Buying an RV is a considerable investment and there are various things to consider before making such a big purchase. There is no doubt that having an RV makes it possible to expand your horizons as you’re planning big trips around the country. Trips are more convenient and luxurious and you have all the essentials of home while on the road. But the decision shouldn’t be made lightly as you will most likely have the vehicle for years and will be traveling with it potentially for thousands of miles.
At Wholesale Direct Carports, we are your number one source for RV carports, enclosed garages, metal carports and garage combos, horse barns, and more. We make storing large vehicles and many other items as simple as possible. Our quality products can be customized to fit your needs, we offer competitive pricing, free delivery, and our carports offer superior protection against wind and snow. Because an RV is such an investment, protect it with the best RV carports in the nation. Contact Wholesale Direct Carports today for a free no-obligation quote. And if you have any questions about buying an RV, we’re more than happy to help you with that too.
What to Consider When Buying an RV
Ask Yourself These Questions
When you’re just starting out researching RV options, it’s best to get a general idea of why you want an RV and what you plan on doing with it. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself before you start shopping for an RV that will help point you in the right direction.
- Why do I want an RV?
- Who am I getting it for?
- Where do I want to go in the RV?
- Do I want to tow a trailer or drive a motorhome?
- What features do I want? Or need?
Now that you have a better idea of what you want to look for, here are some other things to consider as you’re shopping.
Take Your Time
There are countless options when it comes to recreational vehicles, and when you’re just starting to look, you may not even be aware of what is possible. At Wholesale Direct Carports, we understand that you want to pack up your RV and get it on the road as soon as possible, but it takes time to fully understand what is available and what works best for your family, your traveling style, and your budget. Start making lists of wants, needs, features, and other thoughts, make some trips to your local dealers, talk to the experts, make notes, and take your time thinking about what is right for the long-term.
Consult the RV Community
While a salesperson at a dealership will be able to show you all of the bells and whistles of an RV, they may be able to guide you to a certain type that they think you’ll enjoy, but in the end, their goal is the commission! To get honest advice and opinions about RV life, go straight to the source — the RV community. People who have been through the process before, have lived life on the road, and have had to use an RV carport to store their vehicle will be able to give you advice and opinions you can trust. Ask them what the process of purchasing was like, how they made their decision, what goals they had, the costs, the challenges, and any other insider information you want.
Getting more into the nitty-gritty of buying an RV, one of the first decisions you need to make is what type of RV you want. One of the questions to ask yourself is, “Why do I want an RV?” You might want it for quick weekend trips, week-long vacations, or if you’re really diving into full-time RV life, you may want to be able to make month-long trips. Knowing what you want out of the RV will determine which type is best. Do you want to camp in the mountains? Or find a small campground in the forest? How good are you at backing up a motorhome or trailer? Do you want to be able to leave the RV at the campground and go exploring in a truck? Here are a few of the biggest options you’ll be looking at:
- Class A Motorhomes: These RVs are essentially homes on wheels, can fit the whole family, and are great for long distances. These homes have all of the bells and whistles, including a sofa, table, bathroom, a kitchen with countertops, refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave, bedroom, closets, and more. As you can imagine, these are the most expensive, the biggest, and will require a large RV carport.
- Class B Motorhomes: These are generally the same as Class As, just smaller and easier to drive. They can fit between two and three people and are a good size for several week trips.
- Class C Motorhomes: You may see these on the road as rentals. They can range from 20 to 40 feet, providing enough space for the family and they have plenty of features. They are a good option for long weekends or a week long vacation.
- Travel Trailers: These can be towed by the standard pick-up truck or SUV and can range between 12 and 33 feet long. They also have a variety of amenities, such as bunk beds, kitchenettes, and more.
- Fifth-Wheel Trailer: A heavy duty pick-up truck is needed for this type, as the fifth wheel attaches to a special hitch in the bed of the truck. The trailers are specious and are easier to back up than the traditional travel trailer.
- Pop-up Trailer: On the smaller end are pop-up trailers where the roof rises and then extra space can be expanded outwards from the sides. These are easier on the budget but still provide a lot of freedom and opportunities.
- SURV Trailer: A great option if you have smaller water sport vehicles or motorcycles that you want to bring with you, SURV (Sport Utility Recreational Vehicles) trailers have an enclosed area built into the rear.
There are several options when it comes to financing your purchase. If you are buying through a dealer, they often offer financing options through a few different lenders; you can take out a personal loan for the vehicle; or if you want to pay it off quickly, you can put it on a credit card. If possible, financing through the dealer may be the best choice as they will offer similar interest rates as your bank will. This will, however, depend on your credit score, how much your down payment is, and the current interest rates at the time. Give yourself some time to research your options and to look for the best deal.
