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Essential RV Buying Tips to Make an Informed Purchase

Essential RV Buying Tips to Make an Informed Purchase

Are you looking to buy an RV? The RV market is witnessing heightened interest nationwide. According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), 11.2 million households own an RV, with 600,000 sales in 2021 alone. Buying an RV allows you to enjoy the comfort and convenience of your home while on the road.

For whatever purpose you wish to own an RV, you’ll find driving an RV makes for comfortable travel. There are several types of RVs for sale, such as motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers, and fifth wheels, to choose from. Choosing the perfect one depends on key factors you should consider before purchasing. This guide will provide valuable insights to help you make the right purchase.

Consider Your Budget

Your budget is one of the primary determinants limiting the list of RVs you can choose from. Its cost varies greatly from model to model. So the first step to take is to set a budget limit. If you are unable to afford a new RV, you can always go for a well-used pre-owned RV in good condition.

You should determine how much you are willing to spend out of your pocket or source through financing; remember that the expenses do not end with the purchase. You will have to also pay for expenses such as insurance, taxes, and regular maintenance to keep it in top shape.

Determine the Appropriate Weight and Size

Bigger doesn’t always equal better. Knowing what you need and what works for you and your family is vital to determining what RV to get. While larger RVs offer more living space and amenities, consider the purpose you need it for and the number of guests you’ll have in it at a time. A solo camper may have all the space they require in a campervan.

Bigger RVs also mean more expenses on repairs, maintenance, and fuel. The RV occupant and cargo carrying capacity (OCCC) is important to check before purchasing an RV. The cargo-carrying capacity of the RV determines how much load the vehicle can hold safely.

If you choose a towable RV, you should find out your truck’s towing capacity so you don’t buy an RV you can’t move. Research your vehicle’s maximum tow capacity to get a good idea of what model your vehicle can tow.

Evaluate Floorplan and Amenities

Before deciding on an RV, critically examine what it offers, not just its aesthetics. A beautiful appearance is undoubtedly appealing, but does the RV fit your lifestyle and travel plan? Are the amenities available suitable for your intended purpose? Are they high quality and in good condition?

A family going on a long trip will need a kitchen, dishwasher, storage spaces, and separate living and sleeping areas for privacy. Different RV models come with various floor plans, be sure to choose one that will allow you and your family to enjoy a comfortable trip.

Explore Slide outs and Expandable Features

Luxurious RVs can sometimes have slide-out sections, streamlining the RV while on the road. This allows for additional living space when you set camp. Modern RVs have features that can be expanded and retracted when extra floor space is needed.

When there are slide-outs, check to see if you can access your bathroom or refrigerator while they are in. Your RV should be a home away from home; assess all its features to determine if it’s a perfect fit.

Assess Availability and Market Research

When you’ve decided on the floor plan that works for you, the next step is to find a dealer with RVs that fall into your preferred category. Note that some RVs may look similar and even be within the same price range and not have the same quality.

One of the biggest mistakes buyers make is not doing enough research. Refrain from making a hasty decision. Ask family and friends that have RVs for recommendations and advice. Visit helpful RV forums such as, where you can read about other buyers’ experiences and ask questions.

Weigh the Pros and Cons of New vs. Used

You could go for a new or used RV when selecting an RV. There are upsides and downsides to either choice. Generally, new RVs are more costly, but they come with warranties and are fresh off the lot. The downside is that new RVs start depreciating as soon as they are off the lot. Savvy buyers can cash in on the depreciation on used RVs by buying for much cheaper.

Used RVs are more affordable and are viable options for prospective buyers on a tight budget. On the other hand, new RVs usually have lower interest rates if you’re financing the RV. To know for sure, you can check with your RV dealer or bank.

You can find used RVs for sale in good condition, but it is prudent to inspect the RV thoroughly. You can call in a professional to check the conditions of the vehicle. Search for wear and tear or potential system failure, which may result in costly repairs after purchase.

Take a Test Drive

Before committing to a particular new or used RV, you should test drive it. And if you’ve never handled one before or driven a rig, you need the experience. Getting familiar with its maneuverability, size, and height is necessary. It allows you to get familiar with operating a big vehicle, and you can determine its suitability to your needs.

Some dealers do not offer test drives. In this case, you may have to rent one to understand what driving and living in an RV is like. Or you may try out another dealership.

Review Maintenance Records

When buying a used RV, it’s important to ask the seller for maintenance records and thoroughly inspect the vehicle to check for any wear and tear. Check to ensure that all its systems are in working order and in good condition. Check the tires and brakes and also check for leaks and cracks.


Buying an RV can be equally exciting and daunting. There’s no denying the ease it brings to travel. To buy the perfect RV, you must be patient and do your homework. This blog has highlighted the factors to consider when buying an RV. Make an informed purchase to get the RV lifestyle you want.

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