Intro to RVing – Information for Beginners
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
We will continue to add to this list. If you have any specific questions, contact us directly and we will help in any way we can 🙂
This is definitely the most common question that we get from prospective full-time RVers! Unfortunately, there really is no “right” answer. It’s kind of like asking who’s the right person to marry! RV’s, like spouses, come in many different shapes and sizes and all have a list of pros and cons. In the end, which type of RV you choose is not important, what is important is that the RV you choose is the best for YOU! This article, “DON’T Buy an RV Until You’ve Read These 5 Tips” will give you some ideas to think through so that you can buy the perfect RV!
A fifth wheel is an RV that is attached to a hitch in the bed of the pickup truck. This connection point places the hitch weight of the trailer over the rear axle of the truck which allows for more even weight distribution across the truck. Since the trailer connects in the bed of the pickup truck, part of the trailer actually sits above the bed of the truck which makes the towing length less when compared to an equal length travel trailer.
A travel trailer is an RV that is connected to a tow vehicle using a bumper hitch. This type of RV is often called a pull trailer or a bumper trailer. These RV’s come in all shapes and sizes which offer a tremendous amount of flexibility.
Many full-time RVers choose a fifth wheel to be their home on wheels because they offer the most living space for your dollar. Much like the Apple vs Android debate, peoples’ opinions on fifth wheels vs motorhomes are very strong, but we chose a fifth wheel and have been happy with our decision. We felt that there were 10 benefits to a fifth wheel that made it the right choice for full-time RVing which you can read about here.
If you are interested in an RV that requires a tow vehicle, then it necessary to understand how much weight your vehicle can safely tow. Unfortunately, making this determination is not as straightforward as you might think. There are a lot of different weights (and acronyms) to understand and check to ensure safe towing. This site is a great resource to get started on learning all of the different weights.
For us, here are the validations that we used to ensure that our truck could safely tow our fifth wheel trailer. In order to be safe, the following weight tests needed to be true:
- Truck’s Maximum Trailer Rating (from Manufacturer) > Trailer’s GVWR (from Manufacturer)
- Truck’s Maximum Payload (GVWR – curb weight) > Trailer Hitch Weight (fifth wheel = 15-25% of GVWR) + Truck Cargo (passengers, luggage, etc)
- Truck’s Reserve Axle Capacity – Rear (gross axle rear rating – curb weight rear axle) > Trailer Hitch Weight (fifth wheel = 15-25% of GVWR) + Truck Cargo (passengers, luggage, etc)
There’s so many great places to travel with your RV, but how do you find a place to park it? Luckily, there are lots of different options for parking your RV that can meet any budget or need. Find out more in this post, “How to Find the Best Spots to Park Your RV.”
There is no “one” answer to this question. We always say that living in an RV can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want. How much you spend each month will depend on the type of RVer that you are. Do you like to Boondock or do you prefer the conveniences of an RV park? How quickly/frequently do you anticipate traveling? What is the size of your family? These things will directly impact your monthly expenses. We published how much it cost us to full-time as well as 7 other full-time RVers (with different lifestyles) to try to provide you with a good idea of what it might cost you. Click to read How Much Does it Cost to Full-Time RV.
When we first took the leap into full-time RVing, we chose a fifth wheel. After half a year living in the fifth wheel, we decided to change into a motorhome. Each type of RV has advantages and disadvantages. Click here to read all of the reasons that we switched from a fifth wheel to a Class C motorhome