How to Choose the Right RV for Your Lifestyle
Are you in the market for an RV but feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of choices available? Whether you’re a seasoned RV aficionado or a first-time buyer, understanding how to choose the right RV vehicle for your lifestyle can be an intimidating task. With a plethora of RV types, features, and price points to consider, it’s easy to get lost in the details.
From the undeniably luxurious Class A motorhomes to the compact and nimble pop-up trailers, there’s an RV out there for every lifestyle and budget. So, how do you choose the perfect one for you? How do you ensure you don’t overspend or purchase a vehicle that can’t keep up with your lifestyle?
The answer to these questions comes down to understanding your own needs, wants, and budget. To help make this process easier, we’ve compiled a list of handy RV buying tips and advice on selecting the perfect RV vehicle.
But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s first take a look at the main RV types available.
How to Choose the Right RV: RV Types
At the most basic level, there are two primary types of RVs: motorhomes and trailers.
Motorhomes are self-contained vehicles with an integrated living space and drivetrain, while trailers require towing by a separate vehicle. Within these two main categories, there are several different classes and sub-types of RVs to choose from.
Motorhome RV Types
Class A RVs – Motorhomes
Class A motorhomes are by far the most luxurious RV vehicles, offering all the comforts of home with amenities like full kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, seating areas, and storage space. You’ll even find some Class As with outdoor entertainment systems and multiple slide-outs for added living space. These RVs are great for long-term or full-time RVing and typically range from 25 to 45 feet in length.
Larger families, retirees, and frequent travelers may benefit from the extra 40ft space and features of a Class A, but they do come with higher costs.
The price range for Class A RV models in the USA can vary greatly depending on the brand, model, size, and features. Since Class A RVs are the largest and most luxurious type of motorhome, they can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $1,000,000 or more.
Here are some rough price ranges based on different types of Class A RVs:
- Entry-level Class A RVs: $50,000 to $100,000
- Mid-range Class A RVs: $100,000 to $200,000
- High-end Class A RVs: $200,000 to $500,000
- Luxury Class A RVs: $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more
Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates, and prices can vary widely depending on the specific model, brand, and dealer. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare prices before making a purchase, and to factor in additional costs like taxes, insurance, and maintenance when budgeting for an RV.
Class B RVs – Campervan
Class B motorhomes, sometimes referred to as campervans, are the smallest of the motorized RVs and offer a cozy home-away-from-home experience. These vehicles are typically 20 ft or less in length and often come with a compact sleeping area, kitchenette, and bathroom facilities.
Class B motorhomes are highly maneuverable, easy to drive, and can be a great option for couples or those who desire minimalistic luxury on the go.
The price range for Class B RVs varies depending on the make, model, age, and condition of the vehicle. On the lower end of the price range, you can find used Class B RVs for around $30,000 to $100,000. These may be older models or have higher mileage, but they can still provide a comfortable and convenient way to travel. In addition, there’s no telling what kind of interesting features you may discover in a pre-owned model.
Newer Class B RVs with more features and amenities can cost upwards of $100,000 or more, with a usual range of $80,000 to $160,000. Luxury models can even exceed $200,000.
We know it may seem like a lot, but some of the factors that can drive up the price include high-end finishes, advanced technology, and customizations. You definitely get what you pay for here.
Class C RVs – Motorhome
The Class C RV is a game changer when it comes to family travel. Compared to Class A motorhomes, Class Bs are a cost-effective option for bigger families looking for outdoor adventures, and luxury isn’t always sacrificed. In fact, this RV type comes with more living space than Class B RVs, while offering better gas mileage than Class A motorhomes.
All in all, Class C provides more room compared to Class B, while being less heavy and bulky than Class A. They are typically built on a truck or van chassis and are generally between 20 and 33 feet in length. In addition, they are characterized by their distinctive over-cab sleeping area, which provides added sleeping space and storage.
When it comes to price, you’ll find that Class Cs are the least costly option, ranging from $12,000 and $150,000. The mid-range price point ($50,000-$100,000) will get you a new Class C RV with more amenities and more modern features. On the high end of the spectrum, you’ll find Class C’s equipped with all the bells and whistles, including luxury amenities like multiple slide-outs, high-end appliances, and upgraded interiors.
Trailer RV Types
We covered the primary types of motorhomes, but there are also trailer RV types that you should consider if you’re looking for a recreational vehicle.
Travel trailers, occasionally referred to as towables, are the most popular type of RV. They come in lengths from approx 13 feet to 40 feet and can accommodate up to 10 people depending on the size and model. Travel trailers offer a more affordable way to enjoy the RV lifestyle, as most models range between $11,000 and $35,000.
Travel trailers are very easy to tow, as they can be pulled by a variety of vehicles, including SUVs, minivans, and trucks. This makes them a great option for those who want to enjoy the RV lifestyle without having to invest in a specialized tow vehicle.
