Buying an RV Checklist

The buying an RV checklist is important for staying focused.

There are a lot of decisions to make and there are no hard and fast rules.

You are the one spending money not me or any one else.

Having said that having a buying an RV checklist is important.


If you like pickup trucks this is the way to go. Travel Trailers, fifth wheels, camper trailers are what you have to choose from.

Fifth wheels, the truck to trailer connection is over the rear wheels of the truck, are the most stable to tow. They come in lengths up to 45'. 

They have about 20% of the trailer weight over the truck bed adding to the stability of the rig. Of course the bigger the trailer the bigger the truck needs to be to safely pull it. 

Travel Trailers are pulled behind a      truck, small popups you can tow with a suv, they are not as stable as a fifth wheel, and a bit more difficult to back up. They are very popular and maybe exactly what you need.

Your pickup becomes your "dinghy". Towing a car or boat behind these units is not possible or safe. But if you love your pickup that is no problem.

Motor homes Class C

A Class C motor home is built over a van or pickup chassis. It is usually not recommended for towing a car.

This means a lot of hooking and unhooking for groceries.

However these are cheaper and easier to drive and get twice the gas mileage that the larger Class A units. These units deserve to be on your buying an RV checklist.

Motor homes Class A

These units come in sizes ranging from 28 feet to 45 feet.

You can spend over a million dollars  for a palace with wheels. you can see the same scenery and spend $20,000 dollars on a coach, it is your choice.

You have your choice of diesel or gas. You can tow a car or suv behind these units which eliminates the hooking and unhooking, when you need to run to the store.

Buying an RV checklist diesel or gas?

When you buy a motorhome, this mostly applies to Class A, you have a choice between a gas or an diesel engine. Both have there plusses. A gas engine is mounted in the front and has the advantage of easier maintenence. For instance you can change your own oil, since gas engines take around 6 quarts of oil.

The diesel engine has more torque, meaning you can pull more and get up hills easier. The engine is mounted in the back...hence the term, diesel pusher.

They sound cool too.

Diesel engines can run up to a million miles between over hauls so a high mileage diesel engine is not of a great concern on your buying an RV checklist. 

Our last RV (Detroit Diesel engine) had 99,000 miles on it when we bought it. We put another 43,000 miles on it with no engine work required. They are also quieter than gas engines inside the motorhome.

You may be shocked at your first oil change. These babies hold around 25 quarts of oil...this can cost around $200 for an oil change and very difficult for you to do yourself. How are you going to carry and dispose of 25 quarts of oil?

Despite the above we feel a high mileage diesel engine Class A is the  way to go for full time RV living. They can be had for a lower price due to the mileage. It should not bother are an informed buyer.


You will have a personalized buying an RV checklist depending on how you use it . From vacation use only to full time RV living, each checklist will be different. Enjoy the journey you have a lot of choices to make.

Return from buying an RV checklist to living in an RV

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