Buying Your Next RV: Here’s What You Should Know

Living the camper life has its own fair share of surprises. For example, you can choose to dine at a new place, every night.

Plus, you get to make a lot of new friends, wherever you go. But it also has its share of challenges.

When you choose to live a life on the road, you need to plan for the road ahead. Having a sustainable utility system, for example, can help you survive off-grid for longer.

Likewise, you need to store enough food onboard when you might travel to a national park. And planning your budget for the same is quite necessary, apart from deciding where you might refill at your next destination.

If you’re planning to live your life in a camper van, you should first decide which RV suits you the most.

Of course, making a list of the features that you’d need would be an important part of your decision.

But, there are other things, as well, that you should consider.

Buying Recreational Vehicle – What You Should Know?

Where Would You Be Taking Your Camper Van?

The first thing that you should consider is your destination. Of course, when you would be living in a camper van, it is because you want to travel. But the destinations you choose should make a difference to your RV selection.

For example, if you would be traveling to locations where there are no paved roads, a 4X4 van would make your journey more comfortable. You can maneuver it through the roughest of terrains while making it through your final destination.

The drivetrain of your Rv should be adapted for the types of locations that you desire to cover. Experts explain that all-wheel drive is the most suitable option for campers. They can travel across all sorts of terrains with a lot less effort as compared to FWD or RWD.

How Long Will You Be Staying Off-Grid?

Another factor that you should consider is the duration of your camping. Not every destination would be as sociable as you might think. So, you might need to consider your supplies.

For example, when you’re traveling into the Yellow Stone National Park, you might seldom find plug-n-park facilities. In places where there are no grid connections, the campers have to rely on other sources.

Some might consider buying a generator, but that’s not as economical an option as you may think. An alternative to combustion generators is installing roof-top solar panels.

During the day, the panels would supply your van with power. And during the night, the backup batteries would take care of your utility needs.  Of course, the solar panels would also charge these batteries during the day.

Fifth Wheeler or a Camper Van?

A common dilemma that many first-time RV buyers face is choosing between a fifth-wheeler and a camper van. Of course, both have their pros and cons. And likewise, it should make sense to explore which one suits your needs better.

For example, if you’re planning to buy a fifth-wheeler, you should make sure that your truck is capable enough to pull it. Both, legally and mechanically. On the other hand, if you’re considering buying a camper van, you should be ready to compromise with modular fittings and small space.

Fifth wheelers are mostly suitable for families with 4-5 members. Whereas, a camper van is mostly suitable for solo travelers and couples. Space doesn’t feel too congested while there is everything that you’d need to live sustainably.

Weigh Your Needs Over Desires

An important thing that you should not overlook is including the features that you need the most. For example, you should not compromise with a shower and a pot in your camper van over having more storage space.

Of course, your needs are controlled by your individual perspective. If you believe that you’ll mostly be traveling around in cities only, then compromising with shower and pot is no harm. Since you can always use public restrooms and gyms for your shower.

Regardless, you should think of your needs as minimalistic features that you cannot survive without. So, be it a bigger bed, or more storage, or simply a bigger stove, if you need it you should get it.

Decide Your Budget

While you are considering all the necessary features and inclusions it is quite easy to sway from your budget. Many camper van owners have overdone their budgets for a more comfortable life. Of course, when you can afford it, there’s no harm in exceeding your budget.

However, when you wish to live a minimalistic life or a traveler’s dream budgeting is one of those factors that can either break you or make you. For instance, buying a new RV rather than a used one will cost you more. And you might be left with a cash crunch to survive through the month.

Keeping track of the budget is one of the unsaid rituals for camper van owners. Since most of them have a temporary or contractual job. Managing personal finances becomes a lot more important if you’re also a freelancer or an independent contractor.

Do Not Forget to Explore Your Options

Lastly, befitting your needs and additional features (if you can afford them) you should explore your options. The purpose is to find the best deal, balanced in all the aspects.

As already mentioned, buying a used RV might cost you cheap, but then again you should not just consider one model.

Of course, there are several models from every manufacturer.

And the rates for used RVs would not be the same as for the new ones. In other words, you might find a more feature-rich RV at a lower price.

Besides, exploring your options can also help you understand the extent of features that you can expect within your budget. And whenever you plan to upgrade, you already have substantial experience to rely on. To find out different travel gears and tips, have a look at Journey Beyond Horizon.


Whether you consider buying a new RV or a used one, it is better to make an informed decision. After all, preparing for the worst, and living the best brings you no harm.