RV Buying Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the questions we have heard from our visitors. We will try to give you as concise an answer as possible. To get help with more questions you may have, as well as in-depth answers and a plan to follow, please order your printed or instant download copy of "RV Buyers Survival Guide".

Q: Where do I start finding Information about what's available?
A:The web is filled with an overload of information about RVs for sale and the lifestyles of RVers. So much, in fact, it can be mind- boggling, especially if you are new to RVing. Check out a list on our site of 100+ RV manufacturers, who combined produce several hundred brands of RVs, in all of the individual types and styles. Click on any one of them and get started in determining what is available.

Q: How do we determine which RV will meet our needs?
A: If you are new to RVs, you must first ask yourselves what you will require from a RV today throughout the time that you will own it? To help you and your traveling partner figure this out, we have included a preview of the page "Customer Preference Worksheet" from the RV Buyers Survival Guide. Print it out, take a few moments to sit down and fill it in. This first step will help you in determining the functions of the RV you need. This will start directing you to one of the many different types available, class A, Fifth wheel trailer, ECT.

Q: There seem to be hundreds of types out there, why so many?
A: There really aren't that many, only nine basic "Types" of RVs. There are, however, hundreds of brands to choose from, determined simply by customer preference. The first deciding factor to focus upon is "Type". Once this evaluation has been made, you can quickly start narrowing down the brand that makes the most sense to meet your needs, as pertains to function, cost, etc. Think in terms of a funnel. We haveseveral info-packed pages in The Guide describing these "types" and their functions applied to you expectations and requirements.

Q: Is there an easy way to compare brands once we've settled on the type?
A: Easy? No. Easier, yes. This is where the real work (or fun) comes into play. After you have selected the type, you must look at brands. First, apply your thought-funnel to narrow down the masses. After that, the easiest way is to use a spread sheet format, as shown in the guide. This will allow you to look at the serious contenders for your investment dollars in an apples to apples format. By doing this you will determine which brands offer the best value for monies spent. You will quickly see that often a low price is a reflection of an omitted feature in a particular brand, not because the manufacturer is overly generous. If these omitted features are not important to your needs, that's fine. Just be conscious of what is or is not there. You don't want to find out after you've made a purchase that it won't do what you wanted it to do. Buying the RV that doesn't meet your needs down the road is the most costly, and most frustrating, mistake you can make.

Q: Ok we've got the brand and model picked out. Where do I go from here?
A: This is where your buying plan will be put to the test. After you decide what you want, go check it out. The trial against your plan and homework will come when you arrive at the RV dealership, generally in the salesperson endeavoring to put you into a unit that they make the best profit on, completely unbiased as to your selection. You must first have a good grasp of the selling process and what the methods of operation are at a dealership. This is what our survival guide is all about - "Inside" information.. The alternative to knowing is learning while you shop. But remember: you do this every few years, they do this for a living.

Q: Does the Guide explain how to figure out what I should pay?
A: Yes. Obviously we don't know what you're looking at, so we can't give you a specific answer in the guide. We do, however, explain how manufactures figure the MSRP. (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) By understanding this minor piece of math, and the cost dealers figure into selling price over their actual cost you can get a real number to help determined the value of units you may be contemplating.

Q: I've got a trade, how do I know what It's worth and what will the dealer give me for it as part of the trade process?
A: As part of our free information exchange, we have included a link to the NADA RV Appraisal Guide. This will allow you to look up the value of your trade-in. We also cover in great depth in our guide how a dealer looks at your trade-in as to decide what they will "put into" your trade as opposed to what they will "show you" for your trade.

Q: How do I know whether I can afford what I picked out before I go?
A: Again, as part of our free information exchange, we have included a free payment calculator for you to use. By plugging in a price, the months you want to finance and a rate, you can get a good ballpark price of what your payments would be. Possibly the best place to kick off beginning rates and terms (months) might be your bank or credit union. They will be happy to give you the parameters which they loan by, and give you a benchmark to work with. Please remember that loan amount will generally not included extras like taxes, plates, or insurance.

Q: Isn't my lenders rate always going to be better than the dealer's financing, since they already know me?
A: Not necessarily. Dealers transact with many lenders on financing specifically RVs. Often dealers can get you longer terms than your lender, which will help you buy more RV. Which may mean not settling for less than you want or need. Additionally, many times the RV lenders or the manufacturer will have special finance rates for a particular time or event. There is, however, much you should be aware of before blindly walking into a dealer's finance department, preparations you should be aware of, and precautions you can take.

Q: How can we be sure we'll get all that was promised to us in the negotiating phase after We've said "yes we'll take it"?
A: Documentation. Most dealerships and sales people are not out to get you or get over on you. However, the negotiating phase is generally not something that happens in five minutes, It starts when you settle on a unit. Much talking precedes a deposit to buy. Human nature is such that we don't always hear how something was actually said, or our perception of expectations. Before you sign a buyer's order (intent to purchase), have the sales person go over all you expect at time of delivery. Once this is committed in writing to the buyer's order you can continue the negotiating. This can take a few extra minutes, but will be well worth the time spent rather than having expectations unfulfilled at the time you receive delivery. Always review the unit at the time of delivery, prior to final signing to make sure all is as stated.

I hope that the questions we have addressed above have helped you with the RV buying process. Buying a RV can be the worst part of the RV experience If you let it be so. Some RVs can be as costly as the homes we reside in, and the buying process should not be a short-cut verdict any more than any other major financial decision should. The RV ownership experience is a great way to escape the realities which surround us and let us take a glimpse into the nomadic lifestyles of our forefathers, explorations of our great land and the wonders that abound and surround us. Enjoy it! - Bob


© 2008 RV Publications. All Rights Reserved. | Site designed and hosted by Tempest Technologies, LLC