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First Time RV Buyer’s Guide

Purchasing a recreational vehicle (RV) for the first time can be pretty intimidating for some people, because there are so many features and options offered by RV dealers. There are many things to consider when purchasing an RV. Some of the most important things a first time RV buyer should consider are size, construction, type, storage, usage, floor plans, previous ownership and price. All of these factors play a key role in the final decision of which RV to choose.

Size

When you’re buying an RV for the first time, its size plays a key role in the decision you make. Evaluating the size you will need is a pretty simple process. You’ll need to think about what you plan to use the RV for, as well as how many people will normally be expected during the day and night. It’s also important to think about where you plan to actually use the RV as well, because if you want one just to go camping locally on the weekends, a larger one may suffice compared to a smaller, possibly more efficient one for traveling long distances. If you choose a motorized RV, there are types to choose from that include gas, diesel, and toy haulers in class A, B, B+, and C. Pictured above is a class b motorhome by Airstream.

Construction

The construction of a recreational vehicle can be a deciding factor in which one to buy. Some people want to know that they’re safe and secure inside of an RV built using aluminum or steel while other people don’t mind if the RV is made with cheaper materials such as wood. The terrain an RV is used on can also help determine what types of materials are used to construct the RV, so consider that as well. The materials used to construct an RV can also play a big role in determining the final price of the RV, so if you’re on a tight budget with limited flexibility, you may need to keep that in consideration as well.

Price

The price of a recreational vehicle plays one of the biggest roles in which RV a buyer will purchase. This is one of the first few factors you need to decide when you’re buying an RV for the first time, because it will help you automatically eliminate some features or options that are presented to you. When looking at different types of RVs, you will need to keep in mind that price can reflect the quality of construction of an RV, so going the cheapest route may end with owning an RV that will defect, prematurely. If you have a small budget or don’t plan to use the RV very much, then it’s possible a cheaper, lower quality RV may be the best choice. If you need one for constant traveling, however, you may want to choose an RV that’s built with durability and a long lifetime in mind.

Storage

Both storing an RV when not in use, and the storage room inside an RV, can be a couple more deciding factors in determining which RV to purchase. If you’re interested in a very large RV but you have no storage area for it, you may want to consider a smaller RV that you’ll be able to store easily. On the inside of the RV, storage is sometimes important when choosing the right RV to purchase, because if the RV is used for long distance traveling, it’s important to have room to store food, clothing, and other essential items. If an RV is purchased for weekend leisure or similar, storage in the interior of the RV may not be as important.

Usage

The use of an RV has a direct impact on which one is best to purchase. Considering the fact that there are dozens of different types of RVs from which to choose, you will need to decide what the RV’s main use will be and how often you’ll use it. If you plan to travel cross-country in it, a high-durability construction will be the most important factor in choosing which RV to buy. If you plan to use the RV once or twice per month, though, a cheaper, simpler RV may be the one that fits your needs. The usage also determines the size of RV that you will need, which we covered earlier in this guide.

Floor Plans

The floor plan of an RV is important to consider when you’re buying an RV for the first time. There are hundreds of different floor plans available that range from simple, one room designs to complex, multiple room designs that are capable of housing a family. Choosing the right floor plan has a big impact on not only the price of an RV, but the size and construction of the RV, too. For example, you’ll need to decide whether a stove and refrigerator are necessary. You’ll need to decide whether simple things like a bathroom, water, hot water tank, sewage tank, shower or bath tub are needed. Also, if you plan to use your RV for large gatherings, the location of the kitchen, and whether you have a stove, sink(s), and counter space in the floor plan can be vital as well. There are lots of choices in floor plans available for RVs, so this one factor alone can be one of the hardest ones to decide when finding the right RV.

New or Used

The previous ownership of an RV can be important to some first time RV buyers. While the price is often considerably cheaper for a used RV, some buyers may want to experience the feeling of purchasing a brand new RV. Sometimes, deciding whether to choose from new and used RVs can be hard, because compared to the price of a brand new RV, a buyer can possibly get a lot more features by purchasing a used RV instead. Buying a new or used RV is an important choice to make, so don’t forget to think about this as well.

As you’ve reviewed, there are several key factors to think about when buying an RV for the first time. It’s important to avoid feeling overwhelmed or rushed, because purchasing an RV is a big life event, and often one with a high price tag. Be sure to take all the time you need when making the decision on which RV to purchase, because it’s important to feel like you’ve made the right choice when purchasing your RV.

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