Emerald Beach RV Resort, Navarre Beach, FL, 11/05

Should You Rent An RV Before Buying?

So you have decided that you would like to have the RV Dream? Fantastic!!

However, if you don't already have an RV or you have never RVed before, you would like to be sure, right? Good thinking. All the RV experts and writers strongly suggest that you rent an RV and try out the lifestyle for as long a period as you can.

I could not agree more. The RV Dream is a major commitment and decision. You need to experience as many aspects as you can before making that commitment.

You may only have a week or two to test yourself. That's okay if you approach it correctly. You really have to use your imagination, but you must pretend you are living in the RV.

You need to understand and use all the systems. You need to pay close attention to the dynamics between yourself and those traveling with you. You need to get a feel for the driving and parking.

Now keep in mind that experience fixes a lot of early issues, so if you only have a short time, don't freak out if you have some struggles. They will more than likely be related to lack of knowledge or first-time jitters.

Also, keep in mind that being able to rent the exact model of RV you want may not be possible. In fact, you may not even be able to rent the type of RV anywhere close to what you want.

For example, most rentals are Class A or C motorhomes. While it is possible to rent a fifth wheel or travel trailer, they are hard to find. And, I have not been able to find anywhere you can rent a tow vehicle with the towable RV. So unless you have a tow vehicle and it is already equipped with the proper hitch, you will have to go with a motorhome.

The point is that you may not be able to duplicate the experience you desire, but the experts still say any experience is better than none at all.

Since we ignored the advice of the experts about renting, I cannot recommend a rental company. However, I have included a couple of links to national RV rental websites so you can at least see what options may be available in your area or in a destination you want to visit.

Cruise America RV Rentals

USA RV Rentals

El Monte RV Rentals

CanaDream RV Rentals

Road Bear RV Rentals

Caravans As An Alternative To Renting

If you happen to already have an RV or can borrow one, taking an RV caravan tour is another great way to check out the lifestyle. An RV caravan is simply a pre-designed tour with a guide that includes a few or several RVers traveling together. What makes a caravan great is that you travel with experienced folks who can help you along the way. Check out the caravan page for more information.

Click here for the RV Caravan Tours page

Still Not Sure After A Caravan Or Rental?

Sometimes non-RV owners, even after renting or going on a caravan, still are just not sure about the full-timing lifestyle. The lifestyle is not for everyone, and granted, a rental probably won't allay their hesitation.

So often a prudent approach is to purchase an RV that is not quite of full-timing quality. Something that doesn't break the bank. We have met lots and lots of people on the road that have taken that approach before jumping in with both feet.

We have met a few that did jump in with both feet and found that the lifestyle is not what they thought. Most people just know the lifestyle is for them, but if you have doubts, there is nothing wrong testing the water.

Keep in mind that the proper full-timing rig for you can make all the difference in the world. So concentrate on the lifestyle and figuring out how a different RV might cure some of issues you encounter.

But above all, if you are considering full-timing, at least give it a try one way or another!