What to Look for When Buying an RV

Owning a motor home can be a great experience. It gives you the opportunity to travel with your family, and is a little more enjoyable than a tent.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a motor home, here are some tips.

1. If this is your first time buying an RV, buy secondhand. An RV will depreciate just like a car will; only it is in considerably higher amounts. Look for an RV that might be owned by older people, chances are they’ve taken incredible care of them. A lot of times there is a reason they have to stop traveling, and are willing to sell them at a reasonable price.

2. Spend a lot of time looking around at different models and floor plans and find out which one will work best for your family. This is a huge investment, and chances are you’ll be owning and using your RV for many years. Make sure the flow is exactly how you need it to be to accommodate everyone.

3. Make sure everything works when you’re buying your RV. When we bought ours, there were several problems with it that we had to continuously go back and forth to the dealership. Had we thought to check everything ahead of time, it would have saved time and money. There are a lot of components to an RV, make a list before you go to pick it up, and check each and everyone before you drive away.

4. Watch for water leaks. Take a look around the perimeter of the RV, and check inside closets to look for water leaks. They are expensive to fix! Simple sealing around the roof edge can usually take care of a water leak, but once it’s started it can be a nightmare to fix. Upkeep is important!

5. If you’re unsure of what kind of RV you might want, consider renting one out for the weekend. It can get pricey, but is a lot cheaper than buying one only to find out it’s not the style for you.

6. Make sure you know the value of your RV before buying. Look up the Blue Book price, or check out the NADA website. Try to shop in the “off season,” chances are you’ll get a better deal.

There are other things you need to consider, the cost of insurance, excise taxes and stocking it up, just as you would your own home. RV’s are considered similar to mortgages, and can be financed for up to 15 years, just as a mortgage. If you have a fully contained unit, with heat, refrigerator and bathroom, you may be able to deduct some of the expense on your taxes. Check with your accountant to make sure of the laws.

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