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November 23, 2020

Complete Guide for RV Buying

Recreational vehicles have become the part and parcel of the modern-day lifestyle. Families today, including yours, prefer to go on a trip on their own mobile home, rather than spending excess amounts of money staying in hotels.

RV buying

Moreover, going on a trip with the RV will also bring them closer to each other as a family. There are various kinds of RVs that you can buy. In the end, everything will depend on your requirements, choices, and preferences.

 

Buying an RV is a simple process, but it gets complex and difficult with the enormous choices and varieties of the RVs available. In this guide we will talk about every single aspect that helps in the decision-making process for buying an RV.

 

Think of it as an investment that you are going to make for the sake of your family’s happiness and entertainment. There are luxurious RVs offering virtually every single comfort that you can imagine having in your mobile home.

 

In addition, you can also buy an ordinary RV that offers the bare minimum when it comes to amenities and services. In between these two very different types, there is a whole lot you can choose.

More importantly, buying an RV does require you to conduct some research on what will suit you the most. However, in this guide, we can only help you with the amenities and services that can be included in your RV.

 

The place where you can buy your ideal RV depends on your city of residence. You may get access to some prominent brands that sell RVs, or you can also buy them from a local dealership. From buying new RVs or older models, this guide will cover it all.

 

So, strap in as you are about to enter an amazing realm of recreational vehicles and at the end of this journey, buying an RV will seem like a piece of cake.

 

So, let’s begin…

What exactly is an RV?

We will first begin from the technical details that define the standardization of an RV. We are going to talk about the rules and regulations that must be adhered to if a vehicle is to be called an RV.

an RV

Definition of an RV:

Listed below are the Industry standard and government identified specifications of a vehicle that may be called an RV. Only after fulfilling these conditions can a vehicle be called an RV. So here goes…

●   It must be built on a single chassis. This means no matter the size, an RV must be built on a single chassis.

 

●   Measuring the RV from end to end, the area must be 400 square feet or less. In a more technical language, the horizontal projection of the vehicle must be around the measurements mentioned above.

 

●   Then we have the working mechanism that must also be considered. To be called an RV, the vehicle must be self-propelling, or it must be towed with the help of a light-duty truck. All vehicles that have home accommodation facilities inside and are self-propelling are considered RVs. Plus, if it is not self-propelling, then it must be pulled with the help of a light-duty truck. This means that if you are buying an RV that must be towed with your SUV, then it is also called an RV. It must adhere to all the laws and regulations set in the area by the local government.

 

●   More importantly, an RV must be used for temporary purposes. As per the government regulations, a recreational vehicle must only be used as a temporary living place. Or it can also be used when you are going camping or traveling through the country. Most of the time, the RVs are to be used for specific seasons and not for the whole year.

 

These are the major requirements that help identify an RV. Apart from this, we do have some other region-specific guidelines that must be considered when you are driving in an RV.

 

We are not here to discuss how you must drive your RV, as this is an RV buying guide. But just to give you an excerpt, in the USA, if the RV is parked in a special flood hazard area of SFHA, the elevation and anchoring height of the vehicle must be met.

 

However, there are some other sundry details that must be understood and followed while manufacturing an RV.

1.  Plumbing Standards: The Association of Adopted Standards has set some specifications and qualities that the plumbing of the RV must-have. These guidelines were created after closely observing  the lifespan, safety, and quality maintenance of the recreational vehicle. The latest edition of the plumbing standards came out in 2018 and is still followed today.

 

2.  Electrical Systems: Since it is a make-shift home, the electrical systems of the RV must also be built with extreme care and caution. Utmost attention must be given to the longevity of these systems and to their safety. Any mishaps within this system will be risky for the passengers. So, before you buy an RV it is essential to ask about the electrical system. Check for the ANSI/RVIA LV standards of the electrical systems before you buy an RV.

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Similarly, there are various other sets of regulatory recommendations that any RV manufacturer must follow. It then becomes your duty to inspect the vehicle that you are going to buy and ensure that it follows these standards.

Understanding the Categories and Classes of an RV:

You must have heard from a lot of people that buying a fifth-wheel trailer is the best choice that you will ever make. But, don’t follow the herd. Yes, RVs won’t cost a fortune, but they aren’t cheap either.

 

So, it is best that you first learn everything there is to know about  RVs, like its categories, classes, types, and other relevant features before buying one. Rest assured that moving forward with our RV buying guide, we are going to discuss in detail the different types and classes of these RVs.

 

Well, there are different categories of RVs and this will be discussed in two parts. In the first part we are going to talk about the Classes of an RV, and in the second part, we are going to talk about the types of RVs that are not categorized under the Classes of RVs.

Classes of RVs

1.  Class A: Modern, Luxurious, Tech-savvy, and Spacious. The Class A RVs are the beasts of the road. When they move, everything seems to come to a standstill. These types of RVs consist of so many different spaces that some of them have enough boot space to fit in your Lamborghini under the hood too. Well, that’s true.

 

Moreover, Class A RVs are setting the trends in this industry. They have a 6-wheel configuration and the driver seat is also included in the chassis. This means that this is a full-fledged cab with a passenger seat in the front, as well as a beautiful home.

 

Class A RVs are made in such a manner that they provide enough space for the whole family to live comfortably together as well as everyone getting their own space.

 

In these types of RVs, the passengers can also move around even while the vehicle is in motion. Since the driver seat is inside the cabin, driving it is much simpler and comfortable.

 

The Class A RVs are also the biggest recreational vehicles out there. They are the giants of the RV world. From king-size beds to dishwashers and washing machines, all built within the RV, you won’t have to compromise with anything.

 

It is just like  getting up from your room and shifting to another room. Apart from space, everything is the same.

Rving Planet

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Pros:

●  Full-Scale luxury motorhomes. They have everything that you and your family will need for a luxurious travel experience.

 

●  Can accommodate the whole family of 6 to 8 people and still give them enough space to travel comfortably.

 

●  The driver and passenger seats are built within the single chassis cabin. This makes driving this RV much simpler and convenient.

 

●  They can easily handle heavier loads and have a lot of storage space.

 

●  You can also choose the slide-out models. Yes, the Class A motorhomes also come with slide-outs.

 

●  Feels like home and gives the comfort and convenience of the home too.

Cons:

●  Even though the Class A RVs are the best, they are not very fuel-efficient. The truth is that they have the worst fuel economy among all the other RVs.

 

●  They are expensive. You know how you read above that RVs don’t cost a fortune. Well, this one does. The starting range is $70,000 and there is no higher limit. Some Class A RVs may also cost $1 million. That’s a lot of zeroes, don’t you think?

 

●  Yes, they are easier to drive on long and big roads, but what about the narrow or tight spaces? A trip to the mountains won’t typically have a 6-lane road all the way. Eventually, you will have to cross some narrow mountainous strips. That is where the Class A motorhomes can become a bane instead of a boon.

 

●  Parking the Class A RVs is also a big problem, especially in the city. So, either you must have your own mansion, where parking won’t be an issue or go for another class of RV.

2.  Class B Motorhomes: Compact, small, convenient, and easier to drive around in. These sorts of motorhomes are basically vans converted into mobile homes. Now, it is evident that they won’t offer much space, so buying a class B motorhome is best for couples or for solo travelers.

 

The best thing about  Class B motorhomes is that you can ask the manufacturer to retrofit a van as per your specifications and needs. So, if you need one bed along with a small sofa, then you can ask the manufacturers to build one, provided there is enough space.

 

More importantly, Class B RVs will be more economical and provide the essential services you need without letting you spend a whole lot of money on them. They are also called campervans, and you can basically take them anywhere.

 

Since it is a van, the driver seat will also be placed within the chassis. And this  brings another important benefit to this vehicle. And do you know the best part?

 

Even though it is a van, you will get all the basic amenities inside it. This includes the kitchen, bathroom and that too with a shower. Yes, the space for everything will be much less than what you are used to

 

but the Class B vans are perfect for solo trips throughout the country. The average size of these vans is 17 to 23 feet.

