Home Blog

Change Your Address With These 9 Tips For How To Live In An RV

a man eating inside an RV trailer

Sick of overpaying for rent each month? Learn how to live in an RV full-time and keep more money in your pocket. Whether it's a temporary or permanent move, you'll be joining the millions of people who've ditched their apartments to live on the road.

As it has never been easier to work remotely, most people don't even have to give up their careers to take up this exciting lifestyle. If you're looking for adventure, then a change in address and mobile living might be what you need. Let's learn how to live in an RV and see if this is the right decision for you.

The RV Movement Is Growing in Popularity

a group of campers and their vans

Image Source: Unsplash.com

The American dream used to include a five-bedroom ranch sitting on an acre of land. But with impossibly high housing costs, people are looking for more practical solutions. It wasn't long after the tiny house movement grew in popularity that people started considering moving into their RVs.

Since the nomadic lifestyle has become more appealing, it has provided an alternative to the American dream for so many families.

It's not just millennials either who are taking advantage of this trend. Middle-aged couples and retirees are ditching their homes as well and taking to the road. Learning how to live in an RV has not only allowed them to live a life of leisure, but many have been able to retire early and spend their time how they like.

It's a movement that continues to grow as more resources become available, making the transition to the nomadic lifestyle easier.


Learn If Living In An RV Is Right For You

The RV movement may sound appealing, but it's not the right lifestyle for everyone. Before you start downsizing and browsing through automotive postings in your area, there are a few things to consider. More important than learning how to live in an RV is to learn if you can live in an RV.

Are you willing to downsize?

Can you earn your income from the road?

Does an uncertain lifestyle appeal to you?

Is your family onboard?

Can you handle living in small spaces?

Will you be OK using an RV bathroom full-time?

Can you give up cooking in a full kitchen?


Learn If Living In An RV Is Right For You

The American dream used to include a five-bedroom ranch sitting on an acre of land. But with impossibly high housing costs, people are looking for more practical solutions. It wasn't long after the tiny house movement grew in popularity that people started considering moving into their RVs.

Since the nomadic lifestyle has become more appealing, it has provided an alternative to the American dream for so many families.

It's not just millennials either who are taking advantage of this trend. Middle-aged couples and retirees are ditching their homes as well and taking to the road. Learning how to live in an RV has not only allowed them to live a life of leisure, but many have been able to retire early and spend their time how they like.

It's a movement that continues to grow as more resources become available, making the transition to the nomadic lifestyle easier.


How to Live in an RV

Once you've determined that you can handle the nomadic lifestyle, you're ready to learn how to live in an RV full-time. Rather than jumping right into it, it's better to give yourself time to adjust and take things one step at a time.

Consider these tips that will help make the transition into your new home more comfortable.

1

Choose the right RV


caravan on the road

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Once you start making plans to move into an RV full-time, the next most significant decision you'll be making is the type of recreational vehicle you want to live in. Everything from the vehicle's length to engine type needs to be selected.


Far from an easy choice, there are a number of things you should consider before making a purchase.

Motorized or towable?

While both motorized and towable RVs have their benefits, most people who choose to live in an RV full-time opt for a motorized vehicle. They offer several essential benefits that those who take on the nomadic lifestyle prefer, including easy access to your food and bathroom.


Motorized RVs don't need to be set up at each campsite, which can be a huge plus when pulling in to a new city during a storm.


Towable RVs offer benefits as well, though. They're more affordable and don't require as much maintenance or repairs as motorized vehicles tend to need.


Additionally, towing your RV will give you access to a car during your travels. It will make running errands and exploring new cities much easier when you don't have to find parking for a massive RV.

Gas or diesel engine?

fuel dispensers

Image Source: Pixabay.com

The type of gasoline your RV takes may not seem like an important factor to consider, but they each offer several pros and cons that can significantly impact your savings account.


As you learn how to live in an RV, you will quickly discover that while diesel engines increase the life span of your vehicle, it will also cost more to fill up your tank and make any repairs.

RV length

If you have trouble parking an oversized SUV or large van, then you should keep that in mind when picking the best recreational vehicle for you. Even though a longer RV will give you more space to live in, it may also be too difficult for you to manage.


Some campsites and RV parks can't even accommodate larger RVs. That means if you have a specific place in mind, you'll want to be sure to do your research.

