5 Amazing Benefits of Renting an RV Before you Buy

5 Amazing Benefits of Renting an RV Before you Buy

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!

Renting an RV

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 floor-plans and amenities

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

Along with the styles of RVs, you have numerous amounts of floor-plans. 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 floor-plan 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.

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 motor-home that is slightly larger than a normal truck or car.

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.)

Don’t forget to check out these Top 10 Tips from fellow blogger MamacitaOnTheMove for when you’re ready to rent an RV for the weekend.

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

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

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

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.

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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The Ultimate Guide to Downsizing for Life in an RV

The Ultimate Guide to Downsizing for Life in an RV

So you’re looking to Downsize into a smaller space or specifically an RV?

Well, I am here to tell you that it is possible and it could be an easier task then you imagine!

But first, our journey in downsizing to live in an RV started way before we even made the purchase. You see, Matthew and I have in some way been downsizing since we got married.

Instead of moving in to our very own place, we moved in with roommates in order to finish up an apartment lease and save money. It was definitely a challenge being newlyweds in a 10×11 room. We had to learn to live small early on in our relationship.

After the roommate situation, we moved into the 1 bedroom 700 sqft apartment. That was the largest space we have ever lived together. Then we moved in with my parents November of 2017 for 6 months. That living situation was a temporary financial decision to help ensure the transition into the RV Life was pleasant.

While living with my parents, we went from a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment with a washer and dryer to a 10×11 room with no closet. Most of our items were in boxes and placed in their garage for storage. We didn’t realize how much we had accumulated in our 1 bedroom apartment until we saw it all stacked up in boxes.

The garage was so packed, there was barely any room to walk through. This fueled me to get started on downsizing and getting rid of items as quickly as possible. Now, with everything being in the garage, this did give us the ability to truly figure out the items we needed to live with and the items we could go without.

So, during the 6 months of living with my parents, we went through all the boxes and followed these exact steps to downsize to live in our RV.I believe that starting early and not waiting until we bought our RV gave us time to really go through our belongings. So, if you plan on moving into a smaller space, the sooner you start downsizing the easier it will be.

Whether you are moving from a 1 bedroom apartment or a 5 bedroom house, these steps can assist anyone.

1. Understand your RV’s layout and amenities.

This is important before truly downsizing because all RV’s are different sizes and have different storage options. If you have not picked your RV, check out this book by Alyssa Padget, this will help make the decision on what type of RV is right for you.

Once you do find your RV, know that getting rid of everything isn’t necessarily the best answer. When we moved into our RV, we discovered that we had more space and storage than we expected. This is great because it has allowed us to grow.

Therefore, by understanding the RV’s Layout and Amenities, you will realize that there are some items clearly not needed like a dining table and chairs, a bed, sofas, dressers, and usually any other larger furniture items. These items just will not be able to go into the RV mainly because of size and there is usually already one built in. If you choose to replace the sofas or dining tables, one thing to be aware of is the size and the weight of the furniture because each RV frames do have limits.


2. Take notes on items used every day

By making a conscious decision to recognize what items you use daily will help you realize the items you can go without. Take your time in this phase. Go a week or even a month and really figure out what you use on a daily basis. This is important because RV’s have limited space. Therefore, ensuring the items you bring along are items you WILL use will help you use your space wisely.

For me, I had dresses that I had only worn once or twice that just took up way too much space. Those types of clothes will have to be stored or sold unless you can make room. If it’s not clothes, it could be kitchen appliances, dishes, shoes, and the accumulation of cleaning products or pantry food. We realized we had way too many plates, and 3 sets of pots and pans. The RV just can’t hold all those items, so we had to choose which set to keep and which appliances we use the most.


3. Organize items: Keep

Now is the time to really set aside the sentimental items. If you have pictures, books, important documents, items or furniture that are heirlooms set them aside. You might be surprised at what you could take with you after you figure out the necessities.

