a dealership or recreational loans, applying for a personal loan is another option. Personal loans are offered by banks and other financial institutions.
 
Some lenders will work with borrowers with credit scores as low as 580, so you might be more likely to get approved for a personal loan than other forms of financing.
 
As you decide whether a personal loan is right for you, it’s important to know the downsides. There are limits to how much you can borrow. Most lenders have a maximum of $100,000 or less, which might not be enough to cover your RV purchase. 
 
In addition, the repayment terms tend to be much shorter than they are for other loans. You might have only five years to repay the loan. Finally, the biggest drawback to personal loans is the interest rates. 
 
If your credit is less than stellar, you might not qualify for a low-interest, personal loan. Instead, lenders might offer you loans with interest rates as high as 35.99%.
 
For example, if you bought a $50,000 RV and qualified for a 3.99% loan from a credit union with a five-year repayment term, you’d pay $5,236 in interest.
 
If you instead took out a personal loan for $50,000 and qualified for a five-year loan with a 20.00% interest rate, you’d pay $29,482 in interest charges alone.
 
Some dealerships want you to put down at least 10% of the price of the RV. But some will allow you to make the final deal with $0 down.
 
Putting money down might not work in your favor sometimes. Take a loan for more might give you a better interest rate and you can pay a lump sum on the end. 
 
Avoid Multiple Credit Polls
 
Be careful and avoid multiple credit polls. Some dealers will shop around, which means they will run your credit more than once, which might hurt your credit score.  This is called “shot-gunning.” 
 
If you decide to take out a loan, compare offers from multiple personal loan lenders to ensure you get the best rates. But you will need to do this at the same time because it will affect your credit. 
 
Other Costs of Owning an RV
 
Besides the cost of financing an RV, there are other expenses you’ll need to remember. In addition to the purchase price and interest fees, you’ll have to account for sales tax. Depending on the sales tax rate in your state, taxes could add thousands to the RV’s cost.
 
Whether To Buy Used or New
 
Check your ego at the door and be willing to learn all about RVs. Some of the best deals might be on the lot. If a 2014 is still on lot remember that it has seen 3 years of snow and the tires might have dried out. Just because it is new doesn’t mean its ‘new’. 
 
Also. be aware of “Demos.” “Demo” models mean “demolished” so don’t buy these RVs. They are display models and they have been through the wringer. 
 
The main reason to buy USED is that some might  have already broken and been fixed by the last owner. So it’s great to find an RV with a one or two person owner, who has kept good records on repairs. 
 
The only thing I see so far that might keep me from moving forward purchasing the right RV — is repairs. Most RVers are saying it doesn’t matter if you get a NEW or USED RV because they will all give you problems because of how fast they are coming off the assembly line. That sounds about right.
 
Therefore, many are choosing to purchase a used RV, so they will have needed funds to fix things as they come up. Many RVers, who purchased a used RV, should have an emergency fund of at least $5,000 in the bank. 
 
Some who have purchased USED, has said they had smells that were hard to get rid of and others have had bed bugs and soft areas on floors, which is water damage.
 
Remember that many RVers have pets, which you might be allergic to so in this case you might need to buy ‘NEW.’ The fabric holds odors so get an RV with leather and hardwood flooring. 
 
You need to consider up front the things you would need to have a comfortable living environment. Do you need a larger shower, a bigger eating area, a larger bed?
 
Some RVs don’t have a pantry. When slides are in, you can’t get into RV pantries, bathrooms or even bedrooms so check this out ahead of time. 
 

If you need any of these things, then be sure to find an RV that meets your physical needs when purchasing. Never cut corners when it comes to comfort, that is a sure way to become miserable when trying to live out of your RV.

RV Warranties (Regular vs. Extended Warranty)
 
Most RVs are manufactured in Indiana. Understand upfront that RVs are nothing but earthquakes rolling down the road, which means many will have issues. 
 
They are driven or pulled to dealerships so they might have some miles on them. And the dealers won’t fix the small things until they have a sale. Some are just cosmetics and they will fix these ahead of time. 
 

Remember up front that the RV industry is like nothing you have experienced. It might take days, weeks or months for parts to arrive from the manufacturer.

Where will you stay? Some dealerships might allow you to stay in your rig on the lot — but not for too long and — not always.

RV service shops are busy and you have to get in line. You really need to learn to do the simple things yourself or bundle up problems and to take in at end of the season.

There are very few places that take RVs so it might take two weeks or even three to get an appointment for repair. Try to google a ‘go-to’ mobile repair person or google “Mobile RV Mechanic” near you.  

