Line of RV's parked by ocean coast

Buying an RV is a big investment, which can make it a complicated process.

With the right information, however, it doesn’t have to be.

Here are seven common mistakes that first-time RV buyers often make. By avoiding these missteps, you can have an enjoyable buying experience and ultimately get paired with an RV that you can enjoy for many years to come.

Buying the Wrong RV  

It is every RV buyer’s worst nightmare: going on your first camping trip and realizing that you didn’t buy the right rig.

Maybe it is too big, or too small. Perhaps there isn’t enough storage space, or it’s too tall to get into your favorite campground.

An RV purchase is a big investment, and it pays to spend the time to make sure the camper is right for you. By doing your research, and not buying on impulse, you will have a much better chance of getting the right camper.

Interested in learning more about the different types of RVs? Check out our recent blog post to help you with your research.

Neglecting to Consider Both New and Used

There are benefits to buying both new and used RVs.

New campers are easy to find and available in any number of layouts. Many will come with the benefit of a warranty, and you will have the piece of mind knowing that the camper has never been damaged from misuse. On the flip side, new campers can depreciate up to 30 percent as soon as they are driven off the lot.

Used campers have already begun to depreciate and therefore are less expensive than new campers. They can be a good deal if they have been properly looked after. It may take some patience to find a used camper in the right condition, for the right price, to meet your needs.

Failing to Get a Used Camper Checked Out

RV in the shop

 

Used campers can be great deals, but it pays to have a professional take a look before buying.

When buying a used camper from a dealership, be sure their in-house mechanics give it the green-light before you agree to buy an RV. If you are purchasing from a private seller, make an appointment at your local RV shop to have them inspect

the camper. Ask them to look for mechanical issues, as well as water damage, signs of excessive wear and tear, and malfunctioning systems. This inspection will cost you a small fee upfront but may save you from a big surprise down the road.

Not Having the Proper Tow Vehicle

If buying a towable RV trailer, it is crucial to determine not only the weight of the camper but the tow capacity of your vehicle. Be sure the tow capacity of your vehicle exceeds the weight of the RV trailer by a good margin. This will not only put less strain on your transmission but will also help to keep you safe by towing the camper with a vehicle rated to handle it.

Also, be sure that any additional braking or electronic systems are installed to allow you to tow legally and safely.

Truck pulling Trailer RV on the road

Driving Off the Lot Without a Lesson

Before driving off the lot with your new RV ask for a lesson on how to use all its systems.

You don’t want to pull into a campsite and realize you don’t know how to put down the stabilizing bars, or you can’t figure out how to start the fridge. While not knowing how to run the systems can be annoying, trying to run them without some instruction first and accidentally breaking something can turn out to be hard on your wallet. Make sure to get that walk-through before you leave with your new RV.

Not Knowing Your Size

Drive through any underpass and you’ll see scrapes on the concrete where the drivers of RVs or other tall vehicle have misjudged their height.

It is crucial to know how tall and wide your RV is before you go on your first trip. The dealership or private seller should tell you the dimensions of the RV. Keep the dimensions written somewhere easily accessed from the driver’s seat. Repairing a roof-mounted air conditioner, antenna, solar panels, or the roof itself will cost you big time.

Getting the Wrong Insurance and Roadside Assistance

RV insurance, as well as RV roadside assistance, are different from those you would acquire for a passenger car.

This mistake has cost people in unexpected towing costs and unrecoverable losses. Remember RV insurance only covers the camper itself, not the contents inside. Sit down with your insurance agent to work out the best policy for your needs, and call your roadside assistance provider to add RV coverage to your plan.

You may also want to consider an extended warranty for your rv. You can view more specific information in the following brochures:

Don’t let these seven common mistakes happen to you. By doing your research you can buy a camper that is right for you, in great shape, and will be a comfortable place for you to camp for years to come. Let Southeast Financial help with your recreational vehicle financing today.