What to Consider When Buying Your RV

You know you love road trips, but how do you choose which RV is right for your family when so much goes into it on and off the road? Here are a few things to think about before diving into this purchase. 

Driveable or towable?

Maybe your fancy new pickup truck is ready to tow a few thousand pounds across the country, or maybe you don’t own a vehicle with any towing capacity at all. Either way, you’ll need to seriously consider whether you prefer a towable or driveable RV. 

RVers for decades have debated whether motorhomes or towable RVs are easier to drive. Motorhomes provide the convenience of having just one vehicle to worry about, giving them the loving nickname of a “house on wheels”. But despite being one compact unit, many motorhomes end up being larger than many towable travel trailer setups. 

Despite the frequently tiny size of travel trailers, many people just don’t like towing something. You’ll have to give a motorhome a test drive, and then tow a travel trailer, to see where you land on this debate. 

What are you towing with?

If you do end up choosing a towable RV, that’s great! What are you going to tow it with? The answer to that question will determine how big or small your travel trailer, or even fifth wheel, can be. Some travel trailers, like this Little Guy, can be towed by a vehicle as small as a Toyota RAV4, a small SUV. But Fifth Wheels, typically the largest towable RVs, can sometimes top 15,000 pounds. 

The most important part of owning a towable vehicle is towing safely, so be sure to do your own research about what your vehicle can and cannot tow before proceeding. 

Cargo Capacity

Keeping size in mind, your RV’s cargo capacity will tell you how much weight you can put in it. This includes everything you’re bringing along, so while your campground bathing suits are lightweight, the full 60 gallon freshwater tank is definitely not. 

Cargo capacity isn’t as big of a deal if you’re camping in one place all summer, where water refills and waste dumping is easier, but it’s important to keep in mind on more road heavy trips. Extra storage in and around the RV is also essential for those bringing a significant amount of luggage. 

What is your RV for?

Are you permanently retiring in your RV, which you plan on parking in Florida forever? Are you working remotely and driving to a different National Park each night? Are you camping at one campground for two weeks each summer? 

It’s good to have at least a rough idea of how you’ll be using your RV before you buy it. If you’re on the road daily, you’ll want to seriously consider purchasing as small an RV as you can, to save more gas and generally make driving easier. 

Many state and national parks do not have campground spots for RVs longer than 35, or sometimes even 30 feet. Even if you plan on parking in one private campground, check if they have any size restrictions. 

Buying a RV is the highlight of a lifetime for many campers, and your big purchase deserves the same enthusiasm! Check out our RV Education section at petesrv.com for more information about RVing, and the best RV selection around in our inventory!

Touring Our Finest Floor Plans

Pete’s RV TV is the official YouTube channel of our five Pete’s RV Center dealerships, and is a great source for news, information, and walkthroughs of our RVs. Recently hitting 20,000 subscribers, we are grateful for each one, and strive to provide useful RV information.

Frequently our most popular YouTube offerings, our Walkthrough videos have amassed quite a following. They are a great way to tour the newest and most exciting RVs on the market without having to be at the dealership. The following is a list of our most popular Walkthrough videos of the 2021 RV production season, so that you can sit back and debate which of our offerings is your favorite.

First and foremost, one of our most famous travel trailers: the Airstream 33FB Twin.

The 2021 Jayco Swift 20T is one of our most watched videos, and most interesting motorhomes! The size of a standard van, its interior is dazzling!

We love Jayco Eagles at Pete’s RV Center, and this is one of the best!

This Eagle Half Ton has collected the third most views of any video on our channel this year, and we can see why!

With the most views on our channel ever, Jayco Rep Cody Weatherton guest stars to show us one of our most popular motorhomes.

Last but not least, our Nucamp RVs are always a hit with the boondocking crowd, and we can certainly see why!

For more of our walkthrough videos, announcements, and sales, check out our YouTube channel today and be sure to subscribe and be notified about our newest and most exciting floor plans.

