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What you need to know when buying an RV | RV Safety Tips and Tricks
What you need to know when buying an RV

What you need to know when buying an RV

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Hello, everyone. In this post, I want to talk to you about what you need to know about buying an RV. I’ll mostly be talking about travel trailers and 5th wheels but, really, these things apply to Motor homes as well.

Buying an RV, whether a trailer or a Motorhome, is a pretty big investment and will be one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. Right behind marriage, a new house, having kids and what vehicle you want.

It also includes learning how to tow it properly and/or driving it. The bigger the trailer the harder it is to park it and the same goes for Motorhomes.

 

What are My Choices?


Fun For 1 or 2

First, you need to know what you want and what your choices are.  Well, let’s see. Is a travel trailer (14 ft – 32+ ft) or fifth wheel (bigger and more room) the right choice?

Do I want a teardrop trailer or a “Tent Trailer”? Do I want a small travel trailer designed for a couple or a 32+ footer for a family? Does it need to be rugged for off-road travel?

Then there are the fifth wheels. Small, medium, large, sleeps 4-6-8 or more. Do I need a toy hauler?  Those come in different lengths as well mostly big.

Motor homes are the same deal. Do I want to purchase a Class A, Class B or Class C and what are the differences between them?  Do I want 20 feet, 30 feet or more?

Maybe all you want is a truck camper. They come in a variety of sizes as well and some models come with pop – outs.

 

What Kind of RV’ing Do I want to do?


Freedom In the Back Country

Is your big dream to camp “Off the grid/boondocking”? If that’s the case you will either want to check out generators (at least 3500 watts so you can run the air conditioner) or solar power (a minimum of 200 watts to keep the batteries at maximum). Or you may want a combination of both just in case it’s a gloomy day.  Some research will give you an idea of what you will need.

Ask questions and make sure that you can get what you want in your RV.

Perhaps you just want to camp at an RV resort or other privately owned camping grounds that have electricity, water, and sewer hookups. Most will have all of these, some will have water but not electricity, some might not have sewer hookups. Most RV Camping guides will have a list of these amenities for each RV park or Resort.

If they don’t have electricity, then you will still need one or the other or both of what I mentioned above.

Are you considering 4 – season camping? In that case, you will need an RV that has extra insulation, heated tanks and, a sealed undercarriage in order to avoid frozen pipes and tanks in the winter. Sorry, more questions.

 

How MUCH do I Want To Spend?


Not 1.38 Million But Still Big Bucks

And now we come to the dreaded “Budget”. You could just spend a few thousand for an older RV like the one pictured above and fix it up. That is an excellent option if you’re a handyman.

Or, if you want new, you might be looking at $10,000 – $25,000 for a teardrop all the way up to $1.38+ million or more for a top of the line state of the art Motorhome. Some people spend way more than that. How much do you want to spend?

And remember that some RVs have options that you can add on.  Not everything you want will be standard equipment so the more options you included the more your unit will cost.   It all adds up so, if you don’t need it right away, put it off until you can make it work.

 

Endless Questions


I could go on and on. Do you want it Solar ready or already installed? Do you need interior space when you’re parked… 1 slide-out or 5 or NO slide outs. Or, are you good with just the basics?  Do you need bunks?  Are you planning to do a lot of traveling in your RV or just short trips to the nearest RV park? Boondocking or not boondocking?

See what I mean? The questions can be endless but they’re questions you have to ask yourself when buying an RV whether it’s your first or your second or, in our case, third.

My wife and I just recently purchased our third travel trailer. Our first had bunks because we had our granddaughter living with us. When she moved out and didn’t want to go with us anymore we bought one without bunks.

Now we are a little older and retired and we want to save money on gas so we bought a smaller trailer just for the 2 of us and our dog. It’s perfect for us. We have enough storage for our needs and it’s functional for us.

We looked online and went to several dealerships before we made up our minds. It was a great experience.

 

Do You Have A Tow Vehicle? (Rabbit Hole)


Definitely Needs Some Work

I know, it’s not a Ford F 250 or a Dodge Ram or a GMC but, if you don’t have A suitable tow vehicle, that is something else you will need to consider. This one would look rather nice if it was fixed up though. Spruce up the engine? Vintage truck pulling a vintage trailer?

On the other hand, if you DO have a tow vehicle and you’re new to this RV life you need to know what your vehicles towing capacity is and make your purchase based on that information. You can find a towing capacity chart here.

