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Must-Have RV Features for Full-Time RVers

Open Road

If you're a weekend RVer considering making the leap to full-time RVing, it's a good idea to take a few long vacations (a month or longer) in your RV to try full-timing on for size before you commit yourself. Becoming a full-time RVer means downsizing your living space -- and your stuff! To adapt to the full-timers' nomadic lifestyle, you have to be willing to pull up your roots and give up the security they represent. Some people find they're not as ready to leave "home" as they thought they were; hence the trial vacations. However, if you end each trial vacation wishing it would last longer, you're ready to get serious about bridging the gap from weekender to full-timer.

Many people simply move into the RV they already own and take off. But if you've wished your RV had more storage space or a larger kitchen or a more powerful fan or didn't guzzle so much gas while on weekend trips, you might want to consider trading up for an RV that has more of the features you want. Something that's a minor nuisance during a weekend trip is going to become a major annoyance when you have to deal with it every day.

When choosing an RV, whether you'll be traveling solo or as a couple and your lifestyle plans will dictate many of your choices. For example, if you plan to operate a business from your RV, you'll need work and storage space. If your dream is to visit America's National Parks with your grandchildren, sleeping capacity will be important. Each person will have a different list of RV must-haves, but the following are the things veteran full-timers find universally important:

  • Good gas mileage. Newer motorhomes and travel trailers (particularly the ultra-lights that can be towed by a sedan) feature light-weight composite construction which offers better gas mileage, always a consideration when you're going to be spending a lot of time on the road.
  • Space. Unless you're traveling solo, full-timers recommend upsizing your space so you're not tripping over each other. Larger RVs offer more spacious rooms, full-size appliances, bathrooms with elbow room, bigger closets, and more built-in storage space. Look for RVs with slides that extend interior space when parked.
  • Storage. You'll never have enough so choose an RV that offers as much as possible. Look for "basement" and exterior storage compartments that augment interior storage.

When buying your RV, you'll find the best deals online. If you don't want to pay full freight, consider buying a newer used RV. Buying used allows you to score plenty of luxury features at an affordable price.

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