RV Living: Which RV is the Best Fit and How Important is Maintenance?

RV living has witnessed a spike in growth over the last decade as Americans seek out lifestyle changes, lean toward flexible travel options and take advantage of remote work opportunities. But successful RV living can only happen with proper RV maintenance.

According to Camper FAQS, there are 80 million campers in the U.S. and roughly 50% of them own an RV or camper van. But over the last 20 years, RV ownership has increased by more than 62%. But which RV is going to be the best fit for you as you go beyond the occasional vacation and settle in for long-term use?

If you’ve followed the “van life” movement you’ve probably noticed the influencers are mostly single and opting for a conversion van or sprinter van that’s been heavily modified. But if you’re not convinced that such cramped accommodations are for you and your loved one (and maybe some fur friends), choosing an RV with a bigger floor plan may be best.

Space Requirements

If you’ve never traveled in an RV, try renting one to get an idea of what it’s like before you make a purchase. There are many sizes from which to choose, so finding your comfort level might take trying out a few different models.

Consider the space requirements of those who will share the space in the RV. This involves sleeping, cooking, working and relaxing. Storage will be a big part of the planning, as the more you pack, the more cabinets and storage areas you’ll require.

Travel Trailer or Motorhome?

If you’ve got a truck that can tow a fifth wheel, you could potentially get a larger unit for less money than buying a motorhome, but the choice hinges on budget and personal preference. Some people prefer the all-in-one package that a motorhome offers and find it easier to navigate (backing up with a fifth wheel attached to the truck can be tricky). Plus, for safety’s sake, passengers aren’t permitted in a fifth wheel while it’s moving, so that can put a damper on the fifth wheel idea for some.

And whether you’re buying an RV motorhome or a fifth wheel, is there an advantage to buying used? Again, this is a personal preference, as those more mechanically inclined can defray some of the cost of repair by doing the work themselves. But just know that when you buy used, you’re taking on the problems the previous owners left it with. Furthermore, the factory warranty, if transferrable in the first place, could have already expired.


In orderto enjoy RV living, it’s important for the owner to take on the task of regular maintenance, which should include inspections and repairs. The roof will need to be routinely inspected for leaks, cracks and other damage. Check the seals around the windows for leaks and drafts. Monitor the tie pressure, rotate them, and change them when they show wear.

Inspections of the electrical and plumbing systems are also recommended. Have your HVAC system checked by a professional and ensure the connections for propane tanks are secure. For those with a motorhome, having the engine checked over by a professional is also highly recommended.

At Gray Diesel & Equipment Services, we can assist you in maintaining your trailer camper or RV. We provide best-in-class services in our state-of-the-art facilities. If your plans include long-term RV living, trust us to keep your unit in great shape.