If you’ve been RV’ing for a while you know that backing up a trailer and tow package is NOT the same as just backing up a vehicle. There’s a learning curve there too. I remember the first few times I tried to park our travel trailer. Good thing I had my wife as part of the team.

If you’re on your own, you can install a good backup camera to help with hitching your trailer.  Some of the newer trucks now come with the backup camera already installed.

And if you’re thinking about purchasing a Motorhome and towing a vehicle (commonly known as a dingy) behind your coach, you can’t back it into a spot without unhooking the vehicle. Not doing this can and will have serious consequences.

 

Websites Are A Good Source As Well


Websites Are Great Places To Find What You NeedIf you are new to RV’ing, websites are a valuable resource. Maybe you have already checked out a few of these. It all adds up so, if you haven’t, I suggest checking them out. They are a great place to get a feel for what you might like. They offer different models, sizes, floor plans, and even interior decorating combos.

You can visit manufacturer websites as well as retailer websites. there is bound to be a couple of the latter in your area to choose from. In fact, visit as many as you have time for and don’t make any decisions until you are ready. DON’T let the sales guy convince you otherwise. you need to make sure YOU pick the one that is right for you.

On the manufacturer side of things, there are many in North America. Here are a few you can check out.

And many more. Too many to list here. Just key in RV Manufacturers in North America. Google the same in your country and you will probably get a similar list.

 

Magazines as a Resource


One of these is worth $1.38 Million

I was checking out the 2019 Good Sam RV Buyers guide the other day and there were more than 600 new models included as well as other information related to the subject. There’s something to suit every budget and every need.

In North America, there is RV Lifestyle, Trailer Life, and Motorhome as well as one for Snowbirds. These are full of great information and also have reviews on different RV’s in each edition.

Trailer Life also publishes an annual towing guide that is available at https://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides. You should be able to find out all you need to know there and the guides go back quite a few years.

 

Do An Inspection


Again, let me say that whatever you decide on, please, don’t be rushed to close the deal especially if you’re buying a new RV. And for that matter, this counts for used ones as well.

New trailers and Motorhomes are all nice and shiny and it’s exciting to finally know what you want. But, and this is something my wife and I learned, take a closer look. Take a flashlight with you so you can see inside darker areas.

Check out the quality of the product. Not all trailers are the same quality so, here are some things to look for.

  • Gaps between the cabinets.
  • Cupboard doors – solid or flimsy. One trailer we had… the door joints started to separate after just one season. We had to have them replaced. Yeah, the second set did the same but I was able to fix them myself (cabinet maker and finisher).
  • Check the shower enclosure. Step into the shower to see if the floor is solid, doesn’t move up and down. Check the caulking around the enclosure. This is especially important if the shower is a corner unit.
  • Look in places they don’t expect you to look like inside the cabinets and storage areas. (This is where the flashlight will come in handy).
  • Check for dust and metal filings or exposed screws and nails, unacceptable wiring or plumbing.
  • Look down the sides of the exterior walls for any bumps or bubbles and other defects.
  • Check the undercarriage and make sure it’s all sealed up properly with no gaps where things like drain pipes and plumbing come through.
  • Check to make sure all the tape joints and moldings are tight and fit properly.
  • Make sure they give you a proper walkthrough of your unit and explain how everything works.  If you’re not sure you understand, ask questions.

Bottom line?  BE THOROUGH!

If you have any doubts check out online chat rooms to see what people might be saying about the RV your interested in. If there are any serious issues, they will more than likely be found in these forums.

Most RV retailers won’t let you test out a trailer but you can do that with a Motorhome. If your new to RV’ing and a Motorhome is the one for you, if you can, rent one for a week or two to see how you make out and if it really is for you.

You don’t have to go far but don’t just take it around the block. Start with a short trip, get used to how they handle on the freeway if it’s quiet or noisy (squeaks).

 

Financing


What Kids Think
What Kids Think

This is not a popular topic but I think it’s one that has to be covered. I talked a little about this earlier when I was talking about “How much do I want to spend”

Right off the top, I want to advise you NOT to sign up for a multi-year plan to pay off your RV. It may be that your RV is, say, $14,000 – $16,000 but if you pay that off over 5+ years it’s going to cost you $1,000’s more in interest costs. It all adds up so, if you’re spending $30,000, $50,000, $100,000 or more, well… you’ll have higher payments, It will take more years to pay it off and those interest charges will just skyrocket.

I mentioned earlier that you shouldn’t be in a big hurry to buy that RV of your dreams, here’s why. My wife is very a smart cookie when it comes to finances (she was an accountant for over 25 years) so when she talks money, I listen.