Class B Motorhomes

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Pros:

●  Driving into the city or on tighter roads won’t feel like a headache with the Class B RVs.

 

●  It is all embedded in one chassis. You won’t have to get out of the driver seat and then back in again into your home. This adds to the overall comfort.

 

●  And if you want to add some extra space, just add another towable trailer to it. We are going to talk about the trailers a little bit later so don’t worry.

 

●  Parking is super easy and won’t take a lot of time. Just find a good spot and park it there.

 

●  When the campervan is not in use, then storing it is easier. There aren’t many things that you need to take before storing it away, so that’s an added benefit.

 

●  Super economical and great mileage. There isn’t much to worry about when it comes to the maintenance of this kind of motorhome.

Cons:

● There are some space issues with the campervans. You cannot get enough space to store all your things in this kind of van.

3.  Class C RVs: Not a big motorhome and not too small of an RV either, Class C is like a middle ground for the RV enthusiasts. When an RV has an extended section that goes above the front part of the vehicle that is a Class C RV, and that extra space works best as an extra bunk bed.

 

The first thing that any RV manufacturer needs to understand is how to use any space well, and this might prove to be one of the most sought-after RVs out there, because of the convenience it offers as well as the lower cost and fuel mileage.

 

These kinds of motorhomes are made for those who want to accommodate more than 4 people in a van. They have all the services that you will get in a campervan and much more than that.

 

There is extra space, more amenities, a better driving experience and much more. The average size of the Class B RVs lies between 20 to 30 feet. The one difference between the Class B and Class C RVs is that the Class B RVs cannot tow another vehicle or a trailer, whereas the Class C campervans can.

Class C RV

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Pros:

●   They are easier to drive and travel in. With the Class C RVs you might be compromising with a few services and amenities that are offered by the Class A RVs but at the same time you are getting something better than the Class B motorhomes. They provide the comfort factor and are better than their smaller counterpart and at some parts maybe better than the bigger RVs.

 

●   Here too, the driving and the living area are connected. You won’t have to climb up and down from either side. In other words, moving inside the RV is easier.

 

●   The cockpit of Class C motorhomes is more accessible and driving them is also easier. More importantly, they are safer and better than others.

 

●   The size of the Class C motorhomes is not too big. So, driving through narrow roads or even parking in tighter spots is not that difficult.

Cons:

●   There are some big models of Class C Motorhomes too. The issue is driving them as they are bigger in size and maneuvering them is not that convenient.

 

●   Even though there are larger models in this class of RVs, they cannot match the luxurious makeup and amenities of the Class A motorhomes.

 

●   Yes, you will need a bigger space to store them when not in use.

This was all  you needed to know about the three Classes of Motorhomes. All  three Classes A, B, and C have their distinct benefits and audience. For those who are looking to get everything, Class A RVs are the way to go.

 

Similarly, Class B and C also have their benefits and disadvantages. In the next part of this RV buying guide, we are going to explore some other RV types.

Travel Trailers or Towable Trailers:

Where the Class A, B, and C have the cockpits built within the single chassis, the trailers, as the name suggests, are towable. This means that they are attached to your vehicle and must be pulled.

 

Furthermore, you will need an SUV or a stronger car for this purpose. This is important. Towing the travel trailers without a good car is not recommended at all.

 

Also, you may need some special training for towing them. As they are attached at the back of your car, it is essential to learn the maneuverability and accessibility of these kinds of trailers.

1.  Fifth Wheel Trailer: These are the big bosses of towable trailers. Just like the Class A motorhomes, the fifth wheel trailers are the luxurious members of the trailer family.

 

They are the largest trailers that can be pulled with a car.  The front of this trailer is shaped like a dome  and it extends over the back of the car. Just like Class A RVs, the fifth wheel trailers have it all.

 

Be its spacious rooms, services and a whole lot of amenities, they have everything. Washers, dryers, king-size beds, living area, bunk beds, kitchen, microwaves, and basically anything you can think of.

 

And that’s not all as the fifth wheel trailers are also fitted with slide outs. So, when the trailer is parked, you can extend them even further, just like the magic tent that we saw in the Harry Potter movies.

 

All in all, they are heavier, safer and more comfortable than any other kind of trailer  you can buy. The average size of the fifth wheel trailer can be between 22 to 44 feet.

Trailer life

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Pros:

●  They are easily towable provided the driver of the car has the skills required to pull these kinds of trailers.

 

  Even though they are towed by the car, reversing with the fifth wheel trailers attached to the car is easier.

 

  They are spacious enough and provide an amazing overall experience.

 

  The fifth wheel trailers can accommodate up to 6 people in a family.

 

  They have bigger storage than all the other types of trailers.

 

  And the best thing is that the vehicle that you will be using for towing can also be used as a standalone car when the trailer is parked away.

Cons:

   The very first thing that you must account for is the parking space and the difficulties you may face when driving them. It so happens that the RV parks are mostly located in secluded areas. Sometimes, you may have to climb up the hill or down to the valley to find a good parking spot. And turning them is not as easy as it looks.

 

   In the city too, you will need a dedicated space to park them when they are not in use.

 

   Also, since there are a lot of parts and appliances fitted in the trailer, all of them need timely maintenance and care.

 

   The slide-out can become worrisome if it gets stuck and won’t slide back in especially when you are on a trip.

2.  Travel Trailer: Travel Trailers have a huge range of towable homes. Connected with a standard hitch mechanism, these travel trailers come in all sizes, colors, and shapes.

 

The weights of these trailers also vary as per the size and their length. Also, the choice of the towing vehicle depends on what kind of trailer you are carrying. For the smaller travel trailer, an SUV is enough and for other larger trailers, you may need a bigger truck to pull it away.

 

The size of a travel trailer can be anywhere between 10 feet to 40 feet. And depending on your choice, you will get access to all kinds of services and amenities.

 

It is evident that the smaller ones do not offer many services and offer very little space. On the contrary, the bigger trailers will have a lot of space and can be added with the amenities of your choice.

 

So, it is always suggested to make a checklist of the things that you want to include in your trailer, before you go out looking for them.

wandering RV

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Pros:

  The range of travel trailers is its biggest advantage. You can choose virtually from any kind of trailer that you like to buy.

 

  Here too, the tow vehicle can also be used as another vehicle for daily usage.

 

  As compared to other sorts of motorhomes that have an inbuilt cockpit, the fifth wheel trailers offer a bit more space . This is the space that was to be covered with the cockpit and the engine compartment that is not needed here.

 

  These trailers are not very high and hence they offer some extra space on the roof for storing the canoes. Plus, they are lower to the ground, and are easily accessible.

Cons:

  The travel trailers have a reputation for being one of the most difficult trailers to tow. The person driving the tow vehicle needs to be extra cautious at every step of the way.

 

  Where they provide extra space, courtesy of the tow truck, it is also difficult for the driver and the passenger to move in the trailer frequently.

3. Pop-up Trailers: As the name suggests, these trailers are compact versions of the travel trailers. Unlike all the other motorhomes, the pop-up trailers are affixed to a cabinet which can be stretched to a great extent.

 

These cabinets are made by the manufacturers to provide an amazing camping experience to the users. The pop-up tents are built to provide more convenience and are easier to move around.

 

There are some models that will pop-up and fold down on their own. While in others, you may have to work a bit and fold them down after popping them out.

 

The normal range of pop-up tents is between 8 to 16 feet. But unfortunately,  they come with less  amenities. So, what you gain in terms of easy maintenance and maneuverability, you  lose in terms of space and amenities.

Popup camper

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Pros:

  The Pop-Up trailers are one of the most affordable RVs that you can easily buy without having to worry about the expenses.

 

  Added to this, they are also light in weight and can be towed with a simple car or a truck.

 

  The towable vehicle can also be used as a separate vehicle.

