Bookmark and Share

An Introduction to RV's

RV Buying Tips 101 by: Mark J. Polk

It seems like when we purchase an RV we overlook something, forget to check something, or possibly we were not properly informed about something. Whatever the case may be you don't realize it until after you buy it and then it's to late. If you already own an RV you know what I'm talking about and this article won't be of much help. If you don't already own an RV read on and learn some things to consider before you buy.

A good example of this is a couple I once had shopping for a travel trailer. The one thing they were sure of was that they wanted bunk beds for their three young children. I had several floor plans available on the lot, with bunk beds, to choose from. I showed them the first model and a few moments later they were convinced that this was the trailer for them. The husband liked the pass through storage compartment that could accommodate his fishing gear and the wife fell in love with the interior colors and décor. They purchased the trailer and I saw them at the dealership after they used it for the first time. They told me all about their first trip and how fun it was, but said they wish they would have given more thought to the floor plan before they bought it. The living room was on one end of the trailer, the kitchen was in the middle, and the bunk beds and bathroom were on the other end. She told me the kids were constantly going from one end to the other and she could never get anything done in the kitchen.

This is just one example, but I'm sure you get the picture. Sometimes we get caught up in the excitement and make hasty decisions that we regret later. Purchasing an RV is a major investment, similar to buying a house. It is after all your home away from home and we need to slowwww down the buying process and make informed decisions.

I'm not really sure where to begin. I guess the best place to start is with the dealership. You need to find a reputable RV dealer that is willing to take care of you after the sale. If at all possible talk to some one that has dealt with them before. A reputable dealer wants your business and they want you to return to them for future business. I have been in many dealerships that I wouldn't hesitate to do business with and I have been in others that I couldn't leave soon enough. Don't be afraid to ask them to give you a tour of the dealership. Look at the service department. Do they have certified technicians? Do they have the capability and facilities to do routine maintenance and warranty work on the units they sell? Look at their Parts and Accessory department. Do they offer a good selection of parts and accessories? Do they have a good selection of RVs to choose from? How long have they been selling certain manufacturer brands?

A reputable RV dealer will in most cases have a reputable, professional sales staff to assist you. If you feel comfortable with the dealership and would like to look at some of the RVs on the lot it's time to find a salesperson. This is not difficult because they will usually find you first. It is extremely important that you feel comfortable with the sales person. If you don't, ask to speak to some body else. Don't be afraid to help the sales person help you. What I mean by this is, tell them what your needs are, what you want and how you plan to use it. If you're going to buy a towable RV and you already have the tow vehicle ask them to explain the weights to you and to show you which RVs are in your weight range. A knowledgeable sales person can be a real asset, especially if you are new to RVing. If you prefer to look by yourself ask them for their business card and write down any questions you have so you can ask them later.

I mentioned a moment ago that you should have some idea of what your needs are, what you want, and how you plan to use it. This is extremely important. Review manufacturer brochures and websites for pertinent information that can assist you in making informed buying decisions. Here are a few things to consider before you buy.

This list is not all-inclusive but it should help you make a more informed decision before you purchase an RV. Another important consideration is the options on the RV. When a dealer orders an RV they order the options that they feel will help sell the RV based on their experience. On the other hand they can limit the options to make the price more appealing, but it may be some options that you really want or need. Sit down with your sales person and review what options are on the RV and what options are available. If you found a floor plan that you really like but it's not equipped the way you want have the dealer order one for you. I know that waiting is difficult, but remember slowww down, it will be worth the wait to get the RV you really want.

Happy Camping,


Copyright by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101

RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books.

Sign up for your free "RV Education 101" Newsletter

For some great information and ways to save money on buying an RV:

Insider's Guide to Buying an RV printed book

Insiders Guide to Buying an RV e-book
This version is an INSTANT Electronic E-BOOK

RV Buyers Survival Guide PRINTED BOOK

RV Buyers Survival Guide E-book
This version is an INSTANT Electronic E-BOOK

16 RV Single DVD Titles in our Library

An Introduction to RV's

Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
RV Awning Use, Care and Accessories
RV Safety Features, Tips and Tricks
Pop Up 101
Travel Trailer 101
Class A Motor Home 101
Class C Rental / Owner
Winterizing & Storing your RV
EZ RV Add Ons and Must Have RV Products
Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing
Motorhome Towing
RV Campground Basics
Marks Recommended 10 minute RV Essential Items
Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance for RV's and Boats
RV Care and Maintenance

Money Saving DVD Sets Available

Travel Trailer / 5th Wheel Training DVD Sets
Class A Training DVD Sets
Class C Training DVD Sets

14 RV Instant Download E-Book Titles in our Library

The Original Checklists for RVers
Winterizing and Storing your RV
THE RV BOOK now available as an ebook
The Three Primary Systems of an RV
Insider's Guide to Buying an RV
RV Buyers Survival Guide
Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing
A Collection of RV Tips
Pop-Up Basics 101
Dinghy Towing
Deep Cycle Battery Care and Maintenance
RV Awning Use and Care
RV Safety Features, Tips and Tricks
RV Care and Maintenance
RV Campground Basics