Because of her smarts when it comes to money, we have always, for the most part, managed to put
enough money aside when we want to make a significant purchase. She is so smart that we managed to pay for our current travel trailer 100%, No bank loans, No private financing. I’m pretty sure that someone wasn’t very happy about that.

Now, I know that’s not possible for everyone, I understand that but, I would urge you to seriously consider saving as much as you can so you can finance as little as possible. In this day and age, it just makes financial sense.

 

Extended Warranty or No Extended Warranty?


This is the last thing I want to cover in this post and for sure there is some controversy over this issue. Some say you don’t need an extended Warranty and some say they are a good idea. Personally, I like them and because we have had them on our RV’s we have saved because of them, our second one especially but that’s another story.

I mean, you just never know when something is going to come up and it could cost hundreds or even thousands to get the issue resolved if you don’t have an Extended Warranty (EW). You know, things happen. Things break down.

We have been able to get what I would call a pretty good EW. It covers bumper to hitch for 5 years and only cost us an additional $1500.

They really shouldn’t cost too much more than that. If your dealer tries to talk you into paying a couple of thousand more, then I would consider going somewhere else. Oh… and don’t let them talk you into financing that EW.

 

Closing Comments


Well? I know there is a lot to digest here and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered as well as other things that need to be addressed when purchasing an RV but, they are all things that need to be considered when we are buying an RV and we shouldn’t take that lightly.

There are sharks out there in the RV world as well that will take advantage of those who are lacking knowledge, especially first-time buyers.  So… be aware and do your research… of the product and the retailer.  You can even check out the BBB (Better Business Bureau).

We are going to be living in this RV and possibly enjoying it for many years so, we want it to function well for our needs. It really is not that much different than that first house or that first car.

My main concern here is that I have helped you in some way and that your first/next purchase will go a lot easier.

RV’ING is a lifestyle with a steep learning curve. When you find the right one for you and or your family, I hope you will have many happy memories. It all adds up so, if you’re new to this and aren’t sure what to do, find a place close by and start there with short stays until you get familiar with your RV.

You can start with checklists for set-up and break-down, for things you need to take with you. We’ve been at this for a while now and we still use lists just to make sure. You know what? We still forget things from time to time, to time.

Check out some of the other people around you and see what they are doing. Ask questions. Seasoned RVers are more than happy to share their experiences and tips they have learned along the way and you will for sure make some new friends as well.

Well, that’s about it for now. As I said, I hope this has been helpful and if you have any questions or comments, I would be happy to help in any way I can. I would also like to hear your stories surrounding your RV purchases, things that you were looking for and stuff you learned during the process. Until then…

Happy Camping and Please Drive Safe,

Wayne

Owner of RV Safety Tips and Tricks.

29 thoughts on “What you need to know when buying an RV

  1. Hello, Richard and thanks for your comment and your question and my apologies for the delay in replying to your question.  I’ve been sidetracked as of late.

    Reading your comment, I’m glad you found this post and yes, there are a lot of things to take into consideration.

    I thought my wife (who has a more practical brain than I) and I had it together pretty good when we bought our second RV but, when I started doing my own research for our third, I was a bit blown away at the stuff I was discovering and how much we had actually missed.  It certainly was an eye-opener.

    Whether you decide to buy new or used, I think it comes down to personal preference, what you need and what you can afford.  Things have changed so much over that last decade research has to be at the forefront.  

    Our (my wife and I) own personal preference would be to buy new with an extended warranty (no more than 5 years) or you could buy an RV that is only a couple of years old and still has a couple of years on an extended warranty.  As I said, though, you have to do what’s best for you and your family.

    I hope my answer makes sense and, in the end, re-read my post, heck, print it off and take it with you when you start your search and don’t let the sales guy talk you into something you don’t need.

    I wish you all the best and many happy camping experiences should you get another RV.  If you do, let me know how it goes.  In the meantime,

    Happy Camping and Drive Safe,

    Wayne

  2. Hello, Jill and thanks for your wonderful comments.  Please accept my apologies for taking so long to reply.  I have been somewhat distracted the last little while.

    I can totally relate to your experiences only in the opposite direction.  We were pulling a tent trailer up through one of our highways here in B.C. going to an RV resort.  The hill was steep and long and we watched the engine temperature slowly rise to the danger point.   We had a vehicle that was not capable of towing even the weight of our tent trailer.  Ugh! 🙁

    Your experiences are precisely the reason I wrote this post.  So many folks out there just don’t know what to do or look for when thinking of their first RV purchase.  I should have written this one a long time ago but I too was inexperienced when I first started this journey online.