 

  These tents fold down and provide an excellent clear space. Driving with the pop-up tents tied to the back of the trailer is very easy and comfortable.

 

  Storing them is also super easy and will not require a lot of work. When they are not in use, you can always store them in the backyard or even your garage.

Cons:

  The space is not enough for a whole family. Some of the members may have to sleep on the ground by installing a separate tent.

 

  The tent space is not at all accessible when you are towing the trailer behind you.

 

  There is not enough insulation in this type of tent, so it is not recommended for extreme weather. Even some strong winds can be damaging.

4.  Truck Camper: Lastly, we have the truck campers that are also the versatile versions of the camping trailers. Basically, the living area is attached to the back of a truck. These areas are accessible from the outside of the truck and they are built with all the amenities made inside the truck.

 

Since the makeshift homes are mounted on the back of a truck, it is also easier to drive them around. These types of trucks are also built with various external features like solar panels, battery banks and other useful gadgets for the camper to function better .

 

And if that’s not enough, you can also tow an extra pop-up trailer or even a small travel trailer behind your truck.

eagle cap camper

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Pros:

  Easily mountable on the back of the truck making it easier to drive around. Also, the cost of these types of trailers is not very high compared to its other variants.

 

  Driving them is also convenient and easier to maneuver around in tight spaces.

 

  And the fact that they can be mounted on the back of a truck is extra helpful just in case you have to take the truck without the trailer on its back.

 

  Since the mounted trailer is not very large, it can be stored away in a garage or can be kept in your backyard.

Cons:

●  You must make sure that your truck has the right suspension and can handle such weight. If not, then you may find it difficult to drive it.

 

●  Can only be taken out for smaller trips as it does not have that much space.

Price Range of Each Class of RV

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Yes, when you first think about it, you may find that RVs cost a fortune. And why not since you are getting a home on wheels and with all the services and amenities. But, is it? No.

 

Any recreational vehicle’s cost depends on its size, type, variant, model, and what it has to offer. You will find some RVs that are priced as low as $10,000 and some are also priced at $1 million.

 

So, when something has this wide price range, you cannot just go to the market and buy whatever you feel like buying. You must conduct some extensive research, understand what all the different models have to offer and then make a decision.

 

Even if it is $10,000 that you are spending, this is your hard-earned money and you are going to spend it on your family’s enjoyment. So, the least you can do is first understand the price range for all kinds of RVs.

Class A RVs:

Starting with the best and most luxurious motorhomes. The shining chrome and beautiful paint jobs are done on the exterior of the motorhomes. However, looking at everything that you will find in their interior , the price range of the Class A RVs lies between $50,000 and $100,000. The most luxurious ones can also cost you around $1 million.

Among the best brands that manufacture Class A RVs are:

  Newmar Corporation: They have been making RVs since the year 1960 and it seems that Newmar knows what that they are doing. Their RV has the best quality materials and equipment.

 

  Entegra Coach: They are also the masters of making the best Class A RVs in the country. When it comes to manufacturing diesel motorhomes, Entegra can be trusted.

 

  American Coach: If you are looking for some high-class Diesel RVs, then go for the American Coach. They are also good at making high-quality motorhomes.

 

  Winnebago Industries: the word motorhome is synonymous with Winnebago. They are known to produce the best quality motorhomes and are also a publicly traded company.

So, these are the most prominent and sought-after companies to buy Class A motorhomes from.

Class B Motorhomes

These are the van conversions and provide the best convenience. Utilizing the space well and offering everything in a limited area is the signature of every type or RV, but the Class B motorhomes have excelled in this area. 

 

These motorhomes are manufactured with the best in class amenities and services. Even though they are small and have lesser services, the Class B motorhomes can cost you somewhere between $40,000 to $100,000.

 

Yes, this their price range. It is a bit high considering that they do not have much to offer. But the Class B motorhomes are good in their driving convenience and everything else, hence the price.

The best manufacturers that you can find for Class B Motorhomes are:

  Coach House: This Florida company is famous for manufacturing one-piece fiberglass bodies that have a longer life span and are made to last.

 

  Leisure Travel Vans: This Canadian manufacturer has a lot of variety and luxury to offer with their travel vans.

 

  Pleasure-Way Industries: Pleasure is known for making both diesel and petrol-powered camper vans that are embedded with services and amenities that have it all.

 

  Phoenix USA: Phoenix USA’s 4×4 Camper Van option is one of their most famous models. They also manufacture all the other types of RVs and motorhomes.

Class C Motorhomes:

You must know what the differences are between Class A, B and C motorhomes by now. We have already talked about it in this RV buying guide. The Class C Motorhomes will cost you somewhere between $60,000 to $100,000.

 

And the price is not limited to $100,000. It can go way beyond. Here too, your choice of services and amenities you need to include will matter.

Check out the best Class C RV manufacturers:

  Lazy Daze: yes, they are the Class C RV manufacturers. Their build is very good and have some of the best RVs in this class that out there in the market.

 

  Winnebago Industries: Winnebago is a household name when it comes to manufacturing RVs. From small rigs to bigger ones, Winnebago can manufacture them all.

 

  Dynamax: Dynamax’s RVs are the best in this class as they build RVs on medium-duty chassis. Their RVs are strong, robust and made to be with you for a long time.

Travel Trailers:

The towable motorhomes are less costly than the other types of single unit RVs. Starting with the Travel Trailers, you can buy a trailer after spending anything between $10,000 to $60,000.

 

The higher end of the price range is because they have the best in class services and amenities that are embedded in these types of trailers.

The best manufacturers of Travel Trailers are:

  Outdoor RV Manufacturing: Want to buy the best quality Travel Trailer? This is it. Outdoor RV Manufacturing is famous for making all-season trailers.

 

  Northwood Manufacturing: Northwood makes some high-class RVs, but they are heavier than their counterparts. Plus, they are also making some of the best all-weather trailers.

 

  Oliver Travel Trailers: They are famous for making the dual hull trailers. This has made their manufacturing technique innovative and one which has been widely liked by its users.

Fifth Wheel Trailers:

The boss of the towable trailers, the fifth wheel trailers have a lot of space to offer. These trailers are the best if you want to go on a long trip with your family or friends.

 

The fifth-wheel trailers can cost you anywhere between $15,000 to $50,000. Note that this is the average price range. There are some fifth wheel models that are priced higher than this.

But which are the best fifth wheel trailer manufacturers:

   New Horizons RV: They are famous for making top-rated fifth wheel trailers. They also excel in making trailers for full time living. This means that their trailers are stronger and better in comparison with the rest.

 

  Grand Design RV: A brand that is owned by Winnebago, Grand Design is also in the race of building the best fifth wheel trailers.

 

  Northwood Manufacturing: Northwood also manufactures some of the best fifth wheel trailers. Their fox mountain models have lighter wheels where the Arctic fox models are great with their insulation.

Pop-up Trailers:

The lightest and the most versatile camper trailers out there, the pop-up trailers can be towed with even the lighter vehicles and cars. The price for pop-up trailers starts from $8,000 and the higher-end ones cost $20,000.

 

Moving forward, the pop-up tents are not very good to take out in extremely cold weather or in windy conditions.

Different Services and Amenities You Can Have In an RV and What Are Their Benefits

While buying Recreational Vehicles or a home on wheels, the buyers will be looking for different types of services and amenities. These services and amenities are added to the vehicle to give the highest level of comfort to the users.

 

The extent of services and amenities that you can get in the RVs also depend on the money that you are ready to spend on them. The more you spend, the better the experience you will have with your RV.

 

Some users also wish to get custom RVs made from the manufacturers. Here too, money plays a major role.

Let’s start with the Basic Amenities first:

●  Beds: Beds in an RV are important. Depending on the size, you may want to have double beds in your RV or even single beds. It so happens that the fifth wheel trailers, Class A motorhomes, and other bigger RVs have in-built beds that can accommodate 2 to 3 people.

