Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have been looking at RV floor plans for a year. We are soon to retire and cannot seem to agree on size, layout, amenities, or even type.
We are all over the map. We have looked at motorhomes, trailers, fifth wheels in all class sizes. How do people make a buying decision? Is it just us?
Can you give us any pointers?
--Perplexed in Pensacola
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Many people take the leap and discover they didn't do enough homework. My recommendations would be to try imagining how you will use your RV.
Will you do much entertaining? If so, what seating arrangements will you have available. Another important consideration is sleeping quarters. Do you want a dedicated bed or can you live with a convertible? Do you want separate beds? How about room on both sides of the bed so you are not climbing over each other when getting up in the night.
Is the bathroom roomy enough? Does the kitchen offer convenient working space, and adequate counter top real estate for prep work, dish washing and utensil storage?
Where will you relax? If TV is important, at what angle is it placed? Many times it gets stuck wherever the manufacturer can find some leftover space.
Think about storage. Think about water and waste tank capacity. The smaller the unit the smaller the tanks become. This is only a concern if you plan to spend more time without hookups.
The list can go on and on, but you really need to imagine how you will use the RV. Don't let a salesperson talk you into something that absolutely will not work for you.
You have to do your own homework. Most salespeople have never lived the RV lifestyle. They can make anything they have on the lot sound perfect for you if you haven't figured it out for yourself.
You don't need a doorbell that plays 50 songs, but you want function, quality and convenience.
Sooner or later you have to pull the trigger and there is no guarantee you will end up with all the right options.
Once you get on the road you may discover your personal RV lifestyle is totally different than you imagined. Many people end up with several units before they find one that is close to their needs and wants.
Let me close with, "talk to other RVers." That is where you will find hundreds of opinions and give you food for thought. Just looking at all the "bling" will not answer the most important question you may not even have yet.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink