Things to Know Before Making a Decision

Are you thinking of buying a camper or RV? We decided to buy a camper last year and, while we are still happy with our decision, we didn’t realize everything that goes into it until after the fact. Read below to see what my family learned from our experience of buying our camper. 

1. Storage

After buying a camper you will have this huge piece of property, do you have a place to store it? We don’t live on a property with land and our driveway definitely isn’t big enough for us to keep it at our house. We knew we couldn’t keep it here but we didn’t look into storage pricing and options until after the fact. Luckily we found something close by that’s not terribly expensive.

When thinking about buying a camper or RV, think about where you will keep it. Combine the monthly camper payment with the monthly price for storage to get the total. This way you can make sure that you will still be able to afford what you want.

2. Insurance

Despite what you might think, RV or camper insurance is not included with your normal auto insurance. This is something else that we didn’t realize until we were in the middle of making our camper purchase. We figured since we would be pulling the camper with our truck that it would be covered. We were wrong. It was an extra $70 a month to add our trailer onto our insurance. Make sure you add the insurance fee to your overall monthly payment for your camper or RV. This way you can get an estimate of your full out-of-pocket monthly cost before making a final decision.

3. Items You Need Before Traveling

Another thing we didn’t realize when trying to buy our camper was that there are so many items you need before you can actually use it. All of this had to be purchased before we went on any trips. We needed bug guards for the outside, vent covers for the roof, hoses (water and waste disposal) and a water pressure gauge. In total we spent about $200 on all these extras that we had known nothing about beforehand.

4. Towing

My husband has a 2016 Ford F-150 that has towing capacity. He researched the weight of the camper we wanted and looked up how much his truck could tow. The camper was narrowly under the max-weight capacity for his truck so we thought we were good to go.

We had never tried pulling anything very large with his truck, much less a trailer the size that we were purchasing. Mistake. We got the trailer purchased, got it hooked up and were on our way.

Our truck can definitely pull it, but not very well. During towing, the trailer pulls so much and when it’s windy it’s WAY worse. My husband feels like he’s just swaying back and forth all over the road and it’s very stressful. Definitely do a test-drive with your tow vehicle and a trailer similar in size to the one you’re interested before you decide to make a purchase.

Also, towing affects your gas mileage. Make sure to factor in how much more gas you are going to use when towing a trailer. It’s easy to rack up more than a couple hundred dollars in gas on a small trip.

If you have any experiences or suggestions, comment below and let us know!