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How to Buy a New RV - Motorhome, Travel Trailer, Fifth Wheel, Pickup Camper or Park Model

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Buying a New RV? Let Guide You in the Right Direction

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Buying a brand new RV can be a daunting task. The experts at (, the leader in RV pricing and specification information, offer these tips to help guide you in the right direction.

Do your Homework.

According to Lenny Sims, Vice President of Operations and RV Editor, nothing can replace honest to goodness research when it comes to buying a new RV.

Be sure to determine the Recreation Vehicle that best fits your needs, your wants and your lifestyle, says Sims, before you sign on the dotted line.

His advice? Spend a lot of time researching different types of RVs, various makes and models and a variety of floor plans, as well as new RV pricing information and pre-owned RV pricing information (like the data offered at ( to determine the potential price your used recreation vehicle might fetch if youre offering it on trade or selling it outright. Sims suggests visiting a local RV park, talking to RV owners, (asking their opinions and getting their advice), joining a local RV club, subscribing to recreation vehicle magazines and newsletters, going to local RV shows to evaluate various makes and models first-hand, as well as renting an RV for the weekend to get some invaluable hands-on experience.

Finally, Sims suggests working closely with an RV sales associate at a local RV dealership to examine various features of the recreation vehicle youre interested in purchasing, including its creature comforts and living space design, its engine specifications (when applicable), its tow-ability (when applicable), and the ins-and-outs of its optional equipment, including exactly how the refrigerator, stove, awnings, toilets, water pumps and holding tanks work.

When you educate yourself with as much up-front information as possible, the entire RV purchasing experience becomes much more comfortable and enjoyable, says Sims.

Check your Wallet.

Next up? Determine your budget ahead of time and stick to that budget, says Sims. If youre financing, be sure to take into consideration all other monthly expenses, including the cost of your RV payment, to determine what you can afford.

Sims says offers a wealth of financial resources RV buyers can utilize, including Used RV Pricing (to determine what your pre-owned RV is worth, as down payment for a new purchase), RV Loan Quotes (to determine what your monthly payment will be), a Credit Check service (to determine your credit score and types of RV loans terms you qualify for), Insurance and Warranty Quotes (to factor in exactly what recreation vehicle insurance and warranty programs will cost on a monthly basis), as well as the websites Cash for your RV program (a wholesale RV purchasing program that could net a potential buyer cash for his/her pre-owned recreation vehicle, to subsidize a new RV purchase).

Find your Ride.

Todays RV buyer has a convenient medium at his fingertips the Internet and Sims says there are a variety of online resources RV buyers can turn to, without having to drive all over town (or all over the state for that matter), to find their perfect ride.

According to Sims, the tools offered at allow buyers to customize their searches to include information about New and Used Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, Travel Trailers, Truck Campers and Specialty Tow Vehicles, by Make, Model, Year, Price, Length, Location and Special Features (such as Handicapped Accessible or Good Sam Certified).

The skys the limit when it comes to finding your perfect RV online, said Sims. Its super convenient and much easier than it ever was before.

Take a Test Drive.

As with any vehicle purchase, Sims suggests test driving your new RV to get a feel for its maneuverability, handling and power. When buying an RV, nothing is more valuable than taking a test drive, says Sims, so stay focused, pay attention and spend quality time doing it right.

Sims urges buyers to pay attention to the overall length and maneuverability of a recreation vehicle during the test drive, since this is one of the most important considerations when owning it.

When an RV is over 38 feet, it will need to be maneuvered in pull-through spaces at campgrounds, says Sims. Whats more, any towing requirements, such as a tow dinghy, trailer or boat will also dictate the size of RV youll need to buy, and hence, how it performs. Depending on the type of RV, trailer or motor home you need, Sims suggests finding one with a greater turning radius if you plan to tow with it.

Sims says that during the test drive, buyers also need to keep in mind where they plan to store their RV (whether or not they have the accommodations to store and park it depending on its size) where they plan to go with their RV (and whether or not those places provide easy in-and-out access), how often they will use it (whether theyre an RV weekender or full-timer), and as mentioned earlier, whether or not they have any towing requirements (such as a boat, a smaller car, or a trailer with ATVs or motorcycles). All of these factors come into play when assessing an RVs overall drive-ability and ease of use and the test drive is the most important time to evaluate its handling characteristics he says.

Get the Best Price.

According to Sims, there are a variety of resources a potential RV buyer can investigate to make sure theyre getting the best deal on a new RV.

Check out online resources such as RVTraderOnline or RVSearch at, says Sims, to compare prices of comparable new makes and models. Delve into your local newspaper to determine retail prices at local RV dealerships in your area or go online to your local RV dealers website to research inventory and new RV pricing information there.

Finally, if you have a pre-owned RV for trade or for sale to a private buyer, Sims urges consumers to check out used RV pricing information to determine exactly what their pre-owned recreation vehicles are worth. Sims says offers Low and Average Retail prices for virtually every pre-owned RV on the market today, including Truck Campers, Motor Homes, Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels, Park Models, even Camping Trailers.

Knowing what your pre-owned recreation vehicle is worth is an extremely important part of the new RV buying process, said Sims. Not only does the value of your used RV determine a potential new RV down payment, but that information can also be used to determine what you could potentially net in the form of a trade-in or outright sale, to offset other ancillary costs of owning an RV such as insurance, warranty and service expenses.

To learn about virtually every new and used RV on the market today, visit for more information.

You may also want to read: Which RV is Right for You? -- How to buy a Used RV -- Knowing How to Buy an RV can save you Thousands of dollars

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