How would you like to cruise Highway 101 in an RV? There are so many options to enjoy the outdoors in an RV. You could head to Lake Tahoe. You can head north into the Redwoods and into Oregon and beyond. There are no limits as to where you can go in an RV. You can even follow your favorite sports team and make it a vacation.
Buying an RV, though, is a challenge. It’s not like buying a car. It’s like buying a home. It’s a big investment and requires a lot of thought before you put money down on it.
Read on to learn the top tips to buy an RV to make sure you’ll get an affordable RV that you’ll absolutely love.
1. Decide If You Want a New or Used RV
Your starting point is a simple decision. Should you get a new RV, or do you want to buy a new one? There’s no right or wrong answer. It depends on your preference.
With a new RV, you know about the entire history of the vehicle. There’s no maintenance guesswork and you can put the miles on without having to worry about the RV breaking down.
Used RVs are more cost-effective. The insurance costs less than a new RV. You also don’t have to absorb depreciation.
There’s a trade-off between owning a new RV or a used RV. The decision largely depends on what you value. Are you willing to spend more for peace of mind? Then get a new one.
If you want to save money and be prepared for anything to happen, then buy used. When you do opt to buy used, don’t go for the cheapest RV out there simply because it’s cheap. There’s a very good chance that you’re purchasing a money pit. Are you looking for a self-contained unit or a 5th wheel for sale?
2. Decide Your Budget
RVs are not cheap purchases. They can cost a minimum of $6,000 for a trailer. At the other end of the spectrum, you can buy a fancy new RV for $500,000.
You’ll want to know before you start shopping how much you can spend on an RV. You’ll need to know how much you can put down as a deposit and how much you need to finance.
If you do need to finance your RV purchase, you’ll want to pull your credit report. Your credit report will determine your ability to finance an RV. If you have a bad credit score, you’ll want to prioritize cleaning that up.
You may not get approved for a loan. If you do get approved, you’ll pay quite a bit more in interest.
3. Know the Types of RVs
There are dozens of different RVs for different situations. Which one you should get is going to depend on your needs.
There are three main classes of RVs. These classes don’t count pop-up campers, trailers, or tow vehicles. They’re smaller and fall into different categories.
You’ll see Class A, Class B, and Class C RVs. Class A RVs tend to be the cream of the crop motorhomes. If you want a camper van, look for a Class B RV.
What if a Class A vehicle is too big and a Class B is too small? Like Goldilocks, you’ll find that a Class C RV is just right.
Class C RVs fall in the middle between Class A and Class B vehicles. They are bigger than Class B RVs but smaller than Class A ones.
4. What Are Your Needs?
What do you need from an RV? You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions to decide which class you should shop for within your budget.
- Are you taking your family or just one other person?
- How often will you take the RV out on the road?
- Are you going to be dry camping without hookups of any kind?
- Do you plan to work or have other uses for WiFi?
- Are there space limits at the places where you want to visit?
Knowing these questions in advance will help you decide if you need a certain class RV and what kind of features you should consider.
5. What’s the Maintenance?
An RV doesn’t maintain itself. Maintenance can also be very expensive. You want to buy an RV that is easy to maintain.
For example, you’ll want to take battery life into consideration. Choosing the best lithium battery for your RV is a big consideration, especially if you need some of the amenities that you’re used to having at home.
6. Get Other Opinions
As you can imagine, there’s a huge RV community that you can take advantage of. There are countless online forums and Facebook groups that you can turn to for advice. If you spot a brand and model of RVs that you like, take the time to ask for a second option.
You may find common problems with that particular model that you should steer away from. You may also come across the occasional Twitter chats around RVs. You’ll learn where you can go and great campgrounds that you just can’t miss.
7. Storage Considerations
Parking in the Bay Area is at a premium. You know that you’re not taking your RV out every day, so you’ll need to find a place to keep it safe.
You could keep it on your property if you have room for it. If you don’t, then you’ll have to find and pay for RV storage.
Buying an RV Made Easy
Are you daydreaming about exploring the great roads of California and beyond? The U.S. and Canada have the best road systems that connect large cities with quaint small towns.
You can explore all of them in an RV that you’ll love. Buying an RV doesn’t have to be difficult. You need to know your budget, your needs, and the different types of RVs out there. You also want to buy an RV that you’ll be able to maintain, so it lasts for years to come.
Do you want more great lifestyle tips? Come back to this site again for articles about everything from travel to tech news.
More on this topic: Why Day Trips Beat Long Vacations