Our Journey of Buying a 5th Wheel
What we’ve experienced throughout the past year & tips for your journey
Brock & I are currently homeless.
On July 1st, we moved out of our home. The home where we cherished our morning coffees, where we ran our Solar Eclipse Glasses Business, our first home as a couple.
We’ve been living in an Airbnb here in Eagan. Earlier this week, we purchased a truck & we’re still searching for the perfect 5th Wheel.
But this search didn’t begin on the first of July, hell it didn’t begin within the last 6 months. It’s been an ever-evolving search since last summer.
Based on my past experience with buying our Shasta (and everything I wish I had known) last summer, I’ve fallen in love with everything RV. Over the past year, I’ve LIVED in my headphones listening to RV Podcasts, following posts in Facebook Groups, and Binge-Watching RV Youtubers.
To be frank: I’ve lived, breathed, & slept in the RV World.
Now during our search for our second rig, I am using my experiences to write this piece. Everything is fresh, because I’m living it. I’ll continue to update this post as new experiences, thoughts, & lessons occur.
I am by no means an expert, but I am very much in the process of buying a rig, which allows for me to include details that are fresh in my mind as we’re buying.
The Beginning of our Buying a Fifth Wheel Search
Originally when Brock & I decided that we were going to move into an RV, we thought we wanted a Class A Motorhome. It seems, that’s what most fulltimers, who are younger, live in. We found one in a Facebook Group & it looked reasonable.
Fortunately for us, it didn’t start. It had been sitting outside for a FEW YEARS and since it was Feburary in Minnesota, there was no way that engine was going to roll over.
While looking at this rig, it didn’t feel right. My father-in-law called us out on being too premature in the research phase & said we needed to research more before we asked for his help again. Fair enough.
Our First (& Only) RV Show
Only a week or two later, we were wandering around trying to find the Class A’s at a RV Show. We found ourselves stepping into a Class C out of impatience- no one could direct us to the Class A section.
It’s pretty incredible how fancy the Class C’s can be. For not having a lot of space, they make the most of their build. For a hot second, we thought we could maybe live in a Class C.
Still searching for the Class A’s, I thought I’d humor Brock & bring him into a 5th Wheel. Although, I had never seen a 5th Wheel, I knew they were FANCY.
Well friends, this is where things changed.
Naturally being the more high maintenance one in the relationship, Brock immediately fell in love with the 5th Wheel- the layout, the atmosphere, the fanciness, everything.
We eventually found a few Class A’s as the RV Show was ending. But it was too late. Brock had his mind set & things changed from there.
Class C Living in New Zealand
Remember how Brock & I briefly thought we could live in a Class C?
We couldn’t have been more wrong.
While traveling for 3 weeks in a Class C in New Zealand, Brock & I quickly realized that it was too small for us.
Brock & I are on two very different sleeping schedules. He stays up all night. I wake up relatively early. This caused a ton of passive aggression towards one another.
The Class C didn’t allow us to pass by one another without one person jumping onto the bed or moving into the dinette seats. For quick getaways, this isn’t a big deal, but when you’re living it, it becomes a not-so-endearing quirk.
There was zero space to workout or do yoga… Which I don’t think would normally be a big deal, but since the weather was pretty rainy & cold, there was minimal physical activity for us.
Tips for Finding Your Right Camper
- Research the brands. Like cars, RV Brands are not made equal. Do you diligent research on the brands… Go onto their website and read their warranty policy, build process, & ask dealers how long, on average, it takes to order/receive parts from the manufacturer. Search brand names in RV Facebook Groups & see what you find.
- Think honestly about your habits. Does one of you wake up before the other? Do you need room to work out? Are you happy with little or more space? Do you need space separate from one another?
- Write down your Must Have’s, Would Be Nice, & Don’t Want Items. Create a bullet list under each category. What features does the rig have to have? What features would be a bonus? What features do you NOT want?
- Go to RV Shows for a wide array of RVs.
- Research specific models online & visit them in person. When you’re searching specific models online there is so much that you cannot capture. You wont see the natural light, how traffic flows inside, how far the slides come in, etc.
- Research dealers. Once you find a brand, research the dealers near you that sell them. What are the dealer reviews like? Go in person. Does the experience at the dealer leave you feeling positive? Ask them about their workshop facility (Is it a large workshop? On average, how long is the wait time for work? What kind of work will they do on a rig? What is their warranty like?)
- Test Out Plenty of Rigs. Before you purchase a rig, try them out. Either borrow one from a friend or rent one on a site like Outdoorsy.com
Are you searching for a RV too?! Have a blast! It may be a bit stressful, but all of your planning & hard work will soon pay off.
Also, check out The Things to Consider Before Purchasing A Camper. Get it below!