Many people are amazed when they find out how successful the RV industry has been in the United States in the past several years. Despite the pandemic, this market has enjoyed a growth rate of about 6.6% each year since 2018. It is now worth about $48 billion every year in the United States alone!
If you are thinking about buying an RV, you can probably appreciate why there is so much demand for them. RVs can provide an incredible amount of fun and flexibility. At the same time, many people in the RV world recommend that you never buy a new RV when you can buy a used one.
Although this may be solid advice, it also means that it is important to be careful during the buying process. A great RV can provide a great time, but an RV with a significant problem can ruin your vacation. So what do you need to pay attention to when you are buying an RV?
Read on to learn all about the top factors to consider when making an RV purchase!
1. Learn About Different Types of RVs
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is rushing through the RV purchase process. However, it is often wiser to take your time and consider different types of RVs.
You might think that you already know the exact kind of RV that you want. However, most people do not know about all of the different kinds of RV available for purchase. If you go ahead with your current vision, you might regret it when you realize what other options are out there.
The more you know about different types of RVs, the higher the chance that you will choose the perfect option for your own preferences. At the very least, it is worth understanding the difference between Class A, Class B, and Class C RV options.
Class A RVs are larger than most other options. They are luxurious and often come with a long list of extra RV features. Of course, buying a Class A RV will also increase your RV costs.
Class B RVs are much smaller. Some people call them camper vans. This kind of RV focuses on efficiency and provides only the most basic amenities.
You can think of a good Class C RV as being somewhere in the middle. It is a good choice for someone who wants to have plenty of convenience with their RV but does not need all of the extra bells and whistles.
2. Consider Many RV Options
Once you have learned a little bit about different kinds of RVs, you can decide on which type and model is right for you. However, that does not mean that you should buy the first example of that model that you come across.
When you consider a wider variety of options, you can increase the chance that you find a great deal. Consider making a list of places where you can hunt for your chosen RV.
For example, you might ask your family and friends to ask around for the kind of RV you’re interested in. You can also look through Facebook Marketplace. You can also find communities that discuss RVs in Facebook groups and on Reddit.
In many cases, the people in these groups will have a wealth of knowledge about RVs. They can help you find the model you are looking for. They may also be able to answer any questions you have about RVs or about the RV purchase process.
3. Avoid Moldy Recreational Vehicles
As you are considering your RV options, make sure to keep an eye out for the possibility of mold. One of the big problems with RVs is that they sit outside all of the time. That means that they are often susceptible to humid environments.
That increases the chance that an RV will develop mold. If you find any mold in an RV, it might be safer to move on to other options. Once there is mold in one part of an RV, there is a good chance that it will spread to other places.
Along with being unsightly, mold can cause respiratory health issues as well.
Make sure to give any RV you are considering a thorough inspection. Look behind drawers and under mattresses. You can also ask the RV seller if they know of any mold problems with their RV.
4. Look Out for Water Damage
RVs are also susceptible to water damage. If you find an RV with water damage, that can also be a sign that it has a faulty seal. This can give you a sense of how much maintenance an RV has received or not.
Make sure to look around all of the corners of an RV you are considering. Look for signs of discoloration, peeling paint, or warping walls. All of these can indicate water damage that you may want to avoid.
5. Take a Close Look at the Caulking
In some cases, an RV is developing a faulty seal even if there is not yet any water damage. Make sure to look at the caulking of an RV you might want to buy.
If it is developing cracks or other damage, keep in mind that this RV may be more susceptible to future water damage.
It is also important to inspect the roof of an RV when you are taking a look at the caulking. If you are not comfortable doing so, you might want to hire a professional to inspect your potential RV.
6. Add New Tires to Your RV Costs
Many old RVs come with worn-out tires. That means that you may need to add the cost of replacing tires to your estimate for the cost of buying a particular RV.
Make sure to ask the seller or RV manufacturer about how long the tires have been sitting on the vehicle. Even if an RV does not have many miles on it, you will want new tires after about 6 years.
7. Look Out for Rusty RVs
Make sure to look underneath your RV for signs of significant rust damage. A little bit of rust might pose no more than an aesthetic threat. However, you might find that some of the frame is beginning to lose its structural integrity.
In such cases, you might want to move on to other RV options.
8. Avoid RVs With Significant Warping
Some RVs have to warp along a major wall on the outside. This can be a bigger issue than some people realize.
Significant warping is a sign that the fiberglass shell is no longer adhering to the underlying material. Whenever possible, you will want to buy an RV with smooth walls that do not demonstrate signs of bubbling.
9. Buy an RV With a Quality Engine
Take a look at the engine before you buy any RV. Look for signs that oil may be leaking or burning. If you see anything wrong with the engine, you should have it inspected by a mechanic before you go ahead with buying it.
10. Add Batteries to Your RV Buying Considerations
Take a careful look at the batteries before you pull the trigger on buying an RV you are considering.
If it has lithium batteries, that is a good sign. Lithium batteries do not require as much maintenance and they tend to last longer. On top of that, you can discharge more of the energy in lithium batteries without doing damage to them.
However, most RVs still have lead-acid batteries. Look for signs of corrosion on the battery terminals.
You should also make sure to ask the owner about what kind of maintenance the batteries have received. If your potential RV has old batteries, you may need to buy new ones before you head out on a long trip.
11. Inspect Your RV Awnings
As part of your inspection, make sure to pull out all of the awnings and other features on the outside of your RV. You might discover that they have taken significant damage. If they have, you might be able to buy your RV for a lower price.
12. Avoid Propane Leaks at All Costs
Most RVs come with a propane detector. Make sure that it is functioning and that the batteries haven’t gone dead.
If the propane detector isn’t working, there may also be an undiscovered problem with the propane system. Make sure to have a professional inspect it before you trust it with your health and safety.
Follow the Best Tips When Buying an RV
It is important to take your time and do your due diligence when you are buying an RV. Rushing through the process of choosing the right RV for you can lead to significant disappointment later on. As long as you look out for the most common problems with RV purchases, you can maximize the chance that you will be satisfied with your purchase.