2

​Start downsizing


Once you've decided on the size of your future home, you can start downsizing. There's just no way that you'll be able to fit all of your belongings in an RV if you're moving out of a house or apartment. Space is limited as it is, and you don't want to end up living in clutter.


Additionally, the nomadic lifestyle tends to focus on minimalism, so taking steps to downsize will help you to better adjust to the community.


Since it can be overwhelming to get rid of so many of your belongings in a short period, it's best to start this process early. Downsizing takes time, especially if you are moving out of a large house.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Focus on one room at a time
  • Separate your belongings into categories: those you want to sell, those you will donate, those that will go in storage, and those you use every day
  • Only keep items in your RV that you use regularly
  • Consider giving sentimental items to friends and family members
  • Digitize your music, movies, books, and more

3

​Know how to maintain your RV


Part of discovering how to live in an RV is learning how to take care of your vehicle. In addition to performing the kinds of maintenance you would do on a car, an RV requires attention in other areas as well.


If you're unfamiliar with how the plumbing works in an RV, know that three tanks need to be maintained.

Fresh water tank

The fresh water tank holds the clean water that will come out of your RV sinks and shower. It's refilled as needed, usually every few weeks, depending on the size of your family and how large your tank is.


The system needs to be cleaned with bleach every month to ensure the water isn't contaminated. This is done by simply pouring bleach into the fresh water tank and running the water. You should then wait a solid 24 hours before using the sinks or shower again.

Grey water tank

The grey water tank is where all of the dirty runoff goes after washing your dishes or taking a shower. Larger RVs might have two grey tanks and may even have an alert system that notifies you when they are full.


If your RV doesn't send an alert, however, then you'll need to keep an eye on the tanks and empty them when they fill up two-thirds of the tank.

Black water tank

The black water tank holds all of the waste from the toilet. If your RV doesn't have a grey water tank, it's because all of the runoff water ends up in the black water tank. In addition to being emptied regularly, black water tanks require chemical treatments to keep them functioning properly.


This is just the tip of the iceberg. You will discover while learning how to live in an RV you that other areas require maintenance as well. These might include lubricating any slide-out mechanisms or windows, inspecting the roof and seams for leaks, cleaning off the awning, and so much more.

4

​Consider solar power


A standard RV uses two classes of electricity to power devices: AC and DC. Your lights, vent fans, water pump, and typically anything you plug into a 12-volt socket run on DC power. Batteries usually deliver this power, as they don't require much electricity.


High-powered devices like microwaves and air conditioners run on AC power delivered from a generator as they require more electricity. They can also use the power supplied at campsites, giving the noisy, gas-guzzling generator a break for a while.


A generator can give you some freedom and allow you to live off the grid for a little while, but they also require a ton of maintenance and add weight to your vehicle. It's great for short-term use, but those who are learning how to live in an RV full-time tend to prefer solar power.


Solar power offers a number of benefits, including being more eco-friendly, noiseless, and often requiring less maintenance. It's an affordable upgrade as a 100-watt solar power kit should be more than suitable for all of your electrical needs.

5

​Write a list of necessities


When you're ready to pack up your belongings and move into your RV, it helps to make a list of essentials. Once you have found a space for everything you know you'll need, then you can see how much room you have left for any extras.


If you've downsized properly, then you will be able to fit in everything, but there's always a chance you forgot to account for particular items.


This general list should help you prepare for your big move. Keep in mind that your home will be moving pretty often, so it's essential to avoid anything made of glass.


You can also increase storage space by adding hooks or magnets. Some collapsible kitchenware and appliances designed for RVs can also replace some of your necessities.

Here's a sample list to keep in mind while you learn how to live in an RV:

  • Minimal wardrobe
  • Shoes
  • Cooking tools
  • Dishes
  • Silverware
  • Mugs and cups
  • Laundry bag
  • Garbage pail
  • Hammock or outdoor seating
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Toiletries

6

​Have all of the necessary gear


In addition to your list of necessities for your new home, you'll also need a list of gear required to keep your RV functional.


If you have your RV manual on hand, you can learn a lot about what kind of equipment your recreational vehicle needs. Doing this can be especially overwhelming for those who have never used an RV before. It's something you will get used to, though.


