RV Buying Guide: How to Choose a Recreational Vehicle


So you have decided to buy an RV. When getting to Jim’s RV Center to select an RV for sale, there may be so many to choose from on the lot that you just won’t know which one would be right for you. Between RVs that you drive, RVs that you tow, RVs using diesel and ones that use gas, which works best for you?

With all these available options, you can certainly find something to fit your needs. To narrow down the search, make a list of your personal preferences you would like in an RV. If you are having trouble making a decision, you can ask questions to yourself that revolve around the following topics.

Topics To Ask To Narrow Down Your RV Choices

Trip Length

Deciding on the length of your trips can help you determine if you need a large or small RV. If you are going on short trips to local sites or spending a weekend or two a year on a camping trip, you can choose a smaller RV. Longer trips, especially cross-country adventures, would require a larger RV to bring more supplies as you will be spending more time in the vehicle.


Some people don’t mind towing other vehicles behind their car or trucks. Other people hate the way their driving changes due to having something hitched on the back. Decide whether you would feel comfortable towing your RV or driving one.

Sleeping Arrangements

Will it just be you and your spouse in the RV, or will you also have the kids and grandkids along on your trips? Determining how many people will be using the RV on a normal basis will help you pick the right one that has plenty of sleeping places as well as extra storage.

Camping Preferences

Another important topic is deciding on whether you love being out on your own in the wilderness when camping or do you prefer to be around other people. This helps you determine if you will need to bring along an RV that has a generator when out on your own or one with full hookups for when you are at an RV park.


Have a rough budget in mind when you are searching the lot at Jim’s RV Center. Price ranges can start at $14,000 and go up $100,000.

Types Of RVs

Once you have a list of the things you want in your RV, now is the time to choose just the right one. There are several different makes and models of trailers: travel trailers, toy trailers, fifth-wheels and motor homes.

Travel Trailers

These types of trailers can be towed behind your vehicle, so you will need to know the towing capacity of your truck or SUV. They are affordable and are perfect for destination-type camping as you can unhitch it anywhere. You will have hookups for gas, electric or water, but will need a generator if camping in remote places. Smaller types, called toy haulers, are perfect when you are looking for something to haul your recreational equipment.


Fifth-wheels are also RV trailers that you can tow. The difference is that these trailers extend over the bed of your truck. Very similar to travel trailers, these offer more cargo room and living spaces. A fifth-wheel is a great RV when you are planning an extended stay vacation or want to spend more time living in the RV.

Motor Homes

Motor homes give a variety of options for the full-time RV adventurer. You can drive or tow a motor home, or use your motor home to tow your car or truck. Passengers can move around and do things while the motor home is moving, giving more freedom and allowing you to be independent. Most motor homes have a generator along with hookups. Motor homes come in three classes depending on their size: Class A, Class B and Class C.

Financing For RVs

Not everyone has the extra cash on hand to purchase an RV. For this reason, you can get great financing with affordable interest rates. For you to qualify for most RV loans, you will need to have a good credit rating and a down payment of at least 10-percent of the value of the RV — including taxes and tags. You can also trade-in other vehicles for the down payment to the RV. Most RV loan terms are from seven years to twenty years depending on the loan amount and age of the RV.

Once you choose the right RV and arrange for financing, go out on your RV adventure. Enjoy the countryside in a vehicle that will always get you to your destination.


Packing Tips for Your Next RV Trip


Packing for your next RV trip should be done with careful thought. If this isn’t your first time packing, you may glean new tips and tricks, but if it’s your first time packing for a trip, especially a trip longer than a weekend, you may find these tips particularly helpful.

Check with Jim’s RV Center for space savers to help you create space for the comforts at home. For example, a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet or on the counter saves space in cabinets and drawers, and allows you to bring your favorite spices without taking up a ton of extra room.

Dress Smart

Pack clothing into two bags for each person. Keep daily wear such as shorts and shirts in the RV. Hang up other clothing in the wardrobe. If you are going on an extended trip and need additional clothing, store it in suitcases in the under-RV storage until you need it. This comes in handy if you are going to be camping at a time of year with temperature changes. While it’s warm, keep “warm clothes” such as short and t-shirts inside and winter clothing outside. Switch them around when the weather gets cool and you are no longer comfortable in shorts. Bring items that are interchangeable. For example, choose a shirt that goes with slack, jeans or shorts.