A Fifth wheel trailer is an RV type that is designed to provide a comfortable and spacious living environment for those who love to travel. These trailers are towed by a pickup truck using a fifth-wheel hitch, which provides a secure and stable connection between the two vehicles. With lengths ranging from 25 to 40 feet, fifth-wheel trailers can accommodate up to 10 people, depending on the size and model.
Fifth-wheel trailers offer many advantages over other types of RVs, including a more spacious interior and a smoother ride while towing. They are also easier to maneuver than other RVs, as they have a shorter overall length and a tighter turning radius. Despite their size and luxury features, fifth-wheel trailers are also relatively affordable, with most models ranging from $36,000 for a small one to over $135,000 for a super deluxe model.
The lightweight trailer is, as the name implies, a light towable RV type. These trailers are generally lighter than full-sized RV models and can be pulled by any vehicle with a suitable towing capacity. Lightweight trailers range in length from 12 feet to 26 feet and are an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy the RV lifestyle without having to invest in a specialized tow vehicle.
Lightweight trailers are very affordable, with most models ranging from $10,000 to $35,000. For those who are looking for something even more budget-friendly, there are also used lightweight trailers that can be purchased for around $5,000 and under.
Last but not least, we have the toy hauler. This RV type combines the luxury features of a travel trailer with the convenience of an enclosed cargo area that can be used to transport your toys, such as dirt bikes and ATVs. Toy haulers are available in lengths from 21 feet to 40 feet. They sleep up to 11 and come in various floor plans and models.
This open-concept living space provides plenty of room for both your toys and your family, making it an ideal choice for those who want to take their outdoor adventures with them. You can choose to keep it as a motorhome, a travel trailer, or even a fifth-wheel trailer.
Prices are a little different with Toy Haulers, as it all depends on your specifications. However, they are definitely an investment worth making if you want to take your outdoor adventures with you on the road.
Do you want a fifth wheel, a motorhome, or a trailer? Consider the type of vehicle you will use to tow it, your budget, and the unit size that best suits your needs before investing your hard-earned cash.
How to Choose the Right RV: RecNation RV Buying Tips
Now that you’re fully equipped with knowledge about the different RV types available, it’s time to make a decision. But before you start shopping around, you must ensure you have the right information and resources to help you make the best possible purchase.
RecNation has put together a few RV buying tips to help ensure that your investment is well spent:
- Set a budget. As you can see from the RV types listed above, motorhomes and trailers can range from affordable to expensive, depending on the model and features. Before you start shopping around, it’s important to set a realistic budget that factors in not only the cost of the vehicle but also potential repairs, insurance, and storage fees.
- Do your research. It’s important to know the RV type that best suits your needs before you start shopping around. Research online, read reviews, and talk to other RV vehicle owners for more insight on which model may be right for you. You can even reach out to us at RecNation for some friendly advice!
- How many people will be traveling in the RV? Before you purchase an RV vehicle, you need to know how many people will be traveling with you. You must also ensure that your RV has enough beds and seating for all passengers.
- Consider your lifestyle. Think about how often and where you plan on using your RV, as well as the amenities that are important to all of you.
- Know your towing capacity. Make sure that the vehicle you will use for towing has the appropriate power and capacity for the weight of the RV unit. Otherwise, it could be unsafe and may void any existing vehicle warranties.
- Travel style. Will you be staying primarily at campgrounds or boondocking in remote locations? Do you prefer a nimble, small RV for off-road adventures, or something larger and more comfortable for long-term living?
- Inspect the unit. It’s important to inspect the RV before making a purchase. Look for any signs of water damage, check the tires, and inspect all appliances. If you’re thinking of purchasing a motorhome, it’s also a good idea to take it for a test drive to make sure that everything works as it should.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Negotiating is an important part of any purchase, which also applies to RV purchases too. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the salesperson in order to get the best deal possible. It never hurts to ask!
RecNation for All Your RVing Needs
At RecNation, we pride ourselves on being the experts when it comes to all things related to RVing. Whether you’re just starting out and need some advice on RV types or have been an avid RVer for years, our knowledgeable team is here to help.
From RV rentals to RV parking and storage options, we have everything you need to make your outdoor adventures an enjoyable and memorable experience. If you’re not ready to buy your own RV yet, our Dallas facility offers convenient and affordable RV rental services.
We also offer 24/7 access to our secure storage facilities for all of your vehicle and recreational needs. Our competitive rates and month-to-month contracts make it easy to store your RV during the off-season or while you’re away.
We understand that all of your outdoor adventures are unique and special, so we strive to provide the highest quality customer experience to make sure you get the most out of your on-the-road experience. Adventure is calling—let RecNation help you answer it! Contact us today to learn more about our services or book your next RV rental.