While every RV is different, they all require the basics. Here's a breakdown of all of the necessary gear you will likely need:

Electrical

  • Surge protector
  • Electrical adapters
  • Extension cords
  • Shore power cord
  • Coaxial TV cable
  • Replacement fuses

Plumbing

  • Toilet chemicals
  • RV-friendly toilet paper
  • Water pressure regulator
  • Drinking water hose
  • Sewer hose and container to keep it in
  • Water filter

​General

  • Leveling blocks
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Wheel chocks
  • Foldable shovel
  • Extra motor oil and transmission fluid
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Emergency road kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Hitch lock
  • Refrigerator bars
  • Toolbox
  • Flashlights

7

​Research RV parking laws


One of the essential aspects of learning how to live in an RV is understanding the parking rules and regulations in each area you spend time in. While most campsites and RV parks will have a place for recreational vehicles to park, an open spot isn't always guaranteed.


If you park your new home on the street or in any old parking lot, chances of getting towed or ticketed are pretty high. Even parking in a friend's driveway can lead to issues depending on what city regulations dictate.


With so many resources available online and in your app store, there's no excuse not to find a safe, legal place to park your RV. RVParky is just one of the many apps available that use your location to help you find parks, campsites, truck stops, and other designated parking areas nearby.

If you're in a rut and need a place to stay for a night or two, some retail stores allow RVs to park in their lots overnight. These include:

  • Walmart
  • Camping World
  • Cabella's
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Flying J Truck Stops
  • Costco
  • Sam's Club
  • Some casinos

It may not always be possible to plan ahead, but you don't want to end up having your home towed due to a simple misunderstanding.

8

​Join RV clubs


There is only so much preparation you can do before moving into a recreational vehicle. A lot of learning how to live in an RV comes from hands-on experience and advice from others living the nomadic lifestyle.


Joining a few RV clubs can put you in touch with like-minded individuals and give you access to valuable information. Additionally, some RV clubs also offer discounts to members who stay at certain campsites.


Here are some of the most popular RV clubs to consider:

Good Sam Club

A Good Sam Club membership gives you benefits at Camping World, Gander Outdoors, Pilot Flying J, and Overton's. Members receive 10 percent off over 2,000 campgrounds that accept the club card and get between 0.05 and 0.08 cents off the price of gas at Pilot Flying J.


Another major perk is that members can utilize the RV dump stations at Camp World SuperCenters at no additional cost.

​Escapees RV Club

If you're looking for a club that offers more educational benefits, consider Escapees RV Club. With regional chapters, they make it easy to connect with others who prefer the RV lifestyle.


They host annual rallies, casual gatherings, and encourage members to join groups that focus on dozens of common interests. Members have access to educational programs and forums that cover everything from safety concerns to RV maintenance.


They also offer services that help members find parking, jobs, and significant discounts.

​Passport America

As a simple RV club, Passport America focuses on offering discounts at participating campgrounds. With membership, you can receive up to 50 percent off of campgrounds across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


They also offer a trip routing program that will help you plan your journey and save you money by pointing out all of the spots that accept a Passport America club membership.

9

​Download these useful apps


Learning how to live in an RV full-time doesn't have to be a goal you go after without assistance. There are a ton of useful apps available that will make your experience less stressful. From locating waste dump stations to making sure you stop at some of the world's most impressive national parks, there's an app for that.


Here are just a few:

​Roadtrippers

As a road trip planning app, Roadtrippers will help you map out your journey with a basic itinerary. In addition to helping you discover all of the must-see attractions along your route, the app will tell you how much you can expect to pay in gas based on the vehicle you're driving.

​Allstays Camp and RV

The Allstays Camp and RV app has everything someone learning how to live in an RV would want. It offers trip route planning features, and can quickly point out nearby truck stops, rest areas, RV dump stations, and overnight camping options.


The best part is that some aspects of the app function even when you don't have service. That means you don't have to worry about driving through dead spots.

​GasBuddy

If you're on a tight budget, GasBuddy can be a real lifesaver. It helps you find the cheapest gas nearby based on user experience. Even if you're only saving a few cents on the gallon, over time, this can add up!

​Free Wi-Fi Scanner

Being on the road doesn't have to mean you're cut off from the rest of the world. If you're addicted to social media or require internet access to do your job, then an app like Free Wi-Fi Scanner is a necessity. It helps you find free public wifi access, so you're never without the internet.


It’s Time to Change Your Address

a woman sleeping on a trailer

Image Source: Unsplash.com

Now that you've learned a bit about how to live in an RV full-time, you're ready to move. Free yourself from the burden of having to pay a mortgage or monthly rent and instead explore the country. Life has so much more to offer than working for the weekends and looking forward to the one vacation you're able to take a year.

