In this article, I will discuss the top 8 things to consider when buying an RV, and what to look for and consider when choosing your new camper or motorhome.
How To Buy an RV 2022
The pandemic has drastically affected inventory and sales for going on two years now! I would not expect prices to drop much at all on RVs, campers, or motorhomes. However, inventory seems to be okay. If you check the Facebook marketplace, RVT.com and dealerships there are a fair amount of models to choose from.
Selection and Inspection- RV complete Checklist
Top 8 things to consider:
- Roof, when was it sealed last? Did a professional do this?
- Best full-time RV travel trailer
- Rv for permanent living
- Tires, when were they bought?
- Interior and exterior inspection, any bubbles?
- Check for soft spots on the roof and floors
- If buying a motorhome, check the engine, service records complete?
- Exterior frame and rust? Any rusty screws that would indicate flood damage?
- How to buy an RV 2022
Deciding On Model and Size
How many people are going to be sleeping in it, who is going to drive, if one person cannot drive would another be comfortable driving it, what is your budget, and where are you going to camp with it? These are all things to consider when deciding on an RV. The motorhome in the above link can sleep 9! That is incredible for a smaller space!
You can rent RVs, so that could be a good way for you to decide before you make this big decision. Check out this RV rental group before making your decision. Maybe rent out a couple of different types to see if they could work at all.
Living in a camper full time?
I have seen this question frequently. Is it legal to live in an RV full-time? Yes but consider if you are parking, where you are parking. Are you going to be moving it often or leaving it sitting on the property? If you are going to leave it on the property you will have to check land use laws in your area.
If you are going to live full time in a motorhome here are some things to think about.
- If you break down your whole house has to go to the service center!
- If it is totaled in an accident you no longer have anything to drive or sleep in.
- If you want to leave the motorhome parked you might need a towable car.
Related questions to include/answer:
- Can I afford to live in an RV full time
- Can you handle living permanently in an RV
- What is the best type of RV to live in full time
Best Class B for a Couple
I don’t think a van or a class B would be suitable for a family. So I will just research the best ones for a couple.
The benefits of these are easy to see, first of all, you can pretty much go anywhere and not have to worry about parking. You wouldn’t need a towable since you can park it anywhere. You could spend the night at Walmart without much complaint since you wouldn’t be taking up much space.
Better gas mileage on class b. If you plan on spending most of your time outside of the van this would work well for you. Say if you are avid hikers and just need a place to wash, eat and sleep. The only downfall would be if the weather was bad, you would be stuck in a tiny van. However, you could take off down the road until you find good weather again!
Check out this class B, for a couple, I think it might work pretty well, the floor plan is decent for two, however, it can sleep up to 3!
The benefit of Class C would be an actual bigger bed for a couple to share. Some of them have bunks for kids as well so it would work for a small family. An actual wet bath to clean up in. A decent-sized kitchen to prepare meals. With a Class C, you also have more bed space, they usually have an over-cab bed which is just right for kids. Plus the dinette will fold down into a bed to sleep more adults!
The Winnebago floor plans, I think they have suitable plans for couples and small families.
Best Drivable RV Brands
Related questions to include/answer:
- Which RV is most reliable-
- Which RV brand are the most reliable-Entegra motorcoaches, have been around for 50 years!
- Which class of RV is best-
- Which Motorhome is easiest to drive-
- RV life quiz
Check out this article from Escapees to help you understand the different RV Types
- RV types pros cons
- RV types and prices
Things to Consider:
- Buying an all-season-rated RV will provide better protection to all weather types. These models will have more insulation and heated holding tanks!
- Which RVs are rated for full-time living
- Which camper is best for a full-time living
- How much debt do you have? Honestly, you should pay off all debt before considering going full-time. You need to have available credit to pay for unexpected repairs!
Common Mistakes People Make When Buying
Things to consider:
- Buying the wrong size RV.
- Not considering tow weights.
- Not knowing your purchasing ability and creditworthiness before shopping.
- Buying a brand new model, think how much the value decreases just like a car when you leave the lot!
- Not having an idea of how much you want to spend payment-wise or if you are paying cash.
Are okay for small families as well. Travel Trailers do not have as many luxury items as 5th wheels. They are more of a basic camper.
If you are thinking about a towable check out the video below.
- If you want a lot of space and have a large family.
- Usually have king-size beds.
- Can have washer and dryers.
- Some have full-size refrigerators and nice size kitchens, comparable to residential.
- Most have good size living rooms with large TVs.
Buy New Or Used?
You can check out RVT.com for RVs for sale near you. You can find both new and used units on this site. My two cents on this topic would be I would never buy new! I have seen how these are built. At some point, you are almost guaranteed to leak. You simply must prevent, maintain, or fix, and if you can’t then you must take your RV to the dealer and have them do it!
Some items to watch out for when buying a used RV are as follows.
- Soft Spots both on the roof and interior floors, soft spots indicate there was or is a leak and the wood is rotten.
- Delamination on the exterior of the unit. This will be easy to spot because the sides will not be smooth and can have bubbles.
- Check the tire life, you don’t want to have to drop 500-600 bucks right away on new tires!
- See if there are maintenance records inside the unit, if so this is a big plus, you will know if it was taken care of!
Traveling with pets? See my article on Pet safety here.
First, decide if you are going to go full time and sell your home. Decide how much space you need if you are going to go full time, based on how many people will be living in the camper.
What type and price you could afford will depend on how good your credit is and if you are selling your home, assuming you have one to sell.
If you are planning on selling your home consider how much money will be left over to pay off debt. You really should pay off as much debt as possible before going full-time.
If you are going to live in a camper full time with children, each child is going to want some space of their own. Also, consider space for pets, we don’t want to leave the pets out!
Decide on how long you are going to be in the camper and what area of the country you are going to spend most of your time in. Will you be outside of the camper more than inside, then you could get by with a smaller camper. Do you need to think about an all-season RV? Will you be traveling or staying in areas where it gets below freezing?
Next, you should test drive motor homes if you are interested in them. You should also consider renting out various types of campers for a weekend, this will help you determine which model you like.
Finally, be prepared for the possibility of having to travel to find your perfect camper! I watched all summer long as campers were snapped up before I even had a chance to call!
Check out my article on RV mail forwarding here.