Buying An RV? How To Know Which One Is Best For You

A man stands on an RV lot with a smile and his hands up declaring he found the best RV. He is standing behind a Class A motorhome.

When shopping for a new RV, how do you tell which one is the best RV for you and your family? There are so many new and used models to choose from, and each has a varied layout. It’s overwhelming. The best RV for you is the one that enables you to use it with the least amount of friction. Here is some food for thought when searching for your best RV.

What makes a brand good?

Quality materials

If a company uses quality materials, like real wood versus particle board, your RV is going to last longer. You will pay more for quality, but you won’t be replacing things as often.

Appliance quality

Kitchens are very important in an RV. Having the right appliances and ones that work for you is crucial.

Again, quality counts. You don’t want to have to replace items months after you purchase your RV.

Customer Support

There is nothing more frustrating than purchasing an item be it a small device or a $100,000 RV, and not being able to talk to someone when you have a question or something breaks.

Customer service counts. You want a company that will service your RV after the sale, and points you in the right direction if you have an issue.

Research and find the best RV for the money for your situation

Do your research. Which RVs do your favorite YouTubers like? Watch tours of different kinds. Find out what bugs them about their rigs and what they love. Ask yourself if you need a brand new RV or will an older unit work just as well for you?

Try Before You Buy

This is a hard item. You find the perfect rig, but now you remember that you should rent an RV in that size and style to see if it fits with your wants and needs. This is a good piece of advice.

If you rent a 35-foot RV and discover that you hate driving something that big, it’s better to know it now than after you own a beast that size.

Or, conversely, if you rent a van and realize that you and your traveling partner need more space to spread out, then you can switch rigs without losing money.

Other Considerations for Choosing the Best RV

Safety

Just like cars, you can see safety ratings on RVs. Check the wheelbase location and the weight capacity to start your safety considerations.

If you’re hauling your trailer, make sure your truck is up to the challenge to tow the weight of the loaded camper.

How you’re going to use a camper

Are you going to be a weekend warrior, or will you be full-timing in your RV? This is important for the durability necessary for your unit.

For occasional weekend trips, you might not need as much high-tech or creature comforts as you might when you’re living full-time in the RV.

Gas or diesel

There are benefits to both gas and diesel. Gas is more readily accessible. Diesel engines require maintenance less often, but those visits tend to be more expensive.

Diesel has greater fuel efficiency. Gas motorhomes will be less expensive, in general.

Drivable or towable

This is a very personal choice. Do you want to drive your RV or tow it? There are benefits to both and you have to make that decision.

When purchasing a motorhome, you get an all-in-one unit. You just unplug, hop in, and drive off.

With a trailer, it takes more time to get hooked up before you can drive off, but once you’re there, you have a vehicle to drive around sightseeing with.

Trailers are also considerably less expensive, but you need to have the right vehicle to pull it.

Take into account your financing options

One of the big decisions is how you will pay for the RV.

You can take out a personal loan from a bank or credit union, pay cash, trade in a car or older RV, or use the financing offered through a dealership.

Shop around to find the best rates. Don’t make these RV loan mistakes.

The Best Class A RV for the Money

Newmar Dutch Star

This pricey Class A is like taking your home on the road. These units have a washer/dryer, 2 bathrooms, some have a dishwasher and so much more.

Forest River George Town XL

Luxury on the road is how this Class A is described. On a Ford F-53 chassis, this large RV has all of the comforts of home.

Tiffin Phaeton

Tiffin boasts a sleek look with plenty of storage space and seating. From tile floors to a central vacuum cleaner, this has many upgrades that say class all the way around.

The Best Class B RV for the Money

Coachmen Galleria

This 24-foot RV is built on a Mercedes chassis. The newest van is awash in tans, natural wood and whites, making the space look and feel bigger. Prices on this rig go up to $210,088.

Pleasure-Way Plateau

Starting at a MSRP of $154,635, the Plateau is a 23-foot gem built on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis with a diesel engine. It is classy and functional for such a small space.

Winnebago Revel

This pricey Class B, starts at $174,906. It’s more outdoor adventure rugged, than upscale classy.

It’s made to be used for outdoor sports with a bed that raises to create garage space. It has a wet bath and can create a seating area when the front two chairs are swiveled. It has a diesel engine.

The Best Class C RV for the Money

Winnebago Navion

The Navion starts at $161,421 and is described as upscale comfort. There are 3 different bed layouts. Class Cs have a separate shower, instead of a wet bath.

With the addition of a slide out, the rig is 25’6″ long and seems larger than a Class B. It also has an additional sleeping space over the cab. It runs on a diesel engine.

Winnebago Vita

With slides, the Vita offers extra space at a smaller price. It has an oven, and optional dinette or two-person sofa.

It’s a diesel engine on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis and is 24’5” long. The Vita starts at $125,171.

Forest River Sunseeker

There are 4 varieties of Sunseeker units, each with multiple slide-outs to make the most out of the space. It has either a Ford or Chevy chassis, and varies in length from 27’7” to 32’3”.

Some models are diesel and some are gas. Prices for the Sunseeker run in the $60,000 to $80,000 range.

A father, mother, and two daughters stand in front of their Class C motorhome in a grassy area next to a lake with blue skies. They chose the best RV for their family.

The Best Fifth-Wheel RV for the Money

Grand Design Solitude

The Solitude is a great fifth wheel with style and function. The multitude of floor plans can help you decide which part of life is more important – the kitchen, the living space, or the master suite.

The rig is like coming home every time you enter. Prices can start around $80,000 for a new unit.

Forest River Cardinal Luxury

The Cardinal Luxury is 41’4” long and weighs 16,340 pounds. It’s large and has perks like an extra bathroom and a large stand-up shower. A king-sized bed is standard. There is lots of underneath storage.

Prices range in the $55,000 to $90,000 range.

Redwood RV

This model offers 9 different, creative floor plans. This fifth-wheel has the size for those who love entertaining. The lengths are from 36’8” to 42’2” and can sleep 4 to 6 people.

The prices vary, but a 2021 Redwood RV 4001LK has been listed for $143,677.  

The Best Travel Trailers for the Money

Airstream Flying Cloud

This is labeled as the most popular, versatile, and family-friendly travel trailer. There are 14-floor plans to choose from.

The shorter units start at $78,900 and the 30’ units start at $102,400. Airstreams are known to hold their resale value.

The iconic look to the Airstream is what makes these units so special. With lots of windows and a sleek interior, the Airstream just might win your heart.

Jayco by Thor Motor Coach

Depending on what you’re looking for, Jayco probably has an option. From a Jay Feather Micro to a Jay Flight Bungalow, there’s a lot of choices for travel trailers.

If you’re traveling with a family, there are a few options to choose from with bunk beds. Traveling alone, you can get a king-sized bed and plenty of room for entertaining and doing projects.

Take your time to find what you would like.

Grand Design Imagine

This unit is described as “tow and go”. The largest trailer is 36’11” and the shortest is 27’11”. It has a variety of choices based on what you will be doing with the RV.

There are models with bunk rooms and others with large garage storage. There are many add-ons like fireplaces and telescoping TVs.

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