Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Before we bought our RV I researched the RV Life for months. Watching YouTube videos, reading blogs and hanging out in Facebook RV groups. I wanted to learn all I could before we set off on a life of full time RV travel. I learned that the most important step in this whole process is purchasing your RV.
Who better to give you advice on purchasing an RV than folks who have an RV. So I went to some of my favorite Facebook groups and I asked “What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting the RV life” And if there was anything they wish they knew before they got started?
Purchasing an RV can be an expensive and sometimes scary part of this new adventure. A big thank you to everyone who shared their advice. There were lots of tips shared but here is the advice seasoned RVers had on buying an RV.
PURCHASING AN RV
This is some good advice from those already living the RV life.
We love our RV! But I wish we would have looked it over a little closer. There were signs of leaks that we didn't notice because the were "slightly" covered. Probably still would have bought it but for less $$.
I wish someone had told me how hard it is to get repairs done in a timely manner!
Go to one of the big RV-Camper shows. Spend the weekend looking. Compare layouts. Usually each machine will have a handout that shows details and floor plan. Write your notes on these.
Pick a floor plan you can live in without relying on outside living space; rain, bugs, etc... Glad we picked the floor plan we did.
Spend a lot of time researching & trying out different types of RV’s so you have a better chance of buying the rig that really works for you.
If possible, rent a trailer or MH before you buy. We went through 2 trailers before we found what works for us. If we had rented, we would have learned we did not want an 18 foot trailer and did not like a wet bath. Cost us a lot of money to learn! And still ended up in a Class C. Read about this couples adventure renting an RV in Canada!
Check you home owner rules. In mine I can park an RV because it has a motor but not a trailer. Some won’t let you park an RV.
Do your research. Talk to people. Mostly get down there and test drive the RV if they’ll let you. We bought because the previous summer we rented at an Army outdoor rec in Anchorage. So we got to fully experience what we liked and didn’t like. Your situation may vary. We ended up buying a rental from a reputable dealer in Anchorage and the unit was very well cared for, only been driven 3 seasons (summer is the only season here in Alaska for RVs). Got a screaming deal on a 2017 Minnie Winnie 31K. Good luck.
Do not get one with slides. Just something else to break.
Get something with air conditioning!!! We don't have air con when parked and it's HOT!!!! Lol
If your rig needs to be in the shop for an extended stay finding another place to stay can put a real whole in your pocket! Especially if one person is still working 😳
Check the date of tire manufacture, make sure they aren't too old and not from China. Check brakes, tire pressure, seal around the windows if your not buying a new one, change the locks if not new, check roof and seal if not new.
Bigger is not always better. We downsized from a large Class A with all the bells and whistles to a small Class C. Love the simplicity, ease of driving, and the ability to camp in small campgrounds.....wish we’d done it sooner.
Pick a dealer, if you buy from one, that has a decent reputation for taking pride in their work.
If at all possible, get the largest refrigerator you can in your RV.
If you are looking at a 5th wheel, find one that you are able to use the bathroom and sleep in without using the sliders. It helped at overnight truck stops and when we were stuck in a 2 hour backup on I-10.
Make sure you can get to the bed/bathroom with the slide in.
Stand inside the shower and act like you're using it. Sit on the loo and act like you're using it. Unless you go through the motions you never know how uncomfortable these things can be.
Rent before you buy. Too many people have an idealized vision of RV-ing that does not match up with reality.
Be careful what you buy - inspect inspect inspect- check roof and ask about previous leaks and any upkeep of roof or window seals.
Research and do not buy new.
Understand that no matter what you spend on your unit, new or used all units are most junk and you will have repairs. These things are NOT made to be lived in full time although we do try to make that happen.
Make sure you have enough truck to pull a Travel Trailer with…
Give yourself tons of time, Research web, YouTube Etc. Visit dealerships, You will find the perfect unit. We did after 12 months.
Make sure you have plenty of closet space! I am joking. Kind of.
Please please always lift the mat in the front cab which I never did and push on all areas of the ceiling to check for softness and look in cabinets for anything.
I think the takeaways are do your research and have a plan. Have a budget and take time to find the right RV for you, even if you have to rent one first. It took us about six months of research before I started looking for an RV but then again I am on over planner!
Do you have any tips for those buying an RV? Share them with us.
The Penny Pinching Globetrotter
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