Buying an RV for the first time can be daunting. There are so many makes and models to choose from and of course, you can buy new or used. While RVs vary in price, any amount spent is an investment, so you want to take your time when choosing which RV to buy. The most important things to consider are why you are buying the RV, who it will be for, and where you plan on going with the RV. Having answers to these questions will help guide your decision making.
You also need to decide what features you will need the RV to have as well as those features you want it to have and these are not always going to be the same. You can choose between motorhomes and towable trailers and this choice will depend on your budget as well as your comfort levels. Also for a towable, you need to make sure you already have a vehicle that can tow it, or you will need to get one. Once you know the style of RV you want, you can narrow down the search.
Within the two main styles of RV, there are various sizes and comfort levels. If you are trying to ease into the RVing lifestyle, then a popup or trailer are better options. For more experienced RVers that want the comforts of home everywhere they travel, you can opt for larger units and fifth wheelers. With size variations, you also get pricing variations, so always keep your budget in mind. You also need to decide ahead of time if you are able to buy the RV or if it will need to be financed.
Once you have narrowed down what you are looking for, you can start looking for your RV. There are benefits and cons to buying a used or new RV and it is important to consider all of them before making a decision.
Buying a new RV:
Owning a new RV means that it is all yours. Nobody else has lived in it, everything is brand new, and there are no strange smells or stains. It will smell and feel like a new home. With a new RV, you have more flexibility in customizing the RV to meet your needs in terms of floorplan and features. New RVs also come with the manufacturer’s warranty. Despite the benefits, a new RV will be more expensive, will require higher insurance, and will have a higher depreciation value.
Buying a used RV:
USed RVs come “as-is” so there is not much customization and there is no manufacturers warranty. There can also be hidden maintenance issues, leaks, or problems. Older models are also less-fuel efficient and often come with outdated furniture, decor, and appliances. Purchasing a used RV will have higher loan interest rates too. There are also benefits to buying a used RV, specifically that they are cheaper and you can pay cash rather than financing. They have lower insurance rates and lower depreciation and as long as the previous owner took care of it, all kinks and issues are taken care of already.
The choice of getting a new RV is not one to be taken lightly and there are many facets to consider. The final choice will come down to your budget and your needs. Finding an RV that best meets the compromise of these two factors will work best for you. There is no point buying a brand new RV if it drains all your savings and you are left fretting over money. You need to decide what matters most and choose accordingly.
While many people frown on buying used, there are many used RVs out there in great condition. With the right amount of research you can find what you want. You will always be safer getting a used RV from a dealer rather than a private buyer as they usually inspect them and fix any problems before resale. Some dealers may even offer an extended warranty.
Consider all options before buying and be prepared to negotiate on pricing. Be patient and wait for a good deal to come along rather than jumping into the first offer you come across. Visiting RV shows is a great way to find good deals as well as buying at the end of the RV season. RV purchases are an investment, so think before you buy. With planning, you will find the right RV and can look forward to hitting the open road and saving on vacations.