One of the questions we often get is how to find the perfect RV and we regularly come across vanlifers that have been through quite a few RVs and are still not 100% satisfied. We’re not saying that our way is the perfect way to approach buying the perfect RV, but our Hymer B544 has been our home since we began traveling in 2018 and we wouldn’t trade good old Mr. Hymer for anything.
No idea about RV living
Strangely enough, we knew that we would go traveling in a motorhome, even though none of us had ever been inside one at all (Read about the story behind our ongoing roadtrip right here). We just felt that it was our thing and matched our lifestyle. As you can imagine this meant that we started from scratch with no idea about the pros and cons. We did know a few things that we wanted though:
- A proper bed. Malthe is almost 2 meters tall, so the bed had to be long enough for him to lie comfortably in. After all, we were going to spend every night in the bed, so this was actually our main priority.
- A functioning kitchen. Even though we love to eat out, we also enjoy homecooked meals a lot, so the kitchen had to be comfortable enough to work in on a daily basis.
- Enough space for our hobbies and work, which includes both tools and materials for making jewelry etc. We needed space to put these things away, when we don’t use them.
- The ability to put a personal touch on our home. We’re Star Wars fans, we love to have fun and we like all sorts of quirky stuff, so we also needed to cover this side of our personality in our RV/ motorhome.
Trawling the internet
We spent weeks trawling the internet looking at and dismissing a lot of RV types and brands. Most of them were dismissed due to the size of the bed, but a few were written down, because they looked promising. We even went to a big Camping exhibition in Copenhagen, to try out some of the models that we’d written down. In the end one motorhome seemed like the perfect RV for us. The Detleffs Trend A Class
Next step: Trying it out
We knew from the start, that we didn’t need to spend money on a factory-new motorhome and also that we were not going to register it in Denmark. To be honest, the taxes in Denmark are crazy and since we weren’t going to explore Denmark, we didn’t feel the need to pay more than double for an RV in Denmark. So a used RV from Germany was our goal.
What we did was to trawl the internet once again, but this time our search was for dealers of used motorhomes. We looked at their websites and read a few reviews and little by little we created a route through Germany, based on these dealers. After that we made a booking to rent the Detleffs Trend for a week, so we were able to actually live in the motorhome, while looking for our own. Pretty smart, right?
Not so perfect after all
Even though the Detleffs Trend is a wonderful motorhome, it turned out that it wasn’t the perfect RV. For us that is. While living in it and trying out all of its features, there were a few things that really bothered us. Things that might work fine for others, but for us it didn’t feel quite right. So basically we were back to zero and had no idea what we were looking for at the dealers on our route. This was a major setback, but we were still happy that we found out, before we went and bought an RV that we would regret.
A LOT of motorhomes!
We had a few wildcards on our route and one of them was a dealer that was said to have around 500 used motorhomes for sale in all price ranges. By the time we reached this dealer, we were tired of looking at motorhomes we didn’t want and when we went through all the motorhomes at this huge plot of land, we almost gave up. Luckily we have a good sense of humor and we did laugh a lot that day!
Not only were there caravans and motorhomes that seriously smelled like someone had died inside them, but there were also the craziest rebuilds and DIY projects that we’ve ever seen. As we said earlier, we’re 100% pro putting a personal touch to our motorhome, but these were simply way too special.
We went on this trip while it was still winter in Germany and one of the dealers we decided not to visit was Niese Caravan in Frauenstein. It was too far from our route and the roads to the small town were almost impassable due to snowfall, so we had crossed that one off the list. Or rather Malthe had. I sensed something about that place and since I was in charge of the route and the GPS, I tricked Malthe to drive there anyway.
We arrived at a small dealer with around 60 motorhomes in the parking lot, all covered in snow and impossible to move, but since we were there, we decided to check the RVs out anyway. Malthe had forgiven me for my disobedience (shaking his head but forgiving me) and after a chat with the very kind staff, we went to the parking lot on our own.
An elderly Hymer caught our eye and something felt right about it. To this day we can’t say what it was anything other than a sense, but when we got the keys and went inside we were home. This was the perfect RV for us.
One of the special things about the Hymer B544 is that it has the right door and the kitchen in the back. A thing that had bothered us about all the other models we had been looking at, was actually that the kitchen was a disturbing factor in the middle of the motorhome, but we had no idea that other layouts existed. Another thing about this model is, that it has a huge windshield and big side windows, that provides a panoramic view while driving. We absolutely loved these two features (and everything else). To this day we still do. Check out the layout on our YouTube Channel.
We made a bold move!
Due to all the snow and hard frost, we weren’t able to take the Hymer out for a spin. It simply wasn’t possible to move the motorhome in front of it, because the diesel in the tank was frozen. So we did something most people probably wouldn’t do: We bought the Hymer on the spot, knowing we wouldn’t be able to drive it until winter had ended!
Of course, we had a lot of fears the next few months. The dealer promised that everything was in order and our new Hymer was in perfect condition, had only had one owner and had low mileage, but what if it wasn’t true? We chose to trust in our instincts and when we picked it up in the spring of 2018 it was like coming home once more. Everything was perfect just as promised.
The perfect RV in headlines
So our advice on how to find the perfect RV is this:
- Write down what you want for sure in your RV. What’s important and what you won’t compromise on.
- Use Google to check out the various models to pinpoint what models match your needs.
- Rent the preferred model and drive it for a week (or a weekend) to find out if it really meets your demands. Reject it if it doesn’t.
- Don’t rush through the process and listen to your gut feeling rather than to other motorhome owners. What feels right for others doesn’t necessarily fit you. Advice is great, but in the end it’s all about your needs. You need to feel at home.
We hope this guide answers a few of the questions you might have had about finding the perfect RV. If you have more questions we’ll be happy to answer them in the comment section.