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RVers Confess Their RV REGRETS After Buying an RV

| Updated Sep 27, 2023

RVers share their biggest RV regrets after buying their first recreational vehicle. Here's how you can avoid the same mistakes…

A member of our RV Lifestyle Facebook group is about to buy their first RV and asked our community what regrets they had about their first purchase.

Bill wrote: About to buy our first RV. As the saying goes, “buy your 3rd RV first”. If you regretted your first RV purchase, what were the reasons? Too big? Too Small?

Bill's post addressed what we like to call the Goldilocks problem of RV buying. The first RV always seems too small. The second one is too big. And the third one is juuuuust right. (Or possibly vice versa with the first and second.)

Another recent Facebook post also brought up RV-buying regrets, asking, “Anyone buy an RV and found out real fast it’s not for them?😂

Hundreds of RVers responded to both posts with their experiences and offered some advice. We'll share their input as well as offer some advice of our own.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

3 Biggest Regrets New RV Owners Have

With so many different RVs and different options, it's really hard to decide which kind of RV and which RV within that class is right for you. RVers often end up with one or more of the following 3 regrets.

We will quickly list the 3 big regrets with a helpful resource. Then, we'll dive into the tips to help you avoid these regrets!

Regret #1: The Wrong Size

10 Top Tips for Finding the Best RV Size for You

Like we said: The Goldilocks Problem. Many RVers regret buying too big or too small with their first RV. Then, they overcorrect and buy too small or too big for their second RV. Like Bill said in his post, it seems it takes 3 RVs to get it right.

Helpful Resource: Class A vs. Class B vs. Class C RV: Which is Right for You?

If you don’t know the differences between the RV classes listed above, I recommend you read the following:

From Campervan to 5th Wheel

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Jennifer and I have enjoyed 11 years of RVing, and the first decade was in small Class B campervans. We were happy with the small RV lifestyle, boondocking our way around the country. And we still are happy! We still have a campervan, but we've also recently bought a 5th-wheel travel trailer.

There's a BIG difference between fifth wheels and campervans, so we understand either end of the buying spectrum. We learned a lot through experience but also, thankfully, from fellow RVers. Whether you're a full-time RVer or weekend warrior, it's helpful to know other RVers' biggest regrets to avoid the same.

Regret #2: Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer

Another common regret new RV owners have is opting for a motorhome over a travel trailer or vice versa. Some trailer owners realize they despise hooking and unhooking the trailer, while motorhome owners wish they could unhook and drive around freely.

Helpful Resource: Towable vs. Motorized RV: Which Is Right for You?

Regret #3: Bad Floorplan or Missing Amenities

The 3rd buying regret usually starts off with “I really wish we had…” and ends with “it just doesn't work for us.” RVers realize over time that the floorplan they chose doesn't utilize the space the best way for them. Or, they realize they can't actually live without the thing they thought they could live without (i.e. washer/dryer, bigger closet, etc.)

Helpful Resource: 7 Common RV Interior Design Flaws (and Solutions!)

How to Buy the Goldilocks RV on the FIRST Try

Now that you know the 3 biggest regrets, you surely want to know how to avoid them. But we bet you noticed something about those 3 problems… they really depend on the person!

Some people like bigger, some like smaller, some prefer towables, and some prefer motorhomes. It really comes down to personal preference. We bet you're thinking, Well, that doesn't really help me, does it?!

We hear ya, and you're right. But we can help you figure out which one is right for you.

1. Understand the Different Classes and RV Types

It's a good idea to start your RV buying journey with a clear understanding of different RV types and sizes. If you can't explain the difference between Class A and Class B RVs or travel trailers and 5th wheels, then you're not ready to make a truly informed decision.

The following articles can give you a boost on that steep learning curve:

2. Know What KIND OF RVING Fits Your Travel Dreams

Before signing on the dotted line, new RVers need to understand that there are many types of RV lifestyles. Boondocking, for instance, has become increasingly popular in recent years, yet many new people don't even know what it is.

So, what kind of RV travel do you want to do?

Do you want to stay in luxury RV parks, camp in state parks and national parks, or boondock along the open road? Are you okay with staying in Walmart parking lots overnight, or do you always want hookups? Do you plan on full-time RVing or occasional road trips?

Here are resources to help you figure it out:

3. Rent (Often) Before You Buy

The BEST ADVICE we can give you is this: RENT BEFORE YOU BUY. A lot of people in the Facebook post agree. Buying an RV is a big decision, and you shouldn't make it on the sales lot with an RV dealer. You should make it from a campsite or on a road trip with your travel companions.

