Try it On for Size at RV Shows

If you're in the market for an RV than RV Shows are a great place to view a lot of different before making a purchase.

These shows give you the opportunity to "try it on for size." You can browse the different models, dealers, manufacturers all in one convenient location.

If you're going to become a full-timer you need to think of it like home buying. When buying a home people like to visualize their belongings in the home and decide where things will be placed. We can put the desk here, the TV over there etc. You'll want to sit in different models and visualize your belongings in the space like you would a traditional home. Make sure you open all the cabinets and drawers then imagine if the RV will comfortably accommodate your belongings.

You'll want to think about things such as where will the computer and printer go, what about storage for linens, dishes, pot and pans. How about your hobbies? What kind of storage space will you need for your hobbies, crafts, golf clubs, bicycles, tools etc? Consider the space for whatever items you'll be bringing with you.

It's also a good idea to talk to others at the show. Many people are willing to share information and tell you what they liked and didn't like about certain models or floor plans. We recently visited an RV Show in Houston and talked with a lot of full-timer RVers.

One of the things we always tell others who are thinking of buying an RV are to think about the trailer with the slides in. What can you get to with the slides in? In our RV we have access to the bathroom, bedroom and refrigerator with all the slides in. This is great when traveling because you can pull over for a break, snack or a nap without worrying about pulling the slides out. However, we can't get to the main living area of the RV because the island countertop is blocking access to the entire area. This is problematic in certain situations. We have been in RV parks where high wind situations forced us to have the slides in for hours. It's really frustrating to be confined to a very small area for hours and not be able to access critical areas of the trailer. Another problem with this is after traveling we want to make sure all the cabinets doors remained closed before we bring out the slides and inadvertently rip off a cabinet door or damage a slide! We have to climb over the island if we want to access that entire area. I only wish someone had given me this advice before we made of purchase.

A great website that lists RV Events is the RVIA (Recreational Vehicles Industry Association). They represent manufacturers and suppliers in the United States.

Check out the RV Shows Locator which includes dates and locations of RV Shows and RV events in the United States.

For more considerations read our guide to Selecting an RV for Full-time Living.