Also, there are bunk beds, which are single beds that are also found in different versions of the RV. Even the pop-up tents have beds that can be extended and made into a comfortable space for sleeping.

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Beds are beneficial for rest and that’s all. You may think that you can do away with beds when you go out there to buy an RV. But no, it is essential to have as many beds as there are members in the RV.

 

You can also go for luxury or adjustable mattresses. These types of bedding are great for comfort and provide an amazing living experience to the users. When you want to watch TV or even read a book, a good mattress is essential.

●  Refrigerators: It is never a good thing to frequently visit the grocery stores when you are on your trip. It will increase your inconvenience and discomfort. So, having a refrigerator in the RV is also essential. And no matter what type of RV you have, you will get a pre-installed refrigerator in it.

And if not, then you must not buy that kind of RV. Think about what you are going to do when you want to preserve your overnight food. You cannot do that without a refrigerator.

●  Washers and Dryers: When you are about to go on a long trip, what will you do about clothes? Where will you wash them or more importantly where will you dry them?

It is not that you will get a river stream in every region that you are traveling to. It is going to be different. so instead of finding out innovative ways for drying your clothes, why not choose an RV that has an inbuilt dryer in it.

Washer dryer

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Now, it is evident that a washer and dryer won’t be available in the pop-up tents. But, these types of RVs are also built for short trips. You cannot take them on longer trips.

 

So, it is also essential to understand beforehand, what kind of trips you are going to take with your family. We are going to discuss several of these reasons going forward in this RV buying guide.

●  Levelling System: You may not realize the importance of an automatic leveling system until and unless you are setting your RV for the day in a dark spot with minimal light.

Well, you will, once you find out how convenient it is to use the leveling system in an RV, and you won’t go out on any trip without checking it. A leveling system is present in almost every type of RV and it must be maintained.

●  Kitchen Appliances: Having a kitchen in your RV is not a luxury. However, it is a necessity that you cannot ignore. Although with the pop-up tent and smaller travel trailers, it is not possible to have a kitchen in them. But, in other models, you must buy the ones which have an in-built kitchen.

RV Kitchen

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Within a kitchen, you must look for kitchen sinks, fridge, and cabinets for storing the materials and utensils, and of course, a cooktop. However, in other bigger and more expensive models, you will also get ovens and microwaves for a better  home-like experience.

●  Bathroom fittings: Here too, the small-sized RVs will not have a bathroom, or any such service preinstalled in them. For instance, you won’t get a bathing area in a camper van. You may get a commode and a small sink, but do not expect to have a bathing area while buying an RV.

Do you know what wet bathrooms are? Well, they are small rooms in an RV where you will have a toilet and a shower above it. Basically, you can take a bath while sitting on the toilet. Yes, this is not something you may have tried before. Well, here is your chance.

RV bathroom

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Spend some more money and you will get an amazing bathroom in a bigger space. Moreover, you can also get a bathtub in some versions. Other than this, a separate toilet, a sink and a couple of small closets are also available. The best thing about these bigger RVs is that they also have bigger septic tanks.

 

Due to this, you won’t have to make frequent stops for emptying the tanks. When you are buying an RV, you must also take care of the tank capacity and the disposal mechanism.

 

Everything has to be looked at if you want to get the best RV experience on a trip. You also need to check the leg space as you may find it really difficult sitting on a toilet seat in smaller bathrooms.

 

So, the smart move would be to go and check the bathroom first, before buying. If everything is comfortable, only then go for it.

●  Slide Outs: Well, this is not an essential feature, but it is downright useful. If you could get an RV that has this feature, go for it. The slide outs are a cool addition to the whole RV, and they add to the space.

Yes, you can only use them when you are standing still. But think about the increase in the space that you will get once you open them up. Slide outs are available with various RV models and types.

RV slide outs

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The only thing is that the slide out also increases the overall weight of your RV. And when you are boondocking, you may need to be careful as the slide out will invite unwanted attention towards your RV.

 

Here, what you should look for is an RV that has slide outs, but all the areas of the RV are also accessible when the slide outs are in, meaning that there are some models where without using the slide outs, you cannot move around comfortably or even sleep in your bed.

 

So, it is best to check everything first and then go for it.

●  RV Awnings: There are various types of awnings that you can get in an RV. Some models come with pre-installed awnings and for others, you may have to buy custom awnings.

There are acrylic awnings, vinyl, fixed, slide out, and automatic awnings. The maintenance and working mechanism are also different for these awnings.

Where the acrylic awnings are found in the majority of RVs, they provide good air circulation and protect you from the sun’s heat, can stop the rain, ice, and also protect you from bugs. Another good thing about them is that they dry up quickly. However, they can stop water but are not water-resistant. Meaning that if water clogs above the acrylic awnings it will start receding down.

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The vinyl awnings can also prove to be good and durable. The color of these types of awnings do not fade away and they are also scratch-resistant. Apart from this, they are better because they are waterproof.

 

The fixed awnings are not safe and can easily break. This is because you cannot roll them or fold them when you are driving. They remain erect and that is not safe for anyone, let alone the RV owner.

 

Lastly, there are the slide out awnings and automatic awnings. The automatic awnings are the most expensive and are found installed in the expensive RV models.

 

Further, the slide-out awnings are hand-operated, and they slide out slowly with the help of a lever.

 

The major benefit of these awnings is to give some shade and get shelter under a roof when it is raining. You know how camping is all about interacting with nature. What good will it do if you are still staying inside your RV when Mother Nature is calling you out to see a beautiful sunset or sunrise. It is at that time that you will get to understand the true value of awnings.

Luxurious Amenities for an RV

When it comes to luxury, the sky is the limit. While buying an RV it is evident that you will be looking for the basic amenities first and when you have got everything that you wanted out of the basic RV package, you can move on to something, more luxe and shinier.

 

Well, to that end, given below are some expensive amenities that you can have in your RV.

●  Entertainment Systems: Big flat-screen TVs are not something that you would get in every model or type of RV. Yes, they come pre-installed in some of the higher end RV models. But in others, you can replace the older ones with these new flat-screen TVs.

An entertainment system goes one step ahead of including the flat-screen TVs. We all know what  comes under an entertainment system. But, having such a luxury in an RV does not seem very feasible.

RV entertainment systems

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From high tech speaker systems to cable or Satellite TV receivers, you can have it all. Moreover,  these entertainment systems can also be found outside of the RVs and not only inside.

 

The outer entertainment systems are also added to the class and the extent of amenities that you can get in your RV. And do you know what is the best thing about them? You can never miss out on your favorite TV shows, even when you are out on a trip.

●  King Size Bed: Yes, it is a luxury and only a handful of RVs have a king-sized bedroom. For instance, the Foretravel ih-45 has everything an RV enthusiast would want. Priced at $1.3 million this beast of a motorhome has an inbuilt sound system, washer-dryer, multiple mounted TVs, big bathroom, mounted ACs and is built with such technology that reduces the incoming noise from the road.

What else are you looking for?

When it comes to having King Size beds in your RV, don’t go after the money,  if comfort is something that you want dearly.

●  Steam Room: Don’t get too excited just yet. We are only getting started. A steam room in your RV seems too much, right? But no. Luxury has no price and if you can pay for it, then why not have it.

The 2020 Prevost H3 has an Emperor Sauna Suite Floor Plan. And this is the RV in which you will get an inbuilt sauna. Isn’t it cool?

Prevost is also known to build some of the most amazing RVs to date. The Prevost H3 will cost you $2 million. But, in terms of services and amenities, you won’t have to look anywhere else.

It has the best in class services and amenities. Beverage maker, cooktop, oven, fridge, entertainment system, cool aesthetics, you name it and these kinds of RVs have it.

All you need is to spend some money on them.

Things you must know about Towable RVs:

Towable RVs are a bit different from the mainstream RVs that are built on a single chassis and have an inbuilt cockpit. Even though the towable RVs may have more space, they are not very easy to pull or tow around with the help of a truck or a powerful SUV.