If you've always dreamed of traveling the world, then it's time to change your address by moving into a recreational vehicle permanently.

Do you have experience living in an RV? Leave your advice in the comments below!

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com


How Much Solar Power Do I Need For My RV? We’ve Got The Answers For A Variety Of Classes

solar panel leaning on an RV trailer

If you’re wondering "How much solar power do I need for my RV?" then you’re probably also checking into the advantages of solar energy in your RV.

And if you’ve visited any campsites recently, you’ve probably wound up in discusses with others about the best way to power your RV. And maybe solar power came up, but before you delve into solar, you have to know how much power you need.

How Much Solar Power Do I Need for My RV?

So, you want to know, "How much solar power do I need for my RV?" First, you’ll want to factor in solar energy and generator power.

That's because you’ll still need a generator even if you use solar energy. Some appliances on your RV require a lot of power. For example, your air conditioner requires so much power that solar alone may not be able to handle it.

Therefore, you cannot entirely get rid of your generator. But you’ll be able to make your RV more energy-efficient if you do opt for solar power.

Solar panels don't give you direct power, but you’ll get plenty of battery-charged power if you add them to your RV.


What Is Solar Power?

Solar power is energy that comes right from sunlight. That means solar power is one of the best renewable sources of energy around. If you are running something off solar power, you won’t ever run out of energy as long as the sun hangs in the sky.

How is it collected?

Solar power collects through a scientific phenomenon known as the photovoltaic effect. Solar photovoltaics, also known as PVs, turn sunshine, or photons, directly into electricity. Electricity is also known as voltage.

A solar panel’s basic unit of energy is known as a solar cell. A solar cell comprises silicon wafers like what we would find in computer chips.


Solar cells collect and form solar modules. We then connect them into solar panels.


Can You Use Solar Energy To Power Your RV?

If you’re wondering, "How much solar power do I need for my RV?" then you’re probably also considering how you can use solar energy to power your RV.

However, using solar energy to power your RV might not work exactly the way you think it would. To explain the way solar energy works, you’ll have to think about your batteries.

Benefits of using solar energy in your RV

When you aren’t on shore power or your generator, your batteries are your primary way to obtain DC power. If you have a portable generator or one onboard your RV, it’ll power up your RV, but it will also eat your gas and make plenty of noise.

With a solar charging system, you won’t need to use your gas or bother other campers with disturbing noise when you charge your batteries.

Having a solar charging system on your RV will also allow you to charge your batteries for hours without attending to anything as long as the sun is out.

With a solar power system on your RV, you’ll be able to recharge your batteries quickly. Keep in mind: You cannot necessarily power-up your RV with solar panels. That’s a common misconception of a solar-powered system on an RV.


How Much Solar Power Do I Need For My RV: Calculations

If you’re wondering, "How much solar power do I need for my RV?" then you’ll want to know how to calculate how much solar energy you’ll need for the RV that you own.

Power used

Before you install a solar power system, you’ll need to know what you need. You don’t want to overestimate how many solar panels you’ll need, or you’ll waste money.

On the other hand, you don’t want to use too few solar panels, or you won’t wind up with enough power.

Remember, if your RV battery doesn’t last as long as you’d like it, you can increase your battery bank for more energy capacity. Before you do that, figure out your RV size and additional capacity for your solar panels.

You can calculate how much power you need for camping by actually taking a camping outing and measuring what you use.


Go camping and use your RV as you usually would. If you can make several camping trips to measure your average energy capacity before you install your solar panels, that’s even better.

Make sure you don’t use up your generator when you are measuring.

Then track the amount of battery you use with a battery monitor. When you're tracking your battery, remember that lead-acid batteries shouldn't discharge below 50 percent capacity or else you’ll shorten the lifespan of your battery.

Figure out how much power you are using per day. For example, say you’ve been camping for 2 days, and you notice your 200 amp-hour lead-acid batteries are now at 50 percent capacity. That means you’ve used 100 amp-hours in 2 days, or 50 amp-hours per day.

Also, if you discover that you can't get through one full day of camping without draining your battery, then think about expanding your battery bank. Solar panels won’t help you out much if you can’t store up the power you need.

Power stored

After you’ve figured out how much energy you are using each day, you’ll want to figure out how many solar panels you’ll need. The number of solar panels needed will depend much on the type of solar panels you buy. And that will dictate how many panels you need.

