Does Size Really Matter?

So, when owning an RV, does size really matter? Put another way, should you buy the biggest RV on the lot, or can you have just as much fun with a smaller model? The answer to this question, as is the case with so many questions in the RV world, is that it depends. Some buyers will want (and need) a large RV, while others will do just fine with a smaller rig.

Size MatterBefore you go out to purchase an RV, you need to take some time to think specifically about your needs. You don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an RV that is going to be the wrong size, so it will be worth your effort to think through this part of the RV-buying equation before you sign on the dotted line. The tips included below should help you make a smart choice.

How Big is Your Immediate Family?

This should be an obvious point that you need to consider right off the top. Will you be traveling with only your significant other, or do you have multiple kids to consider? If there are two or three (or more) kids who will be traveling with you in the RV, you will almost certainly need to pick a large model. Larger RV’s have more interior space, and more beds, meaning you will be able to travel with more people. Even if you have small kids currently and you don’t think you need that much space, the kids are going to get bigger and a small RV simply won’t do the job for very long into the future.

sunset-pictures-20Where Do You Like to Travel?

In addition to the number of people that will be traveling with your group, you should also think about the kinds of locations you like to visit. Do you typically head to RV parks with plenty of room and wide open spaces? Or do you like to head up into the woods, visiting campgrounds with narrow driveways and short sites? If you are frequently heading into the woods, you may find that a large RV can’t get into some of the campgrounds that you would like to enjoy. This is an extremely important point to consider – your RV should be able to take you to the places that you want to go, so don’t buy something that is too big for your needs.

What’s Your Budget?

Quite obviously, a big RV is going to cost more than a small RV. Do you have a big budget for this purchase, or are you trying to get into the RV lifestyle for the smallest possible investment? If you need to get in ‘on the cheap’, your best bet will be to start with a small RV. You could always try to upgrade later into a bigger rig as your finances allow, but you should always error on the more-affordable side at first. It won’t do you any good to own an RV if you can’t afford to get out and use it, so don’t break your bank specifically because you want to buy the biggest RV on the lot.

In the end, you are going to have to decide for yourself which RV size is the best fit for your needs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with picking a large RV, especially if you have kids to consider. However, you need to make sure that you can afford that large rig, and also confirm that the RV will fit into to the campgrounds that you would like to visit. Once you have done the necessary homework based on some of the tips provided above, you should be able to easily pick out an RV that is just the right size for you and your family.


  1. I have been looking at older ones, on ebay and craigs list just to get an idea of price and what to look for. question to ask, learning. it’s just the 2 of us.
    we are saving our money for one. We figure we will be out there with in 4 to 5 yrs.

    • I agree Brenda. We made an impulse purchase of one a few years ago and ended up selling it as it really didn’t fit our needs. So now we are looking not only onlin but on the lots and I am doing lots of research and we are going to wait until we find exactly or as close to tbat as possible that fits both our needs and only then will we purchase one. We know now what we need and want in one and which ones last longer etc.

  2. It took us two years to find and buy the unit we wanted, particularly if you are buying used unless you plan to upgrade you must buy what you know you will like. A house you can renovate or remodel not so easy with a RV

  3. My wife and I bought a barely used, one-year-old 35-foot long Class A motorhome which, for us, strikes a good balance between livability and size. Anything bigger would not give us access to most National Park and state campgrounds. Trying to live full-time in a smaller coach would have been a challenge, both because I’m tall and need the headroom and space, and because my wife and I would be cramped. Having a residential refrigerator, two bathrooms, clothes washer and dryer and a dishwasher would be nice additions, but aside from the space they require, dry camping (without hookups) would be impractical because of their energy requirements.