How to Achieve Extended Hot Showers When RVing

How to Achieve Extended Hot Showers When RVing
Thursday, September 8th, 2016 18:16:23

Pete’s RV Vermont Service Writer and Resident RV Expert Randy Murray provides a step-by-step overview on how to achieve extended hot showers in an RV.

Video Transcript for “How to Extend Hot Water Showers in Your Camper”

Randy: (singing) Hey folks. Randy with Pete’s RV TV here today. Another quick fix segment for you. When you’re camping, do you go to take a shower, do you get about three minutes of good, hot water? And then it starts to go lukewarm on you? And of course your hair is full of soap, and you haven’t rinsed off yet? Happens to me too, but I’ve got a trick. So when we’re camping, different camp grounds have different water supplies. Some of them will have very deep wells. Some of them will have shallow wells. Usually on a deep well, the water coming out of the ground is very cold. This can happen at the spring of the year as well, when the water feeding that well is very cold. So what my trick is for that is I will, when I’m having that problem, I’ll fill my fresh water holding tank. And when I take a shower, I’m actually going to turn the city water off, and I’m going to turn on my water pump and feed the water from the fresh water holding tank.

The reason I do this is the water coming in from a very deep well is mixing with the hot water in your tank, as long as you don’t have a tank-less hot water heater. So it’s mixing with that warm water in the tank and it’s bringing the temperature down very quickly. And we’re also taking water out of the top, so as that cold water is mixing with the hot, it’s going to bring the temperature down. Where if we’re taking it now out of our fresh water holding tank and mixing it with that same hot water in that water heater, it’s going to be ambient air temperature coming out of that fresh water holding tank entering the hot water heater. Rather than the real cold water from the city coming in and cooling down our water a lot faster.

So if you’re looking for a little bit longer shower to get that hair, or that soap out of your hair, fill the fresh water holding tank when you arrive. And use the fresh water holding tank rather than the city while you’re taking your showers. Then you can go back over to city after you’ve done your shower. But that will give you another minute or two of warmer water to get rinsed off. So just another quick tip from Randy at Pete’s RV. Thanks for watching our quick tips segment, and I look forward to seeing you on the road. Happy camping.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at: https://youtu.be/rljtuXYgpvk?list=PL90E8009ADFC48C0F

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.

How to Program Your RV TV

How to Program Your RV TV
Friday, July 1st, 2016 15:23:13

 

Pete’s RV Vermont Service Writer and Resident RV Expert Randy Murray provides a step-by-step overview on how to program your RV TV.

As Randy explains, as you travel you will begin to pick up different TV stations depending on the region you are in. You will continually need to reprogram your TV as you arrive in a new television marketplace. Randy provides you with a step by step guide on how to set up your TV and boost your reception so you won’t have to miss your favorite shows while on the road!

The steps to programming your TV as you travel explained by Randy include:

  1. If running on open air antenna find your camper’s TV booster and turn on your antennas extra power setting (not necessary to do when utilizing cable)
  2. Open the auto channel search menu on your TV (refer to your owners manual if unsure how to do so)
  3. Select “auto channel memory” on your TV
  4. Start your TV’s automatic search mode and let it run until complete

To learn more from Randy as well as stay up to date on all things Pete’s RV be sure to visit and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.

The Importance of RV Slide Toppers

Importance of RV Slide Toppers | RV Quick Tips
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 22:31:37

 

Learn All About Slide Toppers on the Pete’s RV YouTube Channel

Resident RV Expert Randy Murray delivers on a crucial RV question via the Pete’s RV YouTube Channel, “What is the importance of slide toppers (aka slideout awnings)?”

When it comes to protecting the vitality and value of your RV, slideout seals found around the slide are the lifeline to the health and well-being of your camper. As Randy explains, if you compromise or damage those seals then you risk water potentially penetrating into the camper provoking damage over time.

