5 Amazing Benefits of Renting an RV Before you Buy

5 Amazing Benefits of Renting an RV Before you Buy

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There’s something about RVing that brings a wanderlust and adventurous spirit out in almost everyone. It has become very popular! So, we are examining why renting an RV can be very beneficial before you make the decision to buy.  Whether you are in it for the weekends and holidays or want to live Full-time like us.

For many, it’s about exploring the nature reserves, hiking trails, and unplugging from most of modern technology. Just imagine sitting by the campfire outside, roasting delicious marshmallows while relaxing and bonding with your family or friends. It’s a beautiful sight!

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However, purchasing an RV is a big investment and is considered to be a ‘luxury’ item. Also, it can be overwhelming as you begin your search. One of the first places most look is RV Trader, where they begin learning just how many different types, floor-plans, and brands there are.

That is precisely why you should consider these 5 reasons to rent an RV before buying one!

1. It can save money and time

I have heard of so many stories of RV’ers who purchase their “perfect RV” only to trade it in a year later for something either larger or smaller.

Renting an RV first could save you from stress, emotionally and financially. When you take a loss or have to go through the trade-in process, it can take a toll not only on your pocketbook but also on your state of mind. No one wants to waste money by purchasing the wrong RV that doesn’t truly fit their needs.

When you rent, you will be able to test out all the different styles and types to see what fits, before signing the dotted line.

2. Test out different floorplans and amenities

RVs come in all different styles and sizes to meet the Rv’ers needs. There are Motorhomes classified as the Class A, Class C, and Class B. Then you have your towable RVs like the Travel Trailer, Fifth Wheel, Toy Haulers and Pop-Ups.

Along with the styles of RVs, you have numerous amounts of floorplans. Some will have an extra bunkhouse for kids and guests, others will have washer/dryer prep, while others will have an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area. Each floorplan carries its own unique details that can either benefit your family or become an unused amenity.

You’ll also be able to consider the amount of space and slides you might need. We have 3 slides, two in the main living area and one in the bedroom. They make the space open and not feel cramped. By renting before buying, you will be able to really test out space and see if it will be enough room or possibly too much room for those who are really wanting to minimize.

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3. Practice driving, towing, parking, and backing up

Unless you are a seasoned driver like my father, who has been pulling 10,000 lbs. plus trailers across the country for his work, pulling a trailer can be intimidating. I (Nissa) still have not driven the truck while our 34ft Travel Trailer is towing behind. I am honestly scared because it’s our home.

Thank goodness my husband used to tour with a band and has driven an RV before. Otherwise, we would have had a lot of training ahead of us.

Renting an RV will help tremendously because it will give you the opportunity to practice towing, parking, and the dreaded backing up. Practice makes perfect, as my coaches would always say, and the same goes for towing a trailer or driving a motorhome that is slightly larger than a normal truck or car.

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4. Learn how RV’s work

Yes! Understanding how RV’s work is a learning curve. For us, the gentlemen we purchased from walked us through everything. However, there still was so much we had to research and learn about our RV.

Learning how the water system works, the heating and a/c systems, or how the slides mechanically come in and out are important. Another big one is the grey and black tanks, and knowing where you can dump. As well as, the electrical amps, where to plug in, how you can convert amps to fit your RV and more. These are just a few things that one will have to know when owning an RV.

RVing is fun but there is definitely a learning curve. Renting an RV first will allow you to go through that learning curve to see if it’s something you really want to do. Which leads me to my last point.

5. To ensure the RV life is right

Renting an RV can help you determine if living in an RV or purchasing one for weekend camping is right for you and your family.

Renting is truly the “try it before you buy it” concept. Everyone loves to try things out before fully committing, especially when something is a large purchase.

Where you can Rent

You can check out the #1 RV Rental site called Outdoorsy. They have consistently rated 5 stars with roadside assistance, customer service, and up to $1million insurance coverage for approved bookings.

