A road trip is something you’ve probably thought about for a long time. To you, it may something that other people have done, or something that you often talk about, but that you haven’t actually gotten round to doing. To many people, it seems like just something that they do in movies. They also imagine that road trips can’t actually be that enjoyable. Movies make them out to be these enlightening, almost magical experiences. Surely just sitting around and driving forward for hours on end isn’t all that fun?
But road trips offer you a unique vacation experience and an opportunity to see several places within a given state during one trip. Plus, going on a road trip can often be a lot less expensive than “regular” vacations. They offer you a lot of freedom of movement, which helps lend a feeling of independence, adventure, and discovery – and isn’t that precisely what a trip should do? These aspects are often missing from the vacations people go on, generally because they’re only looking at more touristy types of outings as an excuse to get out of the house and take a break from their everyday existence.
Of course, a road trip requires a vehicle! (Technically, you could probably argue that simply going for a very long walking vacation along a road is a road trip… but people are just going to roll their eyes at you if you try to make that argument.) And it’s essential that you pick the right vehicle for the trip. This is what we’re going to look at first. You have a lot of options when it comes to this; however, as you’ll see, we’re going to lean heavily in favor of getting an RV! We’re going to take a look at several options, as well as some of the mistakes that people make when buying RVs that tends to result in other people being put off of them.
Picking the right vehicle
We love big cars in the US, and big vehicles are usually the best option when it comes to road trips. The best-selling automobile model in this country is the hefty Ford F-Series. If you don’t have a vehicle selected for the trip, then it may be tempting to simply go with bigger cars. While we’d agree that this is generally the best course of action, you shouldn’t dismiss smaller options.
The fact is that big vehicles tend to be more expensive, and their insatiable thirst for fuel is famous. People conscious of the environment are investing less in bigger rides and more in smaller rides. This can help save you a decent amount of money which you can then put towards the road trip itself.
It’s tempting to say that this isn’t the wisest option, but it really depends on how much you’re going to use the vehicle for other purposes. You also need to take into account how often you’re going to be traveling. If you’re planning on going for short travels on a frequent basis, it may be best to opt for a smaller car. This will be cheaper to run and better for the environment. However, if you’re going to have a different vehicle for everyday purposes and you plan on going on trips at least once a year, then investing in an RV may be your best bet.
There’s a tremendous amount of variety when it comes to RVs, and no other options provides quite as much space and comfort. There are also an insane amount of RV camping grounds available across the United States. This means that you’ll end up saving a lot of money on accommodation if you’re willing to live in the vehicle temporarily (and, if you’re not, then an RV might not be the best choice anyway!).
If you’d prefer to stick with the smaller vehicle option, this doesn’t mean you can’t bring a lot of stuff with you. You might want to look into trailer hook-ups. Hooking a trailer up to your car is a great way to save money and fuel without skipping on the amount of cargo you want to bring. You can get small ones if you’re only just short of room, or you can get trailers big enough for you to walk around in. You can try building your own if you’re in a DIY mood; this can ensure you get the right fit! You may want to spend a little time driving around in a familiar area once the trailer is hooked up. This will help you get used to maneuvering your vehicle with that extra length.
Rooftop cargo carriers are another option if you’re sticking with smaller vehicles; these things can fit a deceptively large amount of items inside! These are even cheaper than most trailers, making it a good choice if you’re not sitting on a big pile of cash to help you fund this trip. You’ll have to keep in mind the added height of your vehicle when driving, however! Thankfully, the additional height won’t be quite as affecting to your regular drive as additional length might be.
There’s not much else to say about the options that involve additions to a smaller vehicle. As for RVs, which really give you the best mobility and more unique experience when it comes to road trips, there’s still a lot to be said! There are plenty of places to buy RVs, but a lot of people makes mistakes when they’re on the hunt for one. We’re going to have a look through these mistakes – make sure you avoid them!
Common mistakes when buying RVs
- Buying new when you can buy old
People don’t seem to have accurate images in their head when they picture used RVs. They tend to imagine something ramshackle, worn down, and lacking in many modern features that a lot of people want these days. But it’s possible to get very high-quality used RVs, and when you consider how much more new RVs can cost, the benefits can become quite clear very quickly. One thing you could consider is finding a used RV for sale and then renovating it. This allows you to build towards a more modern RV while keeping a better handle on the costs. It also allows you to ensure the vehicle is fit for your needs.
- Dismissing converted RVs
A converted RV is, as the title suggests, a vehicle that has been converted into an RV. Big vans can undergo such treatment, as can small trucks and even minibuses. You can buy these converted RVs, but you could also consider the possibility of getting a cheap truck and converting it into an RV yourself. There’s a common misconception that converted RVs are of lower quality and end up costing a lot more, but you’ll soon see this is bunk if you look into it and select the right vehicle. Dismissing conversions from your browsing simply means you’re running a higher risk of missing out on the perfect RV for your purposes. Be sure that the materials used during the conversion are as high a quality as possible.
- Paying too much insurance
A lot of people seem to believe buying an RV means that that you have to pay for very expensive and highly specialized motorhome insurance. You can get insurance which is tailored specifically for RVs, and this can be useful. In fact, depending on what you’re going to be doing, it might be required. But you’re really not that limited in your insurance choices as you may believe. Plus, specialized RV insurance can be found relatively cheap! Make sure you explore all of your options thoroughly. Don’t just assume you’re going to be paying crazy amounts of money; this can land you in the trap of paying too much simply because you don’t think you have a choice!
- Neglecting the style of drive you need
How much do you know about the roads and other surfaces where you’re going? Will you be dealing with low bridges? Are you going to have a lot of room to maneuver? Are they going to be dealing with a lot of narrow and windy roads, the sort that are off the beaten track? You need to consider all of these things when buying an RV. Ending up stuck or otherwise unable to progress isn’t exactly going to be the most fun part of a road trip, so do plenty of research beforehand and buy a vehicle accordingly. Some will be more fit for certain surfaces and climates than others.
- Expecting to sell it for profit in a few years
You should buy an RV is for immediate practical purposes, never as an investment. The same holds true for any vehicle; there are very, very few vehicles that don’t basically depreciate the second you drive them out of the lot. But, perhaps because of its several functions, a lot of people seem to think that RVs can increase in value. Here’s the sad truth: RVs certainly aren’t an exception to instant-depreciation rule! In fact, RVs drop in value at a faster rate than most other vehicles! Don’t buy an RV hoping for profit in a few years.