A man with his son sitting in camper van in forest

Hilarious Dad Explains the Six Stages of Owning an RV

You experience a variety of emotions when owning an RV. And you’ll handle some of them better than others.

We recently came across the video “6 Stages of Owning an RV” from the YouTube Channel Dude Dad. Are they relatable or accurate?

Today, we’ll dive into these six stages and see whether there’s any truth to them or not.

Let’s get to it!

Who Is Dude Dad?

Taylor Calmus is the content creator behind the YouTube Channel Dude Dad. He created his channel in 2012. Since getting started, he’s accumulated nearly 650,000 subscribers and almost 200 million views. His content combines sketch comedy, reaction, and DIY videos.

Some of his most popular videos are “Cop Pulls Over His Own Wife,” “If Toddlers Had Bodyguards,” and “My Wife During Pregnancy.” If you’re looking for a fun channel to add to your list of YouTube subscriptions, go check out his channel

What Are the Six Stages of Owning an RV?

Dude Dad’s video “6 Stages of Owning an RV” has racked up 630,000 views since its release. Calmus describes it as the best and worst decision he and his wife ever made. Let’s look at the six stages and see which one you might currently be in.


The first stage of owning an RV is reluctance. As Taylor demonstrated, many owners are reluctant to consider owning a recreational vehicle. Whether they’re intimidated by maneuvering it or affording it, there’s typically a laundry list of excuses why they “can’t” do it.

If you or your spouse are in this stage, it’s perfectly normal. Becoming an RV owner is a big adjustment and can take some time to get used to. Take your time to make your decision and consider the bigger picture. We’re being honest when we say that it’s not for everyone. Using a rental service can help you to test the waters and avoid buyer’s remorse.


The next stage that Dude Dad shows us is romanticizing. You enter this stage when your attention turns to only the benefits of owning an RV. Things like changing scenery, experiencing national parks, and constant adventure can be exciting.

You may also get excited picturing yourself and your family going to epic locations like Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Tetons. However, it can be dangerous if left unchecked. While there’s nothing wrong with getting excited, it’s good to have a balance of romanticizing and reluctance.

An RV parked at a national park.

Buying with Zero Knowledge

Unfortunately, things can get complicated once you pull the trigger and buy an RV. Most people at this stage rush to a dealership or go check out a used camper they saw on Facebook Marketplace.

As the video indicates, the person selling you the camper often overloads you with information. They’ll discuss the fancy features and upgrades and how the unit is perfect for your adventures. If you’re new to RVing, you likely don’t know the difference between a black tank and a gray tank.

Taking their word for it and buying with zero knowledge can be risky. Sadly, we see this happen more often than it should. People visit a dealership expecting “just to look.” However, they end up walking out with a camper that may or may not work for how they plan to use it.

Woman in caravan vehicles showroom choosing a motorhome

Learning Curve

Once you get into using your RV, you quickly discover all the things you don’t know. You’ll likely ask, “What’s this?” a few dozen times as you get accustomed to your new camper.

This stage can make or break you and your RVing dreams. While some push through and conquer this stage, many owners will throw in the towel and put a for sale sign on their rig.

If you’re in this stage of owning an RV, join some of the giant Facebook communities. These groups can be a wealth of knowledge. Overall, the RV community loves helping and supporting each other.

However, you will find a few grumpy people looking to start an argument and hurl insults. Just block them and go on being a happy camper.

More and more YouTubers are buying campsites! Click to see why.

That’ll Be a Thousand

It’s not a question of if something will break on your RV, but when. If you’re lucky, you can fix it yourself and save a ton of money. However, it will likely cost more than you think if it requires a professional.

Dude Dad jokes that just about everything that needs fixing on an RV costs “about a thousand.” We recommend having a solid emergency fund in place before buying a camper.

This can help ensure you have the funds to fix and repair issues as they arise. Doing so ensures your trailer stays in excellent condition for years to come.

A young man repairing and checking his recreational vehicle.

Greatest Day of Your Life

He then jokes that the greatest day of your life is when you sell your camper to the next sucker. While this may be true for some people, this wasn’t our experience. Selling our fifth wheel was an emotional experience.

We remember cleaning it out and preparing it for the next owner. Multiple times throughout the experience, we found ourselves reflecting on the memories we created together in it.

So, while you may have some times you’d like to forget, don’t overlook the unforgettable memories you made in it, too.

Was Dude Dad’s Take on Owning an RV Accurate?

Overall, Dude Dad’s take on RV ownership is accurate for the most part. When you’re first getting started, there’s so much you don’t know, and it’s easy to be naive to everything.

However, once you get out on the open road and start using your camper, you quickly realize you have much to learn.

While owning an RV is exciting, it’s also very challenging. Something constantly needs to be fixed, maintained, or replaced. However, through these six stages, we’ve grown as individuals and as a couple. Do we regret jumping into the RV lifestyle? Absolutely not.

Which Stage of Owning an RV Are You In?

We enjoy scrolling through the comments in the online communities and seeing questions from individuals in various phases of the process. It’s also great to see the community helping each other when a fellow RVer struggles.

Embrace the stage and know that it’s not forever. You’ll gain knowledge and experience the more you’re able to RV.

Which stage are you currently in? 

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