RV is an abbreviation for “recreational vehicle” and can fall into one of three main categories: campers, motorhomes, and trailers. Motorhomes are what most people think of when they hear the term “RV”, and they also fall into one of three categories (Class A, Class B, and Class C), with Class A being the largest. People use RVs for many different reasons, usually for vacations or to live in. Whether you’re gearing up for your next trip or planning to live in an RV full-time (or for an extended period of time), there are a few things that you should know before you purchase an RV.
Before You Buy
Before you buy an RV, you must decide if you’re only going to use it for vacations, or if you’re planning on living in it full-time. Since you’re considering buying one, you’ve probably already decided on which one you’re going to do. In that case, here are a few more things to consider.
Buying New vs. Buying Used
This consideration depends on various factors, such as how often you’re going to drive your RV and your financial status. Overall, if you’re only going to use your RV for vacation, buying used one is a suitable option. It costs less, but you really need to keep up maintenance on it. On the other hand, a used RV is ideal if you’re going to live in it full-time. Although RVs tend to depreciate in value faster than cars, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern if you’re investing in it for the long term.
Purchasing an RV – Inspect Your RV
Whether you buy used or new, you should always conduct a thorough inspection of your RV. Because it has many features of a home, it’s the same as looking through a house before you decide to buy. Check for things like mold and flood damage, but also check the tires and be aware of any exterior issues. RVs are also motor vehicles, so you should do some of the same things you would do if you were buying a car. Know about the particular vehicle’s history, and take it for a test drive. If you’ve never owned or have even ridden in an RV before, it’s a good idea to do more research before you purchase. They are vastly different from your everyday car, truck, or SUV, from the maintenance of the vehicle to the way they drive. You should also be aware of approved RV campgrounds for parking, resting, and camping.
Be sure to factor in car shipping costs if you purchase your RV online or from out-of-state. Be sure to inquire about enclosed car shipping options that are available for your RV. Depending on the size, enclosed transport may not be available.
Purchasing an RV – Mistakes to Avoid
Packing too Much
Even though RVs are very roomy vehicles, they also have a weight limit that can make driving very difficult and dangerous if that limit is exceeded. Only pack the things you need for your vacation, and if you’re transitioning into the RV lifestyle, you’ll need to learn to become a minimalist. Sticking to the weight limit can reduce your chances of becoming involved in an accident resulting in personal injury or wrongful death from a motor vehicle, and can make it easier for you to win your case if you do get into an accident and have to take it to court.
Purchasing an RV – Driving Long Distances at One Time
RV trips are best taken at a slow pace, so make sure you plan an ample amount of time for your travels. Rushing your trip not only puts stress on you, but it’s also not good for the vehicle. Most experts would recommend that you not drive more than 400 miles per day.
Purchasing an RV – Not Taking the Time to Learn How to Drive
RVs don’t drive the same as cars, and not even like larger SUVs. There are certain techniques that you need to learn, such as turning and driving in certain weather conditions. You can practice driving before your trip, and check to see if there’s an RV driving class in your area.
RVs are very safe and fun vehicles as long as you’re fully educated on how to maintain and drive them. So don’t be afraid to choose an RV as your form of transportation for your next road trip!