Buying an RV 101: Tips that you should Know

Buying an RV can be quite a challenge if you have no idea where to start. A lot of people are buying RVs simply because it allows them to go anywhere in the country bringing their home along for the adventure. It allows them to minimize their costs of living, and it makes them flexible to reach their goals and dreams. It can be overwhelming and confusing if you do not know what to keep in mind when buying an RV.

1. Think About the Reason Why You Are Buying an RV

The very first thing that you need to think about when it comes to buying an RV is the reason. It is important because its purpose will determine which models you have to choose to fully serve its objective. Thus, you have to narrow down exactly what you need compared to what you want before buying anything.

One of the biggest pros when it comes to buying your own RV is the power of customization. You can customize it depending on your needs and preferences, and you can add or subtract features in it, depending on your needs and wants in the future.

It is also a great thing to invest in an RV as it increases its selling value, and this would depend on how well you take care of your rig.

2. Type of RV: Be Sure to Choose the Right One

Determining what type of RV you need is another important factor that you need to consider. There are motorhomes and towables available when you buy an RV. Motorhomes can be driven on their own, while towables are something to be towed by a separate vehicle, then you can use it while you are traveling on the way. Towables can be further divided into several options, such as a travel trailer or a fifth-wheel RV.

Choosing a towable can be a bit of a hassle since you must have your own towing vehicle. It can be a truck or an SUV. Otherwise, you need to buy a vehicle that can safely and perfectly hook your towable RV.

Personally, I recommend buying a pop-up camper, or a truck camper if you are still undecided on what to buy. You can even have a small travel trailer. These are the best ways to experience how the RVing lifestyle can be.

If you are looking for the best and most lightweight pop-up camper, here is an article that I have written for you.

Always do your research whenever you buy an RV since it can be tricky depending on the specifications and features each model might offer. Be sure to think long and hard about your decision in buying the best RV that will suit you.

3. Know How Will You Plan on Using Your RV: Plan Carefully

It is very important to identify how you are planning on using your rig once you buy one. You will have to consider your expected usage. Determine whether you will use your RV weekly, monthly, or even full-time.

The best RV you can purchase for frequenting the national parks in your area is not always necessarily the same as the best RV for your weekend trips.

Consider the number of people who you will use the RV with. If you are a large family or a larger group, consider buying a bigger and roomier one. It can be considered a long-term investment so it is very important to consider who you are planning to share this with.

Also, consider when you are planning to use your RV. Naturally, you should buy RVs that are suitable for colder climates, or an RV that has an exceptionally good heating system. You have to make sure that the RV you are buying has the best heating system there is on the market today. 

Also, winter is the best season for buying campers since the season tends to bring the sales down, compared to the summer season. It is also the best opportunity for you to test their heating systems.

In addition, you should buy an RV that has an AC installed. You can buy a few extra fans to supplement the airflow and keep your camper from feeling too stuffy or humid on extended trips, especially in the warmer months or if you plan to visit warmer areas of the country.

Having a well-functioning AC will allow you and your family and friends to have a much more comfortable summer or spring vacation on the road.

There are Airstreams that you can use throughout the entire year, and I have listed them in this article that I have written for you.

4. Create A Checklist: Include Your Needs and Wants

Having a checklist makes shopping for an RV even faster and more productive since you are not wandering aimlessly in search of a place to live without anything concrete information as to what to look for.

You have a checklist because this is useful when you are looking for what you want to have inside your camper, as well as other desirable features. Check if the bathroom facilities are equipped with their own sink, showers, and storage for toiletries, hygiene supplies, and other important items. 

Also, check the kitchen if they have built-in ovens or stoves. These can come in handy especially if you are not that good at camping by yourself or you do not want much more hassle in food preparation.

Be sure to check the storage spaces available in the RV that you want. You might find yourself cramped because you realized you have so many things inside and you do not have much space to freely move and be comfortable anymore.

Preparing a checklist can benefit you because you can just skip models that do not have what you are looking for in your ideal camper and then move on to the qualified ones.

5. Buying A New Or A Used RV: What Is the Better Decision

Many people have difficulty determining which RV is best for them. Aside from deciding between a Class A, Class B, or Class C RV, potential buyers must also determine whether to purchase new or used. A new RV will have the most up-to-date amenities and no mileage, while a used RV will be less costly but will have the former owner’s use and mileage.

