“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy an RV- and that’s pretty close.”
Are you ready to become the King or Queen of the road? Are you ready to take your life on by the wheels? Are you ready to become ‘adventure’? Hold that bubble of thought- what are the questions to ask before the RV becomes your RV? Like anything, research is the primary step simply because—as many RV’s have this effect on people—investing in an RV is understandably and your priority. That’s why it is important you have the perfect one that embodies everything you could have possibly imagined! There are wide arrays of RV types, brands, floor plans, concepts, sizes, features to customize your RV experience making it a great one. An RV manufacturer understands that an investment like this isn’t easy, and so they try to help simplify it, catering to all types of needs, wants and desires you—the customer—could have. So as tempting as it is to run for the keys, realistically you must walk instead, gathering absolute clarity on what it takes to own an RV, what your budget is, and how to invest in one that is right for you asking all the details. So make the most of this article. Once you get to that point, the realty that you have become an RV owner will feel like a dream—except it’s not. You’re welcome.
Things to Ask the Experts:
An RV purchase is a big purchase, and that’s why you need to make sure you make the right purchase for you. Brainstorm every question, curiosity possible and write it all down. Take those questions and thoughts to the experts and let them handle the rest.
Ask which styles, brands and class RV fits your needs, wants and budget:
It is important to make your vision clear so that acknowledgement and understanding can open up suggestions that bring it to life. For example, think about what kind of RVing you envision yourself doing? Is it long-term, short-term? Is it within the country or across-country? Is it with just you plus one or you plus six? Is it for vacation purposes or residential purposes? There is no point in buying an RV that doesn’t suit your checklist. What you want it for, with who you want to explore it with and for how long you plan on it all makes a difference. Like any product, there are different brands that craft different designs, different levels of quality, catering to different family sizes and purposes. Your budget will make it known which brands are an option. These are all worth exploring. There are also different classes like Class A, Class B, Class C, etc. These classes help summarize which size and assets make sense for you with respect to your budget. All RV’s carry the necessities, but what are your cravings AKA features you wish to have? Slide-outs, full bathroom, fireplace, extra sleep space, etc? With a clear list, the experts can find your RV match.
Ask what features are included in the RV you have interest in:
RV’s come with endless features that are included and/or can be used for upgrades to create the perfect one. What’s of interest to you? It could be extra storage, a window seat, slide-outs, a residential refrigerator, island countertop, king-sized bed, disc brake, pull-out panty, heating system, washroom with bath, etc. The list goes on and on. While the features are exciting, your budget should always come first!
Ask for the REAL overall cost, not the ‘we want to sell you’ surface cost:
Let’s face it; we often get fooled by the sticker price. That’s what lures us in, after all. When deciding to make a purchase, use logic rather than strictly emotion, especially because an RV is an investment and you want it to be a great one. Make sure to understand the fees, the taxes, what’s actually includes and not included in the cost. Have them explicitly tell you a very close—if not exact—estimated final price to expect. Don’t be afraid to do your research prior (looking up the VIN number is wise), and negotiate. It is worth a try, and often works!
Ask about the warranty and what it entails:
Some people don’t buy the warranty and regret it later. Some do and still regret it later. Figure out what is included. Some people reject or give in without knowing what they are buying or dismissing. An RV is a long-term if not permanent investment. It is ultimately up to you to decide if you need warranty, understanding how long it is for, what is covered, if an extended plan is worth it- because RVs need continuous maintenance and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Ask about payment options and process:
Do you see yourself buying your RV in one lumpsome or rather financing it? It all comes down to what you are able to do. Of course we all would love to make a one-time purchase, but in reality for some of us it is difficult that way. If deciding to finance, as time-consuming as it is, read all the fine print and ask all the right questions before agreeing to sign anything. Understand the loan amount, the interest rates, potential penalization of payment, etc. Never rush something that is a big chunk of money!
Ask about the history of the RV:
We all would love something new and shiny but sometimes renting is the best option in current time. However, with ‘used’ RVs you always want to be cautious. Make sure to obtain full records of the RV’s maintenance history, as well as documentation of any repairs or accidents that may have occurred. Renting can either save you a lot of money, or, if not careful, costing you a lot.
Ask about the RV inspection and registration:
Always make sure you get a pre-purchase inspection from a mechanic of your choice before purchasing. This will give you comfort to buy once (hopefully) receiving a good review for your choice. Also, ask about registering your RV, as this cost could be a surprise of its own—and we want good surprises, not bad ones.
Ask for a copy of the MSRP sheet:
The MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) sheet gives you insight to the actual worth of your RV interest, allowing you to compare similar models to assure that you are not getting ripped off in the sale price. This allows you to make your final decision with ease.
Related article: First time RV buyer’s guide
So there you have it, a list of questions to consider when shopping for your RV! As mentioned earlier, it is hard not to get caught-up in excitement, but you want that excitement to be long-term not short-term. Therefore, use this guide to help you get to the RV that’s right for you! Which road will you take?