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5 Critical Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Buying An RV

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Whether you’re looking to upgrade or you’re a first time shopper wanting to explore the RV market, there are a number of important questions that you’ve got to ask yourself before buying a new mobile home. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

1. What kind of RV is best for you?

Good Sam

Depending on what type of camping you’re going to be doing, you’ll want a certain RV that will best suit your individual needs. Out of the many varieties available, here’s a quick summary of everything you can find on the market:

  • Class A Motorhomes
    These are most probably what first comes to mind when you envision an RV. These large motorhomes can feature nearly anything and everything you can pretty much think of, and make for perfect travel vehicles for families and long adventures.
  • Class B Motorhomes
    Also known as Camper Vans, these still have many of the same cozy features as Class A Motorhomes, but in a much smaller build. They’re great for about 2 to 3 travelers and perfect for multi-week trips. It’s almost like driving a huge SUV, but with the comforts of your own home including a small kitchen and bathroom.
  • Class C Motorhomes
    These RVs are pretty much a midpoint between Class A and B vehicles. Although they offer some of the same features as Class A homes, they’re generally quite a bit cheaper. Similar to the first two, they’re great if you want to head out for a long weekend getaway.
  • Travel Trailers
    The great things about travel trailers is that you can tow them by standard pickup trucks, SUVs or even some minivans. They vary in size, but offer some fabulous features in the newest versions including bunk beds and even satellite Internet.
  • Fifth-Wheel Trailers
    These trailers get their name from the large hitch pin that attaches the trailer to a special mount in the bed of a heavy-duty pickup truck. It makes the trailer more stable to pull than a travel trailer, since most of the fifth wheeler is above the truck’s rear axle instead of hanging off a trailer hitch behind the truck. Many RVers say the fifth-wheel is also easier to back up into a campsite than a traditional travel trailer.
  • Popup Trailers
    Basically, these trailers are the opposite of Class A motorhomes: no engine, low cost, and little space. Considering their size, they’re not as harsh on your wallet, costing as low as a few thousand dollars new. They’re also great for fun weekend trips and are incredibly easy to park.
  • SURV Trailers
    Also known as the Sports Utility RV, this vehicle is often referred to as a “Toy Hauler” because of the garage area built into the rear. You can use the space to haul a number of things like motorcycles and watercraft. Once your items have been unloaded using the built-in ramp, the space can then be used for additional storage or as even as a place to sleep.
  • Truck Campers
    Truck campers are a popular option because of their mobility over rough terrain, as well as homey features like a small kitchen and shower.

2. Where’s the best place to find information before I buy?

RVing With Mark Polk

While you could browse online first, you can learn quite a lot from visiting RV dealers and RV shows. Once you’re sure about what type of RV you’re interested in, doing research on finding out what the lowest they sell for (at a good quality) can help you save hundreds.

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3. What’s included in the advertised price?

Mobile Detail Professionals

There are many features you may think that are always included, but aren’t actually considered to be standard equipment. Be sure to ask about the window awnings, slide awnings, TVs, or any other feature that will be important to you in the transaction.

4. What else do I need to keep in mind?

Motorhome Magazine

Just like when you’re buying a new car, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Is this vehicle gas or diesel? In addition, how many miles per gallon does it get?
  • Are you getting insurance on it?
  • Where are you generally going to store your RV?
  • Is there a kitchen area where you’ll be able to enjoy a meal? A bathroom?

5. Is this the right RV for my needs?

Linn Area

The decision to get an RV is not usually a simple one. Does it feel right? Are you sure you want to buy, rent, or finance this vehicle? After you’ve run through these quick questions and you’re still confident in the purchase, you know it’s going to make for a perfect new home.

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