If the idea of camping on the cold, hard ground lacks appeal, you are not alone. Fewer people are interested in sleeping in a tent when they could enjoy the ultimate adventure in an RV. A recreational vehicle provides all the comforts of home and the ability to enjoy the great outdoors.
Today, RV’s come in all shapes, sizes and price range. From the simple truck bed camper to a multi-million dollar bus conversion, there are options galore. Camping used to mean leaving your life behind and roughing it in the wild. Today you can take your kitchen, bed and shower with you. Want a big screen TV? No problem. Need a flushing toilet? RV’s have that too.
While truck bed campers are the first RV for many, recreational vehicles are usually described by class. Van conversions are called Class B motorhomes. Imagine a traditional multi-passenger van, stripped down and turned into a mini-camping mobile with a raised roof. Class B’s include an ultra tiny bathroom, kitchenette, and a convertible bed. The great thing about Class B’s is they can park almost anywhere and remain relatively unnoticed. These stealth vehicles allow you to camp just about anywhere .
Want something bigger? The Class C motorhome is the next size up. It looks like a pickup truck from the front, and features all the engine features you know and love, as well as a larger kitchen, bath, bedroom and living area. Class C’s are popular RV rentals because they offer convertible beds and sleep up to six guests at a time.
The final stage of motorhome is the Class A. The class A is the top end of the motorhome evolution. It is the largest of all motorized recreational vehicles, and now offers up to five slid-outs, widening their body to over 12 feet when parked. This type of space allows you to have a full-size kitchen with a dishwasher, up to two bathrooms, a washer and dryer, living room and a king size bedroom suite. Camping in Class A is like taking the Hilton to the woods.
Want more choices? No problem. Recreational Vehicles come in motorized and non-motorized options called travel trailers and fifth wheels. These units require a large SUV or Truck to pull your camper. Both units can be luxurious or simple, and cost much less than a motorhome because you are not buying the engine.
You can purchase a new or used RV from a variety of online websites and sales lots. Whichever way you choose to purchase, be sure to do a lot of research first. Your research should include make, model, reviews, warranty, unit history and recalls. Try searching on RV forums and Facebook groups. There are often fellow travelers who are happy to share their experiences for free.
If you aren’t sure which type of RV is the right rig for your camping style, consider attending a large RV show. Take time to wander through the models and imagine your family staying in each unit. Be sure to take notes and stay within your budget. Don’t start at the million dollar rigs and then go to a travel trailer in your $30,000 budget. You are sure to be disappointed fast. Instead, look at RV's within your price range. What do you like, dislike?
Not sure you want to spend big money on a hobby? Consider renting an RV from a site like RVShare.com, which will allow you to rent various styles of rigs in your home state. Take the RV for a weekend spin and see what you think. If you like the RV lifestyle, shopping for a used RV could save you as much as 50% off the original price.
Camping in an RV is the new American way of life. Try it for yourself and leave setting up the tent behind you.