When it comes to RVing, there are basically two types of people – full-timers and part-timers (okay, three if you count renters). Generally speaking, part-timers can tend to be a little more utilitarian in their approach; the right gear, right vacation time, right tow vehicle, etc. – while the full-timers are more cultural; actively pursuing RV-friendly hobbies (often including blogging) and regularly discovering new places to enjoy.
Regardless of how much time a family spends on the road it’s clear that simply owning and operating a recreational vehicle is only the beginning of what it means to “RV” – the verb not the noun.
If you are thinking of getting into an RV then you’ll likely be doing some research, which should include the following (not an exhaustive list!):
Beginner: Are You Able To Borrow an RV?
Borrowing a friend or family member’s RV to get acquainted with the format is a really good low-risk way to get your feet wet. If not, renting is the next option – though typically not cheap. Private renters are beginning to pop up in the marketplace and might drive some healthy competition. Be sure to get the insurance all settled first before shoving off.
Beginner – Medium: Campsites/Trip Planning
You might want to consider starting local. Weekend trips are a great way to get started, even with a borrowed RV (see above). Beyond that there are myriad campgrounds in North America. The next step more advanced step might include planning a route and staying at different campsites along the way. There are a number of good websites for trip planning.
Advanced: Boondocking or “Dry Camping”
One of the more intriguing RV options is to camp completely off the grid (meaning no external water, power, internet, etc.). There is a cool website called Boondockers Welcome which has a large network of boondocking sites across N.A.
Beginner – Advanced: Maintenance
Speaking of research and learning, there are in particular a lot of handy RV related maintenance tutorial videos online, where you can learn the proper way to perform important maintenance tasks. Either search by specific task, or find a good channel or website with a compendium of tutorials and pore over them at your leisure.
Misc.: Making It Your Own
Here’s where things get interesting; customizing your RV experience. Are you planning to bring pets? Are you a photographer/videographer/songwriter? Are you planning to bring children along? Perhaps there is a disability to consider and the RV will require some accessibility retrofitting? The list goes on and on, and there’s no possible way I can anticipate all of your needs. This will likely mean having various discussions with your dealer (or private seller if you have or develop a good relationship with them), RV manufacturer, friend, relative, etc. And since you’re here, you know that the internet can be very useful as a learning resource as well!
This article comes from RVT.com, a leading RV Classifieds website established in 1999. Buyers, sellers and traders from across North America come to browse and list their new and used Class A, B and C motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, truck campers, tow vehicles, toterhomes, conversion vans, tow-behind vehicles (toads), accessories and more.