 

There are a lot of differences in the towable RVs and single chassis RVs, going forward in this RV buying guide. We are going to talk about these differences and everything else you must know about the towable RVs.

Features exclusive to Towable RVs:

●  Towing: Towing and hauling these kinds of trailers is an essential skill. The driver needs to be trained in driving such kinds of trailers and most of all, they must understand the dynamics of driving such a vehicle.

 

Since the towable component is attached to the truck or SUV, they need to have a robust and strong attaching mechanism. Among the different towing parts, you can use the toy haulers or the stout fifth wheel for towing the trailer.

 

●  Weight of your Trailer: The trailer weight is again one of the most important things you must consider while buying it. Because not only you need to be aware of the weight, but also know whether or not your truck or SUV can pull such a weight.

 

There are models that are lighter in weight and add to the fuel efficiency, but still, these trailers have a lot of weight that you need to pull. Always check the weight of the trailer before buying it and then ensure the towing capacity of your truck.

 

This is essential because you cannot afford to get stuck in the middle of the road because your truck cannot pull the trailer.

●  Aerodynamic Design: We all know what is meant by aerodynamics. But the shape of the trailer should be such that it cuts through the wind smoothly. The higher the pressure with which the air strikes the front part of the trailer, the more difficult it will it be to pull it along.

 

That is the reason why you will find a dome-shaped front on most of the fifth wheel trailers. This is to ensure that the air does not inhibit the motion of the RV thus leading to a reduction in the fuel economy.

 

●  Leveling Systems in Towable RVs: We have already talked about the importance of the leveling systems in the towable RVs. In a towable RV, it is very important that you check what kind of leveling system it has.

 

Make sure that you are getting the one which has an automatic leveling system. Because it will be much easier and faster for you to work with an automatic leveling system rather than using one that needs to be set manually.

 

Further, the correct usage of the leveling system also depends on the type of ground  you will get in the area where you will park the trailer. An uneven campground or surface may require the usage of blocks to ensure stability.

 

●  Tents and Slide Outs: The popup trailers have foldable tents that extend out when needed. The pop-up tent trailers are really cost-effective and do not even require to be pulled with the help of a big truck or SUV.

 

The pop-up tents need to be made from good material. This is particularly important if you are looking to buy an old used RV. A pop-up tent that has holes in it is of no use to you. It won’t stop the water from leaking inside or anything else.

 

So, it is best to check everything before buying a pop-up tent RV.

 

Then we have the slide outs. These are more prominent in the bigger RVs, such as  the fifth wheel trailers or the bigger sized travel trailers. Slide outs increase the surface area of your RV, but they can only be used when the RV is not moving.

 

Well, until now we have discussed a lot about the different types of RVs, their features and everything else  you must know about them in this RV buying guide. Now moving forward, we are going to discuss about the motive of buying an RV. More importantly, we are going to answer the WHY and HOW part of buying an RV.

The Buying Process: Where to start your search when buying an RV

An RV buying process is truly overwhelming. There are a lot of things that you must consider before making the final decision. A lot of factors contribute in this process. There is money, comfort, services, durability, safety, and much more at stake.

 

And it is not like you will get an RV that has all of it. Where you are getting mileage, the services are not that prominent. And when you are getting the best in class services, there you must forget about the fuel economy.

 

So, there are things like these that you must consider.

Why Should you buy an RV?

Well, there are many reasons that can convince you to buy an RV. Let’s discuss them together:

1.  Vacation Time: When it comes to vacations, we all like spending them with our families, right? Well, then what is better than going out on a family trip in your own RV. That is if you are not taking a cross country trip, in that case, taking a plane would be a better option, pun intended.

 

RV vacations are fun and help bring the family closer. Plus, you will get to spend some quality time with your loved ones. It can be fun and adventurous all throughout the trip. You will get to explore new places and make some new friends along the way.

 

The campgrounds add another element of fun and friendship on an RV trip. In these camps, there are a lot of people who travel all through, and cross these boundaries leaving hundreds of stories behind.

 

2.  Your Trip Your Way: Another good thing about traveling in an RV is that you get to plan an impromptu stop anywhere you like. The freedom that you will get traveling with an RV is like nothing else.

 

You don’t have to worry about hotels, food, or anything else. Everything that you need is right beside you. And this is not even the best part. You can take long road trips to any place that is accessible by the road without making frequent stops.

 

Do you need to buy something? Just stop at the next supermarket. Do the kids want to go to the mall? Well, it is on your way.

3.  Money Saver: Yes, it is. Most people think that going on holiday in an RV will be more costly and tiring. Well, that is wrong. Think about all the money you are going to save on the hotels, taxis, and for traveling within the city.

 

And for the rest, like taking part in activities and all that, you had already planned to spend money on them.

 

Further, you can eat whatever you want and save money buying those fluffed and expensive burgers. Even when the prices of the fuel are soaring high, taking an RV is still cost-effective and made for easy and affordable travel.

Market R&D for buying an RV:

Well, here comes another good thing in this RV buying guide. We are going to understand how to conduct market research. Like what factors you must consider when you are searching for an RV.

 

We will also talk about the best RV manufacturers so that when you go to buy it, you are ready with your list of dealerships and also know which questions you should ask them first.

Where to Start?

Well, one thing that you must understand is that there is no wrong way to start your market research when buying an RV. This also means that whatever you do, you must take it as a first step.

 

As you progress, you will only learn new things. If you want to learn about how to start your market research here are a few tips!

 

What do you mean by market research? It is not something like  going door to door to every outlet and asking for the price and what  they have to offer. No. Market research entails a detailed process that helps the buyer answer some questions.

These are questions like:

1.  Which RV should I buy?

 

2.  From where can I buy an RV?

 

3.  Shall I buy an old one or new one?

 

4.  Whom shall I trust for buying an RV?

 

5.  What are the services that I will need?

 

6.  Which RV has the best fuel economy?

There are many unanswered questions in your mind right now. We are attempting to help you answer those questions with the RV buying Guide.

 

Conducting a market research shall only be focused on answering questions of such nature. It will help you get a fair idea about the market position and what are the trends of RV buying today.

 

Basically, what you can do is gather information from all  corners. This can be information regarding the price and availability of your chosen RV. Because you won’t need an RV for every season, conducting impeccable research the very first time is essential.

 

Before you start making calls or asking for quotes from different dealers, it is essential to shortlist one or two RVs that you want to buy. Of course, you will buy only one, but it is important to keep two options.

This will help you in two ways:

  First, you will look like a well-informed customer. Like when you are asking about the features and amenities offered by an RV of Company A and comparing them with that of Company B it leaves an impression. The seller won’t take you as an uninformed customer.

  Second, you can also negotiate the price if you are already aware about two or more models of RVs.

Further, you also need to look for the payment options. Whether you want to finance your RV, or you are able to pay it upfront with your savings? In most cases, the buyers want to finance their RV and, in that case, you must also search for the right lender.

 

Will it be a bank or a commercial financial institution? You can also ask for finance advice from a private financier. Basically, there are a lot of options for financial help out there. But the key is to analyze your financial plans, understand the interest rates and also figure out whether or not you can pay the monthly installments.

Understanding your NEEDS with an RV:

This is an interesting take on what  you shall expect from your RV. And the answer here is again a mix of different amenities and services provided by a motorhome. More importantly, your expectations will also help drive your market research in the right direction.

 

For instance, you want an RV that can accommodate your family of 4, in a moderate budget and that has a good fuel economy. Now, what kind of RV shall you be looking for?

 

Assuming that you have small kids, you will want a safe and secure RV, so we can cross out pop-up tents and camper vans. As the pop-up tents are not very secure when it comes to traveling with kids.

 

And the camper vans cannot accommodate more than 2 people. So, what other options do you have? There are travel trailers of larger size, Class C motorhomes, Truck Campers, Class A motorhomes, and Fifth-wheel trailers.

