Tips on Buying an RV in the US
Buying an RV is stressful and needs a lot of research depending on your budget, travel preferences, spaciousness, add-on features, type of RV, and whatnot! You also have to learn about home maintenance and when to take it to a mechanic for periodic maintenance. So, we have created this useful guide for you that will discuss the major factors to consider while investing in an RV in the US.
Used RV V/S Brand New RV
The Type of RV You Need?
There are various types of RV vehicles that are divided into two categories- motorhomes and towable RVs. The main difference between these two is that you can drive a motorhome, whereas towables have to be towed by a separate vehicle.
Motorhomes are further divided into three subcategories; Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes, and Class C motorhomes. Class A motorhomes are very expensive and spacious and can run on gasoline as well as diesel. Class B motorhomes are smaller than Class A motorhomes and are appropriate for two travelers. Class C motorhomes are perfect for families and have decent amenities.
Towables have to be driven by a separate vehicle, and if you don’t already own one, it will be an added expense. Travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers are common types of towables. Travel trailers are big-size portable containers and can be expanded to get more space while you are at rest.
Fifth-wheelers have limited space and can’t accommodate a family. They aren’t recommended for exploring surrounding areas too.
Once you’ve decided the types of RV you need to buy, you’ll have to work on budgeting and financing. You can finance your vehicle through lenders, take a bank loan, or get a third party involved. Before this, you must check your credit score and decide how much you can pay as a down payment. Bear in mind that interest rates of third-party lenders are higher than banks, which might make EMIs unaffordable for you.
Before planning to buy an RV, you must consider a handful of extra expenses like:
- Insurance and GAP coverage
- Periodic maintenance
- Repair Costs
- Insurance and registration
- Cable and internet charges
- Parking charges during trips.
Thoroughly Examine Used Vehicles
If you’ve decided to invest in a pre-loved recreational vehicle, then see its history using its VIN or vehicle identification number. You can know if it has been damaged, rebuilt, or stolen. Not just this, but check its tires and floors before buying it.
You can check the tire's age by noticing the four-digit code on the DOT label on the sidewall. The first two digits indicate the week, and the following two specify the year the tire was manufactured. For example, 3422 denotes the 34th week of the year 2022.
As for the floor damage, you should open all the exterior panels to check for corrosion and rust. If there’s no oxidation and everything feels sturdy, you can go for it.
Apart from this, you should also examine axles, frames, electrical switches, appliances, etc. When on the wheel, an RV is much more than just a vehicle; it’s your entire home.
Decide the RV Floor Plan
There are several floor plans that are popular among RV owners. You can choose one as per your preferences pertaining to sleeping, cooking, bathing, etc. Some common plans that are applied to large trailers and RVs are:
- Rear bedroom
- Front bedroom
- Rear kitchen
- Opposing slideouts
- Rear toy hauler
- Rear entertainment
Before buying an RV, you need to go through its types and pick the one that aligns best with your needs. Next, plan how much you can pay as a down payment and see if you want to get the vehicles financed by a bank or third-party lender.
If you’re investing in a used vehicle, don’t skip examining it thoroughly to check the condition of its tires, floor, heating system, electrical appliances, etc.