One of the most important questions you’ll ask yourself early on when shopping for an RV, before you even get to brand or floorplan, is what size is right for you – and it’s not an easy question to answer. Touring an RV on a dealer’s lot for ten minutes is not the same as spending years living in it, and imagination can only take you so far.
One tip I heard when I was looking at RVs years ago was to rent first and that would clue you in on sizing. This isn’t a bad idea, but RV rental is expensive and for the person on a budget, it’s just not a practical option.
Here’s a cheaper method that really worked for me, and maybe it’ll help you too: take note of what parts of your home you use.
I’m not talking about the square footage (although certainly you could mentally cordon off one room of your house to live in as an experiment), but more about the furniture you use. I never sat in my living room on the couch, ever. I used just a fraction of the available counter space. Most of my time was spent in my bedroom, either reading or sleeping in my bed, or at my desk on the computer. So I used my bed, desk, and enough counter room to set stuff on that I pulled out of the fridge, really that was it.
Most people who go full-timing opt for a large RV, which often come with a bed, dinette, couch, and recliners. If you don’t think you could live without those things, that’s the route you’ll want to go. My 17′ Casita on the other hand has just a bed and dinette – mirroring what I made use of in my apartment.
When I was preparing to RV shop so many people told me that since I was full-timing I needed a large RV and would end up upgrading if I went with something smaller. But because I paid attention to my habits in my apartment, I was quite confident in my decision to buy a smaller trailer and it turned out to be the right decision for me.
So if you’re in the planning stages of full-timing and wondering what size RV will work best for you, spend this next week paying attention to what furniture you’re using in your house and see if that doesn’t shed some light.