 

Out of all of them, the Class A motorhomes and fifth-wheel trailers are expensive. So, let’s cross them out too. Now we are left with the Class C motorhomes, Travel Trailers and Truck Campers.

 

All these three options are good for a family of 4 and provide better safety and security. When it comes to towable trailers, you will need a small truck or SUV to pull that much weight.

 

And if you do not already have an SUV, you can go for the truck camper which is basically a truck-mounted RV.

 

And there can be endless possibilities like this. All you need to do is to filter out your choices and make a list. Then you can search for all the RVs that provide a mix of your requirements. It is evident that you won’t be getting everything that you want in one RV or that one RV will fulfill all your requirements.

 

So, what you must do is understand the opportunity cost of that RV and go for it. Even though today, you can have customizable RVs, that customization is mostly for  the amenities and services.

 

And most of the time, the customizable RVs are bigger in size. This means you may have to compromise on the fuel economy.

 

There are various services and amenities that are listed above in the RV buying guide. These are all the basic amenities that you will require at some point in time when you are on a trip. So, it is essential to buy an RV that has all these services to offer.

 

It is true that some of the buyers don’t want to spend more than necessary on buying an RV. These types of buyers can go for the small travel trailers, pop-up tents, and other smaller versions of the RV.

 

But here, their needs and requirements must be different. Like they can easily set up and pack up the pop-up tents. They will have to travel in their car and set up the trailer at the place where they will call it a day.

 

Again, the needs and requirements for buying an RV are different for different individuals. As a buyer, it depends on your choices and other considerations.

 

Apart from the needs and desired qualities that you want from your RV, you must also know about the maintenance and servicing costs. Ask the RV community, which models require the most money for repairs and services. Which RVs are more durable and cost-effective? Which are easily damaged and require frequent visits to the mechanic?

 

Plus, you should also understand the maneuverability of your chosen RV. This means you need to understand how difficult it is to drive an RV. For instance, the towable RVs can be a piece of work  compared to the single chassis motorhomes.

 

Tow ability can be an issue. Plus, the strength and the types of towing mechanisms also matter to a great extent.

 

It is only after considering all these internal and external factors that you must shortlist your choice of motorhomes.

Tips to buy an RV:

Buying an RV is a fun and educational experience. This is because you will get to understand how the RV market works. You will get to know the latest trends and market dispositions of the auto industry.

 

Buying an RV can become easier for you if you would just follow these amazing tips that we have gathered in all our years of experience. Plus, we interact with RV owners on a daily basis to understand their perspectives about an RV and how they are liking the RV life. We understood the issues they faced while buying an RV.

 

Based on all that data and information, we are presenting you with the best RV buying tips:

●  Dealership Visits: The very first thing that you must do is get a list of the prominent dealerships in your city. There are a lot of company-owned stores and dealerships that must be present in your city. You must obtain all the information about them. Then it is time to visit them all.

 

The reason for this is that different dealerships offer different rates for the same model. Some offer higher rates and others have kept a higher base price. Imagine if you visit a dealership and they are offering $40,000 for a travel trailer. At the same time, another dealership in your city is giving that model for $38,000.

 

By not visiting any other dealership, you are plainly losing $2000 and who knows what else. Also, some dealerships offer a few freebies with the product. But that is something everyone will offer, which is not entirely true.

 

Sometimes, just asking for a freebie with your purchase can get you a few things for which you may have to pay otherwise. So, it is best to visit a few dealerships and conduct some research  before buying.

 

●  Jot Down what you want: Next up, you must note down what your preferences are. We have talked about this in detail above. So, just a quick recap here.

 

The motive is to note down the requirements  you are looking from an RV and mostly those which are essential for you. Like you cannot go on a trip without these things.

 

Write them down and then ask the dealerships you visit about all these aspects. The one which has all of them and more, then you can talk about the price of that RV.

●  Used RVs: Yes, we are talking about them too. The very first reason that we would like to focus on is that buying a used RV is not a mistake. No, not at all. Above all, it can be a great bargain and sometimes, if you are in the right place at the right time, you may even strike gold.

What happens is that some people buy an RV only to find that they have used it only once and for the rest of the time it was just parked somewhere. This costs them unnecessary parking fees. So, they decide to sell it and at lower rates.

Used RV

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For this kind of a deal, you need to scan through the internet and search for those who want to sell their RVs. And there is a misnomer in the market that the used RVs are susceptible to more damage and need frequent repairs.

 

But what we have learned is that the new RVs are equally susceptible to these kinds of repairs and damages, as the used ones. Yes, the ancient RVs are not the ones that we are talking about here. These are the relatively new ones that have not traveled too much.

 

And there are a lot of places where you can look for these kinds of trailers and RVs. For instance, there is Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, listings, and private sellers.

●  Don’t go over your budget: We have also noticed a divergent trend in the market that people often go over their budget. This means that looking at the new features, the buyers overextend from their budget.

But that is not a very smart move. Don’t go for the aesthetics, but focus on the major systems of the RV, as these are the ones that cannot be replaced. Like the water systems, air conditioning, heating systems and all that. Focus on the quality of these major systems instead of leather couches and automatic windows and all that.

Because you can replace the internal components, but not the internal systems. So, wherever you go for RV shopping, ask the sellers about these major systems. How  they work,  their quality and other such aspects.

●   Try to buy at the start of the new year: This is because, the dealers pump out deals and offers at the end of the year so that they can clear the previous stock and get new RVs in.

 

So, this might be the right time to visit the dealerships and benefit from these offers. Even though they are last year’s models, they are not short in terms of services and other amenities.

 

What can you Afford?

Moving forward with our RV buying guide, we are going to talk about how to make a checklist, price negotiation tricks, and how to find the best deals in the market.

 

These are majorly cost-saving methods and techniques that will get you settled for good and help you buy an RV at a good price.

Consider Making a checklist of your Ideal RV Features:

Making a list of all the features that you want is necessary when looking for an RV and will help you shortlist a few out of many. But here, you must list only those features that are useful and cannot be added to the original model.

 

Here we are talking about the essential features like a cooktop, oven, washers, dryers and all that. Not the mattresses and other similar stuff.

 

This is how you can make a list:

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List

The list goes on. And you can follow this amazing RV features checklist to  know more about the features and amenities that an RV has to offer.

 

Be very careful while you are filtering down on the features list. The more features you add, the more the price will climb in the same manner.

Price Negotiation Tricks and Tactics

Some may say that price negotiating is an art. But no, there is no art in it. There are a few simple tricks that you can also follow that will help you bring down the price of your RV.

 

And this RV buying will be incomplete without telling you how you can bring down the price while buying an RV.

 

These are time tested tricks and tips. So, strap in because you are in for an amazing lesson on price negotiation.

1.  Do not Negotiate: Yes, you read that right. The best way to negotiate is not to negotiate. This is like reverse psychology. Instead of you quoting the price, let the seller quote different prices. And once they have reached the price that you desire, go all in.

 

The best way to do this is when you visit the dealership, ask around, talk to the salesman, and understand the product first. When it comes to the price, do not say anything. Just let them quote a price and  just deny it. In the end, give them a figure, give them your number and leave.

 

If they are willing to sell it at your desired price, they will surely call you.

 

2.   Follow Up with the salesperson: The trick is to call them on weekends or at the end of the month. Sometimes the deal or offer which was not acceptable to the dealers during the week becomes available on the weekend.

 

But this depends on whether the week was good or not. And the same goes for the month. At the end of the month, the dealers may be looking to fulfill their targets and  agree to sell it to you at your quoted price to complete their sales cycle.

 

3.  Secure your own Finance: Another method to bring down the price is to secure your own finance from your bank or the local credit union. Looking for a finance loan from the dealer’s end, will only give them the upper hand and they can quote their own price.

 

But, if you have secured your own financing, it will become much easier for you to negotiate in terms of price. And even if you agree to take the finance option they offer, there is no need to say yes to everything that they are offering.