Solar panel ratings reflect their maximum efficiency. For example, a 100-watt solar panel creates 100 watts of power when the weather is perfect.

Since you know you won’t always have perfect weather conditions, the amount of wattage you’ll get out of your solar panels can vary depending on your location, time of year, and the amount of sunlight you can expect daily. `

The amount of solar energy can also vary depending on the type of solar panel. But you can still estimate how many solar panels needed. Most 100-watt solar panels can make about 30 amp-hours of power per day.

So, you can factor in how many amp-hours of energy you need. Then you can calculate how many 100-watt solar panels you would need.


For instance, if you have a 300 amp-hour battery, you’ll need about 300 watts of solar power. Solar panels don’t gather as much energy on cloudy days. So, it’s better to have a few more extra panels to cover this.


We recommend a 20 percent cushion when it comes to your solar power needs.


How To Utilize Solar Energy On Your RV

When wondering, "How much solar power do I need for my RV?" you’ll also want to know how the solar energy on your RV gets utilized. To understand that, we’ll break down the parts necessary for an efficient solar panel energy system.

Solar panels

Solar panels are made up of solar cells combined with solar modules. The solar panels use sunlight through the photovoltaic effect to create electricity.

Inverter

After the solar panels collect the energy, they send the power into an inverter. The inverter takes the DC energy from the sun and turns it into AC energy.

Electrical panel

Next, the AC electricity provided by the inverter goes into the electrical panel in the RV so you can power your appliances.

Electricity meter

The unused electricity immediately then becomes excess, which is measured by the electricity meter.

​The grid

Anything that becomes excess is measured by the grid on your electricity meter.


What To Look For In Solar Panels

When you are looking for solar panels, you have three options.

  • Mono-Crystalline: comprised out of a single crystal and tend to be made up of a thin wafer of silicon crystal
  • Poly-Crystalline: use many small crystals
  • Amorphous: thin-film panels that use think layers of silicon attached to a backing layer

Amorphous solar panels offer the most affordable option and do have an excellent efficiency rate. However, they are twice the size of your two other options.

So if you don’t have much space to put your solar panels on your RV, you’ll want to avoid amorphous solar panels.

On the other hand, if the size isn’t a concern, you can save a bit of money by using amorphous solar panels on your RV.


Alternative RV Energy Sources To Consider

Are you looking for alternative RV energy sources to work with your solar panels? If so, there are a few energy-saving tips we can offer you.

  • Use LED bulbs instead of regular bulbs
  • Keep your electronics unplugged when you aren’t using them
  • Replace older television sets with energy-efficient LED flat screens
  • Take shorter showers
  • Park your RV in shady areas to keep the areas inside and around your RV cooler when it’s hot outside
  • When it’s cold outside, use blankets or layer up to keep warm instead of using your heater

Save RV Energy With Solar Power

solar panel on a caravan

Image Source: Pixabay.com

When you’re wondering, "How much solar power do I need for my RV?" you’ll find that you’ll get more energy efficiency with solar power. That’s why knowing how to determine how much power you’ll need for your particular RV and how many solar panels to buy is so essential.

So, if you want a more energy-efficient RV, you can invest in solar panels today! Let us know how you use solar power in your RV in the comments below.

Featured Image: CC BY 2.0, by Jesse Wagstaff via Flickr.com


Gas Vs Diesel RV: The Pros And Cons Of The Two Options

an RV trailer in a gas station

An RV can give you the freedom to travel and enjoy a never-ending road trip. However, the first thing you have to do is decide which RV to buy. One of the very first choices is to decide on a gas vs. diesel RV for your travels.

To do this, you really need to learn about the differences between gas and diesel fuel. You must make a few considerations about your needs and desires when it comes to your RV as well. Then, you will be able to make an informed decision on a gas vs. diesel RV for yourself.

The Inside Scoop on Gas

You are probably most familiar with gasoline because it's the most common fuel source for standard commuter vehicles. Gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons that come from petroleum.

Gas is highly flammable, including the vapors. It also evaporates quickly, so you can't store it for long periods.

It provides a lot of power upfront for fast acceleration. However, it loses this power quickly, making it less than ideal for steep inclines or towing.


The Lowdown on Diesel

Diesel is sometimes used in passenger vehicles but is more often found in larger vehicles, including pickup trucks and semis. It is a combustible petroleum distillate.

