RV Shopping Tips and a Downloadable Cheat Sheet to Help with Your Big Purchase

RV shopping can be a fun, but overwhelming experience. We created this guide and cheat sheet to help you remember what to look for when you are checking out all of those RVs and to help you remember what you saw by the time you get home.

When we started thinking about the possibility of full-time RVing, we started attending local RV shows and dealerships to get a feel for what was available. We only had experience with our little pop-up and didn’t have a clue what type of RV we wanted to buy. Going to the RV shows let us see a bunch of different types of RVs and brands in one place and take a few minutes to make ourselves at home. We got a feel for the kind of layout we liked and what might work for us. We even made a trip to the big Hershey, PA show to have a broader experience! The shows helped us narrow down our choices and helped us down the path to our motorhome life.

RV shopping can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many RVS and they can start to blur together. There are so many options and features and keeping track of what you have seen can fill a whole notebook. It’s also very easy to walk into an RV and be wowed by the floorplan or pretty decor and forget to look at some of the important things you’ll want to review and compare later.

We put together some tips that helped us get through RV shopping with our sanity still intact and our gathered info at our fingertips. We also created a cheat sheet you can carry with you while RV shopping and mark down the pertinent information for each RV you like. This way, when you get home you won’t be wondering if that beige interior RV (all of them) had enough storage for you. This should make your shopping process MUCH easier.


  • Plan how much time you want to spend shopping on your outing. RV shopping can easily take a whole day.
  • Keep a running list of your top three RVs when shopping. Constantly update the list as you find RVs that are better suited for you than the ones in your top three.
  • Remember what type of camping you want to do. This lifestyle is different than living in a house. For instance, features that may make sense in a house, like a residential fridge, can make it a bit more difficult to boondock.
  • Take a picture of the sales sheet or model sticker on the RV before you start taking pictures of the RV. This will help you to keep track of which pictures go with which RVs. They will all start to blur together after a while.
  • Look at the layout of the RV to see if the living spaces are still accessible with the slides in. Can you get to the bathroom, refrigerator, bedroom etc?
  • Save the million dollar luxury RVs for the end after you have seen your prospects. Unless you came for the million dollar RVs!
  • Print out multiple copies of our RV Shopping Cheat Sheet so you can take notes while you walk through the RVs. It will also help to remind you to check for the features that are important to you.


  • Comfortable shoes
  • Notebook and pen
  • Camera to photograph RVs in which you are interested
  • Water
  • An open and excited attitude- it will serve you better than going in grouchy
  • Copies of the RV Shopping Tips and RV Shopping Cheat Sheets

Even if you aren’t planning on buying a new RV, it can be helpful to attend RV shows to see many different types of RVs and floor plans all in one place. This can help you figure out what you like and don’t like. And dealerships will carry new and used RVs to poke through. We exhausted all the avenues when looking for our RVs: shows, dealerships, and private sellers. You never know where you might find your ideal RV.

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  1. Harper Campbell on October 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

    My husband and I are wanting to get an RV before next summer so that we will be able to take a family road trip but need help in finding the right one. I am glad that you mentioned that one thing we need to make sure of is if the living spaces are accessible even with the sides in. It will be nice to be able to get to the bathroom and what not when we are on the move or when we stop for a quick second.

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