When shopping for an RV, size is one of the first big decisions that you will need to make. RV’s come in a wide range of size options, from smaller campers that are best-suited to two people, to large motorhomes that can easily handle whole families. There are a number of considerations that you need to make when deciding how big of an RV to purchase, including how many people you usually travel with, what kind of vehicle you have to pull the RV (in the case of a trailer), and where you like to camp.
While all of the variables, and more, should be weighed during your decision making process, this article will lay out a few of the advantages of choosing a smaller RV. Obviously, you can’t pick a small RV if you are regularly traveling with a large family, but many couples even wrestle with the choice between extra space in a large rig and more convenience with a small one. Hopefully, the points below will at least start the discussion regarding how big your RV should be, so you can come to a good decision when you make the purchase.
It All Starts with the Price
Buying a smaller RV is less expensive than purchasing a bigger one. That probably isn’t breaking news to you, but it is the first point you should consider. Take a look at the cost difference between two RV that you are considering – one larger, and one smaller. How much money would you save by opting for the smaller option? You should also look at what that would mean to your monthly payment on a loan, so you can think about what you would be able to do with that extra money each month. It might be that you decide the extra cost for the larger RV is worth it to you in the end – but make sure you go through this exercise to think it over carefully.
The Savings Don’t Stop There
Beyond a lower purchase price, smaller RV’s continue to save money over the life of the vehicle through lower maintenance and repair costs. Just like it costs more (generally) to care for a large truck than a small sedan, it will likely cost you more to maintain your big RV as opposed to a smaller one. Bigger rigs have bigger parts, and in the case of motorhomes, bigger engines as well. Also, with a lower purchase price for your RV, you should be able to get a better rate on your insurance. All the way around, a smaller RV is simply less expensive to own.
Handling the Corners
If you like to camp in some far off places that maybe aren’t that easy to get to, having a smaller RV is a big advantage when it comes to handling tight corners or narrow campsites. As your RV gets bigger and bigger, the list of potential places where you can camp gets smaller and smaller. Before you make a purchase, think about where you would like to be able to take your RV on vacations, and look into any size restrictions for those locations. The last thing you want to do is purchase a large RV only to learn that it is too big to take to some of your favorite places.
Set-Up and Take-Down
When you arrive at a campsite with your RV, the first thing you need to do is set-up everything for your stay. Before you leave, then, everything needs to be taken back down and put away before you hit the road. With a smaller RV, these chores should take you less time to complete – leaving you more time to fish, hike, boat, or do whatever else you plan to do on your trip. While RV’s are generally much more convenient than everything that goes along with tent camping, there still is some amount of work that needs to be done. The more you are able to reduce that workload by traveling with a smaller RV, the more time that will be left over for the fun parts of your trip.
It isn’t practical for everyone to buy a small RV. Families with young children who are only going to get bigger probably need to purchase a larger rig that they can grow into. However, if you have the ability to consider a smaller RV, it is definitely worth some thought. Often, gaining some extra interior space isn’t worth all of the trade-offs you have to make in terms of cost, maneuverability, etc. Before you purchase your next RV, be sure to consider rigs of all sizes – you just might be surprised at which one you like best.