Negotiate the MSRP
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is just that, a suggestion. Most dealers will at least be willing to hear an offer. Offer 30% off the MSRP and go from there. If they are willing to negotiate, don’t go much lower than 30%. Keep in mind that, just like any other new vehicle, that the value will decrease as soon as you leave the lot. If they don’t want to give you any sort of deal, don’t be afraid to leave and go somewhere else. And remember that many dealers and salespeople are still looking to hit their monthly sales quotas as the end of the month, so when you are ready to make a purchase, consider going toward the end of the month.
Consider Potential Problems With New RVs
Buying an RV can be compared to buying a house or buying another vehicle. It’s standard for homebuyers to get a final inspection of the house before closing, and you should do the same with your RV, even if it’s a brand new vehicle. Many times, manufacturers will send RVs to a dealership lot without an inspection, so without this step, you could be responsible for any mistakes in production. In addition, even new RVs may have been sitting on the lot for long enough that issues could have developed, such as sealant leaks. Paying an extra $50 to $90 dollars for an inspection could save you thousands down the road.
Consider Buying Used
Knowing that the value of an RV will decline significantly the moment it’s off the lot could be reason enough to buy used, but there are several other reasons too.
- You can rebuild, redecorate, and restore the vehicle however you want.
- You have a range of model options that may not be in production anymore.
- Insurance will be cheaper.
- You have extra money to customize, repair, or upgrade any components of the vehicle.
Overall, you’ll want to look into the value of the vehicle, whether it’s new or used. You can look at sites like RV Trader to see what people are selling different models for. If you do purchase a used RV, you’ll also want to have an inspection completed to look for:
- Mold: Look at ceilings, walls, and around fixtures.
- Floor damage: If there is water damage, the floor may not feel sturdy, especially in the kitchen or bathroom.
- Exterior problems: Do the doors work properly? Is there corrosion or rust? Do the walls feel sturdy?
- Tires: Ask how old the tires are as well as looking at the tread.
Consider Future Repairs
The average lifespan of a motorhome is around 20 years, and depending on how often you use it and the wear and tear on the vehicle, this is a lot of time for potential repairs. Here are some of the biggest issues that RVs face during their lifetime:
- Water line burst
- Tire blowouts
- Toilet malfunctions
- Battery failure
- Window, roof, and vent leaks
- Structural damage
With the proper maintenance and if you protect the vehicle with an RV carport, there will be fewer repairs, but that doesn’t mean that regular maintenance isn’t needed at all. Before each trip and at other regular intervals, there are a variety of things that need to be done in order to ensure that the vehicle is running efficiently, protected from future issues, and is safe for driving. Here are just a few things that need to be checked:
- Tire pressure
- Headlight and brake lights
- Door and storage locks
- Power, water hose, sewer hose, and other connections.
- Check the gas lines
- Clean air conditioner filters
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Inspect the LP system
- Tighten battery cables
- Sanitize the fresh water system
- Check for water leaks or damage
Many of these things can be done on your own, but others require a technician. If you’re not paying someone else to do the maintenance, you are spending your own time doing it — either way, maintaining an RV requires long-term costs.
Just like any vehicle, you’ll need to pay for insurance, which is one more cost that you’ll incur as an RV owner. Make sure that the insurance will cover you for accidents as well as liability coverage. Depending on the type and model of RV you purchase, insurance can range from $5,000 a year to hundreds of thousands. Your insurance rate will depend on your age, driving record, gender, marital status, credit score, your location, the type of RV, the primary use, and more.
Many types of RVs can take up a significant amount of space given the size of the RV, which can make things difficult as you’re looking for a campground that is made for small sedans. And there is also the interior space. Depending on where you want to go and what you want to do when you get there, take into consideration the size of the RV, how easy it is to drive, drive in reverse, and when you’re in a spot, how much space is left for lounging outside of the RV. Another thing to consider is when you’re simply traveling on the road from place to place and you’re looking for a place to park.
As for interior space, it will depend on how many people are traveling and well you all get along on the road. Most RVs have some sort of aisle down the middle for people to walk, folding tables that turn into chairs or that turn into a bed. But also look at cab space, sleeping areas, the size of the bathroom, and how much cabinet and other storage there is.
How big the RV is leads us to our final consideration: storage. Even for long-term RVers, there needs to be a space where you can safely park the RV that will protect it from the elements. Wholesale Direct Carports has everything you could want in terms of RV carports and storage for large vehicles. We offer a variety of pre-designed RV carports that you can choose from. if you need something unique, we can create a custom carport just for your RV. You can choose the style of roof (standard, boxed eave, or vertical), the dimensions, full or partial walls, if you want just a standalone carport or a protected shed area, the color, and trim options.
When you work with Wholesale Direct Carports, you can be confident that you’re getting exactly what you need for your vehicle. To make things even better, our RV carports are always affordable and we offer free delivery and set up to several states throughout the country. When shopping for an RV, the easiest decision you’ll have to make is who to buy our carport from.