If you start having issues with the RV, you want it to be covered under a warranty. New RV warranties might cover structures, but not mechanics so you will need to read the warranty to see what it covers. Take your time and read the FINE PRINT. Don’t just sign anything. 

Most warranties only cover maybe up to 2 to 3 years. But you can get an Extended Warranty for another 2 or 3 years. Most of the time at the 5 or 8-year mark, you might start having issues so you will have to take care of that yourself if you don’t have a warranty on it. 
 
If manufacturers agree to fix something, for instance, the refrigerator. But if the island needs to be removed to get to the refrigerator, you will need to pay for that ‘out of pocket’.
 
Parts might need to be ordered, which might take 2 days to 2 weeks or even longer.  If you have an issue with your RV, sometimes it best to just take it somewhere to get it fixed, or call a mobile mechanic or fix it yourself.
 
Of course with an extended warranty, you should be able to have repairs completed anywhere. Be prepared when it comes to parts and services. Again, service is one of the biggest problems in the RV industry.
 
Remember if it is under warranty, you can only bring it to an AUTHORIZED REPAIR WARRANTY DEALER to get things fixed, which might be way across the country and they might not be able to get to you right away.
 
Dealership Tricks
 
Like the car industry, the RV sale process is STRUCTURED. You have to take control to save the most you can. Don’t be afraid to walk away. Make them feel uncomfortable so be ‘armed with knowledge’. 
 
They are not your friend. Be nice because they can get you a few discounts and will fight for your deal, but don’t trust the salesperson.
 
They are overwhelmed so check the specs. They change things so much in the RV industry that most salespeople don’t know everything. And remember most of these salespeople don’t even own an RV. 
 
Other Tricks of RV Dealerships
 
Some of the tricks of RV dealerships so be ready:
  • We Won’t Work on RVs Unless You Buy It Here: Because the RV industry is so busy, most dealerships will tell you they will ONLY WORK on your particular RV if you buy with them. But this is usually just a dealership ‘scare tactic’ to get you to buy there. 
  • Bait RV: If you see an RV that you really want when you arrive at the dealership, you might want to put down a down payment to hold it. However, that particular model might not even be available. When the paperback is all completed the salesperson might come back to you and tell you, that that unit has been sold in order to get you to buy a newer unit — to get more money out of you. It was probably some type of “BAIT RV,” which was NEVER available for sale in the first place. 
  • No Longer Available: What they do sometimes also if someone don’t take possession right away — once they see an RV they want — is they, RV salesmen, will tell you later on by phone that the unit is NO LONGER AVAILABLE and that you have to pay more for another unit. 
  • Bring It Back In: Another TRICK they do is give you possession after buying or especially when you do a  SPOT DELIVERY (have them deliver, which you have to pay for), is tell you to bring it back in – in 2 to 3 weeks (after you have fallen in love with it) because your financing fell through. Then they try to get you to pay more. They do this with cars also.
What Else You Need To Know About Buying An RV
 
  • Depreciation: Think about selling it when you buy it. How you get into it will dictate how you get out of it. RVs depreciate — maybe up to 50% in 2 years. Once it has been purchased and titled, you can’t just swap it back in because then it’s considered “USED.” 
  • Seasonal Vehicles: RVs are not meant to be heavily used. They are a seasonal recreational vehicle so this is why you will have issues with them especially if you move around a lot.
  • RV Differences: RVs are much more similar than different. No RV is exactly alike even if it came from the same manufacturer. They might have run out of parts from one vendor, so they might change something when building it. They all add features from a SMALL GROUP of vendors. For instance, they choose from three (3) RV air conditioner vendors.
  • Regulating Temperature: When shopping for RV, understand up front that to regulate the temperature in the RV will be a challenge. It’s not like a home. The RV is one and a half to 2 inches thick so pay attention to the season you camp in. You might have to become a ‘Snowbird’ to live comfortably, buy a second air conditioner or follow 70-degree weather around the country until you can afford solar panels.
    • Fix Everything Before You Take Delivery: Make sure they plug up everything and fix everything before you take ownership even if you have to go back home or wait around a few days. If you purchase at an RV show, it might be 30 days or longer before they can find the exact one for you. 
    • Check Out Manufacturers: Make sure the manufacturer stands behind the plan. GOOGLE THEM. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org). Check the ‘ownership side’ and the ‘seller side’. Will you get service from the independent dealer? Find all of this out ahead of time.
    • Spot Deliveries: Always remember if they still have ownership, it’s THEIR ISSUE. If you have taken ownership, it’s YOUR ISSUE — so slow down and keep this in mind. Slow down and don’t be so quick to take delivery. It’s best not to do a “Spot Delivery.” Keep in mind, they will charge you for this too. They will do this once they know you have GOOD CREDIT. Make sure you have someone who understands your unit show you around or wait around for this person and make sure you understand everything before leaving.  You might need to do this a couple of times.
What To Look for When Buying An RV
 
