Before You Buy: 8 Must-Know Tips on How to Buy an RV

Thinking about buying an RV? Make sure you check all the boxes so you can buy an RV that meets your needs for a long time. Learn 8 tips on how to buy an RV now.

Imagine traveling the country in your new RV as you explore the wilderness and the raging ocean shores.

If you're wondering how to buy an RV, there are lots of important things to consider before you make a commitment.

Read on to discover these eight must-know tips that can help you find the RV of your dreams.

1. Think About Your Need for Space

Are you planning to travel with your entire family or just your other half? How about pets? Before you buy an RV, consider how much space you'll need for eating, sleeping, and relaxing.

Take a close look at several floor plans to determine which size will work for you. Don't forget to include storage in your decision since you'll need a spot for coats, clothing, and more.

Make sure that there will be adequate beds for everyone who plans to spend time in the RV. There's nothing worse than feeling cramped and uncomfortable while you travel long distances.

2. New or Used?

If you are on the fence about your budget, a used RV might be the perfect solution. Keep in mind that new or used, there will always be some form of maintenance required on your RV.

Shop a few local dealerships to get a better idea of the cost of a new RV versus a used one. Make sure the used models have low mileage and are in good condition before you go that route.

3. How to Buy an RV: Inspections

You can think of buying an RV much like you would buy a new home. You'll want to do a thorough inspection of the engine, the body, and the interior of the RV.

Look for red flags like a rusty engine, cheap flooring, or cabinets that seem to be loose or falling off. These small items might not seem like a big deal at first glance, but they could be an indicator that there are bigger problems lying underneath.

4. Be Prepared to Haggle

You don't have to pay full price, even if you're looking at a brand-spankin' new RV. You can make a few deals with the seller to see if they can knock the price down a bit.

Use your knowledge of the current RV market to help you get a better deal. Make negotiations and ask questions so you will feel confident when you ask for a lower price. When you understand what a good price is, you'll have a much better chance of getting a discount when you buy.

5. Don't Forget the Tires

An RV relies on quality tires that are in good shape in order to stay on the road. When you do your inspection, make sure you don't overlook the tires, particularly when looking at a used model.

Excess tread wear or tires that look to be over or underinflated may need to be replaced. The average lifespan of RV tires is about five years, but that depends on how much travel the RV has done. You can always ask to reduce the price by the cost of new tires if they look like they need replacing.

6. Ask for a Test Drive

When thinking about how to buy an RV, there's no better gauge of quality than to take it for a test drive. Spend some time inside the RV to get a feel for how it would work for your plans and goals.

A test drive will also let you see how well the engine works and you'll have a chance to get a feel for the way the RV drives and handles corners. Make sure you drive it on rough roads and the open highway to get an accurate feeling for how it handles road trips.

Make sure the seller comes along with you when you take it for a test drive. This will allow you to ask questions as soon as they come up while you're driving.

7. Think About Gas and Maintenance

An RV is not exactly cheap to drive since it's a gas-guzzling machine. Factor in the cost of fuel when you price a new RV so you have an idea of how much you'll need to spend on gas for your budget.

In addition to fuel, maintenance for an RV can be quite involved. Not only do you need to maintain the engine, but you'll also need to maintain the interior and things like appliances, furniture, and finishes.

8. Consider your Options for Financing

Most RV sellers don't expect you to pay for it outright in cash. Ask about the various financing options that are available to you including the interest rate and monthly payment.

You can follow these tips to help you choose the right RV for your goals, lifestyle, and budget. Write everything down before you shop, so you can be prepared for what's to come.

Smart RV Moves

Owning an RV can be quite an adventure, and many people consider it a wise investment. Once you know how to buy an RV, you can find the perfect make and model that will work for your unique goals.

Remember to look at everything including the engine, interior, and tires before you buy. Inspect each element of the RV and don't be afraid to try and negotiate the one you're interested in down to a lower price.

Be sure to check out our other posts for tons of great tips and information on travel, lifestyle, and lots more.