Mats RV Review: What To Consider Before Buying

Are you ready to embark on your RV journey? Before you hit the road, it’s essential to make an informed decision when it comes to buying an RV. That’s where Mats RV Review comes in. In this comprehensive article, we’ll highlight the key factors you should consider before making a purchase. From size and layout to towing capacity and amenities, we’ve got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the exciting world of RV shopping!

1. Price Range

1.1 New vs Used RVs

When considering purchasing an RV, one of the first things you need to think about is your budget. RVs can vary greatly in price, depending on whether you choose to buy new or used. New RVs are generally more expensive, but they come with the advantage of being in pristine condition and often include manufacturer warranties. Used RVs, on the other hand, can be significantly cheaper, but they may require more maintenance and repairs. Ultimately, the decision between new and used RVs will depend on your budget and your willingness to take on any potential repairs or maintenance costs.

1.2 Financing Options

Buying an RV is a big investment, and many people require financing to make their dream of RV ownership come true. There are several financing options available to consider. You can choose to finance through a bank or credit union, which often offer competitive interest rates. Another option is to finance through the dealership where you purchase your RV. Dealership financing can be convenient, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and interest rates before committing to a loan. Additionally, some RV manufacturers offer their own financing options, which may come with special promotions or incentives. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare financing options to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your budget.

2. RV Type

2.1 Motorhomes

Motorhomes are the most popular type of RV and come in three different classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious, often resembling a fully equipped home on wheels. Class B motorhomes, also known as camper vans, are smaller and more compact, making them easier to maneuver and park. Class C motorhomes fall in between Class A and Class B in terms of size and amenities. They typically have an overhang above the driver’s cab, providing additional sleeping space. When choosing a motorhome, consider factors such as your desired level of comfort, the number of people it needs to accommodate, and your driving experience.

2.2 Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are towed behind a vehicle, making them a popular choice for those who already own a truck or SUV capable of towing. They offer a wide range of sizes and floor plans, from compact teardrop trailers to spacious fifth wheels. Travel trailers provide the flexibility of being able to unhitch at your destination and use your towing vehicle for everyday transportation. They can often sleep a larger number of people compared to motorhomes of similar size. However, keep in mind that you will need to have a suitable towing vehicle and be comfortable with towing and maneuvering a trailer.

2.3 Fifth Wheels

Fifth wheels are a specific type of travel trailer that requires a special hitch mounted in the bed of a pickup truck. This hitch creates a unique towing configuration, allowing for increased stability and a smoother ride compared to traditional travel trailers. Fifth wheels typically have multiple levels and can offer more living space and amenities compared to other types of RVs. However, keep in mind that the hitch setup requires a compatible pickup truck and may limit your choice of vehicles if you plan to use the RV for everyday transportation.

2.4 Pop-up Campers

Pop-up campers, also known as tent trailers or folding campers, are lightweight and compact trailers that fold down for easy transportation and storage. They are generally more affordable than other types of RVs and can be towed by a variety of vehicles, including smaller cars and SUVs. Pop-up campers offer the camping experience with the added comfort of sleeping off the ground and basic amenities such as a small kitchenette and dining area. However, it’s important to note that pop-up campers have limited living space and may not be suitable for long-term or full-time RV living.

3. Size and Layout

3.1 Sleeping Capacity

When considering the size and layout of an RV, one of the most important factors to consider is the sleeping capacity. Think about how many people will be traveling with you and how many beds or sleeping spaces you will need. Some RVs offer a variety of sleeping arrangements, including fixed beds, convertible sofas, bunk beds, and dinettes that can be converted into beds. It’s important to consider not only the number of beds but also their size and comfort. A larger RV may offer more sleeping space, but keep in mind that extra sleeping accommodations often come at the expense of living space.

3.2 Slide-Outs

Slide-outs are expanding sections of an RV that can increase the living space when parked and provide a more open and spacious feel. They are typically found in larger RVs, such as Class A motorhomes and fifth wheels. Slide-outs can significantly increase the square footage of an RV’s interior, creating additional room for dining areas, sofas, or even extra bedrooms. However, it’s important to note that slide-outs add weight to the RV and can affect the overall towing capacity and maneuverability. Additionally, slide-outs may require maintenance and can be prone to leaks if not properly maintained.