    Having said that, I am glad you found this post so that the next time you go and search for that perfect RV you will know what to expect and look for.  I will always tell people to do their research, research, research before making that final decision and always keep that budget in mind as well.

    I don’t know if you bought new or used but if you bought from a dealer they should have asked you what kind of tow vehicle you had and told you whether or not it was capable of towing the RV you had purchased.  Keep that in mind when you are searching for that next RV.

    Saving as much as you can is also a great Idea.  Save it all if you can.  No interest payments are way better than paying a few thousand dollars more over a 5-7 year payment plan.  If you thinking of a motorhome, those payment plans can go on for several more years, (Upwards of 20 years), and of course, we know that will add up to several thousand dollars more.

    In the event that you and your husband purchase another RV, let me know how it goes and what you got.  In the meantime,  Happy Camping and Drive Safe,

    Wayne

  3. Hello, Femi and thanks for your comments and how this post can relate to other purchases.

    I had that same experience (major rust in floor areas) with a vehicle I purchased.  I didn’t know what I had gotten until I noticed that the carpets were very wet in the winter.  found major rust issues in the floor.  You could see the road.

    You could say that I also learned a little from that experience and although this has little to do with my topic it does show that we have to be very aware especially when it comes to buying something used and that includes cars, trucks, houses, and RVs.

    You should know exactly what you are getting BEFORE you buy anything these days because there are many out there that will try to hide things on the unsuspecting.

    So thanks again for your comments.  Very valid points,

    Wayne

  4. Hi, Linda and thanks so much for your comments and your brief story about your RV.

    This is no reflection on you so don’t think that I’m judging because this happens to many who are purchasing their first RV whether it’s a new one or one that’s used.  I probably would have made some of the same mistakes if I wasn’t married to my much more observant wife.

    I’m sorry that your first experience turned out the way it did.  Buying something newer from a dealer is probably a good idea but, If you are thinking about an extended warranty It would be better to buy new and no more than a 5-year extension on the warranty.  They just get too expensive after that. 

    As my post suggests, there are just so many things to consider so I’m glad you found my post and I’m glad it will help you with your next decision.  Research is, as you now know, the key to making a wise decision.  Make sure to check out dealers and product manufacturers through the BBB.

    I wish you all the best in your hunt and, Please, let me know how it all turns out.

    Wayne

  5. We’re looking at buying a family RV (Me, the Wife and our 2 Sons) and I’m so glad we haven’t done it yet because this article has really made me stop and think. 

    We thought we’d covered all the eventualities but there is so much that you point out here that we hadn’t even considered. 

    Do you recommend that people who don’t really have the experience and knowledge of things to look out for (like me) buy new if we can afford it, and if we do that, would you still recommend the extended warranty?

  6. Getting a new RV is a pretty big investment and as you said is a very big decision to make. It all depends on two things. Your needs and your budget. These two will define the kind of RV choices you will be having. But there are so many options and types out there that sometimes it can be overwhelming to search for the right one for you. 

    Thanks for the info you provided as it definitely helps those that are on the lookout for one.

  7. Hi Wayne, Reading this great post made me itch to get out on the open road again.

    How right you are about checking everything out before you buy. Years ago, my husband I bought a Travel Trailer, really on the spur of the moment. It was really great but we had not thought of the weight of the Trailer and it was really scary driving down a mountain pass and seeing the jolly thing almost passing us in the car. 

    Our car was certainly not meant to drag such a weight about. That and the state of some of the Trailer Parks we stayed at was quite off-putting for a rookie like me.

    Another thing that was a complete turn off for me was the fact that my husband would travel along merrily, not realizing the time, and we would end up exhausted, with three unhappy children and a wife who quite frankly was ready to commit a murder. Then there was still the fire to make to cook the barbeque.

    All that drama aside, I would really love to go on a trip in either an RV or a Travel Trailer, only this time on my terms.

    There are some really fantastic Trailers and RV’s out there which would be great to buy. As you say getting finance is not the right way to go. Far better to save up as you save on not having to pay finance costs on top of the price.

    Thanks for this really great post. Most enjoyable and informative.

    All the best on your next trip.

    Jill

  8. Hello Wayne,

    What a comprehensive piece on tips for purchasing an RV! Thank you for going to such lengths to set out the various things to consider. 

