1. Attend an FMCA convention and other RV shows, where many RVs and related products are on display at one location. You can comparison shop, talk with RV owners and dealers and, perhaps, go on a test drive. At each FMCA convention, a special workshop called "RVing: What's It All About?" is open to the general public and anyone who wants to learn more about RVing.
2. Subscribe to Family Motor Coaching magazine to read RV reviews, new product info, company profiles, and safety, livability and technical articles. By reading FMC magazine, you'll learn about the specific types of RVs available. Travel destinations and tips for enjoying the lifestyle are included, too. Once you become an RV owner, consider switching to an FMCA membership to take advantage of other benefits offered to FMCA members.
3. Rent. If you have little or no RVing experience, renting an RV before buying is a good idea. Rental fees range from approximately $90 to $200 per day. To find rental locations, check the phone directory under "Recreation Vehicles." Or, contact the Recreation Vehicle Rental Association (www.rvra.org; 800-336-0355).
4. Tour. If buying a new RV, consider taking a tour of a manufacturer's plant. Many offer tours on appointment, where you can watch various phases of the production process, learn about construction materials and ask questions.
5. Request. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) offers a free packet of material to first-time RV buyers. Visit www.rvia.org or call (888) 467-8464.
6. Research. Considering jumping right in to full-timing? Janet Groene's Full-Timer's Primer column appears online and in FMC magazine. Janet offers valuable advice to those who plan to live and travel in an RV full-time.