Getting Started

3 Things To Consider Before Buying An RV


When we think back to when we purchased our RV, there are three big things that we thought about before making the decision. Over the years of owning an RV, we have learned a lot.

We’ve realized that we didn’t know as much as we thought we did prior to purchasing an RV, and we didn’t know exactly what we wanted before we found it. We originally wanted a very small RV, we couldn’t care less if it had a slide-out or not, and we no clue what we would need in terms of battery bank size or how to manage our power usage before hitting the road. Luckily for us, we ended up purchasing the perfect RV to fit our needs and lifestyle and want to share three things we think you should consider before purchasing your RV.

When we first started daydreaming about owning and travelling in an RV, we pictured ourselves in a Class B van. A shorter camper van seemed like the ideal RV to travel around and park easily, but when we stepped inside we quickly realized that this was not the right option for us. We decided that we would need more space inside our RV if we were going to be spending months at a time living out of it, and especially with our cat. From there we considered a 19ft Class C, but ended up deciding on the 23ft Adventurer Class C RV. Once we stepped into the 23ft RV, we knew that it was the perfect size for us. We were happy to discover that driving and parking a medium-sized motorhome was a piece of cake, and we are even able to reverse it into a single parking stall if needed. On top of being easier to drive than we had previously expected, we ended up loving all of the extra space floor space and storage that a van would have never been able to provide us. It may seem obvious, but we think one of the most important things to consider before purchasing an RV is the amount of space you need to be comfortable and happy - which of course will be different for everyone. The last thing you want is to be trading in your RV because it is too big or too small for your adventures.

When we were looking at RVs to purchase, we could have cared less if it had a slide-out or not. It just so happened that the motorhome we decided to purchase did have a slide-out, and we LOVE it! In fact, a slide-out is now on our ‘must have list’ for any future RV we purchase. Before we started travelling in our RV, we would look at the slide-out – which looks pretty small – and think “it can’t make that much of a difference in extra floor space”. We were wrong. Our dinette and wardrobe are on our slide out, and when the slide is out, our walkway space in the RV is doubled! With the amount of time we spend in the RV while stationary, this is such a nice option to have. It makes walking around each other while cooking so much easier and the whole RV just feels so much more open. Our slide-out only sticks out as far as the cab’s driver side mirror, but it effectively doubles our floor space. We know that some people prefer to not have a slide-out as it’s something else on an RV that can malfunction. While this is true, we think the benefit of being able to push a button and gain space in our RV outweighs the risk. Plus - if our slide does, for some reason, stop working, we have the option to manually crank the slide.

3 Things Before Buying An RV

Aside from our floor space requirements, one other size requirement to keep in mind is the size of your battery bank, and how you will recharge those batteries. We had no experience with RV power usage before purchasing our RV, and it’s something worth considering before deciding on which RV to purchase. How much power you need on the road will vary a lot depending on your lifestyle. You may need very little power if you are more of a traditional camper, or you may be working on the road and require a considerable amount of power. The RV that we decided to purchase can hold up to three 12 volt batteries which is great because we need all three. We record and edit videos out of our RV, which uses a fair bit of electricity, so we would have been in trouble if we decided on an RV that couldn’t hold our batteries. We also knew that we wouldn’t be plugging in our RV to recharge very often and having a generator to recharge would also be important. We also love the fact that our motorhome will recharge our batteries from the alternator while driving – a huge bonus when we travelled across Canada! Understanding how many amp hours each of your appliances and electronics use is very important when deciding on an RV to purchase. Do you want it to have a huge battery bank? A generator or solar panels? Do you plan on camping with electrical hookups so none of this matters? Having the stress of running low on battery in your RV is never fun, so having enough or having a way to recharge in a pinch is important when deciding on an RV to purchase.

We hope that considering these three things will help you pick out the best RV for your needs and lifestyle. We took these three things into consideration before purchasing our 23ft Class C Adventurer Motorhome and don’t regret a thing. Remember that everyone’s RV needs are different, and consider the size of your camping party, if you will be travelling with pets or not, and how much electricity you plan to be using on the road.

  • About the authors: Luke & Alysha bought their first RV from Fraserway RV and travelled around Canada exploring.