Organize Your Cabinets

Purchase a spice rack and other cabinet racks. You can create extra shelving in overhead cabinets or the pantry by using space savers. You can mount a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet door or screw it to the wall above a kitchen counter. You’ll be able to pack more things to bring with you.


When packing, start in one room and put everything you want to bring in plain sight. After you do that, then pack the items in suitcases or grocery bags. As you carry them into the RV, unpack them room by room. This helps to ensure you don’t forget something, especially if you are not one that makes a list to work from.

Don’t Forget Essentials

Pick up any special items you need before you start packing. If you need chemicals for the toilet and RV toilet paper, stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick some up before you get involved in packing everything else.

Trade Bulky for Sleek

When packing meat in the freezer, take it out of the bulky Styrofoam packages and put it in zippered freezer bags. This will also save you quite a bit of room in the freezer.


RVs with Travel Experience


If you are looking for an RV but want to get more RV for your money, stop by our showroom and walk through the several used models we have available. Whether you want a Class A, Class C, fifth wheel, travel trailer or a pop-up camper, we have several of each type.

We have several models that are under $10,000 for those on a tight budget, including a 2003 Keystone Sprinter 252RLS, a 2013 Forest River Flagstaff 228, a 2009 Forest River Flagstaff 206LTD, a 2007 Jayco Jayfeather 213, a 2003 Jayco Jayflight 21FB, 2006 Keystone Adirondack 30BHSL, 2004 Adventure MFG Timberlodge 25FB, 2006 Palomino Stampede 235 BSDSL and several more.

You can even find Class A RVs for under $30,000, including the 1998 Fleetwood Bounder 32. This model is 32 feet long and sleeps up to six people. It features a large slide, which gives you more space to move around. Additional features include a 5.5kw generator, 6-gallon LP/DSI water heater, hydraulic / electric jacks, a power step, outside shower, convection microwave oven, solar charger, a 15-foot awning, backup camera, power mirrors, a roof ladder and more.

Newer travel trailers are available for under $20,000, including the 2014 Jayco Jayflight Swift. This model is 26 feet long an sleeps up to eight people. Additional features for this model include a bunk house, 22-inch LCD television, stab jacks, a 15-foot awning, a 6-gallon three-way water heater, DVD player, stereo with CD player, microwave and a two-door fridge.

No matter what type of RV you prefer, we have a floor plan that will fit your family; and you’ll save thousands when you buy used models. Choose newer models or even older models that are in excellent condition so you can get on the road sooner rather than later.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, New York to walk through the many used RV floor plans we have available and to choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. Choose from Class A diesel or gas models, Class C models, travel trailers, fifth wheel models and pop-up camper models.


August Events Near Jim’s RV


Whether you choose to drive your RV and stay over or make a day trip, visit these events near Nichols, New York. August events include a marketplace where you can browse and buy antiques, a backpack bash for kids going back to school, a book giveaway and a volleyball bash.

Tioga Downs Antique & General Marketplace

On August 6, 2016 at 9:00 a.m., head over to Tioga Downs, 2384 West River Road in Nichols to browse through furniture, antiques, military goods, vintage clothing, tools, toys, glassware, collectibles and more. You’ll even find jewelry, dream catchers, supplies for crafting, outdoor furniture, stone for patios and walkways and tons more. Admission is free.

Backpack Bash

On August 6, 2016 at 11:00 a.m., head over to the Boys & Girls Club, 201 Erie Street in Owego for the Backpack Bash. Enjoy games, prizes, face painting and more. Five hundred backpacks filled with school supplies will be given away. Bring a canned good for CHOW to receive an extra entry for prizes. Enjoy live music, food, fun, a seatbelt convincer demonstration by a New York State trooper and get photo IDs taken by the Masons.

Adult Volleyball Night

On August 5, 2016 at 8:00 p.m., visit the Tioga County Boys & Girls Club, 201 Erie Street in Owego for Adult Volleyball Night. Admission is $5. Bring a team or just yourself and have a great time playing and making new friends.

Book Giveaway in Owego

Head over to the Coburn Free Library, 275 Main Street in Owego for the Book Giveaway on August 15, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. There’s something for everyone, so pick up some reading material for yourself and your kids. The rain date is August 22, 2016.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, New York if you are ready to buy a new RV, whether it’s your first RV or you are upgrading. If you’re not ready for another RV just yet, be sure to stop by our warehouse to pick up any parts or accessories you might need for upcoming trips or to get your RV ready for winter storage this fall.