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DIY RV Buyers Guide: Buy an RV for the Right Price for the Right Model

This post was updated on September 9th, 2020


Welcome to the DoItYourselfRV’s RV Buyer’s Guide. This guide is intended to be a ” how to buy an rv” resource for an RV newcomer or someone who hasn’t been through the process in several years. I feel there’s a shortage of unbiased (and thorough) resources available to sort out the principles of RV buying.

It’s not intended to cover everything you ever needed to know about RV’s, but to give you a foundation of understanding so you can move the needle substantially forward on your RV purchase decision.

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You won’t find any brand recommendations or sales pitches here – only the facts for which you can build an understanding and begin to make what will hopefully be a wildly enjoyable decision on how to spend your free time, retirement, or working life!

“It’s like buying a car, only harder”

Harder in the sense that for most people this will be the second to third biggest purchase in their life, after their home and car. Even more than the house in some cases! Regardless of the type or price of the RV, there are other considerations that are not always unique to RV’s but certainly need to be considered.

Aside from the asking price of an RV, it’s important to look at the “hidden” costs in addition to the sticker price:

  • Maintenance – The bigger the RV the more things that can go wrong! RV’s seem to require more maintenance than the average car. Unless you’re handy, this maintenance work can be a considerable expense.
  • Insurance – The bigger the RV the bigger the bill for RV insurance. You’ll find that insurance will be more expensive than its passenger commuting counterpart.
  • Fuel/Oil – The RV world is still waiting on a Prius motorhome. Until then expect to get fuel economy between 8-20 MPG depending on the RV you choose.
  • Towing – If you will be towing either your RV or a vehicle behind your motorhome, you need to consider if you have the vehicle or equipment to do so.
  • Place to Park Your New Ride – Many Homeowner’s Associations don’t allow for RV’s or there is no space to store them. You may need to store them at a fee-based location elsewhere.
  • Where will you Stay – It’s safe to assume that you may take your RV places that charge rent, like at an RV park or campground.
  • Meals – Will you have the option of making meals in your RV or will you have to eat out on your trips?
  • Connectivity – Mobile Internet (Our Guide), WiFi Booster, GPS, Satellite TV,  Netflix etc.  Are you interested in having these perks on the road?

Before you get started you may want to look over a Glossary of RV Terms

11 thoughts on “DIY RV Buyers Guide: Buy an RV for the Right Price for the Right Model”

  1. Very good info…hope to buy and go part time ina few years and full time about 10 years from now. The grey/black lettering on white is just fine for those of us who are color blind!

  2. I have to agree. The spelling and grammatical errors were driving me crazy. Its vs. it’s. Your vs. you’re. Those types of errors can completely change the intent of a sentence, which in turn makes the article more confusing than it needs to be. But otherwise, a lot of good useful information. We are looking to get into RVing in a couple years once my wife and I have enough passive income from our rental properties to financially fund our desire for adventure.

  3. Could you go into the safety ratings some? I understand that there is a lot to consider with the class A for instance. Thanks for all the good info.

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