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Choosing the Right RV for Retirement

One of the great American dreams is to chuck everything when you retire, buy an RV and spend your Golden Years traveling America’s scenic highways. It’s an achievable dream, but it’s best to take off the rose-colored glasses and take a hard look at your interests, needs and budget before you buy an RV online.

Successful RV retirees recommend easing into full-time RVing to see if it’s a good fit for your temperament and desired lifestyle. They recommend renting or borrowing an RV for a 3-month trial period before you take the plunge. Experienced full-timers also recommend that new retirees buy a used RV. As your experience increases, you may wish you had chosen an RV model with additional features. Used RVs cost less and depreciate more slowly than new rigs, making a swap down the line more affordable. Buying a used RV online also offers you a greater selection of vehicles in your price range.

Once you decide to embrace RV retirement, matching the right RV to your interests, needs and budget is the key to success. To match your retirement lifestyle to the right RV, follow these tips from experienced RV retirees:

Recreational vehicles come in two basic types:

Motorized RVs combine driving compartment and living space in a single vehicle, allowing access to the living area while you’re on the road. Easy to drive and park, motorized RVs afford greater safety and are popular with women and solo RVers.

  • Class A motorhome. Large and roomy, bus-size Class A motorhomes offer more luxurious amenities. They can accommodate several bedrooms with spacious closets, full-size kitchen appliances, laundry area, commodious bathroom with a full-size shower, and plenty of extra storage space. Class As are a good choice for retirees who prefer a more gracious lifestyle or enjoy bringing along friends or family when they travel. Wide hallways and doorways also make Class As a good choice for handicapped individuals.
  • Class B motorhome. These van campers pack all the necessities into a compact space. A raised roof allows comfortable standing. A good choice for solo travelers on a budget, Class Bs handle and park just like a family van.
  • Class C motorhome. Recognizable by their over-the-cab sleeping loft, Class C motorhomes offer the amenities of Class As at a scaled down size and price, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious couples.

Towable RVs separate the living space from the tow vehicle that pulls them. You must go outside to access the living area; however, the tow vehicle can be disconnected from the parked RV and used for local excursions.

  • 5th wheel. While offering the same luxury, amenities and space as Class A motorhomes, 5th wheels are less expensive. Additional living/sleeping space is provided in a raised section that overhangs the bed of the tow vehicle. A heavy-duty tow vehicle is required and should be considered when comparing costs. Backing and on-road maneuvering can be tricky due to the weight and size of 5th wheels. Full-time RVers who desire more space and more luxurious amenities but balk at Class A motorhome prices or prefer the convenience of a detachable vehicle often choose 5th wheels.
  • Travel trailer. Smaller and lighter weight than 5th wheels, travel trailers can be pulled by standard-size trucks, vans and some heavy cars, providing additional seating space when traveling with family or friends. These RVs tend to sway during travel and can be difficult to back and turn. Budget-conscious RVers who prefer a detachable vehicle commonly choose travel trailers.

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