With Outdoorsy, you can search for the RV that interests you. Search by keywords, prices, vehicle type, amenities, kitchen necessities, entertainment desires, rules like Pet-friendly, and overall rating. You can check out and rent your RV by using this link “Outdoorsy”. (If you do choose to rent through my link, I will receive a commission that is no cost to you.)


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I really hope this helps you consider why renting an RV is a great way to figure out what RV you want, and whether the RV life is right for you. It can help you save money, learn about RVing and so much more!

Did you rent before you purchased your RV? Comment below! We would love to hear how it has benefited your decision!

Sharing is Caring! Pin, Tweet, and share on Facebook! Thanks for stopping by and Happy RVing! 

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The Best $5 Meal Plan for RVers | Free 14 Day Trial

The Best $5 Meal Plan for RVers | Free 14 Day Trial

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Meal planning and grocery shopping!

We all have to eat, and as much as we wish we could eat out every night or have a fancy chef cook our every meal, in reality, that just doesn’t happen. So, if you are tired of wasting time making a grocery list or trying to figure out what’s for dinner every night? You’re not alone!

For us, eating out happens only on occasions! Therefore, we have learned to cook at home and purchase the right ingredients for our planned out tasty meals. However, that wasn’t always the case.

What Made Us Start Meal Planning?

For years I would go to the store, walk down every aisle, grab items off the shelves and then later figure out what was for dinner with what I bought.

I knew my way of grocery shopping wasn’t working when too many of our perishable items would rot and wither before we had a chance to make a meal. Also, when Matthew and I moved into our RV full-time our fridge just wasn’t as large as an industrial one and our pantry storage became almost non-existent.

I did always try to purchase the Ingredients for basic meals like Tacos, Chicken w/veggies, and Spaghetti. Although basic meals are easy and quick, they can get repetitive and boring.

I specifically remember my husband saying, “what do we have for dinner?”

And I replied; “chicken and broccoli with rice”.

He said “Again?”

That’s when I knew something had to change. We needed new recipes and new ideas!!

We couldn’t continue with our normal routine because we either ended up with not enough room or eventually wasted food. Wasted food equals wasted money, right? We definitely had no room to be wasting money! Especially when we are on our way to becoming debt free which you can read about here on our monthly goal posts: Our Journey to a Debt Free Life. 

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So I went on to Pinterest and started searching. I came across a blog post regarding meal planning and they recommended the $5 Dollar Meal Plan service. I instantly became interested clicked on their link in the post.

Through my scrolling of www.5dollarmealplan.com website I, of course, read the whole page and the reviews. After all, the reviews are so important.

After about 5 minutes, I realized that this service was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to save money, save time, and most importantly stop buying items and ingredients that never get used. I saw this service as being the answer to my problem. 

So, we signed up for the 14 free day trial to try it out. As soon as we did, we received our first planned meals. I also did some searching on my own to see what kind of recipes they had as options.

Do we like the meals and service?

So far we have loved the service! Every week we receive in our email a complete list of meals for the week including a detailed grocery list at the end of the recipes. The list is downloadable, printable, and saves so much time.  

We take the list, mark off any items we already have in our fridge or pantry. Then when we go to the store we purchase the items that we still need. The service has been great!

What do you get with the service? 

You get a full week of meals sent to your inbox every Friday, with cooking instructions and a grocery list.

The option to build your own perfect plan according to your specifications.

Search for meals designed by cooking method. So, if you love using just one pot for your meals to save on dishes there are recipes for that. They also have meal specifically for crock pot/slow cookers, meals that are freezer friendly, meals for baking, meals for Dutch Ovens, and more.

Search by dietary preferences such as gluten-free, paleo, dairy free, soy free, or vegetarian there are specific meals for you.

Search and create meals plans for the time of day. If you want to plan meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner there are plenty of recipes for you to add variety for weeks.

Search by ingredients like beef, salad, beans, chicken, eggs, and more.

They really have thought about their customers with a great meal planning service. Plus, Free Coupons that you can print for your grocery shopping to save even more money. Here are some images of the dashboard and what to expect by searching the categories.

