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Whether you’re going out of town or crossing borders to a neighboring country, a road trip can be an incredible way to quench your thirst for adventure.

While many road trips entail a regular vehicle, and booking hotels for each night you’re away,  you might also consider getting or renting an RV, especially for long distance travels.

Modern RVs come equipped with everything you need to make the journey easier for you, and everyone else who comes along for the ride. From bathrooms to recreation areas, RVs have the amenities that add to your overall comfort.

While it’s many people’s dream to own their own RV, finding one that’s both right for you and fits your budget can be the tricky part. Fortunately, there are many strategies for finding the right RV. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Things to Consider if You’re Buying an RV

Think Long-Term

Airstream RV Campervan RF car drive road

If you’re thinking of buying an RV just because you want to take a dream vacation in Mexico,  you  probably don’t have a compelling enough reason to do so.

An RV is an investment, so it’s important that you have a long-term plan to really get the most value out of it. If you’re only taking one trip in an RV, it then becomes a better idea to go for a rental.

You will need to determine specific goals before shopping around for an RV. Do you have other places you plan to go? Are you constantly traveling from coast to coast?

If you don’t mind traveling the way people did back in the day, then you won’t have a problem with buying an RV. But if you’ve made the decision to buy, make sure you map out whether or not you’ll truly get your money’s worth.

Consider Your Lifestyle

RV Campervan RF car drive road

Practicality is important when you’re shopping for an RV. No doubt, you need to know if you can own and manage such an expensive vehicle.

It’s important to consider your lifestyle as the basis for selecting the type of RV that’s right for you. If you lead a more luxurious lifestyle, there are a huge range of luxury coaches you can choose from. However, if you’re used to living modestly, a small trailer or camper may be all you need.

Salesmen will always try and upsell you, and often this sees people purchasing vehicles that they don’t get the full use out of. So sit down before you head out to speak to somebody, so you can be strong in your convictions about the features you do, and don’t, need.

Obviously, the higher end luxury you go, with more bells and whistles, the higher the cost of the vehicle will be. But things like solar power benefits may be practical (ie save you the cost of hooking up at a site that has electricity), so just make sure you research thoroughly.

Focus on Practicality

RV Campervan car drive road RF

When you’re deciding on the features you need, it’s important to be specific. In doing your research, assess which features come with most RVs as a basic standard, and which come as an add on, as not every vehicle will have things like a satellite TV.

Create a checklist based on practicality. The best way to go about it is to consider features that are functional. Anything you expect for your day to day life on the road, they’re the features you should focus on getting.

Things like an effective air conditioning and propane system, as well as fast Wi-Fi connectivity, are features that most people aim for in an RV. Other features you could consider might be those that help lower the cost of operation.

Consider having Wi-Fi pre-installed as a practical safety. One big vulnerability of traveling in an RV is connecting to unsecured public networks as you drive, though this leaves you at risk of a cyber security attack.

Most public networks aren’t safe, and allow anyone using them to access your information like passwords, bank account info, though if you have your own private WiFi installed, there’s no vulnerability. Or, if you are connecting to public networks on the road, use a VPN to mask your IP for that extra road security.

Find the Right Dealer

Once you have your finances prepared and your expectations set, it’s only a matter of finding an RV dealership that won’t sideline you with hidden charges.

For this, you can ask for recommendations from someone you know or find an online listing of RV dealerships in your area. Once you have the right dealer, you can bet on buying an RV that won’t pose too much of a burden for you.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Long term is key Meg because this is basically buying a rolling home. Big investment that changes how you travel and how you live. Super points here.

    • Absolutely Ryan, and I think treating it as a home is probably the best mindset to be in when thinking about purchasing it. Not something you want to invest in to just leave parked and only use once or twice :)

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. With my previous job, I worked a lot of RV shows. Find a dealer whose salespeople were not car salesman previously. I know one sales manager who fired everyone who was. Their sales went up dramatically as the team focused as much on the relationships with the clients.

    A few other tidbits I learned. Rent various RV’s and try them out for a weekend or longer. This will help you decide the right size of RV (Class A, B, or C) and what other features you love and what you can live without.

    Finally, when you know what features you want, go to an RV show (when they can be had safely) and find a model that fits what you are looking for. Then wait a few year and watched for that model to come up for sale on the used market. This happens as people either decide they don’t like the lifestyle, upgrade, or, sadly, pass away. You’ll pay less than retail, and the previous owner will most likely have made the initial fixes so you don’t have to.

    • Fantastic tips and insights JR, thankyou for sharing your experience. I love the idea of renting before you jump into an investment / commitment to buy, and this allowing you to get a feel for both the vehicle you’re best suited to, and for the lifestyle itself. And patience can definitely be a virtue for a purchase like this – the savings really can be quite large when we’re talking about large vehicles, so I think the long term strategy is a great one :)

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. We have 3 cats and 3 dogs. Any advice on travel with critters??

    • Hi Janet, I would deifnitely look at picking an RV which has enough space for the whole crew of you, and then depending on the dynamic of your animals, and how well they travel, slow travel may be the best way to go, so they have enough time to spend outdoors, and aren’t always cooped up inside for long stretches of time :)

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