Committing to the RV life is a major change, and requires a lot of preparation, including logistical, emotional, and monetary planning. As you likely already know, purchasing an RV, regardless of class or model, is a financial investment. Before starting the buying process, it’s important to conduct as much research as you can. Education is essential to making an informed decision, especially when it comes to your personal finances! In this article, we’ll go through a few key points to keep an eye on during your RV buying journey.
What RV Should I Buy?
The first step is to determine what kind of rig best fits your travel plans. Are you full-timing? Traveling with a family, or pets? Do you plan to hit a lot of National Parks, many of which have RV size and length maximums?
You can click here to learn more about the various types of RVs, from Class A’s to towables, and everything in between. It’s always a good idea to rent a few different rigs before buying as well. That first-hand experience is invaluable!
Choosing Where to Purchase Your RV
Choosing whom you purchase from is a necessary step in the buying process. Although convenience is certainly preferred, you should do a bit of research before settling on the closest dealership. You should come up with a list of options and compare prices, layouts, amenities, insurance plans, and warranty plans. This will help you narrow things down!
You have two main options when deciding where to buy your RV: dealers and third-party sellers. There are pros and cons to both, and each will appeal to different people based on budgetary requirements, lifestyle, and travel goals. You will of course want to cater to your own wants and needs!
If you’re looking for a brand new RV, you may be more inclined to purchase from a dealership. A dealer will likely offer greater variety, giving you a wider option of models to choose from. Additionally, because these vehicles arrived straight from the manufacturer, they should be clean of any technical or mechanical issues. If not, the rig will be under manufacturer warranty protection. Of course, many dealerships also buy and sell pre-owned RVs. It may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re indecisive, but you have plenty of options! Learning more about the process will help you feel better prepared.
If you are considering purchasing from a dealer, consider that it is likely that their prices are higher than private or third-party sellers. So if you’re buying used, make sure you research private listings too. If you do decide you want to buy from a dealer, you should consider purchasing an RV extended warranty from a private broker instead. Unlike a dealer, a broker specializes in warranties. Not only will they have extensive knowledge, they will offer a greater range of available policies with more customization options and better terms. If nothing else, it’s always a good idea to get a quote and learn more about coverage options before hitting the dealership. Additional products like extended warranties are often tacked on to the end of a long day, and it’s tough to make a smart decision when you’re ready to grab the keys and get out of there with your new rig! A little research ahead of time can save you big.
Private or third-party sellers are a great avenue to find used RVs. You will find RVs in decent condition at affordable prices. If you’re buying used, ask if there is an active RV warranty policy in place. Warranties can be transferred between owners, and the process is both simple and straightforward. Additionally, used RVs are still eligible for warranty protection! Check with a broker to make sure your rig qualifies.
For buying used, be wary of the vehicle’s condition and understand that you may need to address some mechanical or electrical issues before you hit the road. Getting a vehicle inspection is a good idea. If you’re planning to secure RV warranty coverage, you will likely need one anyway. Some warranty brokers will send a mechanic straight to you! The mechanic will inspect and verify the working condition of the coach. Upon receiving a clean bill of health, you will be able to sign your extended service contract.
Questions to Consider
Regardless of whether you’re buying a pre-owned RV from a dealer or private seller, there are some questions you’ll want to ask. This may seem like an obvious one, but you should ask the seller to provide an on-site tour of any vehicles of interest. It’s a good idea to get an in-person feel for the space and amenities. This will also point you to any glaring issues the seller should address before making a change in ownership. If you’re shopping from a third-party, it’s worth asking why they’re selling their RV. A lot of times people are either ready to upgrade or live a stationary life. You want to make sure they aren’t loading off a vehicle they didn’t want to pay to repair.
Of course, there is a lot more helpful information beyond this guide. If you utilize the tools available to you, you can trust your judgment based on the information you have! Now that you have a basic idea of where to start, you can use this guide as a launching pad. We are excited to welcome you to the RV life!