Buying an RV: What Type of RVer Will You Be?

As somebody who is considering buying an RV, you have many questions. What type of RV should I buy? Do I need all the bells and whistles if I’m just taking it out on weekends? Do I need to break the bank if I want to RV for extended periods of time?

A hand holding a key after successfully buying an RV.

Well, drawing on out dozens of years of collective experience as RVers, we have the answers you need. We have found that those buying an RV should focus on RV models that typically fall into one of three categories.

RV Categories

• Entry-level: Price being the biggest factor. These RVs are well-equipped but may not be of the highest quality, nor offer all the name-brand appliances and amenities, that the manufacturer has to offer.

• Mid-range: Quality and price are considered. These RVs have upgraded construction techniques, larger holding tanks, and perhaps even stainless-steel appliances to go along with better handling characteristics.

• Upper-end: Quality, style, and features are at the forefront. These are the top-of-the-line models offered by the manufacturer, often outfitted with the latest technology, appliances, systems, and construction techniques.

To begin the process of buying a new RV, you also need to consider the type of RVer you will be. How you will use your RV will determine the quality of construction, floorplan, and options or upgrades you’ll want to consider when buying an RV. It will also have an impact on the frame, suspension, size of appliances, holding tanks, and other operating systems. The definitions listed here are not intended to cover every type of RVer. But they are common terms that reflect certain groups of people and how they use their RV.

Types of RVers

You will probably be able to relate to one or more of the RVer types listed below. This will help you understand what type of RV buyer you are and the type of products you should focus on in search for a new RV.

Camper or Weekender

Those who take very short trips in their RV, typically for a weekend or up to one week, would be considered a camper or weekender. Nearly half of RVers are between the ages of 35 and 54 years old, according to a University of Michigan study. Many are working long hours and are seeking to get away on the weekends. Whether near or far, weekend trips in an RV are getaways from the daily routine.

People that fall into this category typically spend less than 30 days combined in their RV per year. If this describes you and your traveling habits or desires, then you would likely be happy with an entry-level RV.

Vacationer

Many that are buying an RV dream about taking the family to popular destinations for a few days or a couple of weeks at a time. Vacationing typically involves taking week long trips during the summer months. It’s easier on the kids because there is no settling into a hotel and they have a greater sense of home and familiarity with the family RV. Over time, an RV is well worth the investment instead of hotel rooms, airline tickets, and rental cars. People that fall into this category typically spend less than 45 days combined in their RV per year.

If this describes your traveling habits or desires, focus on companies that fall into the entry-level or mid-range RV model.

RV Trekker or Boondocker

This describes a person who wants to get off the beaten path, spend time away from the crowds and enjoy the outdoors. Trekking or boondocking will require a heavy-duty chassis or frame and a good suspension system. The operating system needs to be made of high-quality materials that can support two or more people for a week or more.

RV trekkers or boondockers will typically spend one to three months in their RV throughout the year.
Solar panels, battery storage, and a unit wired accordingly are required for those that go off the grid.

If this describes your traveling habits or desires, focus on companies that fall into the Mid-range or Upper-end categories.

Solo

Naturally, this designation describes individuals who travel solo. There are more of them than you would think, and the category also includes people that travel for their jobs. Working solos consider their RVs as their mobile office for visiting clients, selling products, and visiting multiple company locations. Many feel it beats high-priced hotels and with all the high-tech gadgets available today, internet access is always just a click away.


On the weekends they can head back home or visit family and friends. Solos and Working Solos
will typically use their RV for three to six months combined throughout the year. If this describes

you and you’re considering using an RV for this purpose then you want a quality product and should focus RVs that fall in the Mid-range or Upper-end categories.

Snowbird of Full-timer

This is a large group. Full-timers are self-explanatory. Snowbirds like to head south during the winter months. They typically leave during late fall or early winter and head for the sunshine in places like Florida, Texas, and Arizona. They tend to live in their RV for an entire season and return home in spring or early summer.

During the summer months the RV generally sits unused until the cold weather returns. Consideration should be given during the RV selection process to each person’s hygiene routine to ensure that the selected model will meet the needs.

People considering snowbirding must select a durable unit that can withstand up to six months of constant use per year. Emphasis must be given to the floorplan, quality and feel of floor coverings, durable furniture, and one-piece shower units with good ventilation. Kitchen appliances and TVs need to be high-
end residential-grade to keep up with constant use.

If this describes your traveling habits or desires then focus on companies that fall into Upper-end category.

So, what’s your type?

The ranges of RV types will become apparent once you’ve begun the process of buying an RV. Much like everything else, it comes down to cost versus benefit. Now, that’s not to say you can’t boondock in an entry-level model, or you need to have a million-dollar coach for snowbirding. We’re just looking to provide you with some information for buying an RV.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter how you’ll use your RV, only that you have officially become an RVer. And, you will find that RV-specific tools, like those offered by RV LIFE, are invaluable for making the most of the experience. From trip-planning with RV Trip Wizard to scrolling reviews from RVers, by RVers, on RV LIFE Campgrounds, you’ll find that RV LIFE is the best way to go when it comes to enhancing the RV lifestyle.

More help is just a click away

Both new and seasoned RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

You Might Also Like

10 Tips For Scoring Better RV Insurance