The only way to figure out the pros and cons of RV living the way you will live it is to experience it firsthand. And you DON'T have to figure it out after you buy an expensive rig.

Before you make a big investment in an RV, you should try out the many different options. Check out Outdoorsy and other places where you can rent an RV.

Rent different RV classes (even the ones you don't think you'd like). Rent different floorplans. Rent RVs with different amenities. Once you've narrowed it down to a couple of options, take a couple of long trips in them. THEN buy the best rig for you.

Here are some buying resources and our RV Lifestyle RV Buying Secrets ebook:

Our RV Buying Secrets

RVers Confess Their RV REGRETS After Buying an RV 1

Next to your home, an RV is most likely the 2nd most expensive thing you'll ever purchase.

We get questions every day of other RVers wondering. “How do you buy a new or used RV?”

So we created a 75+-page downloadable digital guide to help you understand the nuances that come with purchasing an RV, where you can save thousands of dollars in the buying process, what the right questions are to ask dealers, what things to look out for, how to select the right unit, amenities, warranties, and so much more!

This ebook is designed to help make your purchase process as smooth as possible. And to teach you step-by-step exactly what to do so you can start your RV Lifestyle today!


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Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-08-28

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

14 Responses to “RVers Confess Their RV REGRETS After Buying an RV”

May 21, 2023at8:20 pm, Miguel Negrete said:

My RV 2cents RV warranties are good bad parts the fixing takes months .Buy the Xtra insurance if you plan keeping it and for peace of mind.If buy one check for workmanship.I LEARNED THE HARD WAY THE THE NEW RVS Don’t COME WITH A SPARE tire. How crazy is that no spare

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May 03, 2023at6:05 pm, Whitney Brown said:

Right on target. Camping World is RV crooksville. They sell you on “we’re everywhere” and sell 7 year warranties that are, for the most part, worthless. They take months to fix anything. Horrible customer service.

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April 16, 2023at7:17 pm, Timothy Miller said:

Biggest regret regarding my rv purchase (full timer with about 1 year under my belt)… purchasing from Camping World. Do not, I repeat, do not buy anything from that company.

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May 03, 2023at6:03 pm, WHITNEY C BROWN said:

Right on target. Camping World is RV crooksville. They sell you on “we’re everywhere” and sell 7 year warranties that are, for the most part, worthless. They take months to fix anything. Horrible customer service.

Reply

April 03, 2023at9:33 pm, Ronald rollins said:

We have been full time rv living for 8 years. We first bought a used trailer. We now have a 43 ft 5ver. Rear bedroom front living room. Had this one 3 years and love the layout. Pull It with a 2019 F350 SRW. Best thing we ever did was sell our house and get an rv.

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April 05, 2023at3:46 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you are having a blast – Team RV Lifestyle

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April 01, 2023at3:18 pm, Jim Bemis Sr. said:

I travel with my dog , he makes sure I know if anyone even comes close to my Travel Trailer.

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April 01, 2023at7:55 am, Robert Yoder said:

We did a lot of research, and decided what we will be doing, so we purchased a campervan for distant traveling on some occasions and a 22′ travel trailer. internet and YouTube helped a great deal, love them both with no regret

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March 31, 2023at1:03 pm, Sean Hodges said:

Haven’t owned a trailer in about two decades. Prior to making a purchase (2022 Winnebago Micro-Minnie) we spent two years looking, and probably asked hundreds of questions in the process. Do not impulse buy. Unfortunately, there are many brands with quality and support issues. We decided to spend a little more and obviously cater the trailer more to (75%) light boondocking, hunting and fishing. Obviously with that in mind RV Parks and resorts (25%) are easy peasy. The trailer is very easy to manage on the road (in the wind lets say) easy to park, and (in our opinion) a great couples trailer, regarding features, comfort etc. Is it perfect? No it’s not, but after a couple of years we feel we got close.

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April 02, 2023at10:51 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing, Sean! Team RV Lifestyle

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March 30, 2023at5:52 pm, Scott Shipman said:

We never found a place that rented a large pickup and 5th-wheel RV.

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March 31, 2023at10:14 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

That is awesome! Team RV Lifestyle

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March 30, 2023at12:30 pm, Steve Baldwin said:

We shopped for two years before settling on our 25′ towable and after our first long outing with it we didn’t have any regrets. Six years later we are still satisfied with it. I can see the advantage of renting before buying.

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March 31, 2023at10:12 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

That is wonderful, Steve! Thanks for sharing this – research/shopping can be key- Team RV Lifestyle

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RVers Confess Their RV REGRETS After Buying an RV
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