TOP QUESTIONS EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD ASK BEFORE BUYING AN RV

When I decided to pursue photography full time, owning an RV seemed like the logical move. In fact, my head was filled with visions of driving an RV from one beautiful photo destination to another. Yet, somehow the RV ending up owning me or at least my time. You see, I failed to answer some top questions every photographer should ask themselves before buying any RV. As a result, I purchased the wrong RV for my intended purpose.

Here is your opportunity to learn from my mistakes!

The RV A Photographer Buys Can Greatly Impact:

    • The amount of travel
    • The speed of travel
    • Where you travel
    • When you travel
    • Where you camp
    • And how much time there is for travel and photography.

Affects Of Traveling In An RV:

      • Travel is slower and on less roads.
      • RVs require hours of upkeep much more so that one may expect.
      • Longer RVs can greatly impact one’s ability to find campsites.
      • Weather has a greater impact on ability to travel. 
      • Poor floorplans impact sleep, work, and cooking.
      • Pets in RV’s require additional thought and care.

Start your hunt for a Perfect RV for Photography by answering the following questions then reviewing the checklist I created in: The Perfect RV for Photography Checklist

How To Find A Perfect RV For Photography:

Questions To Ask:

  • How often do you want to move sites?

Flexibility to move often and easily as photography conditions change can be very important. Let’s say, you arrive at a destination to photograph wildflowers such as Anzo Borrego then discover the wildflower blooms are running about a week late. Poppy blooms are at peak, however, a few hours away at Antelope Valley. Your decision to make the round trip to Antelope Valley will be influenced by how flexible it is to more from site to site.

  • How much time and energy are you willing to spend setting up and taking down a campsite?

As someone who travels full time believe me when I tell you that after a while, the longer it takes to set up and take down a site, the less likely you are to travel frequently. 

  • When do you want to travel?

Depending on what you photograph, one may need an RV that is capable of travel in all four seasons. Don’t miss out on the ability to capture images because of weather.  A few years ago I was in the Tetons waiting for fall color and the moose rut when an early cold front came through dropping temperatures into the single digits for 4 days.  I could not wait the front out because my pipes would freeze so I left and headed to Southern Utah.  Yes I had to go that far to escape the subfreezing temperatures.

  • Do you want to travel  full time or part time?
    • The answer to this question will determine:
      • Storage space
      • Living space 
      • Kitchen space 
      • Office space
  • Where do you want to travel? 
    • Major Highways
    • Backroads- clearance, height and 4 wheel drive
    • Mountain Passes- power and brakes
    • Coastal areas- rust and mold factors
    • Geographic Areas
  • Where do you want to camp?
    1. RV parks
    2. National Forests
    3. National and State Parks
    4. Private Campgrounds
    5. BLM and dispersed camping lands
    6. County Parks

The answer to this question should have a major impact on the maximum length of any potential RV. Trust me when I say longer RVs will greatly reduce your camping options in national forests, parks and state campgrounds, especially during peak times.

   7.   How much are you willing to sacrifice comfort for photography destinations?

The answer to this question varies greatly for each photographer.  Be aware that everyone will have to make tradeoffs between comforts such as kitchen and living space and one’s ability to photograph destinations. Have an honest conversation with yourself about what is most important to you.

Conclusion:

I strongly believe every photographer should answer these questions prior to ever setting foot on an RV lot. By answering these questions, it will become obvious as to which style RV is best suited for your particular needs regardless if it’s a motorhome, 5th wheel, travel trailer, Class B, or Overlander vehicle. Otherwise you can easily be swayed by RV salemen to buy an RV that may not support your photographic pursuits. As previously mentioned, I have made these mistakes and hope I can help others avoid the same pitfalls.

So with questions answered it’s time to look at the Checklist.

 

 

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