New RV rates differ based on local market conditions, facilities picked, and additional dealer fees. A new RV costs about $45,000 on average, but high-end RVs and fifth wheels can cost up to $75,000. For a brand-new model with all the bells and whistles, a motorized RV will cost upwards of $1 million.

By shopping at the used RV market, you can save money. Prices have been known to fluctuate a lot, so it is a good idea to double-check with an up-to-date source like NADAGuides to see what your choices are worth right now. This platform can be used to make sure you’re having a good deal on new and used RVs.

6. Renting An RV: The Real Deal

To realize their dreams of RV ownership are not yet attainable, some people are turning to a third option: renting. Those who plan to use their RV only occasionally will save a lot of money by renting one. Furthermore, short-term rentals allow you to try out various models before making a full-price purchase.

Eventually, new RV enthusiasts who spend time on the road in a rented RV are better prepared to select a travel trailer or determine which RV is best suited to their needs. When it comes to reducing long-term costs, regular RV renters can find that the accumulated costs of repeated rentals add up, so buying makes sense.

However, the large sum of money required upfront, as well as the possibility of installment payments and ownership costs, could make renting a better long-term choice for some. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how often you are planning to use your RV, as well as how much money you are willing to invest in renting or buying your own RV for your trips.

For the best RV rental companies, here is an article that I have written providing you with different companies to choose from.

7. Trusting Friend’s Recommendations: Not Advisable At All Times

It is one good thing to listen to your friends, especially those who are already experts or experienced in the RVing lifestyle but never trust them completely, especially when buying your own.

RV dealerships are there for a reason. They do not just want you to buy from them, they also want you to listen to them as they help you find the right RV for your camping needs. Chat with them, ask for their recommendations, and ask them for some test drives.

It is perfectly okay to ask them these because it is their job to answer you. They can even give you life hacks and tips on how to maintain, repair, take care and use your RV to the fullest.

Besides, not just because a friend of yours fell in love with an RV, you would feel the same way. It is not the same thing for everyone.

8. Set A Fixed Budget And Don’t Overspend: Important!

You must set a fixed budget before buying an RV, that is a very important rule you must follow. Set a budget and then stick to it. The reason why you are buying one is to minimize your living costs, so it will not make sense if you buy something that is out of your spending capabilities.

Do not let the granite countertops and the queen-sized beds deter you from your goal and remember what you really want and need to have in your RV. Always remember that you can just customize everything once you have the budget for it.

Place more importance on things you cannot change in your RV. Remember how you plan to use your RV and make sure you have enough holding tanks, weight limits, and payload capacity. These are more important than anything else as these make you are living more comfortable.

9. Never Rush in Buying an RV: Take Your Time

Nowadays, a lot of Americans are now seeing the possibilities of traveling to places in their own residence on wheels. All this new adrenaline rush has given the dealers something of a headache since people just want to get their hands on any RV they could find.

Do not let the rush and the urgency from the dealers get the best of you. You can still find your ideal RV somewhere, just give it more time. A lot of people are also looking at RVs the same way as you, so just widen your options and be willing to travel away from your city or state, and you might find the best ones for you.

10. Tow Math: Don’t Give Up Just Because It’s Hard

Remember to pay no mind to what the car, truck, or RV dealer says about a vehicle’s actual tow capability. Keep in mind that the towing capacity that is advertised does not mean it is a safe RV weight. You will almost certainly surpass your truck or trailer’s other limits before approaching its advertised towing potential.

For example, if your truck is marketed as having a towing capacity of 12,000 pounds, I guarantee you will not be able to tow a 12,000-pound RV safely. There are a lot of other towing myths out there, do yourself a favor and research carefully so that you will be well-informed and no one would take advantage of you.

11. Freebies: Don’t Forget to Ask for Them!

It is perfectly okay to ask your dealer if they have some freebies or extras they can give you because you bought something from them. You can ask for some extras that are inexpensive but will make your life easier and keep you from having repairs down the road.

Some things to request include having bug screens for outdoor vents, roof vent covers, or hitch assemblies. These are inexpensive and sometimes, they can just give it to you if you ask nicely. After all, you bought something that is not really that affordable so having these is just okay to ask them about it.

Final Thoughts

Buying an RV is not the same as buying any other vehicle as this also counts as your home. You have to make sure that you will do your research based on what you need as an individual, including the purposes why you are buying one in the first place. You need to make sure that while you are having an outstanding time with your outdoor adventures, you will go home to an RV that is comfortable just like owning a residential home. Here is an article where I have listed the different RV companies you can visit to get your rig!

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