    I don’t have any experiences using an RV or many experiences of camping in general though I was at a Christian music weekend away festival recently where I saw lots of RVs. I was really fascinated by the variety. 

    Your advice, however, on being thorough when purchasing an RV is something I can relate to. I recently purchased a used car and I wished I was as thorough in the way you recommended when purchasing an RV, because a few weeks after the purchase when I took the car for a wash I discovered a small hole in the floor of the car where the passenger riding next to the driver sits. It was hidden by the mat you normally have in the car to stop dirt from collecting /staining the car. Luckily for us, the hole does not affect the functionality of the car. So you can never be too thorough. 

    As I said, your piece is a valuable resource for anyone considering RV purchase, and I will definitely be referring your website to friends. 

    Kind regards

    Femi

  9. Hello, Zihad and thanks for your comment/question.

    Based on your question, I am led to believe that where you live there isn’t too many of these RV’s around.

    So… To answer your question?  Yes, they can be used both for living and for travel.  In fact, many in North America and other parts of the world are living in their RV”s “Full Time”.  It is a very inexpensive way to live plus you have the freedom to travel to places without the expense of a hotel.

    Most trailers and Motorhomes are all self-contained which means that they have a kitchen, bathroom with shower, cabinets for storage and a bed.  They also come with tanks for fresh water, dishwater and what is called Blackwater.  So, yes, you can live in them but you would have a hard time finding one for a $1000.  One like I have described here would cost a minimum of about $14,000 US dollars.

    Hope that answers your question and I’m so glad I was able to show you something new.  Life is all about learning after all, isn’t it?

    Wayne

  10. Hello, Ilaisaane and thank you so much for your comment.

    That is the whole purpose of this website, to help others make better choices and, in the process, create better RV experiences.

    And You’re right, it’s not just about going out and buying an RV and that’s it.  For me that a real issue because the RV industry isn’t perfect and some salesmen are very quick to pick up in a buyers lack of knowledge and will try to sell them something they DON’T need instead of helping them through the process and help them make a good decision about an RV that suits their needs and not the salesman’s pocket.

    All the things I have listed here are important questions to consider when making this big decision.

    Petrol/gasoline is expensive here in Canada too, especially here in British Columbia.  Upwards of $5.00+ a gallon so I understand your concern.  If they are available in your country, I would suggest getting, what is called, an “Ultra Light”.  They are made with aluminum frames and use lightweight materials on the interior and exterior to finish them off. 

    My best advice is for you guys to do your research.  Products, how they are made, and even check out the dealerships online to see what kind of a reputation they have.

    My wife has been to your country.  She tells me it’s very beautiful (God is the best artist) so, I hope you get to explore more of it soon.  If you do purchase an RV, let me know how it goes and about your experience with the dealership.  I’d love to hear about it.

    Happy Camping and Drive Safe,

    Wayne

  11. I just recently bought an older camper and just as you tell us in your article, I sure didn’t think it through. I really needed to have that flashlight. 

    Number one for me, it only has two wheels and since then, I believe there is more stability with a double axle. Wow, I sound like I know something! Ha. Not true. Learning as I go. I should have found you sooner.

    Since it is older, my camper needs to be updated and I found out it needs several repairs. No holding tank, no battery for electric, no floor under the back bed space. 

    I am going to look for a newer model that I can get from a dealership. I know it will cost much more money up front, but I will be taking my flashlight to examine the dark spaces, and I will opt in for the extended warranty.

    Thanks for the heads up. I will buy with confidence now. That first experience was definitely an eye opener. 

  12. Hi, Matthew and thanks for your comments and question.

    Totally agree.  It’s nice to remember those moments of freedom and being able to create memories with someone you love, isn’t it?  Brings back memories of the first times my wife and I Tented after we were married.

    When the memories are good it can and does awaken the need to create more with our families. 

    Things have changed a lot since your old Rockwood days.  advancements in technology and design have produced RV’s that go beyond our imagination.  Homes on wheels with, in some cases, more luxuries than we have at home.  There are so many options now it can make one’s head spin.

    But, to answer your question… It really comes down to budget and what you want that’s going to make an RV functional for you.  You say that you have 4 children so, you could opt for something that has double bunks on both side walls, usually in the rear of the RV, in which case you would probably be looking at spending a minimum of about $25,000 and a length of about 30+ feet.  

    They also make models that have a door that separates the bunkroom from the rest of the RV.  Perfect for those “Boisterous” children.

