LivingTravelThe Only Guide You Need To Buy An RV

The Only Guide You Need To Buy An RV

Buying an RV is not an easy decision to make. It’s more than just buying an RV. You are learning how to drive or tow it. You are learning how to maintain it and when to bring it to the store. You are learning how to overcome the impact of gas prices versus mileage.

Buying an RV is a long-term adventurous investment that isn’t right for everyone. If you are considering buying an RV, this is the guide you need to understand the big picture that that investment entails.

What to consider when buying an RV

When you’re ready to take the plunge, you should consider the following before budgeting for an RV:

  • Why are you buying an RV?
  • Who are you buying an RV for?
  • Where do you plan to travel with the RV?
  • Would you rather tow a trailer or drive a motorhome?
  • what features do you need?
  • What features do you want?

It is important to narrow down exactly what you need rather than what you want before purchasing an RV. One of the biggest benefits of owning an RV is that you can customize it and add features to it in the future, just like you would in a home or condo. This means that the options you can expect to invest are projects for the future, saving you money by budgeting now.

What type of RV do you need?

There are two things to consider before buying an RV: What type of RV do you need and want a new or used RV? There are motorhomes and trailers.

Motorhomes can be driven and towed, well, they must be towed by a separate vehicle. Depending on your comfort level, towing can be as expensive as buying a motorhome. This is the towable you choose to buy, such as a fifth wheel RV or travel trailer.

If you want to tow, that will require you to invest in a tow vehicle, such as a truck or SUV. If you don’t already own a vehicle capable of towing a recreational vehicle, this is an additional expense to factor into your budget. If you have a tow vehicle, then it is a matter of being comfortable driving while towing.

Pop-up campers, truck campers, and small travel trailers are often the best way to make the RV lifestyle easier. For those looking for more space, investing in a medium to large travel trailer or fifth wheel RV is the way to go.

While most towable from motorhomes to RVs offer the same functionality and features, sometimes it comes down to the size of the trailer or RV due to the comfort level of those who travel and use it.

Read more about RV types with our expert guide here.

Financing an RV

Once you’ve decided what type of RV you need, you’ll need to calculate your budget and financing. Most RV dealerships offer financing through a variety of lenders. You can also apply for a vehicle loan from your bank or a third party to help you finance it.

Depending on your credit score, how much you are willing to pay for a down payment, and other factors, financing may be easier said than done.

If you can finance through your dealer, you will get interest rates closer to what your bank would offer with good credit. If you finance through a third-party lender, you will often pay a higher interest rate. It’s important to make sure you can afford the monthly payments on a motorhome or trailer, as well as looking to pay it off as soon as possible whenever possible.

Read more about RV financing with our expert guide here.

What You Should Know About Buying New RVs

When you buy a new RV, you get a model that is anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months off the assembly line. In some cases, you can even get an RV or trailer directly from the manufacturer. This means the RV is brand new with the features or customizations you chose at the dealership. This is the most expensive option for buying an RV other than building one from scratch through a manufacturer.

Advantages of buying a new RV

  • You get a new top-of-the-line RV off the assembly line
  • The full manufacturer’s warranty begins the moment you make your purchase.
  • You don’t have to worry about damage, wear or tear, or problems when exiting the parking lot for the first time.
  • Custom options such as color choice, room layout, and more are available
  • You can get exactly what you want for the price you want offline

Cons of buying a new RV

  • Can be expensive depending on what features you want
  • Not all RVs and trailers are customized through the manufacturer, requiring more expenses in the future
  • You may have to do your best to ship a trailer or RV if local dealers don’t have one in stock
  • Insurance premiums will be higher
  • You may have to invest in a tow vehicle

What You Should Know About Buying Used Recreational Vehicles

When buying a used RV, it is not known how long it has been since production. Wear and tear on a used RV can cause problems that you need to fix. Buying a used RV is done through a dealer or a third party, such as Craigslist or a private seller. When buying a used motorhome, watch out for the buyer because you never know for sure what might be wrong or what will have to be fixed in the future. These corrections can add up.

Advantages of buying a used RV

  • You save a significant amount of money
  • You can choose to rebuild, redecorate, and restore the RV to your liking
  • You may be able to find the exact RV you want that is currently not in production
  • Insurance will be cheaper for a used RV
  • You can take the time to customize, repair and upgrade components

Cons of buying a used RV

  • You never know what could be wrong with the RV
  • You may not know how depreciated the RV is in value
  • The damage may not be visible, which means you will spend more repairing the RV with or without insurance deductibles.
  • Often times, the manufacturer’s warranty has been exhausted.
  • You can spend a considerable amount of money on updates

Read more about avoiding used RV scams with our expert guide here.

Should you buy a new motorhome or a used motorhome?

New and used motorhomes have their place for motorhomes. When starting out, it is profitable to buy a used RV. You are safer if you buy a used RV from a dealer than a private buyer, but you can still run into problems that are difficult to handle. When buying a new RV, you are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and any extended warranties that you buy through the dealer. If something goes wrong, you have a safety net. That is not always true when you buy used.

Other RV expenses to consider

Keep in mind that buying the RV itself is only half the battle. There are a handful of additional expenses that come with buying an RV, such as:

  • Gap insurance and coverage
  • Maintenance and repair costs.
  • Insurance and registration
  • Gas, propane and fuel.
  • Cable and internet access.
  • Where will you park during the trips
  • How you will make meals

How to get the best price on an RV

Do you want the best deal on an RV? Consider these nine tips for negotiating a better price on an RV at the dealership:

  • Leave all your options open when looking at RVs
  • See car financing rates from your bank and dealers
  • Be patient and wait for the right deal to arrive
  • Consider an RV program to find a once-in-a-lifetime deal
  • Buy at the end of the VR season or at the end of the month
  • Be friendly with your salesperson
  • Taking risks by asking for a better deal
  • Find the right incentives that make the price worth more

Read more about negotiating the best price on an RV with our expert guide here.

Which RV is Right for Your Travels?

When you start to travel by motorhome, you can have a high price: tag crash. RVing is expensive. It’s not just about buying a new or used RV. It’s also parking, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and everything else. It is food for on and off the road. It is entertainment once you park.

For some families, this may not be possible, and that is why buying used could save them money. For others, they are ready to invest in advance and take advantage of savings in the future.

RVing is a long-term investment. By entering the buying process, you understand that you will be able to make the financial decision that is right for you and your family. While using RVs will save you up to 50 percent down the road on vacation, you will need to put in a significant amount of money up front to get started.

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