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How to buy an RV in 2023. A guide for first time buyers:

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

How to buy an RV in 2023. A guide for first time buyers: 10 important things to consider when purchasing an RV.

Choosing an RV in 2023 involves considering several factors to ensure you find the right fit for your needs and preferences. Here are 10 important things to consider when purchasing an RV with steps to guide you through the process.

A wooded road. How to buy and RV. A Guide for first time buyers. 10 important things to consider when purchasing an RV.

Determine your RV needs:

Assess how you plan to use the RV. Will it be for occasional weekend getaways, extended road trips, or full-time living? Knowing your usage will help you select the appropriate size and features.

RV types:

There are many different types of RVs, such as motorhomes (Class A, B, or C), travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-up campers, and more. Research each type to understand their pros and cons and see which one aligns best with your lifestyle and needs.

3 different types of RV campers


Establish a realistic budget, considering the initial purchase price, ongoing maintenance costs, fuel, and campground fees. There will be necessities that you will also need like a sewer hose kit, water hose, water pressure regulator, surge protecter, leveling kit or blocks, and chocks. Don't forget to include accessories in your budget! You'll probably want outdoor chairs, a grill and a rug if you plan to spend time outside. Also, factor in potential upgrades or modifications you might want to make immediately.

This RV has a nice modern interior. The dinette is on a slide to the RV maximum space.
This RV has a nice modern interior. The dinette is on a slide out to give this RV maximum space.

Size and layout:

RVs come in various sizes and floor plans. Determine how many people will be traveling with you and what amenities are essential for your comfort. Consider the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living areas.

The size and layout of your RV will affect your comfort and your ability to travel. A larger RV may be more comfortable for long trips, but it may also be more difficult to maneuver and park. A smaller RV may be more nimble, but it may also be less comfortable for extended periods of time.

Research RV brands and models:

Research, research, research! I can't stress this enough! Look for reputable RV manufacturers with a history of quality and reliability. Read reviews and seek recommendations from experienced RVers to find reliable models.

Inspect and test drive:

If buying a motorhome, take it for a test drive to gauge its handling and comfort as you would when purchasing a personal vehicle. For travel trailers or fifth wheels, inspect the interior and exterior thoroughly, looking for any signs of wear or damage. This is extremely important when purchasing a pre-owned RV. You'll want to know as much history as possible.

A nice travel trailer RV is being pulled by a large SUV.

Consider towing capacity:

If you plan to tow a travel trailer or fifth wheel, ensure your vehicle has the appropriate towing capacity to handle the RV's weight safely. If you plan to purchase a towing vehicle you should include the cost in your budget.

Storage and parking:

Determine where you will store the RV when not in use. Make sure you have adequate space at your home or consider rental storage options. Don't forget to look at height as well as length and width. Will there be any powerlines or tree limbs in the way?

Amenities and features:

Prioritize the amenities and features that are essential for your travels. This could include a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable sleeping arrangements, air conditioning, heating, entertainment systems, and more. Making a list of needs vs. wants will help make your decision easier.

Resale value:

While enjoying your RV, keep in mind its potential resale value. Opt for features and layouts that have broad appeal to maintain its value over time.

Remember that choosing and purchasing an RV in 2023 is a personal decision, and what matters most is finding one that aligns with your travel style, preferences, and budget. Take your time to research, compare, and test different options before making a final decision. Happy RV hunting to all first time buyers! Thank you for reading How to buy an RV. 10 important things to consider when purchasing an RV.

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