Five RV Buying Tips

posted on 04/25/2008 12:04 in RV Education 101 - Mark Polk

Buying an RV is a major investment, similar to your home or automobile. It is extremely important that you make educated, well informed buying decisions. When you purchase an RV it's easy to overlook something, forget to check something, or most importantly not be properly informed about something. Whatever the case may be, you don't realize it until after you buy it, and then it’s too late. For those of you in the market for an RV I want to offer five RV buying tips to assist you in buying your RV.

Try renting one before you buy
Rule number one for owning an RV is you have to use it. It can be difficult to determine if an RV is right for you and your family if you have never used one. Plan a weekend or week-long trip and rent an RV to try it out. Renting an RV can be a good indicator to gauge if an RV is in your future. Know which type of RV is right for you and your family before you buy.

Know which type of RV is right for you and your family before you buy
RV’s come in numerous types, sizes and price ranges. Know which type is right for you and what price fits your budget. Take the time to research your specific needs, and how you plan to use the RV. If you plan to travel cross-country in the RV a motorized RV might make more sense than a towable RV. If you plan to go camping in the backwoods, off the beaten trail, a pop up or truck camper would probably make more sense.

Should you buy a new or used RV?
This is a major consideration before you purchase an RV. To assist you with making this decision consider how you plan to use the RV and what your budget is. If you only plan to take a couple of weekend trips, or use it for one week out of the year, a used RV might be best for you. And, it won’t do you any good to own an RV if there isn’t enough money left in the budget to enjoy it.

Make sure the RV has the right floorplan and options to meet the needs of you and your family
Do you need one bedroom or two, and is the bed big enough? Would a split bathroom work better than a walk-through bathroom? Is there enough counter space? Is there enough storage space? Do you want the kitchen in the middle, front or rear of the RV? Is the shower big enough? Are the holding tanks large enough for the type of camping you plan to do? Do you need a generator for the type of camping you plan to do?

Do your research before you buy
You need to do your research before you buy. There are lots of RV manufacturers and RV brands to choose from. You want an RV dealer and a manufacturer that will stand behind the product after the sale. You can research manufacturers on the internet, request brochures, take factory tours and attend local RV shows to learn more about all of the options you have. Visit the RV dealership and ask for a tour of the facilities. Do they have certified technicians? Do they have the capability and facilities to do routine maintenance and warranty work on the units they sell? Do they offer a good selection of parts and accessories? Do they have a good selection of RVs to choose from? How long have they been selling certain manufacturer brands? How long have they been in business?  A reputable RV dealership can make your RV ownership experiences much more pleasurable.

Happy Camping,

Mark J. Polk
RV Education 101

RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books.