For people seeking a peaceful escape from today’s busy world, now is the perfect time to invest in an RV trailer and venture into the great outdoors. Just hook an RV trailer to your SUV and enjoy the ride — easy enough, right?
Well, not quite. While acquiring an RV is not as straightforward as many people think, there’s no need to worry, as this guide will prepare you for your RV trailer’s essentials. There are many variables like price, size, features, and much more than a first-time buyer may not have considered. Without further ado, here’s what you should consider before choosing the motorhome of your dreams.
Terminology: Speak Like an RV Pro
If this is your first time sorting through an RV listing, we've got you covered. If things are looking more complicated than they should, here’s a small glossary of the most important terms you'll need to keep in mind to make reading through those listings as easy as hitting the open road.
- Pop-up trailer: These models are the pinnacle of portable, affordable and easy-to-tow RVs. They can fold and collapse with ease, saving space both while traveling and when in storage.
- Travel trailers: These usually comes to mind when you think of the traditional RV. They’re the most popular models on the market, and they come with many different price tags depending on the features they incorporate. These are probably the most widely available trailers you’ll find on major listings.
- Fifth-wheel: Usually grouped and confused with travel trailers, fifth-wheels tend to have much more space than other RVs. Their defining characteristic is that they’re designed to be towed with a mechanism called a fifth-wheel hitch.
- Toy hauler: Here’s where the lines blur a little bit. Toy haulers can technically be either fifth wheels, pop-up, or travel trailers, with the main difference being that they have a ramp door in the back. They’re designed to offer easy access to the trailer, but aside from that, their operation is almost identical to their counterparts.
Evaluate your needs
You may already have an idea in your mind about the type of RV you want to acquire. However, it’s time to set realistic expectations and explore your needs.
You should consider size first and foremost; there’s no need to acquire the biggest fifth wheeler on the market if you’re traveling by yourself. Also, where are you going to park it? Size should not only be determined by the number of people that could use the trailer, but also by how much storage space you’ll need.
There’s a difference between the features that you need versus the add-ons you want. More often than not, RV-ers can make do without certain items that will impact the price but not their experiences. For example, do you need an integrated grill if you can bring a separate one?
After determining the type of RV that would suit you, it’s time to explore budgets concerning new or used RVs, and their pros and cons. Trailers are not as expensive as motorhomes. However, they are not cheap by any means.
You may be tempted to go for a used model because of the price, and sometimes used is the better option. However, if you’re inexperienced, upkeep and inspection could become a hassle. Your biggest priority when acquiring a used RV should be its reliability and condition. Please consider that trailers require extensive maintenance to stay in top condition, especially if they’re used.
For used models, be sure to check the roof sealant, gutter railing, and rear cap sealant. Any crack could lead to moisture damage and have an impact on the power generators. Consider paying for an RV mechanic to come with you and inspect your favorite offers. This could save you from costly repairs in the future.
There are many different types of trailers designed to fit your travel lifestyle. While the list of things to consider before buying sounds extensive, with a little bit of planning and time, you can find a model perfectly suited to your next outdoor adventure. For more information about our outdoor-related products and camping tips, please visit our blog.