Unlike gas, its vapors are not flammable. This is important to note as we get into how each type of engine works.

You can also store it for long periods without the risk of evaporation.

You don't get the same upfront power with diesel as you do with gas. A diesel engine accelerates rather slowly, but once it gets up to speed, the real power kicks in. Because of this, a diesel engine is much better at towing and making steep climbs.


Inside the Engine

a person filling up a gas tank

Image Source: Pixabay.com

The way a gas vs. diesel RV engine works gives a little insight into the difference between the two.

There are two critical steps in operation where they are quite different.

The basic operation of an engine using any type of fuel is to ignite the fuel and use that explosive energy to power the motor. This happens on a continuous loop until you cut the fuel source off from the engine. This is true for both types of engines.

The process begins with the addition of air.

According to Cenex, in a gas engine, the air mixes with the gas as it enters the engine cylinders. In a diesel engine, the air enters the cylinders without mixing with the fuel.

The next step is compression. In a gas engine, the cylinders compress the air and fuel mixture with low compression. A higher compression occurs within a diesel engine because it is just air, so there's no risk of an explosion from the temperature getting too hot.

The most significant difference occurs in the next step, where ignition occurs. In a gas engine, the spark plugs create a spark that ignites the gas and produces the energy to power the motor. In a diesel engine, there are no spark plugs. The heated air is what ignites the diesel to produce energy.

The final step is getting rid of the byproducts through your exhaust system. This is similar for both types of engines.

The differences between the way the fuel works in the engine produces various differences in the way each engine operates. These factors will affect your choice between a gas vs. diesel RV.


Gas vs. Diesel RV: A Comparison

How you choose to use your RV will be the most important thing to know before you decide which is better between a gas vs. diesel RV. Your planned use and preferences for maintenance and overall care of the RV will play a large role in your choice.

The goal is to understand the differences between a gas vs. diesel RV and how they will affect your ownership. This will allow you to arrive at a decision that makes the most sense for your situation.

Upfront cost

fuel dispensers

Image Source: Pexels.com

As you start shopping for an RV, you'll notice gas RVs are much cheaper than diesel RVs. Even the lowest model diesel RV will be pretty expensive when compared to the higher-end gas RVs.

But there's a good reason for this.

According to KOA, diesel RVs retain their value much better than gas models. That means the resale value is much higher, so you get more for your money.

You need to think about what is more important to you. If you want a lower cost up front, then a gas RV may be the better option. However, if you are looking at overall investment value, a diesel RV is the best choice.

Travel style

Considering your​ travel style and what you will use the RV for are perhaps the biggest factors that will affect your final decision. So, before buying, you really need to think about your intentions and plans.

You should know diesel fuel costs more than gas at the pump. Also, diesel is not as readily available as gas.

However, diesel does get much better fuel mileage than gasoline, so you won't need to fill up as often.

Power and terrain

Keep in mind a gas engine will give you more acceleration power, but diesel is much better if you plan to tow or need to tackle going up steep inclines.

On the downside, though, diesel RVs typically use air brakes, which are much different than the brakes you use in your everyday vehicle. They can take some getting used to and adjustment to know how to use them properly, especially when going downhill.

While a diesel engine will pull you up a hill much better than a gas one, gas engines run better at high altitudes. It is a trade-off that you really need to consider if you will be driving in mountainous areas.

Climate

Another thing to note is gas engines do much better in colder weather. A diesel engine requires a heat source to keep it running when the temperatures get too cold. Your diesel engine won't even start if the temperature is too low.

So, you'll need an engine heater or some other plans to use a diesel RV in harsh winter climates.

Between the costs and limitations of each type of engine, it can be tricky to make a decision. It always seems as if there is a trade-off.

The best thing to do is map out where you want to travel and consider the terrain, availability of fuel, and other factors that can help you determine which is the best choice between a gas vs. diesel RV.

Fuel economy

As mentioned, diesel is a more efficient fuel. It is worth mentioning again, though, because many people write off diesel for the higher upfront cost at the pump.

This is a mistake because many RV owners say that in the long run, the difference is barely noticeable. Diesel RV owners may pay more for fuel, but it lasts longer, so they get more for the money.

Gas RV owners save at the pump, but they have to stop more often to fuel up.

Therefore, it shouldn't have a significant impact on your final decision. You will probably end up spending a similar amount of money overall, so you may want to weigh whether you want to stop more often for fuel or get more time from each tank.

