How to buy a RV – Motorhome, Travel Trailer, or Fifth Wheel

How to Buy a RV – First of a series, When to purchase

I’m starting this post on the last day of January. Where I am the snow is about 3 feet deep in town – and deeper on the ski slopes nearby! Yes, I’m an RV’er, yes, I live in my RV all winter (lots of videos on my channel about RV living in the winter!), and yes, I love it!

how to buy a RV
Winter gives me plenty of time to contemplate how to buy a RV!

I also work for a RV dealership in Casper, Wyoming. I wanted that out for “full disclosure” as my goal here is to inform, offer insights, and yes, if you are in my region – or are passing through and wish me to quote on your ideal RV, I’ll be glad to do so.

How to Buy a RV…

With that out of the way, I’m going to “build” this post over the next few weeks by adding short “how to” videos – each designed to address some aspect of How to Buy a RV.

I’d like to start with timing… because RV prices can vary by thousands (or more for expensive units) from the “high season” to the “low season”. Join me in my video below to get my thoughts on WHEN is the best time to buy a RV.

Summary – and a few additional thoughts…

  • Timing can impact pricing on RV’s by thousands of dollars
  • In the north, the slow season is November through February/March
  • When RV’s can be had near cost in the winter, your trade in is also valued lower
  • Dealers are motivated to move “old” inventory – right now that is the 2015’s, and soon the 2016’s
  • The new model year units arrive in June and July from many vendors (eg – 2017’s due out in a few months)
Thoughts about how to buy a RV... and great places to stay!
Thoughts about how to buy a RV… and great places to stay!

There is much more to share on the topic of “How to buy a RV” – and additional brief videos with tips and insights ARE coming soon. Topics to be presented will include – buying a new vs. used RV, selecting the type of RV that is best for you, where to buy (and why), what to look for when selecting a unit (eg – features, design/engineering, manufacturer reputation), what to expect after you purchase, what kind of vehicle you need for your towable RV, negotiating to get the best price – and being realistic.

Got thoughts? Care to share? Please use the space provided below! 

Also, while you’re here you may wish to visit our RV Across America home page and see what else is new. Our home page is organized by “tiles” – each dedicated to a topic of interest to RV’ers. As a full time RV’er for 4 years now, I’ve been steadily adding content! Feel free to contact me if you wish to contribute content to our site, or discuss how I earn a living while traveling (another hot topic!)

Lastly, please subscribe by locating the “follow us” in the upper right corner of our page to get updates as this site grows!

Click HERE to access Part 2: How to Buy a RV – New vs. Used

 

 

13 thoughts on “How to buy a RV – Motorhome, Travel Trailer, or Fifth Wheel

  1. It’s interesting that the timing can impact the price of a fifth-wheel by thousands. I am wanting to purchase a trailer, and it’s important to me not to overspend. I’ll have to look into when the best time for me to buy would be. Thanks for the post!

    • Tyler, if you’re in Wyoming (my bet from the website you listed), the answer is we are leaving the deep discount season. In a few weeks, dealers will have plenty of buyers and as such, less incentive to discount deeply.

  2. I have enjoyed your feedback so far as I begin my search for a 5th wheel toy hauler.

    I am interested in learning more about some of the functional systems in an RV. How does the water system or any system, i.e. electrical, waste, etc work? Are there upgrades or improvements I should look for when I buy? Are there options when I buy, i.e., upgrading the generator? Are their upgrades to stoves? refrigerators?

    I will be loading by Kawasaki 1600 Vulcan into my 5th wheel. What should I be prepared or concerned about?

    This is my retirement plan, so I want to be very knowledgeable about what to expect.

    • I suggest you review my videos and posts on RVAcrossAmerica.net along with others. The only toy haulers I recommend in good conscience are Fuzion and Seismic (pricey). I will have a post about Fuzion coming out soon. To learn about specific systems, youtube can be your resource. Fuzion uses a better foundation (chassis and other design factors) than most other toy hauler manufacturers. You’ll get an Onan5500 gen, there is no need for “better”. Stoves and refrigs are standard rv design, most often made by Norcold (refrig) and magic chef for the stove (or equivalent). To carry your Kawasaki, you need d-rings that are welded to the frame which Fuzion does, and most others don’t do! Hope this helps. Al

  3. Does your timing strategy apply to Outdoors RV products? I’ve been watching prices and inventories from a few of their dealers and I’m starting to think that, because of demand, their dealers don’t have much excess and may even run a backlog which requires pre-ordering. I’m specifically looking at one of their Black Rock / Backcountry models and right now there are only a few listed on RV Trader. Any advice specific to ORVs?

    • Tim,

      You’re correct to note that Outdoors RV is having trouble keeping up with demand. That leaves dealers waiting on trailers and treating each one in inventory like gold. That said, winter IS approaching here in the northwest and business is slowing down. As to Blackrock – not sure how many dealers have jumped on board with those models. Here in Casper, I have a Creekside 20FQ that just came in that I can deal on. It is on the Creekside line, so it will have a few amenities that you won’t get (and perhaps don’t want) on the blackrock line, but it is among one of the smaller, no slide, affordable options. Let me know if this model may work for you.

Leave a Reply to rvacrossamerica Cancel reply