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Newbie to RV

(Dave asks...)

My partner and I have settled on buying a used Class A pusher. There are literally hundreds available in various models and price ranges, yet, as newbies, we don't know what to be cautious about, what the pitfalls are. We want to live in this unit year round in temperatures that can fall to -40 degrees. I have been told that no unit can be lived in without problems with the water system at temperatures below -10 degrees.

Is it possible to find a unit that is equipped to do what we want it to do? Where can we get one if they are available?

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Comments for Newbie to RV

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Welcome... and My Thoughts
by: Coleen, the RVing editor

Hi David,

Welcome to full-time RVing! It can truly be a wonderful way to live.

I'm going to start with your last questions first. Paraphrased, you asked: Where can we find a rig equipped the way we want it? You can't.

I don't think I've ever met an RVer who bought a rig that was exactly what he wanted. And, if it was what he thought he wanted the day he bought it, a week later he had changed his mind. We all make changes to our units, some minor and others major. Those changes transform the RVs from mass produced campers to our personal, comfortable homes.

You can find a rig that will work for year round living in those very cold temperatures. We have, and so can you. The person who told you that you can't probably didn't want to. We've wintered in RVs in both South Dakota and in Alaska. Take a look at the section I'm adding on cold weather RVing.

If you have lots of time and lots of money, you can do lots of research and come up with lots of ideals. That's not the reality for most folks.

When it comes down to actually buying your rig, you'll likely choose from what is available in your area. That gets narrowed down further by price.

Unless you are knowledgeable about engines, transmissions, and vehicle repair and maintenance, you may want to have a mechanic inspect any unit you are seriously considering.

In my opinion, the floor plan shouldn't be much of a factor in choosing a rig -- yet it is a key factor for most people. For us, the cargo carrying capacity is important, because we travel with heavy tools and books.

When referring to recreational vehicles, price does not equal quality.

Buy a rig you can afford. You don't want to have to keep it forever. Living in one is an excellent way to find out what works for you and what doesn't. If you start with a less expensive rig, it is much easier to upgrade as you learn from your experience.

I think the biggest pitfall that you should be aware of is listening to naysayers who tell you that you can't do things -- or that things have to be perfect before you get started. Use some reasonable caution, yes, and like I said, if you aren't a mechanic, pay one to inspect the motorhome before you buy it, so you have some idea of what you are getting.

Newbie to RV
by: RoadToad

We have had literally every thing from a tent to a diesel pusher. We liked the pusher and a Honda Odyssey toad. But, the stress of driving the "big-rig" wore us down. We ultimately went back to a 30' 5th wheel. Being a retired farmer, we had driven semis and pickups with stock trailers; so we had an abundance of experience.

Best advice, I think, is for you to test drive whatever you think you might want and then decide. You might want to rent a rig and spend a week in it.

Google this same question matter and research extensively.


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