A Beginner’s Guide to RVs

There are many options when it comes to deciding whether to purchase an RV. One way to start the process is to rent one of our El Monte RVs so you can get the feel of what owning a motorhome RV is like.

Renting an RV may seem confusing because there are a variety of choices in terms of size, ease of handling, destinations, and how to even pack for your trip. Let’s break it down to make the process stress free for the first-timer.

Start With the Basics

Before you hit the road, you need to address the basics of an RV road trip. There are four steps to get you started on your journey.

  • Plan your trip by deciding where you want to go and at what time of year.
  • Research the different RV rental options for your needs and choose the appropriate model.
  • Pack accordingly so that you have all the essentials that will fit inside your RV.
  • Lastly, hit the road and enjoy.

RV Model Options

Once you have decided where to go and have figured out where you will stay, depending on the site and seasonal availability, it is time to pick the El Monte RV rental that is best suited for your adventure. There are three popular classes of RVs to choose from.

Class A RVs are the largest, resembling luxury buses. These vehicles are driven from a front cockpit. Behind that is a living/dining space with a full kitchen. There are often sleeping bunks. The bathroom and private bedroom are generous. As well, these units almost always have slide-outs to expand the interior space when not on the road. Storage inside and outside is well-designed and thoughtful. Most Class A RVs are equipped with complete entertainment systems. This is your home away from home.

Class B RVs are also self-contained. These are more like large camper vans. They are very scaled-down versions of the Class A with a living/dining area, a compact kitchen, and sometimes a small wet bathroom. Sleeping quarters include a double bed area at the rear of the van.

Class C RVs are powerful pickup trucks with campers attached to them. Like Class As they are well designed for two or possibly more people. Sizes vary in this class. The living and dining areas are comfortable. The kitchens are well-equipped, and the bathrooms generally have separate showers. There is a bedroom at the back of the camper with an additional sleeping loft above the driving cab. Some Class Cs have a slide-out to expand the bedroom or living space.

Our El Monte dealers stock Class A and C RVs for both rent and sale. We encourage you to take an RV for a test drive or to rent one to get better acquainted with the amenities and handling of the different models.

Tips for First-Time RVers

Should I Buy or Rent?

This is the million-dollar question with advantages and disadvantages for both options.

Renting from an El Monte dealer absolutely makes sense if you are on the fence about whether owning an RV is right for you. This gives you the opportunity to test the waters during a one-time road trip. It gives you the chance to figure out how you and your family are able to manage smaller living quarters on wheels. This is a great first step before making an investment.

Buying an RV is best for those who love freedom while traveling and have a space to store the vehicle when not traveling. While this is an investment that needs to be well thought out, keep in mind that we offer both new and used RV sales to meet your budget.

Get Familiar With Your RV

If you are inexperienced with driving and living in an RV, it is recommended that you spend some time learning how to do both.

An RV is a smaller version of a home with scaled-down mechanical systems that require some conservation. It is important to understand how the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components work and how to repair them if you “overdo it.” This can save on potentially costly repairs. Less is more when living in an RV.

Driving an RV is not like driving an SUV. These are vehicles with larger engines, long wheelbases, and very different centers of gravity. Practice driving your RV on different road conditions, such as flat roads vs. hills. Keep in mind that items that are not stowed away or tethered may bounce or topple off of surfaces when making a sharp turn. Practice parking because you will encounter backing in or out of campsite spaces.

Pack Smartly

Space is at a premium in a motorhome, so be selective in your packing. Bring all the comforts you need but don’t be afraid to edit. You want to enjoy the interior of the RV without competing for space with extra stuff that you might not really need.

That said, make sure you bring items you might need for making quick repairs. We suggest a good tool kit, a first aid kit, extra fuses, light bulbs, batteries, jumper cables, and wheel chocks, for starters.

Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

You might be tempted to just wing it and hit the road once you have committed to renting or buying your perfect RV. Admittedly, it is exciting and fun is in the air. Things you need to consider before you hit the road include:

  • Figure out your budget.
  • Plan the driving route and set up your GPS, including stops you want to make along the way.
  • Make your campsite reservations based on adequate space and amenities.
  • Decide how many meals you will make at the campsite and how many you will eat out.
  • Before you hit the road, take care of mail delivery, pet care, home maintenance, and emergency contacts while away.

We have a good rule of thumb for planning your first RV trip. This can be either the 2-2-2 rule or the 3-3-3 rule. 2-2-2 refers to 200 miles of driving, taking a break every 2 hours, and then staying at a particular destination for at least 2 days. 3-3-3 stands for 300 miles of driving, arriving by 3:00 p.m. at your destination, and staying put for 3 days. Whichever rule you choose will depend on how many people will be sharing the driving.

Let’s Go! A Beginner’s Guide to RVs

Once you have everything figured out and have checked out RVs for sale or rent, it is finally time to hit the road. Beginners can do this if they follow these basic tips. RVing is a terrific way to travel and explore the countryside.

You can find a variety of new RVs for sale, used RVs for sale, and RV rentals at any of our El Monte dealers around the country to get you on the road in comfort and in style.

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