  • You want to visually look at it before you buy. Look at ‘attention to detail’ within the RV? Is it going to hold up or is it cheap looking? Many new RVs like new cars, uses cheaper material so unless you are buying a name brand like Winnebago, Tiffin or Airstream then you can buy an older RV.
  • Look at the roof and make sure it’s arched. 
  • Is there a full plate outside of the RV where the furnace is available? Furnaces will go out in cold weather. Labor is expensive so if you have to fix something, it will be more expensive. Many RVers just use a smaller heaters (Mr. Buddy or Champion) instead of the furnace unless they live in extremely colder weather. 
  • Look at the frame and chassis of the RV. All chassis are made by Lippert. Is it for off-road? Do you have shocks on axil? Many RVers end up adding more shocks to their RVs so it rides better. 
  • What about insulation. There is quality material used for insulation. Your walls will probably only be 2 inches thick. Some companies use fiberglass. You should use the high-density foam or styrofoam over the pink stuff. The pink stuff is sheets of fiberglass, which can sag over time so you will have no insulation toward the upper part of RV.
  • Is there insulation in the slideouts? Many slideouts have issues with leaking and letting air in so again try to check this out. 
  • What about storage bay doors. Look to see if they are well-insulated. Is it keeping the bedroom warm? How well have they treated that area?
  • Is the shower door or outside shower door insulated? Is there an outside shower?
  • Look for an electric awning so you can shut it quick. Make sure the awning cover the slide so you can’t get debris at the top of the slideouts. Never leave the awning out when you leave.
  • Ask how many thousand-pound axil and compare to specs.
  • Look on the bottom. Is there obvious signs of rust. If you buy in coastal cities (Florida, Michigan, etc.) or colder climates where salt is laid out on roads, there might be signs of corrosion or rust on the bottom or sides of RV so look for this. 
  • Walk with your shoes off to see if the floors are foamy, which means it could be signs of water damage
  • Look for mold.
  • Look for mice poop.

Wholesalers vs. Retail RVs

Some names and websites of wholesalers include:

There are surely PROs and CONS to each dealing with wholesalers or regular dealerships. This wholesalers prices might be cheaper than regular dealerships or even personal owners that you can find through facebook marketplace, on eBay, Craiglist, etc. 

One RVer said this about wholesalers. “I have noticed some wholesale RV dealers with what on the surface looks like good deals. In one case I saw a $14 K difference in a very solid brand from the wholesale place compared to the dealer in a neighboring town. Problem is the wholesale dealer is 1000 miles away so it’s hard to put your hand on the product, plus there’s another $1500 to deliver. But still on the service looks like a good deal. But I still don’t know really if I’m comparing apples to apples or apples to lemons as in lemon law type rejects. Plus a dozen other issues have me second guessing what looks like a sweet deal. Plus the financial side of me is saying, ‘relax, wait until you are ready, there will be other opportunities when you are truly ready next year. Stay with the plan.'”
 
List Of Pros and Cons of Cars, Vans, and RVs
 
How much you spend on an RV depends on its use. Decide if you are going to go Full-Time RVing or travel by car, van, RV, bus, boat, etc. There are plenty of articles, books, videos on google, youtube.com, etc. on everything about how to camp out in these. 
 
If you plan to use it for occasional weekend trips, you can purchase something smaller and cheaper. However, if you plan to make it your primary living space, you’ll probably need to spend more so it meets your needs.
 

The key issues are whether you have a shower, flush toilet, air conditioning or heating. If you need these, then a Class B or a larger RV is your best choice.

But if ‘stealth camping’ is your highest priority (where you can fit in with all the cars and hide out in your car or van) and comfort is a very close second, then a box/step van would be a better choice. It will give you great stealth and enough room to add all the comforts you need.

On the other hand, if you can compromise on room and comfort, then you may be okay in a van. You might be saying I want to get the heck out of dodge.

Remember, if you are transitioning into that life — you are not tired to a rig — you are tired to that life. Why it comes to buying an RV, the main consideration with RV’s is their terrible fuel economy. This is why many just choose to become a car or van dweller. 

Also, remember you can pull an economy car behind the RV. A towed car gets better fuel economy, but now you have more tires and two vehicles to maintain and pay insurance on. 
 
