We know that purchasing an RV is a huge decision. You have to consider square footage, the price, how often you’ll take it out on the road, how many bells and whistles you want and so much more. Sure, you can go to your favorite RV dealer and walk in and out of as many RVs as you want, but it won’t be the same as physically sleeping, showering and cooking in it.
The best way to increase your confidence about purchasing your first RV is to spend lots of time in rented RVs. This way, you can drive, eat, cook, clean and camp out of different RVs before you buckle down on the one you decide to buy.
The point of renting an RV (or RVs) is to give you as much information about what you want and don’t want in your own RV before you purchase one. Below we go into more detail on why you should rent an RV before purchasing one.
You’ll know what you need and don’t need.
If you’re relatively new to the world of RVs, you probably don’t know much about them. That’s perfectly acceptable, but do a little research on what you might need and don’t need before you purchase your RV. RVs these days come with so many extras, and you’ll save money if you figure out what you’ll actually use. For example, if you plan on mostly dry camping in forest areas while traveling, you’ll probably want a smaller RV. If you plan to do a lot of work on the road, though, you might want to look into an RV with extra or enough space for you to do that work.
Renting one will help you understand how RVs work.
You can read the RV manual all you want, but it won’t beat renting an RV to spend some time in first. Trying to learn everything about a new RV is overwhelming and not much of the information really sinks in. Renting an RV gives you the chance to fully understand the system and how everything works. For example, in your stationary house, you can have multiple items running at once without think twice about it. In an RV, your power is limited and you can easily blow breakers if you aren’t careful.
You get to decide what layout you want.
You may know exactly what you like when it comes to layouts in stationary houses, but your preferences might be completely different in your RV since you’ll probably be doing different things. Maybe having more counter space in the kitchen area is more important than having a big bedroom or bathroom to you. Or maybe you’ll need a large living or lounge area to accommodate for all the people that will be RVing with you. You’ll learn all this within just a few days of being in an RV, which is why you’ll want to rent one first.
You’ll save your money!
It might sound like a long shot, but here me out. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for in an RV, it’ll end up costing you way more than you’re comfortable with. Sure, it’ll be nice to have huge Class A motorhome that comes standard with all the bells and whistles, but if it’s only you and your partner that are going to dry camp, for example, all the extras aren’t necessary. Knowing the little quirks about what you like and don’t like will also help you become a confident RV shopper that is less influenced by any sales people. In the end, your wallet will thank you!
You’ll know how comfortable you are with driving an RV.
Some RVs, like Class Cs and vans, are smaller so they’re easier to drive and keep straight on the road. Other RVs, like Class As, are quite large and can be exhausting after a long day of driving one if you aren’t used to them. If you rent an RV, pay close attention to how you feel after you’ve been behind the wheel for a few hours. If you feel a bit overwhelmed, maybe a smaller RV is the better choice for you.
You’ll be able to set your budget more realistically.
When you’re spending time in your rental, your budget will probably fluctuate a bit. That’s because you might be spending more on gas, food or campground fees than you planned for. Or maybe the cost of the rental was more than you expected. Your budget will always be changing, because your RV is essentially a house on wheels. There will be minor fixes along the way and major maintenance issues you’ll have to budget for. RVs are likely to have just as many problems as stationary houses. A good idea is to write down everything you’ve fixed in your rental along with the price so you can be better prepared when you create a budget for purchasing an RV.
A few other questions to ask yourself before you buy…
- Will my family survive spending so much time together in a small space?
- Will there be enough storage space for everyone’s belongings?
- What about animals? Will my pets be comfortable in an RV?
Whether you’re ready to rent or buy, RVUSA.com has got you covered with all your RV needs!
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As always, come back to the RVUSA blog for the RV Tips of the Week on Monday, Travel Wednesday, and RV Tips and Tricks on Friday. Leave us a message below if you have any thoughts, memories or comments. We’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to receive our blog posts directly in your inbox, click here to join our free email list.