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Is it worth it?

Well, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial to see if the service is something that will benefit you and your family. We did exactly that and after the 14 days decided to purchase the full service at only $5 a month.

I feel like the price is definitely affordable and reasonable for the amount of time it has saved us and can save you.

How has the product benefited us?

By using the $5 meal planning service we have saved over $100 a month on groceries by only purchasing what we needed and using the coupons they provide with the service. This, in turn, has prevented us from eating out and wasting food.

I now have more time to focus on playing with my dogs on the weekends, writing, and spending time with my husband, instead of spending my Sunday trying to meal plan and create a grocery list.

If you’re single, a couple, or a family with children this service has so many benefits. It also allows variety for your weekly meals. Before we would always eat chicken, pasta, and tacos, those were my go-to ingredients when I went grocery shopping. Now, we have opened up our meal options and have tried a variety of fish dishes, vegetarian dishes, nutritionally packed smoothies and more!

So save your weekends for the family and let Shane, Erin, and Jim do your meal planning for you! You can start your free 14-day trial here! 


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Should You Buy a New or Used RV? Analyzing the Pros & Cons

Should You Buy a New or Used RV? Analyzing the Pros & Cons

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Should you buy a New or Used RV?

When it comes to buying your very first RV or even your second or third, there are so many things to consider. There is also the age-old debate that has many people confused about whether purchasing their RV new or used will be the better option.

For us, we thought about this the entire time we were searching for our home on wheels. We read Facebook groups, asked questions, and saw other people ask the same questions. We found that the majority of people said to buy “used”.

However, I was still so skeptical. Is buying used really the best option? During our research and purchasing timeframe, I set down and examined the pros and cons of purchasing an RV New VS purchasing an RV Used.

I also always kept in mind that I was purchasing our home. This was a place we will sleep, cook, play games, and live life full-time. I did NOT approach this purchase as the same as buying just a normal vehicle.  After all, a car doesn’t have a bathroom, fridge, sink, or propane tanks and generators.

So, let’s get to it and first examine the Pros and Cons of purchasing your RV New Vs. Used.

Pros and cons of purchasing a Used RV

Used – Pros

  • Usually cheaper than purchasing brand new. This make’s it easier to pay cash instead of financing.
  • Less guilt if you want to make any renovations whether major or minimal.
  • All the “Kinks” are worked out from others “breaking it in”.
  • Anything that needed to be fixed has usually been taken care of by the manufacturing warranty if the previous owner took advantage of the warranty.
  • Easier to negotiate price.
  • Lower Insurance
  • Less Depreciation from your point of purchase.

Used – Cons

  • Usually Sold AS IS without any warranties
  • If purchased used with a loan, you will usually have a higher Loan Interest Rate.
  • Unknowingly could purchase a LEMON or one that was not been maintained properly.
  • Could have mold, leaks, or more.
  • Unable to have your true pick of floorplans.
  • If purchasing a Motorhome, less fuel-efficient than a new motorhome.
  • Hidden Maintenance Issues.
  • Other people or pets misuse now becomes your problem.
  • Usually outdated appliances and décor (Unless you are going to be making décor renovations and upgrades, this isn’t a con)
Pros and Cons of Purchasing a New RV

New – Pros

  • It’s yours! No one has ever owned it before. (Nothing in the tanks that are foreign to you)
  • New Appliances, new furniture, and that new home smell.
  • Greater options and flexibility to search and choose the right amenities and floor-plan that is best for you and/or your family.
  • Manufacturers warranty
  • Ability to purchase directly from Manufacture and customize to your liking

New – Cons

  • Premium Price (Don’t be afraid to negotiate and check the prices nationwide for the same RV)
  • High Depreciation
  • Higher insurance
  • You have to work out the kinks and issues yourself
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Now that you know the pros and cons of purchasing a used RV vs. a new RV, which is better?

