How to Research Buying an RV: 6 Tips

So, you want to buy an RV? Welcome to the club! Since the pandemic, demand for RVs has skyrocketed, and driven up prices by as much as a whopping 23% in 2021 versus 2010, making shopping around for an RV more important than ever.

But do not despair. Finding an ideal RV in your budget is still possible with the right approach. Here are our tips:

1. Be clear about what you are going to use your RV for.

RVing usually starts with a dream, but seasoned RVers will tell you that practicality is what really counts. Freedom takes organisation, planning, and a realistic understanding of how you are going to be spending your time.

Be objective about:

Who is going to be traveling or living in the RV?
How often will you use it?
Where you will be traveling? What will the climate be like?
Will you stay in RV parks, or spend more time boondocking?
How many miles do you intend to cover? How much gas will you likely need?
What specific needs do you have that the RV will need to accommodate? For example, will you be working from your RV, or traveling with pets?
Where will you store your RV when you’re not using it?

The answers to these questions will help you figure out what type and category of RV will be suit you and the features it must have.

It will also help you to start figuring out your budget. Tools such as an RV Cost of Ownership Calculator can help you determine your budget

2. Do plenty of online research

These days, the online RV community is thriving with endless resources at your fingertips.

Facebook and other RV forums give you the chance to get direct feedback from both experienced RVers and people who share your questions.

Good places to start looking are:

RV Lifestyle Group
Living the RV Dream
RV Roundtable

Once you have a clear idea of which RV best suits you, it’s time to start looking around.

3. Visit RV auctions but look, don’t buy

Auctions are a good way of seeing what is around on the second-hand market. Most auction lists feature lightly-used, repossessed and dealer-aged units, and also gently-used ex-rental models.

You can expect to be tempted to bid, but our advice would be to go at least twice on a pure fact-finding mission and to get a feel for how auctions work. That way, you won’t be completely green should you choose to buy at an auction.

4.Visit RV shows

RV shows are the best place to see the full range of possibilities and chat with dealers. Expect 2022 shows to be buzzing with buyers and sellers with everyone eager to head off into the sunset with their dream RV.

Keep your cool. Make sure you go with your previously-defined list of your needs and budget to keep you focused.

5. Visit dealerships and private sellers

If you’re looking to buy new, try and get recommendations from fellow RVers of good quality dealerships and visit as many as you can. Once there, take a checklist of things to ask and review with the dealer including:

  • Unseen parts of the RV including frames, underbelly, walls; front cap, roof, insulation, and flooring
  • Warranty and RV Parts
  • Dealership history and track record.

For used RVs, you will want to take a similar approach, ideally with another seasoned RVer who can help spot any red flags.
Before making any purchase – new or used – have the RV fully inspected by an RV tech or someone certified before making the final purchase.

6. Try before you buy

Buying an RV is a long-term financial investment that deserves serious consideration. It’s ok to spend weeks – even months – shopping around, researching and talking to RVers with similar needs, and crunching the numbers.

The best way to really appreciate what your RV future holds is to get out on the road and find out what works for you.. Rent or borrow an RV, ideally for trips of a week or more, and if you can, tag along with an experienced RVer who can teach you the ropes.

Spend time at RV parks like Riverbound where you can experience a completely unique RV lifestyle, with luxury amenities and storage solutions in stunning desert and lakeside settings. Try all the options you can so that, when the time comes to buy, you’ll have total peace of mind that your chosen RV is the perfect one for you.

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