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Types of RVs

Choosing from the many Types of RVs can be a lot of fun if you approach it with a plan you both agree on. We have met folks who are camping seasonally in a short 18 foot travel trailer. Others have to have the largest rig available. You both have to agree on the lifestyle you want to live. Some folks are into ATVs and other motorized “toys” and a good fit for them would be a toy hauler. Maybe you want to travel around our beautiful country and see as much of it as possible? Others may want to settle in for a season and move with the changing seasons. Can you say “Snowbird”? While there is no ideal rig for a particular lifestyle, the decision is up to you. Unless you can figure out how to live full-time in a class B conversion van, you will probably need to tow something. You might tow a fifth wheel trailer behind a truck or tow a car or truck behind a motor home, but you will most likely be towing. This, too, factors into the decision of what RV to buy. In order to avoid a major financial mistake, make sure the rig you choose is the right unit for the lifestyle you have chosen. You won’t know the magnitude of your mistake until you go to trade the rig in.

Class A Motorhomes

Class B Motorhomes

Class C Motorhomes

Bus Conversions

Truck Campers

Towable RV's

Fifth Wheel Trailers

Travel Trailers

Tear Drop Trailers

Pop-up Tent Campers

Gasoline power vs Diesel

New RV or used RV?

Fifth Wheel Trailer or Motorhome?

New vs. Used Types of RVs

When we were in the homework phase of deciding what rig to buy, we got a lot of advice, sometimes conflicting, about whether to buy a new or a used RV. We’ll look at both sides of the issue. A new rig of any type will have warranties on the chassis, drive train for motorized units, and appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, stove and hot water heater and   furnace(s). This is great peace of mind for many folks. Another issue is that you will be the first to use the unit so everything will be pristine. There won’t be bedbugs in the mattress or stains on the carpet. Obviously, this is appealing to many people. The big ugly cloud over any RV purchase is depreciation. No RV will increase in value. Drive off depreciation on any new rig will be at least twenty percent. On the more expensive units, it will be more. As each year passes, the depreciation continues in smaller increments. To quote from Bob Randall; Mark Polk (2011-09-29). RV Buyers Survival Guide (Kindle Locations 684-685). RV Education 101. Kindle Edition. “Depreciation is only a major problem if you pay full MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail). Depreciation is figured based on what the unit should have sold for, not what you paid for it.” We bought this book prior to our RV purchase; it should be an essential part of every future RV purchase you make.

A maddening problem common to all types of RVs is that almost all new rigs have “issues”. These can be drawers that don’t fit properly, appliances that don’t work as they should, small leaks around windows and roof mounted items, and other such annoying things that fall under the warranty. Axel misalignment is a common issue with towable RVs that manifests itself with premature tire wear and even blow-outs. Even though covered, the RV must be returned to the dealer for service and repairs, thus robbing you of the use of your rig. In extreme cases, this can go on and on for months. Even the most thorough pre-delivery inspection can miss some things.

A two to three year old RV will have had most if not all of those “new rig bugs” fixed and/or resolved. The first two or three years are the largest chunk of depreciation as well. A two to three year old motor home will probably have some warranty left on the drive train. We spent a lot of time doing the math and we calculated cost of a new motor home to still be more expensive versus a two year old unit with better specifications. At the end of the day, we decided on a one year old rig with much more equipment than what we were originally considering. This fell right in line with another bit of advice we had heard which was no matter what types of RVs you consider,  “Buy your third rig first”. An entry level unit will have a more acceptable price, but you will probably be looking for a better one in a year or two. Now you will have two sets of depreciation to deal with as well as sales commissions. We have heard of folks buying three or four RVs within five years. What an expensive hassle! On the other hand, unless you are an experienced handymen, buying a fifteen year old rig might end up being more expensive than a five year old one.

This whole decision process over types of RVs is both subjective and emotional. Debates rage over Motor home or Fifth Wheel Trailer. Do you prefer a Class A Motorhome, a Class C Motorhome, or a Class B Motorhome? Perhaps you are interested in converted bus. What about Towable RVs? Do you like the Fifth Wheel Trailer, The bumper pull or Travel Trailer? Another constant debate is Gasoline power vs diesel.  New versus used types of RVs is always a lively discussion. There is no right answer. You must decide what will work best for you. We will give our opinions about these and other issues involving types of RVs, but they are our opinions based on what we thought we would need and what we could afford. We also will look at rigs that easily lend themselves to full time RVing. We'll also discuss Truck Campers, Pop-up Tent Campers, and Teardrop Trailers.


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