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How to pick the type of camper or RV that will suit your needs.

Updated on January 31, 2012
1970's  5th wheel
1970's 5th wheel | Source

I really thought this would be easy to write, but I was wrong, oh so wrong. I think what I want to do is share my experience in looking for my 1st camper. I grew up vacationing in tents, cabins and campers. I really like the campers, hook them up and go , take a few minutes to plug in the electric and hook up the water and there you are, home away from home!

I started looking at campers, in a real serious way 6 months before I was planning to get one. I figured if I knew what was out there I could make a better decision. That was a good idea, as there are many, many different sizes and types of campers out there. I started with the local RV lots and just looked at all of them, new and used. I kept a notebook on the different brands and models and sizes. I also got the latest pamphlet for the new RV's the lot sold.

The 2nd step I took was to look at the pamphlets I picked up at the RV lots. I found the ones that I liked and then went out to look at those same brands and sizes in a used at least 10 year old model to see how they aged. I was shocked at the difference between brands and condition after 10 years. Campers are not all made to the same standards, some looked fabulous even at 10 years old, some looked like they were ready for the junk yard. I know some people take better care of stuff than others but I was interested in structure not appearance

My next step in this adventure was to figure out what size camper I wanted....again I went to local RV dealers, checking out what they had in stock. I had decided I needed a bumper pull camper because I had a truck and could not afford a different truck AND a camper. I also had to figure out how much camper my truck could pull.

I have at this point decided I needed a used bumper pull camper and that it had to be 32 feet long or smaller, as my truck wasn't going to be able to pull anything larger.

This was the hardest part: figuring out what I wanted inside my camper. what kind of bathroom, how big of refridgerator, room for how many to sleep? closet space, tv? airconditioning? what kind of heat, carpet? washer/dryer the list goes on.......

As a woman I am sure those things listed above are far more important to me than they are to the average man. I eventually did figure out what I wanted and that took the longest amount of time because there are so many different campers out there and so many choices.

The reason I had such a hard time deciding what I wanted in my camper was because I had decided to live in my RV full time and wanted enough room so that I was comfotable with out being crowded. The rv I finally settled on was a 1988 prowler, 29' long and had enough closets and a living room and kitchen, there was room for everything!! I even had room for guests!! I had that camper for 8 years

The thing to remember is the camper needs to fit your needs, not some other person trying to sell you a camper. You are the one that will be using the camper and you know how you will be using it. The next thing is research what is available locally and you can also check with the manufacturers on line as they do have web sites with pictures and technical information. Then figure out what has to be inside the camper for it to work for your purpose. The other important consideration is the size of the camper and how you will move it or if you will keep it in a permanent place.

I will write more on the things to check once you have found the camper that fits your needs, this is just a guide to help you figure out what you want and need. That would be the first step. Step number 2 is to go looking for the camper, and in the next submission I will explain the things you need to be aware of when actually looking for that 1st camper. There are many things that can be wrong with a camper and there are many things that need to be checked as they are expensive to repair or to replace.....


1970's 5th wheel and 1990s 1 ton dually
1970's 5th wheel and 1990s 1 ton dually | Source


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    • marywanders profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from minnesota

      Thank you Anne. I prefer the life of a nomad, I can move or not as I see fit. I currently have a 40' 5th wheel.

      I am going to do more writing about this once I am settled, which will be soon I hope.

    • Anne Pettit profile image

      Anne Pettit 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      I have always romantized a nomadic existence. I am also attracted to small living spaces. Interesting hub

    • marywanders profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from minnesota

      @Old Poolman, I sold cars when I was in my early 20's, strangely enough I sold more pick up trucks than cars because I was concerned that the customer wouldn't get the "right" truck to do the job, they seemed to appreciate the attention to detail, and I learned a lot from that job.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      6 years ago

      Great first hub and welcome to hub pages. You most likely saved others a bunch of time doing research, and possibly saved them from making some expensive mistakes. I loved the way you selected the camper based on the capability of the truck. Many would think a truck is a truck, and go buy something they could not safely haul. Great job, let's see some more hubs from you.

    • marywanders profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from minnesota

      @Ghost , Thanks for the welcome. I like to check things out, I would rather take the time to figure it out and get it right the 1st time if possible. I had a lot of advice from people who had campers, I had to find what was going to work for me. I 'm not so sure my research was 100% , more like 80% and didn't take the best advice I was offered, as I couldn't afford to.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Welcome to HubPages!

      Now, about your most excellent Hub. The thought and care you put into reasearching your first camper was...AWESOME. Not dumb ol' me. I just took whichever wife was handy (hey, I've had 6 divorces--my beloved Pam is wife #7) and bought "the first thing that looked good". Not that I didn't TRY to do some digging first, but if your "Research Standard" rates at 100%, mine was more like maybe 35%.

      Lucked out a couple of times, not so much one other time.

      Voted Up and a Lot.

    • marywanders profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from minnesota

      @rutley , thank-you

    • rutley profile image


      6 years ago from South Jersey

      Thanks so much! Welcome!

    • marywanders profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from minnesota

      @ LuisEGonzalez, Thank-you for the welcome! I am glad to be here.

    • marywanders profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from minnesota

      @ The RV Guy, Thank-you. I intended this to be helpful to people thinking of getting an RV.

    • The RV Guy profile image

      The RV Guy 

      6 years ago from Somewhere In America

      Good information that may help someone else in their hunt for an RV.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Welcome to HubPages, nice to have you on board


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