What To Look For
Finding the best RV for winter is a mix of buying a solid model and then adding on specific winterizing features, as needed for the locale in which you anticipate spending a lot of the winter months. While you are shopping around for just the right model, there are a number of features you must carefully consider:
Style: Choose from a motor home, travel trailer, or fifth wheel trailer. Cost varies along with the different models. A motor home is significantly more expensive than a fifth wheel trailer, which in turn may be more expensive than a regular travel trailer.
Options: Select an RV that features an arctic package. Part and parcel of such a package are dual thermal pane windows, added roof and floor insulation and pre-installed heating pads for the waste water, fresh water, and in many cases also the sewage tanks. Depending on the kind of optional arctic package you choose, manufacturers offer varying temperature guarantees.
Warranty Work: Choose your brand of RV carefully, especially if you anticipate a lot of nationwide travel. Warranty work is only available from mechanics licensed by the various manufacturers to work on their rigs.
Keep a close eye on the water pipes, or you will find that they freeze during cold weather. This is especially true for a fifth wheel or travel trailer. While a motor home may feature options for heating the water tanks and water lines, these rigs are usually bigger and heavier than their counterparts that lack this equipment. Of course, when driving on roads that are soggy from recent snows and subsequent melting, you will find that a smaller fifth wheel is a lot easier to navigate than a big rig.
Should you end up breaking an axle or busting a water line, the warranty work that all manufacturers offer may be harder to come by than you imagine. Since it may only be performed by mechanics licensed by the various manufacturers, you may find yourself in an area that is underserved by mechanics authorized to work on your rig. This may require you to pay out of pocket for labor and parts that would regularly be covered under the warranty.
Where To Buy
If you already know the make and model you intend to buy, check online at eBay Motors or the Auto Trader for some great secondhand deals. You may also find dealer listings at these venues. If you are unsure about exactly what you want to spend your time in---or if you are a first timer and need the actual driving experience to ascertain if you can handle the size rig you are eyeing---take an afternoon and visit a variety of dealerships that specialize in different model lines. Another great venue to check out and buy the best RV for winter is an RV show. Check your local events venue for upcoming shows.
Price is determined by the kind of RV you purchase, whether the manufacturer includes an arctic package as a standard option, the floor plan you desire and whatever extras you may select. Another factor in your search for an inexpensive RV is whether you buy a used or brand new model. For example, a new 2009 American Heritage Coach class A diesel motor home sells for around $550,000 to $800,000. In comparison, a used 2009 class A Monaco Dynasty costs between $350,000 and $450,000; remember that you need to factor in the cost of picking up the rig or having it delivered.
The accessories drive up the price as well, but they can make RVing in winter a lot more pleasurable. For example, if you purchase a motor home or travel trailer with a built in washer and dryer, you save yourself the trips to the Laundromat or RV park laundry facilities. The latter are usually not heated and make doing laundry quite an uncomfortable chore.