3.3 Bathrooms and Kitchens

The bathroom and kitchen are essential areas of any RV, and the size and layout of these spaces can vary greatly. Consider your needs and preferences when it comes to these areas. Some RVs offer full-size bathrooms with a separate shower, toilet, and sink, while others may have a wet bath, which combines the shower and toilet in one space. Likewise, kitchens can range from basic setups with a small sink and stove to more spacious kitchens with larger appliances and ample counter space. It’s important to assess your cooking and bathroom needs to ensure that the RV you choose will meet your requirements.

4. Weight and Towing Capacity

4.1 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowed weight of an RV, including its own weight, cargo, and passengers. It’s important to understand the GVWR of the RV you are considering, as exceeding this weight limit can be unsafe and may lead to mechanical issues. When looking at RVs, pay attention to their weight and compare it to the towing capacity of your vehicle. Keep in mind that you will need to leave a buffer in the towing capacity to ensure safe and comfortable towing.

4.2 Required Towing Vehicle

If you are considering a towable RV, it’s essential to have a compatible towing vehicle with the appropriate towing capacity. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the RV you are interested in to determine the minimum requirements for towing vehicles. Consider factors such as the weight of the RV, the type of hitch required, and any additional equipment or accessories that may be necessary for safe towing. It’s important to ensure that your towing vehicle is capable of handling the weight and size of the RV, as well as the potential weight of any cargo you may be carrying.

5. Amenities and Features

5.1 Appliances and Electronics

RVs come with a variety of appliances and electronics to make your life on the road more comfortable. Consider the amenities that are important to you, such as a refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, and entertainment options like a TV or stereo system. Some RVs may offer additional features, such as a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, or even a fireplace. Take the time to think about which appliances and electronics are essential for your RV lifestyle and prioritize them when evaluating different models.

5.2 Interior Design and Furnishings

The interior design and furnishings of an RV can greatly impact the overall comfort and atmosphere. Some RVs have a more traditional and cozy feel, with wood finishes and plush upholstery, while others have a modern and sleek design. Consider the layout and style of the furniture, as well as the quality of materials used. It’s also important to assess the storage options available, including closets, cabinets, and overhead compartments. Having ample storage space is essential for keeping your RV organized and clutter-free.

5.3 Climate Control

Maintaining a comfortable interior temperature is crucial when traveling in an RV. Consider the climate control options available in the RVs you are considering. Some RVs come with air conditioning and heating systems, while others may offer additional features such as heated floors or dual-zone climate control. It’s important to choose an RV that will provide adequate climate control for the regions and seasons you plan to travel in.

5.4 Leveling and Stabilization Systems

Leveling and stabilizing an RV is essential for a comfortable and safe experience. Look for RVs that come with built-in leveling and stabilization systems or have the option to add them. These systems can help prevent the RV from rocking or swaying when parked, making for a more pleasant experience inside. Additionally, some RVs may offer features such as automatic leveling jacks, which can save you time and effort when setting up your campsite.

6. Storage and Cargo Capacity

6.1 Exterior Compartments

Having ample storage space in your RV is crucial for keeping all your belongings organized and easily accessible. Check for exterior compartments, such as storage lockers or cargo bays, where you can store camping gear, chairs, and other outdoor equipment. Consider whether the exterior compartments are easily accessible and if they provide adequate space for your needs. It’s also important to assess the weight capacity of these compartments to ensure you can safely store your belongings.

6.2 Garage Space

If you plan to bring along recreational equipment, such as bicycles, kayaks, or motorcycles, consider an RV with garage space. Some larger RVs, such as Class A motorhomes or toy haulers, have dedicated garage areas where you can safely store and transport your gear. This can be a convenient feature for outdoor enthusiasts who want to bring their toys along on their RV adventures. Make sure to measure the dimensions of the garage space to ensure it can accommodate your specific equipment.