A diesel pickup is noisy and smelly and generally doesn’t get great fuel economy and sometimes diesel is hard to find. 
 
Pros and Cons of Different Type of RVs
 

Many RVers chose their RVs for specific reasons. Many women who will be traveling solo, rather have an RV that they don’t have to get out and hook it up — apparently for safety reasons. If they feel threatened by another person, a bear, mountain lion, or some other animal, they can just hop into their front seats and drive off.

Some RVers would like to be able to take a break from driving and pull over and walk into the back of their RVs and make a sandwich, instead of locking the vehicle and walking into the back. So you see many RVers have different reasons for choosing the type of RVs they chose.

Van or Class B Van

Pros:
  • You can strip out a van.
  • It’s quick. 
  • Better gas mileage.
  • Great mobility so you can get up and go.
  • Great for stealth camping. 
  • More affordable than a Class B plus, Class C and Class A.
  • There is a demand for a smaller type of RVs that can go more places.
  • It can go into the back country and woods and stay there for weeks. 
  • You can get a used van for $3000 t0 $5000.
Cons:
  • No shower. It might have an exterior show or you can buy a shower tent or take a shower on campgrounds, at fitness clubs, etc. 
  • There is not a big refrigerator. If you are a foodie and like to cook that’s a con.
  • Don’t have a lot of room. They don’t have as much room as a Class C and Class A. 
  • There is stress to have to move every night if you go into cities (stealth camping).
  • They can get hotter than RVs so you can’t or shouldn’t leave animals in vans or maybe even some electronics unless you find a way to keep it cool.
Class B plus (also called Class C)
 
Pro:
  • You can take into cities.
  • Better on gas mileage,
  • You can take in campgrounds like national parks where they are required to be 25 ft.
  • Resale values are higher.
Cons:
  • They can be pricey.
  • They can’t go down every road because they don’t have clearance.
Class C also the ‘Super C’
 
Pros:
  • They are 22 up to 30 feet.
  • They have a cab that extends over the cockpit with a bed.
  • They are generally roomier and more comfortable.
  • You can have a bed, dinette, kitchen, and shower.
  • It’s obvious that there is someone sleeping in there so you can’t stealth park in cities. 
Cons:
  • They might have leaking problems.
  • There are so many, they depreciate quickly so you will lose money if you sale. 
  • You will need to tow a car to save money on gas and not have to break camp for day trips.  
  • Cost is $50,000 to $100,000.
Class A
 
Pros:
  • Great for those who want more convenience, features, and comforts of home.  
Cons:
  • They don’t fit in regular campgrounds so your camping options are limited. Many campgrounds have a 25 feet limit.
  • They are hard to maneuver.
  • They get bad gas mileage.
  • You will need to tow a car to save money on gas and not have to break camp for day trips.
  • They can cost up to $500,000 or more.
5th Wheels Trailer
 
Pros:
  • They can be quite roomy.
  • They are much better than travel trailers and are easier to drive and back up. 
  • Once you have set up camp, you can drive the tow vehicle on day trips without breaking camp. 
Cons:
  • Gas mileage is bad.
  • They are in campgrounds, but not in all places.
  • The hitch in the bed of the pickup takes up much of its storage space. 
  • Hooking, unhooking can be a hassle.
  • Leveling can be a hassle.
  • You might want to buy a backup camera if they don’t come with one. 
Travel Trailer
 
Pros:
  • Unlike most other RVs, trailers must be towed by another vehicle. 
  • They’re smaller than other options, but also cheaper.
  • Older ones can be bought very cheaply and have all the comforts of home.
  • These trailers hook up to the trailer hitch of a pickup (or SUV with the smaller, lighter models), leaving the bed of the truck available to carry more stuff. 
  • Once you have set up camp, you can drive the tow vehicle on day trips without breaking camp.  
Cons:
  • Leveling can be a hassle.
  • They are not as easy to drive as a fifth wheel and are unstable at high speeds. 
  • Many can flip over in high winds. 
Truck with Camper
 
Pro:
  • It’s a small place.
  • You can go into back country and set up outdoor space.
  • If something breaks — camper and car can be separated to get fixed.
  • You can get a used camper for $1000 on craigslist.

Con:

  • You cannot take your camper to a city park or you can’t stealth park because you have to walk from the car to camper.

Tow Car

Pros:
  • Not tied to your car.
  • They can be very affordable.
  • You can take the car to lots of places and go sightseeing.
Cons:
  • They can get wind gust and jackknife so the RV can be trickier to drive.

School Buses, Horse Trailers, Boats, etc.

