RV There Yet? 

 With camping season upon us and RV shows rolling out the latest and greatest trailers on the market, many new RV owners will soon be heading to area parks to enjoy their first season of RV camping. But finding the perfect fit for a first-time buyer takes a lot of communication between the client and the consultant.

While the majority of buyers today are more educated than ever before, nothing beats just walking into a dealership or RV show and consulting with a salesman who understands your needs and can help you discover the unit that will work best for you.

For some first-time buyers that means starting right at the beginning, with the most basic of questions, including “What do you have for a tow vehicle?”

“Even though tow guides are available on the web, they’re constantly changing,” said Banning RV Manager Toni Ramirez.   “A 2010 truck and a 2006 will be able to haul two totally different loads, and looking at what you’re towing is just as important–whether you’re looking to haul a tow trailer or a fifth wheel, for example. Before you even take people on to the lot, you need to find that out.”

Tow guides often don’t take into account where the vehicle will be towed–the mountains versus open prairies–nor the amount of additional weight the buyer may pull, depending on his or her camping style. If water is not available where they like to camp, the extra weight of stored water may put a tow vehicle to the test.

When picking a trailer, size really does matter. If the place you like to camp is a small campsite tucked away in the trees, the 41-foot toy hauler you just bought may not exactly fit. So you need to either change your expectations, your camping site or both. 

Ask yourself if the trailer will fit on your driveway or storage area. If not, you many have to factor in the cost of a storage facility. How long do you plan to keep the trailer? Is it suitable, size-wise, for the needs you have today?

Next, buyers should purchase an RV that sleeps the number of people who will be camping in it on a regular basis. Even though most dinettes turn into extra sleeping areas, putting the table up and down all the time may become tiresome and you would have been better off with a trailer that fit your needs. 

Size also matters when it comes time to back up a trailer. As with most things, practice makes perfect. If you’re a first-time RV owner, it might not be in your best interests to get a vehicle you’re not comfortable towing and backing up. Better to start smaller and build your way up than to be frustrated and give up the idea of camping before you really get started.

Which is why the salespeople Toni Ramirez trains are taught to always constantly ask their customers the most basic of questions: Why?

“Why do you want one this size? Why do you want one with this feature? Why do you need this extra storage? The answers to those types of questions,” said Ramirez, “will help your salesperson identify the type of camping experience you’re looking for and point you in the direction of the best trailer for you.”