How to Buy an RV: Tips For First-Time Buyers

The Transwest Team
The Transwest Team
Feb 10, 2021
How to Buy an RV: Tips For First-Time Buyers

Purchasing your first RV is an exciting experience. Whether you plan to take your motorhome to a nearby attraction or across the country, picking out your new RV is a thrilling endeavor.

However, with so many different types of RVs on the market and with numerous RV manufacturers to choose from, you can be left feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of where to begin.

If you’re ready to buy an RV and aren’t quite sure how to get started, this guide is for you. Check out these quick tips for first-time RV buyers and find the perfect fit for your next adventure.

Research RV Types

Before setting foot on an RV lot, take some time to do your research into the RV types available. RVs are usually classified by their size or design.

The following are all different RV types, each with its own unique set of benefits.

  • Class A: Class A RVs are one of the largest options on the market. A Class A motorhome is anywhere from 29 to 45 feet long. These RVs are the ideal pick for those who are looking for luxury and a true home away from home. They also make a great choice for larger families who need more sleeping space.
  • Class B: If you envision driving your RV down tight mountain roads, a Class B might be more your speed. Class B RVs range from 18 to 24 feet in length and are often built on a van chassis. Think converted Ford Transits and Mercedes Sprinters. These RV options are a perfect choice for the adventurous.
  • Class C: Approximately the size of a moving truck, Class C RVs range between 21 to 41 feet in length. These RVs are somewhere between the full luxury of a Class A and the maneuverability of Class B. They are the ultimate compromise between amenities and size.
  • Super C: A Super C is similar to a Class C; however, a Super C motorhome engine is built on a heavy-duty front-engine chassis. Super C RVs are the perfect choice if you want to tow another vehicle or trailer behind your RV.
  • Bus Conversions: Similar in size to a Class A, a bus conversion is a luxury, high-end motorhome choice. These elegant coaches are outfitted with the highest quality interior and ultimate luxury amenities.

In addition to researching different RV types, it is worth taking the time to explore popular manufacturers, such as Newmar, Tiffin, Winnebago, Thor, Cimarron, and Logan Coach.

Think Through Your Intended Use

With such a wide variety of RV types available, it is important to spend time thinking through your intended use for the vehicle before making a choice.

Ask yourself the following important questions as you consider each motorhome design:

  • How many people will be traveling in the RV? It is important to consider not only sleeping space but also seating arrangements when in motion. It is also critical to ensure the safety of passengers with ample seat belt options.
  • Where do you plan to travel? If you are envisioning off-roading, you probably won’t do well with a Class A. Conversely, if you plan to spend weeks on end at an RV resort, you will probably want to pick an RV that has electrical hookups.
  • What amenities are a must-have? For some, a simple place to sleep and a small kitchenette are enough. For others, having a TV and full bath are must-have features. Make sure to think through what amenities will keep you happy during your travels.

Find a Reputable Dealer

The dealership you work with when purchasing your first RV can make or break the experience. Be sure to look for a reputable RV dealer in your area.

Choose an RV dealership that has a long-established reputation in the community. Read online reviews to get an idea of what kind of service the business offers.

Additionally, look for a dealership that has a quality and robust inventory. This ensures that you can find the perfect motorhome for your needs and also gives you a better chance at finding a fair price.

Ask Questions

Once you feel ready to begin the purchasing journey, be sure to ask your salesperson as many questions as possible. Buying an RV is a big investment. You should never feel rushed or like your questions are unwanted.

During this stage, make sure to ask specific questions about the amenities you are hoping to find in your future motorhome. For example, if you want to spend time far off the beaten track without access to hookups, ask about solar options and off-road capabilities.

The more questions you ask upfront, the more confident you can be in your purchase decision.

Take a Test Drive

Taking an RV for a test drive is a must if you are considering purchasing. Driving a motorhome is the best way to get a feel for how comfortable you will be navigating it on busy roads or in tight spaces.

During a test drive, be honest with yourself. Does this RV feel like the right fit for your needs? Do you feel confident driving the motorhome? Take your time getting to know an RV before committing to a purchase.

Visit Transwest to Find Your First RV

If you are ready to buy an RV, our team at Transwest is here to assist. We carry a wide selection of RVs, ranging from small Class Bs to elegant bus conversions. Whether you plan to be a weekend warrior or a full-time van lifer, we can help you find the ideal motorhome for your needs.

For the first-time RV buyer, we would like to spend some time with you! Getting to know you and your plans for the vehicle will help us make the best recommendations. We are experienced at helping match new buyers with an RV that will fit well with their needs and plans.

Get ready for your next adventure by stopping by Transwest today. Our team is standing by, ready to assist.


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