Pros:
  • You can make a schooly (school bus) and make it into a camper. You have to have an artistic vision. 
  • You can make a semi, horse trailer and boat into a camper. 
Cons:
  • They might get bad gas mileage. 
  • Also, there is upkeep, especially if they are older.
  • You can’t stealth camp in a city.
RV Makes and Models
 
Below are the makes and models for RVs:
  • Airstream
  • Aliner
  • American Coach
  • Beaver
  • Brekenridge
  • Canterbury Park Models
  • Carriage
  • Cherokee
  • Coachmen
  • Coleman
  • CrossRoads
  • Cruiser RV
  • Dutchman
  • Eclipse
  • Entegra
  • Fleetwood
  • Forest River
  • Grand Design
  • Gulf Stream
  • Heartland RV
  • Highland Ridge
  • Holiday Rambler
  • Itasca
  • Jayco
  • Keystone
  • K-Z
  • Lance
  • Monaco RV
  • Newmar
  • Nexus
  • Northwood
  • Omega RV
  • Open Range
  • Outdoors RV
  • Pacific Coachworks
  • Prime Time
  • Renegade
  • Riverside
  • Roadtrek
  • Shasta
  • Skyline
  • Starcraft
  • Sylvan Sport
  • Thor
  • Tiffin
  • Travel Lite
  • Venture RV
  • Viking
  • Volkswagen
  • Winnebago
RV Dealerships To Avoid
 
These are just some of the dealerships to avoid when buying used or new. They all have major complaints in the RV world.
 
Just some of the dealerships to avoid include:
  • Forest River Violations: Remember that most RVs are made in Indiana so naturally the big brands like Forest River will have more violations. Violations top $250,000 in Elkhart, IN. They were hit with thousands of dollars in safety violations. Workers blame drug use and poor safety practices (click here).
  • CampingWorld.com: They have the worst Customer Service on the internet, especially in facebook forums. I even read they are looking at filing for bankruptcy. Many RVers trade in their RVs every 32 to 40 months. And that’s when many RVers at Camping World, find out how they were cheated by them. 
  • GanderOutdoors.com: This company is Camping World sister company so naturally the association can’t be good.
  • Lazydays RV: They have a bad reputation.
  • Leisure Travel RV: You have to get parts in Germany so they have bad customer service.
  • Thor: This company has a bad reputation and also owns Jayco RVs, which also have a bad reputation in the RV industry.

RV Recalls

To obtain a list of all the RV recalls subscribe to RVTravel.com

Just some of the latest recalls include:

  • Forest River recall: Bunk latch could fall off – Apr. 16, 2019
  • Forest River recall: Mirror monitors show back up images in reverse – Apr. 18, 2019
  • Keystone recalls trailers: Cooktop flames may invert – Apr. 19, 2019
  • Thor recalls motorhomes for loose bolts that could affect steering – Apr. 19, 2019
  • Jayco recalls some trailers: Fresh water tank could fall off – May 14, 2019
  • REV Group recalls some Flair, Holiday Rambler motorhomes – May 23, 2019
  • Livin’ Lite recalls some RVs for blocked escape windows – May 24, 2019

3 Top and Best RVs To Purchase
 
These RVs were top brands years ago but of course today RVs are made with cheaper parts.
 
The top 3 RVs include: 
 
Tiffin
  • Five-star warranty
  • Family run business

Tiffin’s warranty covers 10 years on the frame construction, five years on fiberglass delamination or wall separation, one year or 12,000 miles comprehensive coverage, one year of 24/7 roadside service and ongoing owner support for as long as you own your RV.

Winnebago
Most Class and Size Options  
  • Class A, B, C and travel trailers available
  • WIT Social Club
If you’re looking for a broad selection of RVs to choose from, Winnebago has nearly 30 models. Winnebago RV models include Class A, B and C RVs, travel trailers, and a fifth-wheel RV model. Prices range from as low as $21,153 to over $250,000.
 
Airstream
Most Customizable Options
  • Custom configuration options
  • The aerodynamic design saves up to 20% on fuel costs
Known for their sleek, silver design, Airstream offers nine models of fifth-wheel travel trailers ranging in price from $37,400 to $152,000. It also makes five models of Class B touring coaches costing around $149,240 to $221,000.
 
Again, read my article entitled “The Truth About the RV Industry – What You Need To Know About Camping World.” Because of the article, you might decide that RVing is not what you are willing to sign up for. Instead, you might just want to participate in #VanLife, #BusLife, #BoatLife, or even the “Tiny House Movement”.
 
Cathy Harris is a soon to be Full-Time RVer living ‘The Good Life’ and her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.