 

Understand that this is a two-way street. If there is no demand, they won’t have anyone to sell to. This is a deal that has mutual benefits. So, why should you take all the burden? You can even ask for a 0% finance option.

 

Of course, they are going to ask a lot of questions, but it is not like you are not going to pass an exam. Just think before you answer and keep your interests and preferences as primary.

 

4.  Know what you are buying: Most of the time the salesperson thinks that the customer is unaware of what is Due to this, they will talk about the many features and benefits making the customer realize that they are getting the cherry on the cake while all the others do not have it.

 

But in this story, nobody has the cake or even the cherry. It is just a gimmick, and fortunately, it has a solution, and that is to understand the product. That is why it is essential to research the product thoroughly before you buy it.

 

And before you visit one dealership make sure you know what the price for this model in another dealership is. Make them realize that you have done your research and can go to other competitive offers in the city.

 

Quote a price that is far less than   the real price in the market. Start low and they will go higher. But the lower you start the increased amount will also be far less than the final price.

 

5.  Don’t get too excited: This means that you should know when to say YES. Understand that the salesperson is also bound by some limitations. Even though they have a buffer percentage to go down on the first quoted price, this also has a limit.

 

So, whenever you see that the price is near to your price range, say yes and make the deal. It may happen that the price a dealership is offering won’t be offered by any other dealership.

How much does it Really Cost?

No, not the price that you are going to pay for when buying the RV, but the overall and ongoing cost. That is what we will be talking about here. This RV buying guide is something that is aimed at solving all kinds of problems that you will face in this process.

The real costs include:

●  Registration charges

●  Insurance costs

●  Fuel Costs

●  Storage Costs

●  Maintenance Costs

●  Repair and Damages

●  Hitch

●  Camping fees

You must consider all these costs before buying an RV. We know that  the majority of the costs are not regular. But these are the charges that you will have to pay at some point.

Upfront Costs:

The very first upfront cost is the registration fees of an RV. The registration is mandatory, and you cannot drive your RV without getting it registered. The registration charges depend on several factors that help in deciding the final cost.

 

The different factors for identifying the registration fee costs are:

  The Age of the RV

  Weight

  Length

  Market Value

  Type of Chassis

  Type of Engine

  Conversions

The motor vehicle departments of different states calculate their registration fee based on one or more than the one factors mentioned above. So, the true cost for identifying the rate will only be determined after knowing the state in which you are buying the RV in.

 

This also means that you can yourself calculate the registration fee. Just go to the DMV website of your state and there you can find all the information you need. For instance, check out the registration fee calculator page of the state of California.

Insurance Costs:

Be it any car or truck, insurance is a must. The same goes for an RV or  motorhome. Here too, the price  depends on the insurance company  you have chosen as your insurance provider.

 

The national average Insurance rate in the USA is $895. But don’t take it as the final cost and remember that the insurance is a recurring cost.

 

Further, the insurance costs can also increase year after year depending on the condition of the RV, your driving record, and a few other factors. The insurance costs are something that you must take care of very carefully. Because if not, you may end up paying thousands of dollars in insurance premiums.

 

And while on a trip, you will have to cross through various cities. Due to the variation in the traffic rules across them, you must drive carefully. Do not get into any kind of trouble and get any traffic tickets.

 

Because if you do, it will reflect on your driving record and further impact the insurance costs.

Fuel Costs: Since fuel prices fluctuate, you cannot calculate the fuel prices to be incurred while taking the RV on a trip. Here too, it depends whether you are driving a diesel-run RV, or a petrol run RV.

 

The cost of diesel is slightly higher than petrol in the USA. That is why you must take everything into consideration before buying an RV.

 

Also, the maintenance costs and overall daily operational costs of a diesel RV will be higher than a petrol-powered one.

 

In addition to this, the diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than petrol ones.

 

Yes, all of this may get a tad bit confusing, but you must consider these factors before making the final choice. Because this isn’t a toy car which you can throw away or not use if it is not suitable.

 

You are going to spend a considerable amount of money on it, so make sure that you know it’s true and real cost before buying it.

 

Towing Mechanism or Hitch: Well, that is yet another expense that you will have to make right after buying your RV. In some cases, you may get the hitch along with your purchase, but if not, you will have to buy one on your own.

 

A hitch is basically essential with a trailer and not needed when you are buying a Class A, B or C motorhome. Moreover, you must also take note that, with a bigger trailer like the fifth-wheel trailer, you will need a bigger and stronger hitch as opposed to the ones which are not too big.

 

Where a standard hitch that will also accompany your trailer purchase, you may have to spend anything between $100 to $1000. And with a fifth-wheel trailer, the hitch is attached on the truck bed and it will cost you somewhere between $500 to $2500.

 

The variation in the price range means that some hitches are stronger than others. They have a higher capacity to pull and sustain a larger amount of weight.

Long Term Costs:

What you read above were the upfront costs. Going forward, we are going to discuss about  the long-term costs. These are the costs that may be planned or unplanned and will require immediate attention.

Campgrounds Fees

RV campgrounds

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For instance, when you are on a trip you will have to find the campgrounds to park the RV for the night. Across the country, it is essential to park the RVs in their designated spots.

 

Within the city, you cannot park it on the roads and sleep in it. Every state and DMV have a different set of rules when it comes to governing RVs and motorhomes. So, it is best that you take note of the rules and regulations of every state before going there.

 

Parking in the campgrounds invites a fee. The overnight fee is fixed. Apart from the campgrounds, you can also park in the national park areas.

 

Given below are a few pan USA campground operators that also allow online booking for parking spots.

1.  Allstays

2. US Campgrounds

3. gov

The campgrounds are yet another reason to have fun and get entertained on a RV trip. In these areas, you will find a lot of fun activities and additional amenities provided by the operators for your benefits.

 

There are rides for the kids, small shops, and a lot more to enjoy. However, you must take caution to book your spot well in advance. As the parking spots are limited, it is important that you plan ahead on your trip.

Additional Repairs and Maintenance:

When was the last time you had done repairs in your home? Pretty recently, right? Well, the same goes for an RV, as it is your motorhome and needs frequent repairs and maintenance.

 

To that end, an RV has a lot of components and aspects that need frequent checks and sometimes repairs. So, these are the costs that you will have to incur if you have an RV.

 

And for the more high-end RVs, these costs will also be higher than the standard ones.

 

Lastly, we have the storage costs to consider. When you are not using your RV, you must store it away  in a location that is not damp or damaged. For those who have big houses, they can park it in their garage or in the pathway, cover it well, and keep it safe.

 

For others, you may have to find dedicated storage spaces and also pay the storage fee. Although there are various other aspects of storage and risks too, that is a discussion for another time.

 

For now, it is important for you to understand that buying an RV is not enough. This is not like buy and forget, you will have to take care of your possession, if you do not want it to ditch you on the road.

Some of the most common RV Maintenance costs that you will have to incur include:

  Dead batteries

  Problems with the Engine

  Electrical Problems

  Plumbing issues

  Water leakage

  Tire blowouts

  Damages to the external body

  Roof Leaks

  HVAC Issues

  Slide-out damages and issues

  Brake System

  Windows and Doors

  Awnings and Canopies

All these are the major issues that you may have to deal with in an RV. No, not everything will be damaged in one go. But chances are that you may have to deal with one or more than one of these issues, whether you are on the road or before taking out the RV for a trip.

 

The case of dead batteries is seen most of the time, when the RV owners take out their RV for a long time. The batteries are susceptible to leakage if they are kept unchecked for a long time. And it is a common practice that the RV owners take out their RV once in a year and for the rest of the year, the RVs are kind of rotting in the storage houses.

 

The same goes for the RV engine, even a small problem in one component can cause further damage, if it is not checked or repaired on time. The engine troubles are one of the most dreaded issues that the RV owners have experienced in the past.

 

Electrical systems failures or issues can be caused due to water leakage or by rats gnawing at the wires. The electrical system is an important aspect of your motorhome. Without it, most of the systems will not work, even if you have new batteries.

