According to a 2005 study, RV ownership in the United States reached record highs with approximately 8.2 million households owning an RV. Those numbers have continued to rise steadily over the course of the last few years and with good reason. RV living offers a sense of frugality and freedom that many people enjoy. If you have been considering the purchase of an RV, there are a few great tips you need to know in order to become a full-time RVer.
Choose the Right RV
Before you begin your journey as a full-time RVer, you have to choose the right RV the first time around. That may seem like common knowledge, but many people mistakenly choose the wrong RV. There are many different styles and models to choose from and several different lengths. For example, there are motorhomes, 5th wheels and travel trailers.
A large motorhome is ideal for individuals or couples who plan on traveling a lot. If you plan on always being on the go, choose something that will provide you the space and luxury you need to haul your belongings. If, on the other hand, you are going to stay stationary for months at a time, a 5th wheel or even a travel trailer is a better option.
Keep in mind that a travel trailer is a little easier on your vehicle in terms of weight and maneuverability. If you plan on buying a larger 5th wheel, you will need to research the correct vehicle that is capable of handling the weight. Speak to the RV dealer to determine the exact weight of the RV and ask for advice about the type of vehicle you need to pull it.
Familiarize Yourself with RV Maintenance
A large rig can have upwards of 750,000 parts on it, and at any given time, approximately 5% of those parts may not work correctly. If you plan on becoming a full-time RVer, you need to know how to properly perform maintenance, particularly to your RV's battery.
One of the most important items you can have on hand is an RV converter charger. Unfortunately, many RV owners, particularly first-time owners, are unaware of how to properly use their chargers. Misuse of the charger could inevitably lead to the early death of your battery. RV converter chargers put out a continuous 13.5 volts of charge.
Unfortunately, that many volts is far too much for a battery that is fully charged, therefore, the last thing you want to do is leave the charger on your battery for too long. Keep a close eye on the battery and remove the battery once it is fully charged.
Invest in Space-Saving Design
Many full-time RVers find themselves having to downsize their items by either throwing them away or donating them because of the limited space inside RVs. Although you will have to downsize, you can invest in space-saving furniture and design, so you can worry a little less about downsizing.
A few space-saving designs to consider include the addition of magnetic strips along the wall where you can store kitchen items such as knives and metal cooking utensils. Yet another idea is to invest in rolling storage boxes that you can roll away under beds and seating in the RV. You can use rolling storage for clothes, shoes, and other miscellaneous items.
Many RVers enjoy undermount items such as a paper plate dispenser that mounts under the kitchen cabinets, therefore allowing you to save space in your cabinets for food and other goods. Upgrade your seating or bed areas with slide-out-drawers where you can store containers, clothes, and even books. Fold down tables are another great investment. You can fold the table up when it is not in use, therefore giving you extra floor space.
With these few helpful tips, you can be well on your way to enjoying the life of a full-time RVer. Make sure you speak to a professional before purchasing any RV, since no two RVs are the same. Each RV will have its pros and cons. Let the RV dealer know how often you plan on using your RV, how much traveling you plan on doing, and that you plan to do it full-time, so they can help you find the right RV for you.
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