Shopping for an RV can be a little stressful. There’s a lot to think about. You need to figure out what type is right for you, how you plan to use it, and where you’ll take it. Then there’s the whole issue of actually making the purchase for the first time.
With all of these things swirling, I want to remind you there are certain things you should not overlook when shopping. While most RVs these days come well-equipped, it’s often smart to put together a list of must-haves and a list of
The vast majority of RVs have air conditioning these days, but it’s an important thing to check off your list of must-have features or attributes. Most people camp during the spring, summer, and fall. Guess what you need during that time of year? Air conditioning.
You typically don’t need a huge unit either. Most RVs have small wall units installed on them or ceiling units that do quite well. Also, many RVs can have another air conditioner added as an option.
Like I said, most RVs will come with this already, but if you’re shoopping used or find yourself drawn to smaller manufacturers, this feature might not be standard. Make sure you get it. It’s well worth it, especially at night.
Larger Holding Tanks
Holding tank size should always be a chief concern when RV shopping. Even if you plan on only camping for short periods of time or at full hook-up campsites, it’s helpful to have larger holding tanks.
The way I look at it is the same way I look at having a handy pocket knife on a hike in the woods. It’s better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it. Larger holding tanks simply make life a little bit easier.
Are they absolutely necessary? No, probably not, but in the right circumstance you’ll be happy you had them, and if you never use them to full capacity, it doesn’t hurt you at all. I’d look for an RV with plenty of holding tank capacity.
Access To All Areas of the RV With Slide-Outs In
Many RVs are more or less unusable if the slide outs aren’t deployed. However, I’ve found that it’s actually helpful to be able to access all areas of the RV even with the slide-outs in. Why? Well, there are certain circumstances where it would be nice to access the rear of the RV without deploying the slide out.
For example, you’re driving your motorhome along to your next destination and your passenger realizes they left the book they wanted to read all the way back in the bedroom. If you don’t have access to the bedrooms when the slide outs aren’t deployed, you’d have to find a place to park where you could deploy the slides and then let the person go back there and get the book.
If, on the other hand, you have access to all areas of the RV, the passenger could simply go get their book. Also, some small campsites will necessitate that you don’t deploy your slides. This is a situation that hardly plagues people, but if you end up stuck in a situation where you can’t deploy the slide, it pays to still be able to get to all areas of your RV.
Quality Entry Steps
This may seem like a small thing, and it is. However, if you’ve ever camped in an RV that has some cheap-feeling or small steps, then you’ll know exactly why this is important.
One of my first RV experiences was in an RV with some wimpy feeling entrance steps, and I tripped on the flimsy things more than once. That was years ago, but it still stands to reason that you should really check to make sure the entrance steps are sturdy and wide. Some RVs offer a more upscale optional step that you may want to look into, too.
Plenty of Countertop Space
Countertop space in an RV is always at a premium. The small floorplans of most RVs only provide for a little bit of countertop space in many cases, but it’s often worth it to really hunt for the model that makes the most of its kitchen space and provides plenty of it.
Look for floorplans with kitchen islands, too. Even small kitchen islands can make a big difference, and depending on the size of the rig, you may find that it fits in the space very well. Another thing to look for are countertop extensions or fold-out sections. These temporary additions help you make the most of the space you do have.
These are just a few of the attributes and features that I feel you’ll never regret getting when you buy an RV. Do you have anything you’d like to add? Leave a comment below!
If you’re ready to go RV shopping, check out the listings on Gander RV & Outdoors.