    Another option you might want to consider… Are any of your children old enough to sleep in a tent? That would help cut down on costs related to a bigger RV.  Something to consider 

    Coachman RV makes one called “FREEDOM EXPRESS SELECT” that comes in at 7600 LBS GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and a UVW (unloaded vehicle weight) of 5638 LBS.  The difference would be how much weight you can carry (truck and trailer combined).

    This is only one option of many that are available.  As I wrote in my post, do the research.  Figure out what you need, visit websites and RV shows/dealers.  There are a lot of questions that need to be answered so my advice would be not to rush into anything or let the sales guy talk you into anything.

    Know what YOU want and your family needs and stay in control of the outcome. 

    I hope this helps and, if and when you make a decision, let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your story about your experience.  In the meantime,

    Happy Camping and drive safe,

    Wayne

  13. Thanks for your comments, M and I’m so glad that you found this site.  Everyone has a first time when they want to enter into this lifestyle.  Now you have a better understanding of what to look for.

    And you know… If you’re looking for just the basics, eating and sleeping, even the “Tear Drop” trailers have some pretty cool options like small TV’s, a little kitchenette in the back and even some storage cabinets inside and even a small propane tank for a two burner stove.  Some even have a small refrigerator.

    Here’s a couple of links to one that I think is pretty cool, 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaA2_z8CTWw
    https://escapod.us/

    They are a bit pricy at $16,000 – $20,000 but it gives you an idea of what is available in a “Tear Drop”.  These appear to be well made and rugged with quite a bit of storage for your stuff.  You have to figure out what it is that you want and how much you are willing to pay.

    Come back to my post for a rehash and good luck with your search.

    Let me know how it turns out,

    Wayne

  14. I don’t have any experience when it comes to recreational vehicles but I have often wondered what it would be like to have a small trailer for camping purposes.  It would be one of the smaller models that cover the basics for sleeping and eating.  

    I definitely would need some guidelines to follow before considering a purchase so I’m glad I found this article.  It will give me a head start as I look for my first RV. 

    As with the purchase of many products, there are always people trying to make you spend more than you need.  It is good to know what is not necessary to buy when acquiring an R.V.  Thank you for the warnings.

  15. Wow!!!

    This is amazing. Car homes!! I did not know about these RVs. This is so interesting. Can I use it for both living and traveling?? If yes, then how much I can go with it? 

    The RV you have shown in the first picture in this article, I liked that line the most. I dream to have such RV like that. But budged is the most important matter. $1000 for a new one!! So big for me.

    However! This is amazing to know about something very interesting like these. You have taught me something new.  Thanks for sharing. 🙂 

  16. You have given me so much to think about. My husband and I are looking at purchasing our very first RV. We have always planned to get one so that we can travel through our beautiful country (New Zealand) as part of a family holiday.

    I thought that you just needed to go buy an RV, and trust that everything is okay, and didn’t need to think about other important things. I never knew that gaps between cabinets and bumps/bubbles on the walls mattered.

     After reading your list of tips and what to look for, I need to have another discussion with my husband. He is not as practical as I am, and will just buy anything, without checking.

    I like how, you have, also included options for saving money. At the moment, our biggest budget concern, is petrol, of course, it does not look like it will be going down anytime soon.

    Thank you for such a valuable article, it has been of great help for our RV buying plans. Thank you.

  17. I loved my old RV but had to sell it when my wife was expecting our first child.

    We would travel all over just my wife and me and not have a care in the world just going wherever we wanted to.

    It was an old Rockwood that had an extendable top area to get more room when we weren’t towing it

    4 children later, I have been thinking about getting a family RV to take the whole family on a road trip and maybe even take a trip down memory lane.

    It’s been a while since I last looked around for a new RV so I am a bit out of the loop in what would be a good sized family RV so would you be able to recommend one that would fit 2 adults and 4 children who are all boys and they can get a bit boisterous so I would need to take that into consideration, lol

    Thanks if you can help me

  18. Hello, Daniel and thanks so much for your comment.

    As I mentioned in another comment,  it’s more important than ever, in our time, to do more things that are family oriented and, in my opinion, camping/RVing is one of the best ways to do that.  Memories are important not just for us but for our children as well. The time we spend with them now will be remembered for a long time.

    I also glad that I was able to give you information that will help you in the process of making this decision.

    You are right when you say they aren’t cheap but take heed and really inspect them. Look where they don’t expect you to look and really do the research.  Not just the product but the RV dealer you want to purchase from.  Check with the BBB and find chat rooms where people talk about the different trailers and see what they have to say.

