10 RV Buying Tips For New RV Owners
Buying an RV is a huge deal. These homes-on-wheels don’t come cheap, and you will want to make sure you get it right when paying for one. Unfortunately, if you’ve never bought an RV before, it can be very difficult to know what to look for. In fact, even those who have owned RVs in the past might not know the best RV buying tips.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help. In this article, we will provide you with our top RV buying tips. These tips will ensure that you like what you buy and that you get the best deal possible.
Let’s dive in.
1. Research first
First, you absolutely must do your research before anything else. Hop online and look at RVs to get a feel for what is available. Read reviews of various manufacturers and take notes on which ones people love and which ones they aren’t so fond of. Know which brands you’re willing to buy and which ones you won’t touch.
2. Focus on floorplans
During your research, look at and imagine yourself using various floorplans. Where will you store certain items? Where will each person sleep? Is there room for family movie night or nightly dinners around the table? What will moving day look like?
Asking yourself these things will help you narrow down your options, leaving you with a short list of floorplans and RV types that will meet your needs.
3. Get up close
Once you have a good idea of the brands and floorplans you’d like to look into, find a way to get up close to each one and really check it out.
If you can, rent an RV for the weekend to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Head to an RV show and walk through different rigs. Even visiting a dealership and walking through RVs there might give you an idea of what is going to work.
4. Consider buying used
You’ve done your research and you know what you want. Our next tip is to consider buying that rig used. RVs depreciate significantly the moment they are driven off the lot, meaning that a new RV is a terrible investment. An RV that is a few years old but has been well taken care of will cost much less, and you won’t be left with any of the problems that tend to crop up during the initial shakedown.
5. Have an inspection
Before you buy a used rig, make sure you have it professionally inspected. Yes, this will cost you a bit of money, but it’s totally worth it to know that you are buying a solid unit that is free of major issues.
You might be tempted to skip this step and look over the RV yourself. Though you will want to perform an inspection of your own, you do not want to skip the professional inspection. In fact, this might just be our most important RV buying tip.
6. Skip the auction
Heading to an RV auction might seem like an excellent way to save some money when buying your rig. This might be true for those who have been buying RVs for years and know exactly what to buy and what to avoid, but it is definitely not the way to go in the vast majority of cases.
7. Time things right
Another one of our most important RV buying tips is to time things right. You can actually save money by buying at the right time. For instance, buying at the beginning or in the middle of camping season is going to cost you a lot more than buying in fall or winter. Meanwhile, those who buy from a dealership on a slow Tuesday will probably be able to get a better price than the customers who go shopping on a Saturday.
8. Compare and negotiate
Let’s say you’ve done your research and you’re looking for that rig to pop up somewhere. You see one in your town, but it’s listed well above what you wanted to pay. We highly recommend looking around to see if there might be another one listed for less in a neighboring state. Saving thousands of dollars is worth a day of driving.
Another option is to negotiate. Talk to the seller and see if they might be willing to sell for less. You could also try asking for extras (such as new tires or small repairs) to be included if the seller is not willing to budge on the price.
9. Know your warranty
If you buy from a dealer and a warranty is offered through the dealership and not a third party, make sure you know what is included before you buy it.
Ask the dealer to walk you through what would and wouldn’t be covered, and take notes. Additionally, you might look at reviews on the warranties that the dealer in question offers to see what people have to say about them.
10. Insist on a walkthrough
Lastly, when buying a rig, it is important that you insist on a walkthrough with the seller. Have them show you the ins and outs of how the RV works. Check the appliances, the slides, and the water system. Learn how to hook up to power and water as well as how to dump the tanks. Ask any questions you might have, and keep your eyes peeled for issues that the inspector might have missed.
Ready to start shopping? Put these RV buying tips to good use and go out there and find the RV of your dreams. After all, the sooner you find the perfect rig, the sooner you can start having amazing camping adventures of your own!
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.