If you have been living under a rock, then you might not know a thing about RVs. However, for most people, this word is associated with long road trips and camping.
The term RV or ‘recreational vehicle’ is now often used when describing caravans. The word originated from the US and now it is also commonly used in Australia.
So, what exactly is an RV? Put simply, an RV is a vehicle such as a caravan, camper trailer, campervan, trailer, fifth wheeler or motorhome which is used for travel, recreational activities, and mobile/fixed living.
To help you make the right choice, we have included some of the most important things that you need to know about RVs. So, read more to find out.
What Type of RV Should I Get?
Your choice solely depends on you; however, you should also consider some factors before you decide. First, you should consider the storage that you would require. Make sure that your choice can accommodate all the things that you’d like to bring when you’re travelling.
Second, you should prioritize comfort (both yours and your companions). Lastly, if you plan on trying mobile living, you should see if it would have enough space and features to be your home.
There are many types of RVs which cater to different needs. These are:
- Touring Caravans: if you have an average-sized vehicle, then this is perfect for you. Touring caravans come with multiple rooms, bathrooms, and storage spaces, so you wouldn’t feel as cramped. It also comes with the furniture and appliances that you need.
- Camper trailers: this type of RV is basically a tent that can be pulled out from a trailer. You can use the trailer for storage or for sleeping space if you’d prefer. Your fuel consumption would also be better when you tow this RV because it is lighter. However, it has less storage space and some models don’t have a bathroom.
- Pop-top Caravans: can be towed by mid-sized vehicles. It has the features of touring caravans while also saving on fuel consumption because it is lighter. The top can be folded which decreases the drag while travelling (and save more fuel).
- Trailers: this type of RV have sizes that range from 10 feet to 40 feet. They use a standard trailer hitch and is also available in various weights. So, you can easily find that can be towed by your own SUV. This also provides more convenience because you easily unhitch it and store it when not in use.
- Truck Campers: one of the most versatile RVs. This can also be taken in any destination and is suitable for a pick-up truck. This type of RV also has high ceiling heights and slide-outs that can increase the space that it occupies.
- Expandable RV: can be enough for most people because even a crossover can tow it. This is like a camper trailer, but it has sturdier walls. It also retains the foldable tent materials of the camper trailers. It also has a kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and slide-outs. This is perfect for entry-level buyers because it is relatively affordable and is made from durable materials.
- Park Model: this can have a length that ranges from 35-45 feet. It does offer almost all the features that motorhomes have. But it is only designed for park camping so it cannot be used for off-the-grid camping sites. It also does not have its own water storage tanks and must be paired with hookups.
- Fifth Wheeler or Motorhomes: with lengths ranging from 22 to 400 feet and weights that vary from 7,000 to 20,000 pounds, motorhomes are the largest and heaviest class of RVs. Aside from the huge space that it offers, it is also easier to tow with your vehicle because of its hitching mechanism. This mechanism enables the fifth wheeler to turn. Aside from that, it can also feature multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and slide-outs.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying A Used RV?
When you decide to buy a used or secondhand RV, there are a few things that you should look out for. The most important drawback is the wear and tear on the RV can cause issues later. It is also wise to look for dealers of used RVs that offer a warranty program so that issues will be fixed easily in the future. You also need to know the advantages and disadvantages of going for a used RV. So, here are some of them:
- You can save more money
- You can customize the RV
- There are some discontinued RV models that can fit your needs
- You can do a lot of upgrades because you saved money
- Insurance will be cheaper than a brand-new RV
- Some issues may not be obvious to you when you inspect one before buying
- If you won’t be vigilant, you might end up buying an RV that needs a lot of fixing
- No manufacturer’ warranty
- Upgrades can cost a lot of money which can make the total cost almost equivalent to a brand-new RV.
What Brands of RVs Are the Best?
If you have decided to go for a brand-new RV, then we have prepared a substantial list for you. There are already various brands that offer almost all kinds of RVs at various price points in Australia. This makes finding one that fits your budget easier. But knowing if it fits your needs is much more difficult. Some of these brands include:
- Adria Matrix Motorhome
This is built on the chassis of the Fiat Ducato and it can comfortably accommodate 3-5 passengers. The motorhome also has a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and various furniture and appliances, which would make it more appealing for long road trips or mobile living.