Maintenance and upkeep

If you're leaning one way or the other, you still need to think about maintenance and upkeep. This can be the tipping point and help you make that final choice between a gas vs. diesel RV.

Diesel engines are more durable and will last much longer than a gas engine. This is part of the reason why the resale value is so high for diesel RVs.

Diesel tank fuel

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Because of this, you also won't need to complete maintenance as often. However, when you do need maintenance, even something simple like an oil change, you will probably need to take it to a professional because diesel engines are quite complex and challenging to work on.

On the other hand, while a gas engine will require more maintenance and will not last as long, you can work on it yourself if you have the skills. Plus, maintenance is much cheaper.

Parts for a diesel engine will also cost you more than those for a gas engine. You will also find parts easier for your gas RV than a diesel RV.

When it comes to maintenance and upkeep, a gas RV wins out for being much easier to care for. However, if you plan on making a significant investment in a gas vs. diesel RV, you may feel the longer lifespan of a diesel engine is worth the higher maintenance costs.


Let's Go RVing

Buying an RV is an investment, so you want to make sure you make the right choice. There are many things you need to consider when choosing between a gas vs. diesel RV.

Here are some things to think about as you consider the gas vs. diesel RV decision:

  • Will you live in it and travel long distances, or is it only for the occasional trip?
  • Are you going to be in areas with mountains, or will you generally be on flatter land?
  • Will you use it only in the summer or all year long?
  • Do you want to eventually upgrade and wish to use this RV as a trade-in?

Remember, gas RVs require less maintenance, have easier upkeep, and more acceleration power. Also, gas is cheaper than diesel and easier to find since all service stations usually carry it.

However, they do not do well on hills, and they have lower resale value because gas engines do not last as long as diesel engines. On the plus side, a gas RV will cost less upfront.

Diesel engines don't do well in the cold, and diesel fuel costs more than gas. Plus, diesel may not be available at all service stations. However, it has excellent pulling power and an engine that lasts longer. The resale value is higher but so is the upfront cost.

Both types of RVs have their good and bad points. Ultimately, the decision is entirely up to you. Let us know in the comments what swayed you to choose a gas vs. diesel RV!

Featured Image: CC BY 2.0, by Mountain/ \Ash via Flickr.com 


The 6 Best Class C RV Options To Roll In Style

two Class C RV trailers

Planning your kid's summer holiday can be a bit of a challenge. Should you buy the best Class C RV you can find and go on a road trip? Should you take them hiking in the Adirondacks?

Plus, how do you pick a vacation that's as much fun for your kids as it is for you?
While hiking can make for a great adventure, there's no denying that it can be tough on the knees if you aren't used to it. And it's not exactly what you'd call relaxing.
You'd be much better off taking the family around in a Class C RV.

How do you choose one of these "homes on wheels," though?

What Is a Class C RV?

An RV is simply a recreational vehicle - one that allows you to move around as you like in a mobile home. RVs come in different sizes and configurations, from short and compact to large and palatial.

The Class C RV is typically a midsized model - it's smaller than the Class A RVs and larger than the Class B RVs.

If you're looking for a motorhome that can drive your family of four around in style, you can't do much better than a Class C RV. They're usually built on a large van or truck chassis, which gives them plenty of power for long journeys.

Plus, the motor compartment is separate from the living area, which ensures that your entire family has enough room to kick back and travel in comfort.

When you invest in the best Class C RV you can find, you don't need to worry about space or amenities. The Class C RV usually comes with a cab-over, which provides extra sleeping space right on top of the motor area if you have guests.

You can also pick a model with sliding compartments for extra space -- from storage closets to walk-in showers, you can customize your motorhome as you like!


How Is It Different from a Class A RV?

When it comes to family travel, a lot of people opt for a Class A RV rather than a Class C. It's often hard to choose between the two, as they each come with their pros and cons. We'll make it easier for you by covering the basic differences.

In terms of size, Class A beats the Class C for sure. A Class A RV is usually between 30 to 45 feet long and can be up to 8 feet wide. A Class A RV can also accommodate more sliding compartments than a Class C model, which gives you more scope to create a luxurious living space.

The Class C RV's main advantage over the Class A is in its compactness and ease of use. While a Class C RV can be on the smaller side (between 19 to 30 feet long), it comes with a cab over for extra space and can also accommodate sliding compartments.

