All of us make purchasing decisions in life we live to regret. And the same goes for those of us living the RV Lifestyle. Sometimes those purchases are small things like maybe a picnic table cover or blanket. But sometimes there are some really big purchases we make as RVers that we find out just didn’t work out the way we had hoped.
We are going to share with you our personal experience with large purchases and the experiences we’ve heard others share over the years.
#1 – Camping Memberships – Why RVers Regret it.
A purchase many RVers end up finding just didn’t work out, are camping memberships, discount clubs, and the like. Now, there are some of these we have AND use, and there are some that we purchased and found they really were not worth the price we paid.
Whether or not a camping membership or discount club will REALLY be worth the price paid, consider your style of camping, frequency of camping, area of the country you want to camp in, etc.
A perfect example is the Thousand Trails membership. During our first 4 years of RV Life, this membership DID not make sense for us. This is because we wanted to visit places where there was NOT a Thousand Trails RV Campground. Most of the bucket list places we wanted to check off during our first few years of RV Life like Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc. We had to use campgrounds NOT part of the Thousand Trails system. (A side note: we have been using Arvie now to book campgrounds near these types of “bucket list” destinations).
Now, fast forward to where we find ourselves with RV Life today. This year (2022) we DID purchase a Thousand Trails Zone membership for the South East zone. We find ourselves camping frequently in Florida and there are dozens and dozens of campground options with Thousand Trails in the state of Florida.
Another great example for us was the KOA membership. This membership costs $35/year (as of the time of publication of this post). The membership also has a built-in points system where points are earned during campground stays.
When we FIRST started RVing we stayed at KOA campgrounds often. Being newbie RVers at the time, we didn’t know much about other options. But also we liked the consistency of knowing what we would get for amenities (playgrounds, laundry, etc.) when staying at a KOA.
Since our camping style and where we choose to travel have now shifted, we did not renew our KOA membership this year. With our current travel plans, we do not see a return on investment for this year.
RV Covers (Some Rvers Like Them)
RV Covers can cost several hundreds of dollars. We have mentioned our personal experience with using a cover for our first Class A RV in this video.
After posting this video, we received some comments both from people with both positive and negative experiences using an RV cover. But the overwhelming response from most people who have a BIG RIG RV is they find RV Covers are a pain! They get holes or tears easily. It’s pretty disappointing when you go to check on your “covered” RV at the storage lot and you see a shredded $300 RV cover lying on the ground.
Zero Gravity Chairs For Rvers
This style of chair is pricy! These chairs are also big, bulky not very portable. We got rid of ours fairly quickly. They also do not fit well in storage compartments.
- EXTRA-WIDE SEATING: Padded weather-resistant polyester fabric conforms to your body while an adjustable headrest adds an extra level of comfort
- THICK PADDED COMFORT: A wide 24-inch seat with additional padding and a 300-pound capacity creates a comfortable space to lounge for hours on end
- TAKE IT ON THE GO: A lightweight, folding design makes this chair easy to enjoy at home, the beach, the park, or your next tailgate
Better RV Chair Purchase option!
We switched back over to the traditional camping chairs mainly because of the ease of portability. Being able to quickly set up and take down chairs OR bring them down to the lake or beach was important for us.
A purchase many RVers live to regret is a Mattress topper. These can run over $100 for a decent queen or king-size foam topper. It’s VERY difficult to make a poor-quality mattress feel like a high-quality mattress with a topper no matter how much money you spend on the topper. Most often, you are better off putting the money you would spend on a topped towards a new, quality RV Mattress. This is one of those things you just don’t want to cheap out on. And in our situation, we tried the topper route- and we LITERALLY threw ours out. Do yourself a favor, and opt for a new mattress instead!
A purchase many Rvers regret is a pain in the butt to use! Unlike a car trailer, you cannot back up a car dolly. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to back up, you will have to pull the car off the dolly, disconnect it and then move the dolly before backing up the RV. In many campgrounds, car dollies must be parked or stored in a different area of the campground. From a convenience standpoint, this is less than ideal. And Car dollies are not cheap – they can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousands of dollars! We have found using a tow bar and setting up a vehicle for flat towing is much easier.
Led Acid or AGM Batteries
Batteries for RVs, cars, or trucks are NOT cheap! And “traditional” batteries (LED Acid or AGM) have an average 3-5 year life span. Not to mention the maintenance that comes with having a “traditional” LED Acid battery.
This means you WILL have to replace them (batteries) again most likely during the time frame that you own your RV. If you are needing to replace batteries, a great option is paying extra for Lithium batteries. As a side note, we love our Battleborn Batteries! Lithium batteries will last at least 10-15 years (most often even longer). When you run the break-even analysis, the overall cost of ownership is less with lithium even tho the upfront cost is more. We seriously regret the money we dropped for new Led Acid batteries 4 years ago and have since installed Lithium Batteries from Battleborn.
Check out all of the discounts we’ve secured for RVers!
We enjoyed speaking with you guys at the Tampa meet on Friday evening. Funny thing is we got rid of the zero gravity chairs. Using what you guys are now using. Ordered a new mattress for out new Alliance 5th wheel today. Thanks for the info