It’s hard to deny the appeal of living in an RV. You live life on the road, can pick up and move when you want, and aren’t tied down by a mortgage. That’s why it’s no surprise that towable RV sales have grown year-over-year since 1980.
But buying an RV is easier said than done. You have a lot to consider, so you can’t afford to cut corners when buying an RV.
Are you interested in a few tips to help you find the right RV? Below are eight helpful tips that will help you buy an RV that meets your needs.
- Define Your RV Usage
The first step to picking the right RV for you is determining what you’ll use your RV for. Depending on your usage, you’ll need vastly different RV styles.
Here are a few common situations.
Many RV owners have RVs for camping trips. Instead of only taking a car, they bring an RV along on a tow. They do this for more space to sleep and store their things.
This is great because it saves money. Small campers are much less expensive than larger RVs. You can get the benefits of an RV without spending a small fortune.
You’ll also need to find a camper you can tow on your vehicle. Check your towing capacity and find a small camper that meets those requirements.
The next class of RV available to you is one you can drive. There is a slightly larger RV class than a camper, but it can drive and has enough space to sleep a few people.
This is an excellent choice if you don’t want to sleep outdoors. You won’t need to set up tents or anything like that.
These types of RVs are also great for transporting items. There is enough room in the back to store a few things, so you don’t need to rent a trailer to move stuff.
Check out the Roadtrek RVs for sale here to see what’s available.
There is another RV class for people who want to live on the road in their RVs. They pick an RV big enough to have space to live in, find an RV park, and stick around there full-time.
You’ll have much more to consider when you go this route. Your RVs can have many features — such as bedrooms, kitchens, living areas, and bathrooms.
These RVs are also more expensive and require more maintenance. Explore the different features available and how much work they take to determine if a large RV is for you.
- Consider New vs. Used
The next thing to consider when you buy an RV is if you buy a new or used one.
New RVs are an excellent option if you want to know what you’re getting. The RV you purchase will be in prime condition and ready to go.
But it’s important to remember that you won’t experience zero problems with a new RV. Unlike new vehicles, you’ll experience rattling, leaks, and other defects when buying them.
This means you’ll need to wear your RV in. If something is bad enough, you’ll need to work with the dealer and manufacturer to fix it.
A used RV is an excellent choice if you want to save money. Yes, you will occasionally have a problem with a used RV if you aren’t careful. But since you’re paying far less money, these problems won’t be a big deal unless you didn’t do your research.
- See the RV in Person
Now that the internet is widespread, you don’t have to limit your search for an RV locally. You can search for an RV anywhere if you have an internet connection.
However, this also makes it harder to inspect an RV before buying. Try to avoid doing this if you’re looking at one far away.
You need to inspect an RV in person before you decide to buy. It’s hard to get a feel for how one is without seeing it for yourself.
An in-person inspection will also allow you to get a certified inspection. This is especially important if you plan to buy a used RV. You never know what problems you’re buying if you don’t get an inspection to look at the problems.
Of course, you may already have an inspection available if you decide to buy from a dealer. Get a copy of the inspection report to see what to expect from a used RV.
- Understand Your Warranty Options
Getting a warranty is one of the most important things to do when you buy an RV. Even if you do your research and make an informed decision, there may be unknown things you miss that cause problems.
You should receive a warranty when you buy a new RV. You’ll get one from the manufacturer that covers product defects. Make sure you explore the warranties offered to make sure they match industry standards.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t get a warranty if you buy a used RV. But you do have options.
There are extended warranties available for this situation. You’ll need to pay for those warranties yourself. However, you’ll be able to get covered for problems — and if you need to activate your warranty, it can pay for itself in no time.
- Try Taking a Test Drive
Driving an RV is much different than a normal car. You’re dealing with a much bigger vehicle, so it will be much more challenging to maneuver it on the road.
This is why taking an RV on the road is essential before you buy. You want to get a feel for how it handles before you buy it. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable, make mistakes, and get in an accident.
The larger the RV you buy, the bigger this problem becomes. If a large RV is too much for you to be comfortable with, consider downsizing to something more manageable.
- Take Your Time
There may be times when buying an RV when you see a deal that looks too good to be true. An RV has all the features you want and is at a great price.
While it may be tempting to buy quickly, try to avoid doing this.
You need to take your time when buying an RV. Take time to look at an RV and avoid buying it straight away.
Yes, this does mean you’ll miss some deals. However, this also helps you avoid ending up with an expensive mistake.
- Consider Future Maitenance
It doesn’t matter if you buy a new or used RV — you’ll need to perform regular maintenance on your RV after some time.
With a new RV, you’ll have the initial break-in period. You’ll need to look carefully after your RV during this time to get it running correctly after you buy.
With a used RV, there’s a greater chance of things breaking. It’s even more important to maintain your RV in this situation.
Make sure you consider the costs of doing this. Research the average maintenance costs and if you’re willing to pay them each year.
Of course, you can save money if you decide to handle repairs yourself. In this case, you’ll only need to account for the cost of parts.
In whatever situation you find yourself in, calculate how much maintenance cost you’ll have each year and if it fits your budget.
- Find a Great Dealer
Although you can find fair deals by looking at RV sales from owners, you may have more luck sticking with dealers. With a dealer, you know for sure that the RV you buy has gone through a quality inspection from a professional.
Research the local dealers in your area to see what other RV owners think of them. You can search on Google to find everyone close to you. Next to the map results, you’ll also find reviews.
Read as many reviews as possible to look for signs that a dealer isn’t worth trusting.
Buying an RV Takes Work
Buying an RV is a decision you don’t want to take lightly. You’ll have less risk if you only buy a small camper. But if you want anything bigger, you’ll spend much more money and be in a worse financial position after the purchase.
That’s why you can’t afford not to do your research when buying RVs. Consider what you need in an RV, the price you’re willing to pay, and how much you’re willing to invest in maintenance. Be sure to follow the advice above to find RVs for sale that meet your needs.
Do you want to read more guides that will help you plan your next adventure after you buy an RV? Head back to the blog to learn how to travel with success.