3 Tips For Buying Your First Recreational Vehicle

2017 a girl reading a book on the grass with RV behind her at woods in Hiawatha, Iowa

Buying a recreational vehicle(RV) isn’t just a transaction, it’s a lifestyle choice. A lot of us caught the camping bug from our parents and grandparents and somehow we always knew we’d be “camping people.” For some, the lure of camping is the beauty of the outdoors and time spent with family and friends “off the grid” and away from our heavily scheduled lives. For others, it’s all about the joy of traveling – both the destination and the best way to enjoy the journey.

Before you start “living the dream” you’ll need to think about some of the practical aspects of owning and operating an RV. Here are three topics we recommend every customer consider before they purchase an RV.

RV Usage – Do you want all the comforts of home, or just a comfortable place to sleep and get out of the rain? Local, weekend camping trips or more intensive use? Do you want to park it at a favorite spot all season and use it like a cabin or tow it on long trips, climbing mountains and exploring? RVs come in many shapes, sizes and configurations and some are better suited to specific activities than others are. Knowing how you want to use your unit will help you decide how much RV you need to buy.

Best Tow Vehicle For Your New RV – The vehicle you use to tow your RV can make or break your camping experience. Just because your owner’s manual states that you can tow a certain weight that doesn’t mean it’s best suited to tow every trailer in that weight class. Many factors influence towability: weight, balance, center of gravity, your suspension system, aerodynamics and the construction of the chassis and body shell. Those other factors can make a huge difference to the stability of the load. If any of them are out of whack with the tow vehicle, your trailer may end up swaying all over the road or shaking like crazy on your trip. Be sure to talk to your local RV dealer about which tow vehicle is best for the kind of camping and traveling you will be doing.

RV Storage – Think about where you will leave the RV when not in use. Is there room at your home? Are there convenient, safe storage options nearby? If you want to park it at home for long periods, check local ordinances to make sure there are not any restrictions in your locale against long-term RV parking in residential areas.

To anyone who has camped before, whether it was pitching a tent, hauling a recreational vehicle (RV) like a 5th Wheel or pop-up trailer, or tooling along in a luxurious motorhome, you know there’s nothing like the freedom and fun that comes with a camping vacation. At Ketelsen RV we’d love to help you get started on a lifetime of camping adventures. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to take an RV for a test drive, call or stop by today and one of our RV experts will be happy to answer all your questions.

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