- Goldstream RV Australis Series
This brand is one of the best in our opinion because you can find one configuration that fits perfectly in your budget. The base model also offers more amenities than other brands including a kitchen, water tanks, and an entertainment system.
- Jayco Expanda Caravan
If you want to have convenience, then this RV can offer it (sort of). You can use an app called JHUB to manage your RV right from your phone. The base models can also accommodate 2 persons and a kitchen.
- Avida Leura
This is basically a twin of the Adria Matrix; however, it offers fewer features than the former. This makes it more affordable than the Matrix. It also comes in two versions, one with a 150hp engine and another one with 180hp.
- Forest River Rockwood Ultra Lite
Made with pickup trucks in mind, this RV also comes with the amenities that you’d need when travelling. It has a fully equipped kitchen, spacious interiors, and entertainment systems. However, this also has a higher price than the other brands on this list. But its price is justified because of the features and the storage space that this model offers.
- Keystone Volante 31
This comes with almost the same features as the Rockwood Ultra Lite. Its defining feature though is a built-in fireplace (fancy!). Aside from that, its features are identical with other RVs in this list.
What Are Best Accessories You Can Buy For Your RV?
Recently, there are a lot of cool accessories that you can buy for your RV. So much that we separate them to exterior or interior access. Your RV can be totally decked out and look awesome with these great accessories:
- RV Cargo Bins – Usually installed under the chassis, these provide extra storage for your RV at specially a good location for tools and things to check your tires.
- RV Leveling Blocks – You will want to level your RV at most times, it maybe cause your fridge might roll off to a corner or that your coffee might spill. RV leveling blocks will make it easy to find level ground.
- RV Super Hitches – Super hitches are just like your regular hitches but they are just more durable. They also increase your max trailer weight that your vehicle can carry. Super useful and also provide durability.
- Water Pressure Regulator – water pressure regulators are just essential for a good RV experience. Having strong water pressure also helps to easily clean anything. Look for pressure regulator that have gauges.
- RV Air Conditioners – It maybe expensive but if you want to live a life of leisure in your RV you go to have an external air conditioner installed. These things can do hot or cold and also is out of the way as its installed in the roof.
- RV Rear View Camera – RV rear cameras just make it very easy to reverse and it provides an extra pair of eyes when driving too.
- RV Temperature Monitor – New technology now a days provides control for your RV temperature. It can also be connected to your air conditioners and using software on your phone you can control your RV temperature before you step in it.
- Walkie Talkies – Just the basic walkie talkie is best when camping in the outdoors. You always want to bring one when your outside walking in the night, just in case.
- Air Compressor – air compressors can be a lifesaver when traveling in a RV. Then can temporarily fix a flat tire and can also clean things that you need.
- Camping Chairs – All you need to relax outdoors is a simple camping chair. Find ones that are lightweight and can easily be put away.
Do You Need A Special Licence To Drive A Motorhome?
Some states require you to have a non-commercial special licence in order to drive a recreational vehicle over a certain length or weight. Other states will require you to have a commercial driver’s licence (CDL) — the kind of licence needed for large and heavy vehicles like buses or tractor trailers.
What Is the Difference Between AB and C Class Motorhomes?
Class C RVs are somewhere between Class A and Class B. They are often built on a truck or van chassis that is specifically designed for a motorhome. They have an attached cab and most have an overhang that extends over the cab. This area is usually used as sleeping quarters but may also be used for storage.
Are There Any Electric RVs?
Despite the limited range, the future of electric motorhomes is promising. We’ve seen concept RVs covered in solar panels and Winnebago Industries recently announced the launch of an all-electric, zero-emission chassis for commercial use, but its range is limited to 85-125 miles (137-201 km) per charge.
How Much Does the Average RV Cost?
RVs can cost between $15,000 and $430,000 depending on the style and features. A moderately-appointed camper trailer pulled behind a truck might cost $286,000, while a fifth wheel may be $58,000. Most motorhome prices usually start around $140,000.