Honestly, it really comes down to your own finances and your own personal reasoning. What is important to you and/or your family? Is it the money and not wanting a loan or is it making sure your floorplan and amenities supply the right needs for your family? I feel like there is really no “right” answer to the new vs used debate.

 

What we chose and why…

For Matthew and I, we searched all the floorplans and prices. After 6 long months of conducting comparisons on RV Trader and going back and forth on buying new or used, we found what we needed.

Ultimately, we decided to buy brand new, took out a loan, and got the perfect floorplan that fit us. We made the decision to buy new because we were going to live full-time and it needed to fit our needs. Making sure we were comfortable, happy and had a Washer/Dryer prep in our space was a top priority.

Also, we realized with our research that the type of RV we needed and wanted was the same price new as it was a few years older.

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When you buy used, all the “kinks” are worked out, right?

Honestly, you can purchase a brand-new RV or a used RV and still have problems. There is no true guarantee that it will be perfect. We have only had one leak in a side window that was an easy seal up. So far we have been full-time living stationary for almost a year now.

So, just figure out your priorities and needs that are personal to you. I hope this helps and don’t forget to check out RV Trader to search for your perfect RV, whether you’re looking for a used one or a new one!

 

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7 Unique Gift Ideas for your Happy Camper (Valentine’s Edition)

7 Unique Gift Ideas for your Happy Camper (Valentine’s Edition)

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It’s February! Do you know what that means? Valentine’s day!

Now, this holiday is such a great way to show your significant other or friend that you’re thinking about them. Everyone deserves to feel a little bit of love this month, even your Happy Camper.

Do you know someone who loves camping? Maybe you and your family actually live in an RV fulltime, like us! But… you’re having a hard time figuring out something unique to get them for Valentine’s day in place of or in addition to flowers and/or chocolate?

Well, do not worry! I’ve compiled a list of great gift ideas for him and her that you can get right from Amazon.

Apparel for Him and Her!

Let’s start with some Apparel! These adorable t-shirts and sweaters are perfect for your Happy Camper wife, girlfriend, or friend! She is bound to make one of these t-shirts or sweaters a piece of her camping outfit!

For the men in your life! These perfect t-shirts are comfortable and versatile. Great for everyday camping activities like setting up the RV, Grilling, or building a fire! I Especially love the U.S. National Parks shirt. It pinpoints all the parks you can travel and camp at in the United States.

Happy Camper Jewelry Gift Ideas for Him and Her!

Jewelry is a staple gift item for Valentines Day, but why not grab something for him or her that has a little twist. Some great jewelry to show their love for the outdoors. Items can include a great watch with a compass, a beautiful mountain scene necklace, or even a Happy Camper Key chain.

Coffee Mugs and Tumblers!

What about your coffee lover that wakes up every morning and enjoys a nice cup of delicious coffee while watching the beautiful sunrise. These mugs are such great gifts! Wake up and be adventurous with these gift mug selections!

Personalized Gifts for your Happy Camper

Nothing says I’m thinking about you more than a personalized gift! Personalized gifts become sentimental items and even key pieces in someone’s house. Here are our some great picks for your happy camper!

Gifts for the Camps Cook

There always seems to be that one person who loves to do all the cooking. From roasting and stewing, these awesome gift ideas will make the camping food experience even better! My favorite is the popcorn roasting set.

Gifts for the Camping Writers and Readers

The great outdoors provides such a beautiful and peaceful place that can spark one’s creativity and provides a serene environment to dig into a great story! These gifts are for those who love to write, draw, read, and find inspiration from the peaceful outdoors.

Camping Gift Ideas for Couples

Camping with your loved one makes the experience even more special. Experiencing the great outdoors, hiking, and sitting by the campfire are memories that will last forever. Check out these products designed for couples to enjoy their camping trip together! MR and MRS mugs, Couples Hammock and the popular Inflatable Lounger.

I hope you enjoyed all of these amazing gift ideas for your Happy Camper!   Mix it up from the popular Flowers and Chocolates and get your person something they will love, use, and enjoy on every camping trip!