 

Water leakages can also lead to a lot more damage than you think. When water is leaking into the different components of the RV, it rots them from the inside. Be it  the wooden cabinet, sinks, entertainment system, beds, mattresses and whatnot.

 

Every one  of these components can be damaged by water. And some of these parts cannot even be  repaired. They must be replaced. Period.

 

Tire blowout is something that you may go through when you are on a trip. Tire blowouts are also riskier than you would imagine. A tire blowout on a mountainous road filled with pebbles is not a good companion for torn tires.

 

Roofs of an RV are also vulnerable to leakage. And the thing is that most of the owners do not check the roof of the RV. They just assume that everything is just fine with the roof. An RV roof is sensitive to various things. Damages to the roof can also cause leakage and other such problems that may lead to other kinds of damages.

 

Further, you may have to encounter damages with the window seals. They get loose and then the windows won’t close. In a windy area, this is particularly damaging as a lot of dust can then penetrate the RV. Moreover, open windows are a calling for all kinds of birds and rats to make your RV their home.

 

The RV batteries have a wide and a huge range. The most cost-effective RV battery will cost you around $50 and the battery which has the highest cost is priced at $700. So, it all depends on your choice and budget.

 

Water damages to an RV will be decided on a case by case basis. And the average labor costs of getting repairs for your RV in the USA lie between $120 to $180 per hour. Yes, the costs to repair them are high.

 

This means that the earlier you get it repaired, the lower will  the costs be. Do not allow the damages to worsen.

 

RV tires also have varied sizes. The Class A Motorhome tires will cost you around $300. Further, the bigger the tire, the more it will  cost. The tire costs also depend on the company that you have chosen and the quality of the tires.

 

HVAC systems come pre-installed in the RV. But they also need frequent repairs and checks. On average, the HVAC repairs may cost you somewhere between $400 to $600.

 

 

These are the most common damages and repairs that you must undertake in an RV. The kind of damages that we have listed above are the most common damages that the RV owners encounter. There can be a lot of other damages and repairs that you may have to incur so that you are able to use the RV smoothly.

Most Common Fixes and Maintenance Tips of An RV

If you have an RV, it is very essential for you to keep a timely check on its maintenance to protect your investment. And the maintenance of an RV can become a bade for you if you are aware and alert of your maintenance tasks.

 

After you have bought an RV, always make it a habit to check it or get it checked periodically. A couple of hours every month given for the maintenance of your RV will  help you save thousands of dollars in damage repair.

 

An RV that is parked away without checks can get damaged due to various reasons. For instance, rainwater can go inside, rodents and other smaller animals can trespass through the pipes and other conduits.

 

If you have not cleaned the septic tanks before parking it away, you cannot imagine the extent of the foul smell you will encounter after a while. Not only this, if there is food lying in the refrigerator or in the cupboards, then  you are also risking your RV’s overall condition.

 

Earlier we have discussed the costs and damage repair charges that you may have to pay for using your RV. Moving forward with our RV buying guide, we will share with you the most common and easy RV fixes that you can do at home.

 

These maintenance tips and fixes will help you save money and prevent damages to your RV.

1.  Inspecting the Roof: Whenever you plan your inspection of the RV, start with the roof. It is a common practice to check the RVs roof after every three months. Any kind of opening small or large can lead to water leakages inside the RV. Just like stress is a silent killer for the human body, water is a silent killer for an RV.

RV camping world

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It slowly causes damage to the internal ceiling panels, boards, floor, wooden framework of an RV. To prevent that, you must seal all the holes upon inspection. To get the right sealant, you must check your RV’s roof material and then get the right product for sealing it.

 

Do not use a sealant that is not compatible with your RV. It won’t help much.

2.  Tires and Wheel Lug Nuts: Next up are the tires. The RV tires are prone to lose pressure due to non-usage. Always check the tire pressure in every inspection. The rubber tires can also get damaged or get soft due to exposure to heat. So, if your RV is parked under the sun, make sure to cover the tires along with the whole body.

 

Apart from checking the tire pressure, you must also check the wheel lug nuts. It may happen that the wheel lug nuts have loosened after the previous trip. Attend to them and tighten the nuts.

 

Also, when you are filling the air inside the RV tires, don’t go over the limit. Only put the recommended pressure in the tires. Overinflection can cause the tires to blowout due to excessive pressure.

 

3.  Battery Inspection: An RV has two types of batteries, one is Deep-Cycle and the other is Start-Type Battery. The Deep Cycle batteries have a life cycle of 3 to 5 years and the start-type battery can go above 5 years.

 

Some batteries also need a regular fill-up of the battery water. Without that, these batteries do not work well.

 

4.  Wastewater Management: This is particularly important when you are on a trip. Other than this, be it gray water or black water, proper disposal and preventing them from contaminating the RV is essential.

 

While doing your inspection you need to check the flushing system and also ensure that the flushing chemicals  you use are compatible with the material.

 

Flushing the whole wastewater system will prevent water clogging and buildup. It will help to keep the system running and the valves from seizing.

 

5.  Maintenance of the Brake: Checking the RV brakes must be on your RV inspection checklist. Having enough brake fluid, proper brake shoes, and all the systems that are associated with the brakes must be maintained.

 

From wheel bearings to lubrication of all the movable parts, it has to be kept in check. The brake shoes also wear out with time. They also need to be changed.

 

Although you cannot check the brake shoes, you can ensure that you keep a record of when the last time was you got them replaced with new ones.

 

6.  Cleaning the Slide Out: This is something that you can do yourself. The RV Slide outs need regular checking and lubrication if you want them to work properly. What you must do is clean the slider mechanism and then lubricate it well. This will allow a smooth opening and closing.

 

The window seals are also susceptible to get clogged, damaged or torn. The rubber part in the window seals loses its integrity due to intense heat.

Window seals

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For that, you can use lubricants to keep the window seals fresh and intact. Do not let them get damages. If the RV is out in the sun, cover it properly. But even if you have covered it with a tarp, heat can still reach the window seals.

 

That is why you should always try to park it under the shade or under a roof.

1.  Oil Change: Yes, you can change the RV oil yourself. For an RV, you must change the engine oil every season. This is because an RV will remain unused for most of the year.

 

In that case, you must pay attention to the oil. Although it won’t decrease in terms of volume, changing it will only improve the engine’s health.

 

Failure to do so will lead to an increase in the wear and tear of the engine parts. They won’t move smoothly and that will further lead to damages. If it goes untreated, you may have to change the engine too.

 

So, be very careful with this part.

 

2.  RV Awnings: RV Awnings are yet another part of the whole machine that must be kept in good health always. Awning is useful on hot days. Understand that all these inspections are essential just to make sure that when you are using these parts, they don’t malfunction.

 

That is why it is essential to maintain them regularly. Just checking the awnings after a month or two will be enough. And if they are not able to open properly or do not work smoothly, it is time to get your tool kit out of the garage.

 

Also, some RV owners have noticed that mold and mildew also pile up in the RV awnings cloth. This is an indicator of dampness and moist surfaces and you must take immediate action.

For more information on the RV maintenance, you must check out this RV Maintenance checklist. This checklist is separated to help you conduct monthly, seasonal and yearly inspections and maintenance activities.

Conclusion:

This RV buying guide is made to answer most of the questions that have kept you searching for answers for a long time now. With this guide, you will get to understand all the different types of RVs available on the market. Other than this, you will also understand what the services and amenities  are  you must have in your RV. Along with this, you will also know which amenities and services are not that important for you to have.

We have talked about the RV prices, their registration costs, maintenance costs, repairs, inspections, and the long  and short-term costs.

 

Keeping an RV is like having another home and it is essential to know everything before you go and buy a new home. There are a lot of reasons for you to buy an RV. But taking it out on the road with the family every year is one of the best reasons.

 

Traveling in an RV is an amazing experience. One that will help you build a lot of memories and allow you to explore the country. We always recommend you buy the best and travel with the best.

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