Just a few weeks ago, I was toying with renting an RV and taking a . Today, I’m the proud owner of a 1990 Winnebago Warrior and more than 1,500 . Though the decision to buy an RV was admittedly a bit rash, I’m not the only person itching to travel over the summer while limiting exposure to (we are still amid a pandemic, after all).
RV rental site , for example, has seen an explosion of interest over the past few weeks. The company bookings have increased by more than 2,600% since late March.
But choosing an RV and hitting the open road is not a simple task, nor a lightly. The first few days of my trip have been a bit stressful, not only because I’ve never actually driven an RV before but because I have to on the road.
So while I highly recommend renting or buying an RV and having the adventure of a lifetime, I urge you to also spend some time evaluating your options and like. Below are 16 from RV travel experts to help you out.
1. Choose the proper rig for your lifestyle.
One of the most important decisions you of vehicle for your lifestyle and travel plans. Generally, this means choosing between Class A, B, or C. Each is different size that fit different needs.
For most road trip purposes, you’ll likely want a Class C, said Matt Kirouac, co-founder of . “They’re a good, comfortable middle ground for families and couples alike,” he said. They’re not as enormous as Class A (luxury buses) and not as rugged as Class B (e.g., van life). “Don’t bite off more than you can chew with an oversized RV that’ll give you anxiety when it , navigating cities, gas stations, etc. Find an RV that gives you the space you need without the excess.”
2. Rent an RV before you decide to buy.
According to Lauren Keys, blogger at Trip Of A Lifestyle, renting an RV for a short trip is a good idea before investing in buying one or renting one for a more extended vacation. “We took the model of the van we purchased on a from the dealership before we decided to buy one, just to get a sense of whether we could both drive it (and if a bed would fit in the back!),” she said.
3. Consider buying used.
RVs depreciate rapidly, so you might want to find an if you plan to buy. “Keep in mind that the more bells and whistles it has, the more can go wrong,” Keys said. She added that most issues RVs components but with the extras that make it more livable.
4. Practice driving and backing up.
Dave Huber, general manager of , said the most common argument he witnesses among customers is when attempting to back up their RVs. “Practice and communication are to avoiding this breakdown,” he said. He said no matter what type of RV you rent or buy, you should practice radius in an empty parking lot before heading out. A few key concepts to learn are , which can cause you to bang into or run over obstacles if you aren’t careful.
Second, if you’ll be traveling with a partner or spouse, Huber said you should also . “You don’t want to start your camping experience with a breakdown in communication over backing an RV up,” he said. If your rig doesn’t have a backup camera, there are great after-market options to fix this problem, and they’re well worth the money. “Having managed campgrounds for many years, my wife and I made a pact upon our first purchase to out simple and clear hand signals, specifically to help out backup communication.”
5. Drive slowly.
Kirouac recommended miles under the speed limit when driving, especially on highways. “Wind gusts hit you much harder than you’d expect, and the general ‘feel’ of driving on highways is much different than a car.”
may get annoyed with your speed, but that’s OK; safety is the most important goal, so let them honk and move along. Also, stay to the right and don’t go into the necessary.