Buying an RV? Avoid These Beginner Mistakes


Buying an RV is an extraordinary way to grow closer to your destinations, enjoy the luxuries of home, and travel as far as the eye can see.

However, while RVing is a rewarding experience, buying the wrong type can spell disaster. Not to mention you will have invested thousands of dollars on a vehicle not suited to your preferences or outdoor lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll cover several considerations to make before purchasing one, including mistakes you should avoid.    

Seven Considerations When Choosing an RV

Having an RV can turn your vacation into an adventurer’s paradise. Here are five considerations to think about when buying an RV:

What type of RV do you want?

What type of RV is best suited for your adventures? There are three types of recreational vehicles: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A types can sleep up to eight people and are powered by either a diesel or gas engine. Class B models are smaller but more fuel-efficient than Class C. The latter tends to offer more interior living space. 

Finally, there are towable RVs — ones that are towed behind your vehicle. Examples include travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers. Need a quality vendor, then consider buying from Cruise America. Our Class C options are custom-built and designed to withstand your typical rugged conditions. 

What type of activities will you be doing?

If all you seek is a vehicle to get you from Point A to Point B, then storage won’t be much of a concern. However, it pays to assess your options if you bring dirt bikes, a kayak, or other large sporting equipment. Finally, consider your camping lifestyle. For example, if you enjoy moving through several locations, a Class B vehicle will be sufficient. Assess your lifestyle and personal needs.

How much can you afford to pay?

RV costs can range from anywhere between $35,000 to $300,000. Pricing depends on several factors, including features, amenities, age, etc. Additional fees, such as vehicle taxes and registration fees, do apply. Narrow down your selections by what you need in a recreational home so you can find affordable options.

Where will you store it?

A properly-stored RV helps prevent damages, wear, and long-term strain. In this case, you need a storage location that is both affordable and convenient. If you want to avoid costly, temperature-controlled locations, opt for shaded parking locations. If you own a Class C motorhome, you may be able to fit your vehicle into a two-car garage. 

Are you purchasing a new or used model?

The benefits of purchasing a new RV include better warranties and longer-lasting accessories. Plus, you can select which design features you want. That said, you’ll be paying a large sum for one. A quality-used RV can save your money up-front, though repair costs can drain your wallet if its features are worn out.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Purchasing an RV

Save yourself the burden of an unsatisfied selection by avoiding these five critical mistakes:

Purchasing the wrong kind

By this, we mean investing in an RV that does not suit your needs or outdoor lifestyle. Perhaps you purchased one with limited features, small storage space, or one that is too big to fit into a parking unit. Never settle for just any type of vehicle. Take the time to research your options before making a long-term commitment. 

Purchasing the wrong insurance

Selecting the wrong insurance can result in unnecessary costs or a lack of coverage for a specific need. Some insurance plans only cover the camper, not the contents inside. When selecting an RV insurance plan, consider ones that offer replacement costs and personal property coverage in case any of your items are stolen. 

Not having your RV inspected

Unless you know all the ins and outs of your recreational vehicle, ask for a thorough tour of your RV. Your dealer should have a detailed understanding of your selection as they take you through a proper inspection. These include teaching you how to set up systems, address maintenance concerns, etc. 

Not knowing the height clearance or tow specifications

Determine the height clearance of your RV before making a final decision. Knowing the dimensions will save you the trouble of paying for damages associated with underpasses. If you’re purchasing a towable RV trailer, ensure that your vehicle can safely handle the weight of your RV. Otherwise, you may end up with damaged transmission. 

Not joining an RV community

RV communities can get you started with recommendations on how to buy an RV. You can find them on forums and social media groups. Not only will you gain valuable advice, but you will also get a personal assessment of the RV lifestyle.

Get the RV of Your Dreams From Cruise America

If you need further consultation on purchasing your first recreational vehicle, Cruise America can get you started. We offer a variety of pre-owned RVs with multiple sales deals to ensure financial flexibility. Contact us today!