Buy an RV
Buying a recreational vehicle can be a very expensive transaction. Before starting the buying process, we urge you complete the following steps, at a minimum:
What to Buy
Numerous factors come into play when deciding what type, size, and cost RV to buy—let our Getting Started checklist guide you through the decision making process.
Or, for a quick overview, including pros and cons, review the introduction page of each RV type:
Where to Buy
Most RV merchants sell both new and used models, and we see no reason to separate the two categories. Venues that primarily sell used items, such as online auctions and classified, often carry new RV's as well.
Online Classifieds & Auctions
The most abundant selection of recreational vehicles are found on auction and classifieds web sites. As long as you use common sense and take precautions when buying from unknown parties, we feel that buying online is a good way to go. (You may be interested in reading our story, Changin' Gears, where we briefly describe how we bought our fifth wheel and truck over the Internet.)
We recommend the following as your first stop:
Other online classifieds and consigners:
The most common local sources of RV's for sale are:
Actually, this should go under a section titled "Where NOT to Buy". High pressure RV sales environments like shows and tent sales should be approached with caution. A show is an excellent place to see, learn, and research, but we suggest not buying unless all of the following are true before heading out to the show:
Remember, the main tactic used by sales people is to tell you that the prices have been reduced for the show only. Experience seems to contradict this claim—as soon as the shows end, the commercials start: "Show prices have been extended!"
Direct from Manufacturer
A small number of manufacturers sell directly to the consumer. These companies generally do not have a dealership network, but they do send representatives to RV shows. Here are a few manufacturers that sell direct: