If you are in the market for an RV or considering the RV lifestyle now is the time to check out RVs at an RV show. Leave the checkbook and credit card behind though! This should be a place to compare RVs, find out what you like and don't like. After that, you should do additional research rather than get swept away by promises of a special deal or "only one available."
Take a camera and a notebook so you can jot down information and get photos. When you've looked at a bunch of RVs, it can be difficult to remember one from another when you get home.
When you are looking, test things out. Sit on the chairs and couch. Can you watch television without having to twist your body or turn you head? Is it comfortable for reading or sitting there for an hour or more? Sit down on the toilet. Is your body rubbing up against the wall? Is it a good height? And stand in the shower to make sure you have room to move and aren't bumping your head. And lastly, lie down on the bed and test its comfort level. Some RVs have inexpensive mattresses and will soon sag.
You'll also want to figure out what the payload is. The payload is what you can add to the RV in addition to you and full tanks. Sometimes that amount is not very much. When you get serious about an RV, it's a good idea to get it weighed at a truck stop; the weight listed on the door or brochure may not take into consideration options that were added.
To find RV shows, you can look at the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association website or simply google RV shows. Add the state you are in to narrow the search.
Use it as an excellent opportunity to see many types and sizes of RVs and to narrow down the search. Don't buy just yet - make sure it is right for you. You can get more information in our book, Retire to an RV. And, we'll write more about that another time. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak