What We Wish We Knew Before We Started RVing

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We asked some of our fellow full-time RVing friends to share what they wish they knew before they started RVing. From motorhomes to towables to trucks, each couple shares their experience, regrets and tips to help others considering the RV lifestyle. Whether as a vacationer, snowbird or full-timer.

This video was originally published back in March 2017, and it’s one of our most popular. So we decided to share it here on the blog as well.

Lessons, Insights and Mistakes from 7 RV Couples

Here’s a few of the points covered in the video:

  • Does RV size matter?
  • Is it scary out there?
  • What things you should look out for
  • What to do and what NOT to do
  • The importance of research and taking your time

Keep in mind that very few people nail their RV purchase first go. So the more educated and informed you are before jumping in, the less likely you are to make a big, expensive mistake.

Keep reading (and watching) to the very end, for some great advice and resources that will give any RV wannabe or newbie a great head start when it comes to the RV life.

Tom and Cait

Tom and Cait from Mortons on the Move say they wish they knew they didn’t really need as big of an RV as they originally thought. After realizing they carried around too much stuff, they had to downsize their RV from a 41 foot fifth wheel to a 33 foot fifth wheel. 

2023 update: Now they often travel in a very nimble off-road truck camper.

They also explain that the world isn’t as scary as one might imagine when you’re in one place. 95% of the people you’ll meet will be nicer than you think!

Want more advice from Tom and Cait? Get 50 mins of their in-depth lessons and insights in our RV Success School Interviews. They’re also featured as a case study in our book.

Lisa and Dan

Lisa and Dan from Always On Liberty explain how they wish they had bought an older, pre-owned unit over a brand new one. They faced a big depreciation loss when they realized a new RV didn’t fit their needs living out of their unit full time.

Their advise is to shop around and to be sure of what floor plan you want.

Want more advice from Lisa and Dan? Get 54 mins of learning from them in our RV Success School Interviews. They’re also featured as a case study in our book.

2023 Update: Lisa and Dan sold their big 5th wheel trailer a few years into their travels, and now travel in a small Class C RV towing a Jeep. Here is their website if you want to learn more. 

Gary and Stacey

Gary and Stacey from PauHana Travels say do your research! Figure out what you want to do, how you want to use the rig, and where you want to go. They suggest getting into the rig and testing out the features of the RV. Also, don’t believe everything the salesman tells you.

Brian and Christie

Brian and Christie from Spot the Scotts recommend taking your time on researching and shopping. Also, be open on trying out different types of RVs. Lastly, newer doesn’t always necessarily mean better. Their current (and oldest) RV is the one that makes them the happiest!

Josh and Kali

Kali and Josh from The Freedom Theory wish they had known more about trucks before starting RVing because they pull a fifth wheel. They advise learning more about how to maintain rigs too because the more you know how to do yourself, the less money you’ll have to spend on RV repairs and maintenance.

Tim and Emily

Emily and Tim Rohrer from Own Less, Do More say to look at more than just the floor plan. Also look at what features are included. Emily states she wishes she would’ve started RVing years ago, when it comes to the his-work her-work aspects of the RV life. Tim does more of the work now than she did when they used to live in a house. Emily is very happy about that!

To wrap it all up, what do we have to say?

Marc and Julie Bennett of RVLove say… first up, we agree with all of these guys. Don’t rush it! Buying an RV is a really big, and often expensive decision. Everyone knows (we hope) that RVs are not an appreciating asset. They depreciate over time and can go down in value pretty hard. So the more you do research ahead of time the less likely you will be to make big or expensive mistakes.

Buying an RV is a very complex decision that involves your house and car (or truck). How easy it is to drive? What you can carry with you? Consider cargo carrying capacity, and so on. We really do encourage you to take your time, know yourself, and do through research because this is a big decision that hardly anyone gets right on the first try.

And as you’ve learned from many who shared in this video, making a mistake can literally cost you tens of thousands of dollars. But it doesn’t have to, IF you get properly educated. So check out our book and online courses below to learn even more.

These are just some of the many things you need to think about when shopping for an RV but hopefully this helps you get started! Was this helpful? Leave us a comment down below!

Want More Advice?

If you got a lot of value out this 8 minute video and blog post, how much more do you think you would get from a whole hour… or 5… or even 10 hours!? A lot, right? Now you can continue the learning from us and many other RVers at our online RV Success School.

We personally selected a dozen full time RVers and asked them a series of in-depth questions about their RV experience – from planning to RV shopping, to traveling, to how they make their RV lifestyle work from them. They each share their mistakes, learnings and successes in a long form interview that will help you as you make your own transition to RV life.

Click here to view all of our RV Success School courses

Looking for a Roadmap to the Mobile Life?

Pick up a copy of our bestselling book “Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road” at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Indigo, or your favorite independent bookstore. Click here to learn more and find retailers. It’s the very best place to start your mobile life. Click here to read the Amazon reviews.

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3 thoughts on “What We Wish We Knew Before We Started RVing”

  1. I got very good information about RVing. Thanks, these 7 people for sharing their experience with the reader. Really it’s very helpful who are thinking about starting their RVing experience.


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