The keep pile can also be items that you do not want to get rid of but would rather place in storage or items that you know you want with you in the RV. Some keep items for us was extra blankets, our crockpot, an extra plate set for guests, small décor items, pictures, etc.



4. Organize Items: Sell

You always want to try a sell as much as you can. There may be some big-ticket items like furniture that can make you some money to save or pay off debt. We sold our couch, washer/dryer set, TV, and much more. The money we made we put right back into our savings for a down payment on the RV.

To sell items, host a garage sale and advertise it on local Facebook groups or community forums. You can also individually list items on Facebook marketplace, craigslist, Let Go App or consignment. The majority of items we sold was on the Facebook Marketplace and Let go App.


5. Organize Items: Donate

Not all items are good to donate. Sometimes overly used towels or torn up blankets are not best, but the ones that are gently used are nice. Gently used clothing items are great to donate but don’t donate undergarments unless that are new and in their original package. Items good to donate are also Kitchen appliances, cookware, dishes, and toys!

Don’t forget your family and friends. Sometimes there are items that they might enjoy to take off your hands. For example, My sister in law wanted some of my Décor items and I was happy to hand them over to her.

Also, pantry items like canned foods are great to donate. RV pantries are small and usually can’t hold items in bulk so donating unused canned items that have not expired is always nice.


6. Organize Items: Trash

Once the items are separated in what you will keep, you’ve already tried selling, and some items just aren’t great to donate don’t be afraid to just toss things out. We threw away our mattress and box spring because they were overused and not donatable. Some items can also be recycled if your city has a program.


7. Move into your New Home on Wheels

Slowly start to add the items you know are necessities for living in an RV, Camping, and what you will use daily. Make a place for them and organize. Then bring in the Décor and Sentimental items to store and keep. For us, after moving in we were surprised with how much we truly were able to bring in to the RV and how much space we still had.


8. Locate a storage unit

Remember those sentimental items that you set aside but can’t take on the small RV? Now is time to find a place to store them. Many people locate their nearest storage facilities and rent one out. Some storage places are even climate controlled depending on what you want to keep safe will depend on the type of storage unit you get. For us, our extra items that we didn’t want to get rid of remain in my parents’ garage for now.


There you have it! The exact steps on how we downsized to live in less than 300sqft RV. Remember, downsizing takes time and it depends on how much stuff you have. Sometimes you will need to repeat the steps of organizing the Keep, Sell, Donate, and Trash piles. Take it day by day, and don’t rush. The last thing you want to do to is throw something away that is extremely important or sentimental.

We had a one-bedroom apartment, so it wasn’t that painstaking for us; however, you might have a larger house that is fully furnished. The Larger the space, the more stuff accumulates! So, take your time through the downsizing process and continue with the steps until you’re happy. Remember not everything has to be sold in one garage sale, and sometimes an item can sit in the Facebook marketplace for months before catching the eye of a buyer.

I truly hope these steps help anyone who is wanting or needing to downsize their space. It truly helped us get the most out of our stuff. We were able to make more than $1000 from our couch, tv, and washer/dryer.

Let us know how these steps have helped you or if you have found other ways to downsize. We love to hear your story. Comment below, share on social media, and don’t forget to follow us!

Have a wonderful day and happy downsizing!

Living In An RV – Top 5 Things We Wish We Knew Before

Living In An RV – Top 5 Things We Wish We Knew Before

Living in an RV gives you the freedom of being able to take your home anywhere.

Knowing that you can change your own view from the beach one day to the mountains the next is exhilarating.

However, it is a completely different lifestyle than a stick and brick home or apartment.

Before jumping into living in an RV, there are some things that I wish I did more research on.

None would have changed my mind, but it is great information to know and consider. Information like RV parks, the plumbing situation, and additional preventative maintenance to seals and slideouts.

So let’s get into the 5 things we wish we knew before living full-time in an RV.

1. The Cost of RV Parks

Yes, while many think living in a tiny RV cuts down your expenses drastically from a house or rent payment, the reality it’s not much.

