Steps in Purchasing an RV

Purchasing an RV


Decide if an RV is right for you

An RV is an expensive investment that will not appreciate in value.  In other words, no matter how you slice it an RV is going to cost you money.  Make certain that this is where you want to spend your hard earned income.

Many suggest, and I certainly do not disagree, that one way to learn about RVs is to rent one at least for a weekend.  This experience will likely hook you on RVing or send you packing, but that is the purpose.  A week would be even better.  It will also help you determine what size is right for you.  The experience of hooking, unhooking and dumping will bring home the realities of RV life.

Know what you can afford

The first decision is whether to purchase an RV, but after that comes what you want and what you can afford.  The absolute best advice that I can give is to know what you can afford first.  Think about how much you can put down and what monthly payments you can comfortably make including insurance and parking fees, leaving room for traveling money.  Also put something aside to stock your RV the way you want it.  This might include silverware, dishes, towels, extra toiletries, and assorted items to keep your RV clean as well as a variety of tools.

What type RV is best for your needs, Trailer or Motorhome?

One of your earliest decisions is whether to buy a trailer or a motorized unit.  This was quite easy for us because I can't pull much with my subcompact and we enjoy being able to just pull over and have the amenities readily available.  Of course if you already own a vehicle with the power to pull a trailer (and you can put some of them behind a minivan or SUV) you might want to consider the benefits of a trailer.  One of the benefits is that they cost a great deal less than a motorized unit.

Do Internet research

Spend some time on the Internet prior to visiting RV showrooms.  This will make it easier for you to use some RV lingo, and provide an idea of pricing.  There are thousands of sites that will provide you with the type of information you need.  Jump in with a few search terms about RVs and start the adventure.

Use the Internet to improve your overall knowledge about RVing

While doing a bit of research for this column I located many sites that are helpful whether you are a beginner or old timer.  I have a link to information on some excellent web sites in the author section.