7. Maintenance and Upkeep

7.1 Warranty and Service

When purchasing an RV, it’s important to consider the warranty and service options available. Many RV manufacturers offer warranties that cover certain components for a specific period of time. It’s essential to thoroughly read and understand the warranty terms and conditions to know what is and isn’t covered. Additionally, research the reputation of the manufacturer when it comes to customer service and response times for warranty claims. Having a reliable and responsive manufacturer can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

7.2 Maintenance Costs

Owning an RV comes with ongoing maintenance costs, including regular servicing, repairs, and replacements. Consider these costs when budgeting for your RV purchase. Some RVs may require more frequent or specialized maintenance, depending on their size and complexity. It’s important to factor in the regular maintenance costs, as well as any potential unforeseen repairs or replacements that may arise. Additionally, keep in mind that larger and more luxurious RVs may come with higher maintenance costs due to the complexity of their systems and components.

8. Campsite Compatibility

8.1 Length and Height Restrictions

When planning your RV adventures, it’s important to consider the length and height restrictions of campgrounds and RV parks you wish to visit. Some campgrounds have limited space and may not be able to accommodate larger RVs or those with slide-outs fully extended. It’s essential to research the campgrounds and RV parks you plan to visit and check their website or contact them directly to ensure your RV’s length and height will be compatible. Being aware of these restrictions can save you from any unexpected surprises when trying to find a suitable campsite.

8.2 Hookup Requirements

Most RVs require hookups for water, electricity, and sewer connections when parked at a campsite. Consider the hookup requirements of the RVs you are interested in. Some RVs may have larger freshwater and wastewater tank capacities, allowing for longer periods of use without needing to hook up to utilities. Additionally, assess the electrical system of the RV, including the number of electrical outlets and the compatibility with different campground power standards. Having sufficient hookups and a reliable electrical system can make your camping experience more comfortable and convenient.

9. Off-Roading Capability

9.1 Ground Clearance

If you plan to take your RV off-road or visit more rugged terrains, consider the ground clearance of the RVs you are considering. Off-roading capability can be important for accessing remote campsites or exploring nature trails. Some RVs, such as truck campers or compact travel trailers, are designed with higher ground clearance, making them more suitable for off-road adventures. However, keep in mind that off-roading may put additional stress on the RV’s suspension and tires, so it’s important to choose an RV that is designed and built to withstand these conditions.

9.2 Suspension and Tires

The suspension and tires of an RV play a crucial role in its performance and handling. When considering an RV for off-roading or traveling on uneven terrains, assess the suspension system and tire specifications. Look for features such as heavy-duty shocks, reinforced frames, and off-road tires with good traction. These features can enhance the RV’s ability to handle rough roads and provide a smoother ride. It’s also important to properly maintain and regularly check the condition of the suspension system and tires to ensure optimal performance and safety.

10. Reputation and Customer Reviews

10.1 Brand and Manufacturer

When investing in an RV, it’s important to consider the reputation of the brand and manufacturer. Look for manufacturers with a long-standing history and positive customer feedback. Research online reviews, consumer forums, and RV owner groups to get a sense of the overall satisfaction and experiences of current and previous owners. Pay attention to any recurring issues or concerns mentioned in the reviews. Additionally, consider the availability and accessibility of authorized service centers and dealerships for the brand you are interested in. Having reliable service and support can make a big difference in your overall ownership experience.

10.2 Online Reviews and Forums

In addition to considering the reputation of the brand and manufacturer, it can be helpful to read online reviews and participate in RV forums to gather insights from fellow RVers. Online reviews can provide valuable feedback on specific models or floor plans, highlighting both positive aspects and potential drawbacks. RV forums and communities are great places to ask questions, seek advice, and learn from the experiences of other RV owners. By tapping into these resources, you can gain a wealth of knowledge and make a more informed decision when purchasing your RV.

In conclusion, buying an RV is an exciting adventure, but it’s crucial to consider several factors before making your purchase. By carefully evaluating price range, RV type, size and layout, weight and towing capacity, amenities and features, storage and cargo capacity, maintenance and upkeep, campsite compatibility, off-roading capability, and reputation and customer reviews, you can find the perfect RV that meets your specific needs and preferences. Take the time to research and compare different models, and don’t hesitate to reach out to knowledgeable RV dealers or fellow RV owners for guidance. Happy RV shopping and happy travels!