    Come back and read my post again to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.  Let me know if you have any further questions.

    May you have many happy camping memories and, Please come back an let me know how things go.

    Wayne

  19. Hello, Ronald and thanks for your comment.  Glad I was able to introduce you to the “World of RVing”.

    Not being a camper is a great reason to give it a go.  There is nothing like getting away from the busy city life and experiencing the beauty and quiet of life in the great outdoors.  

    It’s a great way to relax and let go of the tension and stress that so often surrounds a busy life not to mention the memories we can make with the people we love and, you know… If you have children, it’s also a great way to give them some of the attention they soooo need.  They will thank you for it later.  

    Yes, A tow vehicle is a necessary evil for towing a trailer.  With all this talk about Global Warming (which I’m not convinced about yet.  I’ve lived long enough to know that weather changes) and Governments wanting us all to switch over to electric vehicles,  I hope it won’t too long before auto manufacturers come up with a viable electric truck with a decent range SND AFFORDABLE PRICE that won’t hit the pocketbook too hard.  

    If you’re really serious about wanting to look into buying an RV make sure you check out those links and Google “RV manufactureres” for more info.  And make sure you read my post again and take my advice.  There are sharks in the RV industry as well so, you’ll save a lot of money if you do.

    Just don’t be in a big hurry and do your research.  These two things are very important.  It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamor of the RV lifestyle so be cautious.

    If you have any further questions, let me know.  And, let me know how your search goes.

    Wayne

  20. I am not a camper and never owned an RV. Until I read your article I hadn’t given it any thought. You did a good job of explaining types of RVs from trailers, to motor homes to luxury RVs.

    You well-explained the issues surrounding financing and factoring interest payments into the idea of making a purchase, along with whether an extended warranty is advisable. 

    It was also very helpful to understand the need for a towing vehicle if you buy a trailer. You told us what to look for and to do research on websites and in magazines. The links to the various manufacturers was a bonus.

    These tips and tricks have made me want to check out purchasing an RV. It seems like you and your wife love RV’ing and your obvious enthusiasm is catching.

    Thanks for introducing this to me.

    God bless you!

  21. Hello Wayne, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I always wanted to have an RV for me and my family because we like to travel so much. 

    This is great to know and you have explained everything so well.  It is much easier now for me to make a final decision and I’ll save a little bit of money in the process. They are not cheap but definitely worth the price.

  22. Hey, Jenny, thanks for your comment.  

    I’m glad to see that you want to expand your horizons.  There are just so many beautiful places to see and you’re right, it is way too expensive to stay in hotels especially if you are on a tight budget.

    Traveling by RV opens up a bunch of new territories though because you have your hotel room with you where ever you go but keep in mind the things I have written here in my post.

    Ask yourselves all the questions and do the research.  Decide what you want and how MUCH you want to spend and, if possible, pay cash. Doing this will save you thousands in the long run.

    I have heard some things about a particular dealer that don’t make me very happy.  This dealers name is Camping World.  Among other things I have heard that they have two ways of pricing their RVs.  One price (which is less) is for those willing to finance, (usually 5 – 7 years with interest which equals $1000s more) and the other is more for those wanting to pay cash.  Apparently, this is illegal in the U.S.

    They have also been known to add in extra charges under the guise of “It’s only another $10 or $20 more added to your payment”  I would recommend that you stay away from this company.

    Click on this link to see what I’m talking about.  Please, watch the video.

    This came as a shock to me because my wife and I shop there when we visit the U.S.  They have some pretty good deals on accessories but I’m beginning to wonder about that as well.

    I don’t know if I should be saying these things but I just want people to be aware of what’s going on.

    Follow my advice in this post and you should do well for yourself and your boyfriend.  Let me know how you make out.

    Happy Camping and Please Drive Safe,

    Wayne

     

  23. I want to get an RV to start travelling with my boyfriend. We saved some money and we want to go to a bunch of new places for a couple of months with some friends. We decided it would be better to get an RV than staying on hotels. It’s too expensive in some of the areas we’ll visit and at the end, we’ll have the RV for future trips.

    We definitely need one with electricity and with extended warranty. 

  24. Hi, JJ and thank you so much for your comment and question.

    Yes, there is a lot to think about when buying an RV.  However, I’m not entirely sure of what you mean by “fully self -supported”.  So let’s see if I got it right.

    If you’re talking about EW’s, they come in different size packages.  the more years you want to be covered, The more it’s going to cost.  I think we can all agree on that.