The lowest RV parks with the full hookups of water, 30/50amp (depending on what you need, ours is 50amps) and sewer are between $30-$50 a night. Do the math, $30 a night Times 30 days, that’s $900 a month. Not much less then a 1 bedroom apartment when you factor in the RV payment if you have a loan.

Now, there are options of “boondocking” and many RV parks can run discounts if you pay monthly and in advance.

There are also some great options to buy yearly packages that allow you to visit multiple parks in a certain region for a good price. Thousand Oaks Trails has some great options for yearly park packages.

2. The RV Age Limit

Now, we wanted to buy new due to personal reasons, however, it definitely is something we wish we knew. It would have helped when we were thinking of buying used and renovating.

Check out our post on Should you Buy a New or Used RV? Analyzing the Pros and Cons! 

If you are looking to purchase used, please know many RV parks do not accept anything older than 10 years old.

Now, I have heard that some RV parks will make exceptions depending on the renovations and upkeep on RVs. That’s something you definitely want to look into though.

3. Grey and Black Tanks

I wish we would have known more about the grey and black tank situation.

Living in an RV is a totally different way of living. We learned about the sensors, dumping, and treatments basically on our own and googles help. It seems easy, for example, once the sensors indicate they are full, release them.

However, no one said the smell would fumigate the whole RV and after every dump, you have to put in treatments to help with the smell and break stuff down.

After a month of living Full-time, we found “Happy Camper” tank treatment. Seriously, this stuff is like GOLD to RV’ers. If you haven’t tried the “Happy Camper” tank treatment, it’s it 100% worth it and you will never buy another tank treatment again. You can get some on Amazon here.

Also, we didn’t realize the sensors would get dirty and pretty much never go back to notifying they were completely empty.

4. RV Suburban Hot Water Heaters

Never in my life did I even consider flushing/cleaning out a hot water heater.

We quickly realized when our hot water started to smell like rotten eggs. Ewwww gross! However, it’s common and happens when the water is high in natural minerals.

Now, there are two types of hot water heaters that are used in RVs, Suburban, and Atwood.

Ours happens to be a suburban that requires a metal rod to absorb the bad bacteria when water gets hot. Once the anode rod is deteriorated it needs to be changed. If not changed then the tank can corrode from bacteria.

We flush our hot water tank about once a month because we run off well water and the minerals accumulate in the bottom of the hot water tank. We only replace the anode rod once it’s completely deteriorated.

Update: Replace your Magnesium Anode Rod with an Aluminum Anode rod to get rid of the Sulfur Rotten Egg smell in your RV hot water tank.

5. Window and Roof Seals

Now, we bought our RV brand new, straight off the lot 2019. We had the idea, “it’s brand new, we shouldn’t have to worry about anything for a while”…. wrong!

We learned quickly when I woke up to go to work, it was raining not only outside but also through one of the slide windows. Water was just pouring in that we barely could keep up with the towels.

It was not fun, but with a shop vac, fans, and more towels it ended up being okay.

We bought an all-weather sealant to seal it up on the outside because there was no way we could get it to a shop. When you live fulltime in an RV, something’s as simple as sealing a window is easier just done on your own.

Now, we check our windows and roof after rain and at least every 60-90 days.

Final Thoughts

There are many other things we wish we knew but these are definitely the top 5. Now, I know some of these things seem like things we should have known. However, we didn’t because it was something so new to us and that’s okay.

We learned as we went, after all, we just changed our complete lifestyle. We both grew up in sturdy homes, where you didn’t worry about where to dump your dirty water or having to clean out your water heater.

I hope this article brings light to anyone considering purchasing their first Rv, whether it’s living fulltime or just something for the weekends. It’s an amazing journey!

Tell us about what you wish you knew before buying an RV or living in one. Comment below! Sharing is Caring! Help others get an Idea of what it’s like to live in an RV. Tweet, Pin, Share!!


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