Randy presents a prime example of just how well slide toppers can defend your camper after a weekend at the campground. Sprinkling a box full of debris on the slides to simulate a weekend of buildup, you can clearly see that everything rolls off as the slides are brought in.

A highly-affordable investment, slide toppers can save RV owners thousands of dollars in repairs! For just a few extra dollars a month, their installation can be built right into your new RV payment plan.

RV Winterization To Do List

RV Winterization To Do List
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 20:37:56

RV Lifestyle Consultant Randy Murray neatly ties together his series of winterization videos with a short introduction on preparing your camper for cold weather storage.

The primary areas he touches on:

1. Water System – Use non-toxic anti-freeze
2. Spot Sealing – Inspect and treat all exterior joints and seams
3. Awning – Clean and dry before storing
4. Battery – Disconnect and store indoors
5. Tires – Inspect, clean, torque lug nuts, and using tire covers a sound decision
6. Refrigerator – Clean with disinfectant and prop door open during storage
7. Rodent Control – Inspect for openings and treat with dauber screens & Mouse Free
8. RV Cover – Regular tarps do not breathe or provide a snug fit.

Related videos for all of the above can be found on the extremely educational Pete’s RV YouTube Channel’s RV Service Tips playlist.

Please remember that Randy’s demonstrations cover general RV winterization tasks. All campers come equipped differently, so be sure to consult with your owner’s manual.

The winterizing parts and accessories recommended in this and related videos are on sale at the Pete’s RV Parts & Accessories Store.

LED Awning Lights | Petes RV Parts Store Spotlight

LED Awning Lights | Petes RV Parts Store Spotlight
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 21:55:56

LED awning lights are one of the newest additions to the Pete’s RV parts line-up. This exciting new product provides a new way to light up your campsite and decorate your awning. The lights come in 2 different sets, one being white and the other is a 16 color multi-functional kit. Also these LEDs are rated for 50,000 hours of life and are waterproof!

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LED Awning Light Kit,16 Colors, 16FT

The cool thing about these LED lights is that they come in a 16 ft roll and may be cut to accommodate most lengths of awnings. On the back of the lights is a adhesive tape which makes the application of the lights very easy. The multiple functions of the 16 color kit include strobe and fade functions which add to the value of the kit. You can also change the brightness of the lights from the wireless remote which allows you to set the mood for any occasion.

 

All of the products featured Pete’s RV Parts Store Spotlight can be found in As Seen on PRV-TV online at PetesRVparts.com. Take a look at current sales and discounts on RV parts and accessories.

Along with the website, Pete’s RV Parts & Accessories Store has locations in Indiana and Vermont. We carry Trailer and Fifth Wheel Hitches, Cleaners, Sanitation and Water Treatments, Covers, Awnings, Leveling Jacks, Marshmallow Skewers, String Lights and other fun stuff for camping!

Our extensive inventory of RV parts and accessories includes such reputable brands as Equal-i-zer, Reese, Best, Adco and Camco.

Keystone RV’s Sprinter Sees Market Share Growth

Keystone RV’s Sprinter Sees Market Share Growth
Tuesday June 18th 2013 18:12:14

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We can vouch for Sprinter’s reported growth shared in a recent news press release published by RV Business. Over the years, we’ve sent many, many happy customers off of our lots with an new Sprinter travel trailer or Copper Canyon fifth wheel. This year is no exception. Across the board, they did a fantastic job with the updated interior woodwork and flooring. Floorplan-wise, the 316BIK island kitchen travel trailer and 333FWFLS front living room fifth wheel get top nod this year. Keep up the good work Sprinter!

Combined retail market share for Keystone RV Co.s Sprinter has grown by 19% this year with fifth-wheel market share climbing 62%, according to the March report by Statistical Surveys Inc. According to a press release, Sprinters fifth-wheel gain is the strongest of any Top 20 brand in the marketplace.