    However, as to the life of an RV?  That all depends on how well it’s taken care of.  It really is no different than that new house or car.  It will last for a good long time if it is properly maintained.  The RV owners manuals cover this in detail and it’s really up to the individual to make sure that it happens.

    Things like checking the tires and lugnuts, checking the sealant around the windows and the stuff on the roof as well as the corners where there are moldings on the front and back of the trailer.

    Then there’s checking the wheel bearings every 5000 miles or so and the undercarriage for damage and so on.  Just some general stuff that should be done every few months to a year.

    Just like you would keep a house clean and painted and take care of stuff that needs to be repaired, so the proper maintenance on your trailer or other RV and it should last for many years.

    Proper maintenance of an RV will be a topic of an upcoming post so, keep your eyes peeled.

    Hope that answers your question, JJ and, if there is anything else I can help you with, do let me know.  Until then,

    Happy Camping,

    Wayne

  25. Greetings, Mother of Matt 🙂 and thanks for your comments and questions.  

    Yeah, when my wife and I first got married we started out doing tent camping but then our granddaughter came to live with us so we upgraded to a “Tent” trailer.  This could be one option for you to consider.  They have one or two pull-outs, a small fridge, a little storage inside and across the front of the outside. Some, like Colman tent trailers, have a small pop-out on the side for a small dinette.

    It worked well for us until she got a little older and needed more privacy.  Then we upgraded to a travel trailer that had bunks.

    Teardrop trailers would be good for a young couple just starting out and who want to be adventurous.  They tow well behind a car or small SUV.   

    I’m not sure about your situation but if it’s just you and a husband this might work as well.  If there are children involved, however, it might be better to go for something a little bigger like the tent trailer or a small trailer that has a dinette that can be converted to a bed.  There are several options for this under 4,000 LBS.  Check out Forest River Inc.’s Cherokee/Grey Wolf/ Wolf Pup.  It weighs 3097 LB and is 21′ 5″ long.  The suggested retail cost is about  $16,500.

    If you think the teardrop would do, there is a pretty wide range depending on what your needs might be.  They run anywhere from around $10,000+ up to about $21,000+.  There are a couple of extreme versions (for off the beaten track) built by “Conqueror North America” That range between $31,000 and $50,000.

    If you buy “NEW” do your research on what you could expect to pay for an “Extended Warranty”.  I have heard some disturbing things out there about some customers getting talked into expensive ones and paying for years.

    Going to be doing some research an that as well to see what I can find.

    Anyway, I hope I haven’t given you to much to digest here.  I suppose the main things would be, what will your budget allow and what your needs are.  Do your research (things I have mentioned) and I’m sure you will make the right decision for you.

    As I said, I hope this has been helpful and answered your questions. If not, you know where to find me.  And let me know what you decided.

    Happy Camping, Wayne.

  26. Hi Wayne, thank you for a discussion of what to look for in buying an RV. Some tips I would have guessed, but there are some that you mentioned that I would never have thought of, and I see how important it is to pay attention to every detail and ask all the questions. 

    Do you have any idea as to the life of an RV that is fully self -supported? My family is thinking of one and we will be using this and your site as a guide.

  27. We have actually been considering an RV.  Nothing big, just something beyond camping in a tent.  So we like the idea of the first picture of the one “fun for 1 or 2” is perfect for us!  Do you know what the price range would be for this one?  

    I did not really think about all of the considerations, other than I know I want to buy new, that way I know I am not getting someone else’s problems and it comes with a warranty.  I do also like the idea of an extended warranty which I always get on my vehicles.  

    Thanks for the great information!

  28. Hello, Vicki and thanks for visiting my site and taking the time to read this post.  Definitely send your friend over to have a read as well.

    Not sure if the Good Sam one is available on the newsstands but I sure they could pick one up at Camping World if there is one in your area.

    Retirement… gotta like it.  That’s what we just did and because we live in a 50+ co-op that has some spots for RVs, we bought one that is 25FT 4IN long.  They call them “Couples Coaches”.  Some are smaller which would make them more convenient for singles as well.

    Give your friend a “Happy Retirement” from me and send her along.  If She has any questions, I would certainly be glad to answer them to the best of my ability.

    Thanks for the comment,

    Wayne

  29. My friend has been searching for good articles about RV’s and she is going to love this site.

    She is retired and wants to upgrade her current smaller trailer for alive in comfort RV. I might buy the magazine for her and I am definitely recommending she visit your site to learn more tips and tricks

    Thank you

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