RVing 101: What You Need To Know Before You Go
Thinking that maybe an RV is the right fit for your family? There is no doubt that RVing is a lifestyle more and more families are adopting as the benefits become more widely known. RVing also allows you to see North America in a unique, cost effective and fun way. Don’t leap before you look though, consider the following before you commit.
1) All RV’s are not created equal. RV’s come in all shapes and sizes from a tent trailer to a fifth-wheel to a Class A motorhome. The challenge for you will be deciding what works best for your family. Do you want all the amenities of home? Then a self-contained motorhome is probably your best bet. Maybe you don’t mind using the public facilities to shower but prefer not to sleep on the ground? Then a tent trailer might be for you. How often do you plan on using it and how many does it need to sleep? Also ask yourself what seasons you’ll be RVing in. If you’re planning to RV in the fall and spring you’ll need a heated unit.
2) Ask yourself what your budget is. RV’s can range from $4000 for a new tent trailer to over $500,000 for a Class A Motorhome. Only you know what works best for you, but when figuring out your budget be sure to account for fuel, storage, insurance and maintenance costs.
3) Do you have the space to store one? Do you have by-laws that prevent you from keeping your RV in your driveway? Will your neighbours find it a nuisance to look at? If you have to store it, how much will that cost you monthly?
4) Seriously assess what you’re comfortable driving. A Class A Motorhome can be as long as 40’ feet long, tow a car with you and you could be as long as 60′. Are you comfortable driving something that big? Maybe a smaller Class B or Class C is better suited to you. Be honest with yourself right away and you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.
5) Let go of the stereotypes, namely that RVing is for the retired set only. More and more families are being turned on to the benefits of RVing every year with 40% of RVers now comprised of families.
6) RV Resorts can be synonymous with luxury. Really. Blue Water Key in the Florida Keys offers tiki huts with each lot and gorgeous on the water views. Some RV resorts offer spas and world class golf courses. Also the best family accommodations can be found at places like Lake George RV Park, Glen Ellis Family Campground and Disney’s Fort Wilderness. These resorts offer all the amenities with some of the best the great outdoors can offer.
7) There is nowhere you can’t go. Don’t think you’re limiting yourself to where you can visit in an RV. You can even RV in New York City. Liberty Harbour RV Park may not offer a traditional camping environment (it’s a parking lot) but where it lacks in natural beauty it more than makes up for in proximity and cost savings. A quick ferry ride to the financial district or walk a couple of blocks to the subway and you can be in the centre of it all in a New York minute. The point here, is that before you think you can’t take your RV somewhere investigate what’s nearby, you’ll be surprised.
8) Foodies rejoice. Perhaps the best part of owning an RV is that you are no longer relegated to hotel breakfasts and substandard fast food. Pretty much anything you do at home can be done in an RV. Most motorhomes and towables come with ovens, microwaves and stovetops. Plus don’t forget you’ll have your BBQ just outside the door for that perfect steak.
9) Before you commit, try the RVing lifestyle on for size. There are a number of companies that offer rentals. This is the best way to determine if your family is really in for the long haul. In the end you may decide that renting once or twice a year is all you’ll need.
10) Finally, consider this, an RV is ready when you are. If wanderlust has a serious hold of you then it might just be the vacation lifestyle for you. That iconic trip down Route 66 is calling your name.