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What to Look for When Buying an RV: A Helpful Guide - Blog

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Research by the RVIA has confirmed that your suspicions were right all along. RV vacations are up to 62% more affordable than any other kind of travel.

So, if you're an adventurous soul who enjoys versatile, laid-back vacations, buying an RV could be a fantastic option for you. Before you start shopping around, read these RV buying tips. They could save you from expensive regrets.

Know What Type of RV Suits Your Unique Needs

To the uninitiated, an RV is an RV. Yet savvy buyers will soon find out that choosing an RV isn't as simple as that. There are five main categories of RVs, as follows:


Travel Trailers

Travel trailers hitch to the back of a towing vehicle and are the smallest of the five types. They're ideal for small families or couples who want to set up camp and use their towing vehicles for exploring.


Fifth Wheel Trailers

Fifth-wheel trailers attach to a hitch mounted in the middle of a truck bed. They feature an extra sleeping area over the hitch, and some of them are very large indeed. They're a great option for families or those travelling with guests.

You must have a towing vehicle that's rated for towing the fifth wheel trailer you choose; otherwise, you'll have to buy one.


Class C RVs

Class C recreational vehicles are unmistakable with their unique cab-over bunk profile. They're built on a commercial van chassis and offer many of the most popular amenities in the realm of motorhomes.

Class C RVs are a good value-for-money option if you want a little more space without the hefty price tag of a Class A motorhome.


Class B RVs

Also known as conversion vans or camper vans, Class B RVs are a wonderful innovation. Class B motorhomes are easy to park and drive, light on fuel and suitable for use as a second vehicle.

Their small stature contains an abundance of top-notch amenities like washrooms with showers, kitchens, and bunks for four people. They're often fitted with slide-outs to make space for all these conveniences.


Class A RVs

These RVs are usually big and bus-like with luxurious interiors. They're ideal for permanent RV living and are highly customizable. These kinds of RV's come with the highest price tag of all. Several celebrities own custom-built class A motorhomes, worth over $2 million each.
 

Size isn't the Only Important Thing to Think About

While it's tempting to opt for the biggest, best RV you can afford, don't let this kind of thinking cloud your judgment. The larger your RV, the more expensive it will be to run and maintain.

Rather consider things like what type of amenities you'd like included, how long you're likely to vacation for, and whether there's a bed for everyone. If you plan to travel during winter, heaters are important.

Of course, your budget will play a big role in which RV you ultimately end up with.


Research Prices Before Buying an RV

When shopping for an RV, it's important to know your prices. Check out several websites to compare prices before you visit a dealer. The National Automobile Dealers Association's RV Appraisal Guide will give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay.

Compare RV dealers websites to see if they're on A par with these official valuations. This will give you an idea about how reputable each dealer is. Remember, each RV is unique and may come with additional extras that elevate its value, so bear this in mind when comparing prices.

When you find an RV dealer near you with a good selection and reasonable prices, make an appointment to visit their lot and see what's on offer.


Conduct a Thorough Inspection of the RV

You're bound to discover a host of suitable RVs when you arrive at the dealership. Don't neglect to check the following important points:


Visible Mould

Even if there are no obvious leaks, mould is a sign of damp inside the trailer. It's also a health hazard.


Floor Stability

Like mould, any movement in the floor can indicate water damage. Jump up and down in the bathroom a few times. The floor should feel stable and sturdy without any give.


Exterior Checks

Open the exterior panels of the RV and look for any signs of rust or corrosion. Push against the walls; they should be sturdy and immovable.


Condition of the Tyres

Obviously, worn tires are a no-no unless you're getting a really good deal and are willing to replace them right away. Check the age of the tires too, even if they look immaculate, old tires can be unreliable.

The DOT label on the sidewall contains a four-digit code indicating the production date of the tire. To be safe, you should replace your RV tires at least every five years.


Check the RV's History

Check the RV's VIN (vehicle identification number) to see if it's been rebuilt recently or involved in an accident.

Choose the RV that ticks as many boxes as possible, even if it's cheaper because of those defects. Small problems can lead to big regrets later down the line. When you've narrowed down your options, take the vehicle for a test drive to see if it's the right one for you.

You won't enjoy the countless road trips you've planned if the vehicle handles poorly or if you feel uncomfortable driving it. If possible, get the seller to tag along with you so you can ask them relevant questions along the way.


Choosing A Reputable RV Dealer

Price isn't the only thing you should think about when searching for a reputable RV dealer. Customer reviews can help you judge what it's like to do business with a particular dealership too.

Some dealers will tag on a host of extra hidden costs once you've agreed about buying an RV from them, so ask them about any extras the moment you arrive to view their inventory.

When you visit our showroom to buy a new or used trailer, what you see is what you get. We guarantee you won't encounter any hidden surprises or extra fees. Get in touch right away for assistance with every stage of buying a motorhome or RV.