The smaller size makes it lighter in weight, which makes it easier to drive than a Class A motorhome.

Overall, if you're taking your family on a drive in a motorhome for the first time, we'd recommend the Class C RV as a better investment.


​Things to Consider Before Buying a Class C RV


You've decided to invest in a motorhome for the summer, and your kids are already ecstatic about living on wheels. The next big question, though, is how to pick the best Class C RV for your family.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options out there, it helps to keep the following points in mind while choosing.

First off, if you're a first-time RV user, we'd recommend you rent a motorhome before buying it. That way, you get to know whether the motorhome lifestyle really works for you before spending a fortune on it.

We'd also recommend buying a used RV rather than a brand-new one - you still get all the features of the best Class C RV at a fraction of the cost.

Be sure to pick the right tires so that your RV stays on the road throughout your trip. Most Class C RVs make use of Load Range E tires, but check your RV's exact requirements on the tire placard attached to the door. You should also buy a quality insurance plan to make things easier in case your motorhome breaks down while you're on the go.

If you're driving an RV for the first time, be sure to take a test drive before buying or renting your motorhome! Get familiar with the pedals and gears and make sure the mirrors are positioned correctly.

Diesel or gasoline?

Finally, you'll need to decide whether you want a diesel or a gasoline model. Gasoline RVs are definitely cheaper, but diesel RVs are more fuel-efficient and easier to maintain. Pick a model based on how often you're likely to use it - if you're only planning to go motoring a couple of times a year, a gasoline RV could make more sense financially.

a man holding the gasoline hose to fuel the vehicle

Image Source: Pixabay.com


So, Which Is The Best Class C RV For My Family?

Buying the best Class C RV for your family can be a tough decision. It needs to be something that will keep your kids safe and warm and also provide everyone with enough space while you're on the road.

That's why we've done the heavy lifting for you by selecting some of the best Class C RV options on the market today and reviewing each in detail.


​How We Reviewed


We combed the internet for the best Class C RV models that campers and full-time mobile dwellers have used and liked. CoverQuest had some great recommendations, as did RVingPlanet.

We also included some of the top-rated Amazon accessories that you might like to buy along with your RV for a smoother experience.


​The 6 Best Class C RV Options to Roll in Style

If you're looking to buy a Class C motorhome to amp up your family vacation, these six models will give you an experience like no others. Pick any of these best Class C RV options and get ready to roll in style.

1

Winnebago Minnie Winnie

Winnebago is one of the most respected names in the RV space, and the Minnie Winnie is the perfect RV option for smaller families. With a compact design and seven floorplans to pick from, this RV will make every family vacation special.
The Winnebago Minnie Winnie features the Winnebago Smart Space design, which makes efficient use of the entire layout to maximize your storage.


Each of the seven floorplans has a private rear bedroom and cab over space to accommodate your family. You can also pick from different fabric and wood options for customized interiors.


One of the best features of the Minnie Winnie is the split bathroom, which includes a shower and a toilet in separate areas for added privacy. The dinette seats are perfect for game nights or for relaxing in after a family meal.


Plus, the hidden compartments under the dinette seats and the large trunk at the back provide the whole family with enough space.

Pros and cons

We can discuss the pros and cons of the Winnebago Minnie Winnie as follows.

Pros

  • Very compact
  • Easy to park in smaller parking spaces
  • Reliable engine

Cons

  • Livability slightly difficult with more people
  • No manufacturer guarantee for defects

2

Jayco Greyhawk Prestige

Jayco has been churning out quality RVs for over 50 years now, and their Greyhawk Prestige is the perfect choice if you're looking for something on the premium side. With a spacious 32-foot length and a comfy queen-sized bed, this is the best Class C RV for all you luxury travelers out there.


The Jayco Greyhawk Prestige features a 30-inch by 82-inch panoramic windows to give you fantastic views of the roads. There are two extra sliding compartments for more room in the bedroom and kitchen in case you have guests over.


You also have darkening roller windows to help you sleep better after a long day.
One of the coolest features the Greyhawk Prestige offers is the 32-inch LED TV with all-weather speakers. You and your family can watch your favorite programs on the go, even if you're stuck in the rain!


Some floorplans also feature an outdoor awning for you to enjoy the fresh air and catch up with friends over drinks.

Pros and cons

We can discuss the pros and cons of the Jayco Greyhawk Prestige as follows.

Pros

  • Spacious interiors
  • Premium furnishings