Happy Camping! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on our journey, and more tips, tricks, ideas, and travel stories from Exploring New Sights. We are also on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Check us out! 

Thank for your support and HAPPY VALENTINES! <3

 

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February 2019 Goals: Our Journey to a Debt Free Life and More!

February 2019 Goals: Our Journey to a Debt Free Life and More!

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It’s that time! Setting up my goals for the month of February 2019. But first, let’s recap on January’s goals.

My goals for January came with a lot of motivation and an attitude of “I can do this”. However, I didn’t count on being sick for almost half the month with sinus issues. So, some goals I did have set just didn’t happen.

My goals for January were:

  1. Post a new blog twice a week
  2. Workout 3x a week
  3. Finish Painting the Bedroom and Bathroom in the RV
  4. Pay Off Debt

Let’s dissect the first goal I had in January. As a new blogger, I am still learning a lot about the blogging world and have found with a full-time job that this goal was a big one. However, that didn’t stop me from posting 6 new articles. Not the 8 I had hoped for, but it is still a great accomplishment. So, I’m not too upset!

Also, through some research, I have found that it is better to post less and have quality content. I am all about quality content over quantity! I want my blog to be a place of useful information that others can use.

On to my fitness goal. Since I was sick with sinus issues because the weather here in North Texas doesn’t know if it’s winter or spring most days, it put me out. Although I didn’t reach the 3 times week goal, I did do at least 2 times so that isn’t a total fail.

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Can we skip goal number 3 of painting the bedroom and bathroom in the RV? Because it totally did not happen! Again, probably because I just wasn’t feeling well.

On to the goal number 4! Pay off Debt. Now, this goal I crushed! On January 25th, I completely paid off a loan that I had taken out about 8 years ago. I paid that remaining balance off and it feels amazing!

So, while I didn’t crush them all, I do still believe the goals were attainable just life happens and being sick is no fun.

 

Goals for February 2019

 

Goal 1: Post a new quality blog at least once a week.

After realizing that posting twice a week was a little too much with my work schedule, I have decided to tone it down and focus more on quality posts.

I would also like to do a product review once a month. Living this great RV life and blogging, there are some amazing products that you have to have and some that are just great for educational purposes. Product review posts are always so helpful when you’re trying to figure out if something is worth trying, so why not review the items or services we have used and purchased that have benefited us.

Goal 2: Work out 3x times a week.

I am choosing to keep this goal because I know I can do better then I did last month. I am also getting more into doing Yoga and started actually started a free 14-day trial with MyYogaWorks to try it out to gain strength, balance, and flexibility.

Goal 3: Paint the Bathroom in the RV.

I’m going to push back the bedroom and focus on one area this month to complete. I have the paint and the TIC TAC Tile from Amazon already, I just have to muster up the motivation to get it done! February will be that month! No more sickness!

Goal 4: Social Media

Since social media is so important for a blog, especially Pinterest, I really want to learn and focus on that platform. I would like to gain 100 more followers on Pinterest and develop a strategy of posting. Right now, I have 210 followers on Pinterest.

I am also a member of Tailwind, which is a software that allows you to schedule posts for Pinterest and other Social Media sites. I am hoping this will help me save time and develop a posting schedule to increase follower and views.

Goal 5: Blog Views.

I have Google Analytics to see my views and sessions every day. If you don’t have it, I highly recommend getting it. By using Google Analytics, I am pleased to see it grow every time I publish a new blog post.

So far, I started the month of January with an average of around 50 views/sessions. Now, averaging 80 to 140 views/sessions. I would love to grow that number to average 180 to 250 views/sessions a day by the end of February.

There you have it! January was a good month but could have been better. February is going to be a great and I’m more motivated then ever. Also, this month I will begin to really focus on paying off my credit card. Right now, I am scheduled to have it paid off by July of this year.

I feel like these goals are more attainable. We will see! So, let’s Crush this month of February!

Comment below, what are you goals for this month? Whether it’s for your blog, business, or life like physical fitness or finances! I would love to know and cheer you on!

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