How to Find the Right RV or Van to Live In

Where to find your nomadic home on wheels

Deciding to live a nomadic life can be as scary as it is exciting. Similarly, choosing the right vehicle can be intimidating. That’s why, in this blog, I give you my best tips for shopping for an RV.

Which vehicle is right for you? There’s much to consider! For instance, size, type and cost. Therefore, before you begin, I suggest watching this three-part video series I made covering the pros and cons of RVs, Motorhomes, Vans, Truck Campers, Trailers, Skoolies and more.

Once you decide on the right vehicle for your RV Life or Van Life you can start shopping. But what’s the best place to find your new home on wheels?  And what are some tips for finding the right one for you? Everything I learned buying the two RVs I’ve lived in is outlined below. (Click here to watch why I choose to live in a Class C Motorhome).

Carolyn Higgins of Carolyn’s RV Life

RV, Motorhome & Van Shopping Tips

  1. Craigslist: Craigslist is always my first choice for searching for most things. You can search RVs, Motorhomes, Vans, Skoolies, Minivans – or anything your heart desires on Craigslist. You can refine your  search for new or used, private or dealer sales and you can enter other filters like price range, mileage and more.  I like Craigslist because I can shop anywhere in the country and compare makes and models, prices by region and more. It’s also a great place to begin your research into the right home on wheels for you.
  2. RV Trader: You can also sign up for RV Trader and other auto-sales online sites.  I’ve found that most listings were out of my price range.  If you’re on a fixed budget, your choices on these sites may be more limited than what you find on Craigslist.
  3. Visit Local RV/Van Dealers:  It doesn’t hurt to visit local RV lots, take tours, test drives and talk to the dealers to become familiar with RVs, Vans and Motorhomes. This is a great way to learn about RVs and Motorhomes and figure out what is going to work best for your RV Life.
  4. Expand your Search: If you live in a large, expensive metropolitan area, I suggest expanding your search to another city or state to get more for your dollar. When I first searched for my RV to live in, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and therefore paid San Francisco prices. I got an $8000 lemon that probably would have been far less in another state.
  5. Search Off-Season:  Trying to buy an RV or Motorhome in Spring or Summer, during the height of the recreation season is going to limit your lower priced options. Demand will be higher when everyone else is shopping, driving the prices up.  Buying in Fall or Winter can earn you a much better deal.
  6. Take Your Time:  Waiting until the last minute to shop for your RV or Van is a mistake. Do your research, take your time and wait for the right one to come along. I’d even start searching before you have the money. That way you’re already familiar with what’s on the market and the price ranges.
Carolyn’s RV Life in Alaska

Other RV Buying Resources

There are other sources for buying RVs and Vans like Facebook Marketplace, local classifieds and more. I have given you the sources and tips I’ve used to shop for and buy two Class C RVs that I’ve lived in for three years. I hope you found this helpful.

For more an extra tip, check out the 5 Minute Video I posted on YouTube, How to Find an RV to Live In.

To read more about my process of buying an RV and choosing the right one, click here.   

Are you living in an RV, van or motorhome? How did you find yours? Or are you in the planning and shopping stage? Leave your comments below.

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