Product Manager Josh Miller credits Sprinter dealers for the brands incredible results., noting, As Keystones very first brand, we have had the privilege of building strong relationships over the course of 17 years with many of our dealers. Their feedback and support have been truly amazing. They have given generously of their time in conveying to us the importance of our Camping Made Easy message as well as what they feel we need to do to keep Sprinter strong into the future.

Adds Miller, Based on retail sales numbers and what we hear from our dealers, we feel very positive about where the Sprinter line is today and our ability to sustain success for years to come.

Keystone senior management is also confident about Sprinters ongoing success. The brand will continue to evolve and improve, noted Keystone General Manager Ryan Juday, who served as a Sprinter district sales manager when he began his career with Keystone over 10 years ago. The Sprinter of today is an unbelievable value in the market. The most recent Stat Surveys numbers prove this. Josh and our team have been hard at work and will roll out some unbelievable new Sprinters at Open House this fall.

Check out what’s new with Sprinter travel trailers for 2014!

Mouse & Rodent-Proofing Your Camper

Mouse & Rodent-Proofing Your Camper
Friday, March 1st, 2013 20:03:07

Service Writer and resident RV expert Randy Murray educates viewers on an effective solution for keeping mice and rodents out of your camper or motorhome. Setting traps and scattering dryer sheets when not in use does not prevent these critters from getting into the coach.

While making their way into an RV, mice and rodents can create thousands of dollars in damage to wiring, tubing, and other vulnerable materials found in the undercarriage and sidewalls.

Mouse-Free-1-Gallon-RV-Mouse-Repelling-Undercarriage-Lubricant-With-Spray-Gun-repellent-mice-rodents-trailer-boat-USAMouse Free is a non-toxic formula that stops the entry of mice into your RV. It keeps them and other pests from entering through the small holes and cavities on the underside of your motorhome or trailer.

As Randy explains, Mouse Free contains natural oils like peppermint that acts as a repellent to rodents’ keen sense of smell (and primary means of navigation). These fragrances are much stronger and retain their potency longer than dryer sheets or balsam repellents.

Mouse Free is available at  the Pete’s RV Parts and Accessories Store at all locations and online.

The makers of Mouse Free recommend it be applied annually with a compression sprayer. One gallon of Mouse Free treats up to a 24 foot RV. If you prefer not to go the do-it-yourself route, an authorized dealer such as Pete’s RV offers an affordable application service that can be performed during winterization or regular maintenance visits

Selecting the Right Generator for Your Camper

Selecting the Right Generator for Your Camper
Thursday August 9th, 2012 20:56:09

Service Writer and resident RV expert Randy Murray provides a “Eureka!” moment for those unfamiliar on how to pair up the right-sized generator with their RV.

Through his explanation of “Watts Law” (P [watts] = I [amps] x E [volts]) and breaking down the power requirements to run appliances such as the television, microwave, air conditioner and/or hot water heater, you immediately gain a better understanding on what you need to shop for in a generator.† This enlightenment empowers you to select a generator–most importantly–based on power output rather than features, price, or worse yet, guessing!

View this video on our YouTube channel.

Here are a few key takeaways from Randy’s demonstration:

  • Consider how you will balance the use of the generator with propane for a dual-powered refrigerator and/or hot water heater
  • If you are running the generator through the power convertor, know that a portion of the wattage output will be dedicated to recharging the RV battery
  • If you want to power your appliances and run the A/C for long periods of time, plan on buying a generator with high-wattage output
  • Investigate features, making sure they meet your needs–especially the starter (EZ-pull, electric, chokeless, etc.)
  • Cheaper is not better! Shop for a generator based on ease-of-use, durability and reliability

Generators and hundreds of electrical parts and accessories like the examples shown below are available at the Pete’s RV Parts Store.

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Feel free to contact Pete’s RV with further questions regarding camper generator selection and best use practices.

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.