RV Buying Checklist: What to Look for Before You Buy



Purchasing an RV is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. To ensure you make the right choice, it’s essential to have a checklist of key factors to look for before you buy. In this article, we’ll provide you with an RV buying checklist to help you make an informed decision.

Determine Your RV Type

Size and Layout

Consider the size and layout of the RV that best suits your needs. Determine the number of sleeping areas, kitchen amenities, storage space, and living areas. Make sure the layout aligns with your preferences and travel plans.

New vs. Used

New RVs

New RVs offer the latest features and technology, along with warranties and customization options. Consider the allure of having the latest amenities but also be prepared for a higher price tag.

Used RVs

Used RVs can provide significant cost savings, and those with a history of reliable performance offer assurance. Research the track record of specific models to ensure reliability.


Total Cost

Set a realistic budget, including not only the purchase price but also ongoing expenses like insurance, maintenance, campground fees, and fuel. Be prepared for additional costs such as RV accessories and any necessary upgrades.


Understand that new RVs can depreciate quickly, sometimes losing a significant portion of their value in the first few years. Used RVs can be a more cost-effective option as they avoid the steepest depreciation curve.


Thorough Examination

Whether you’re planning to Buy RV new or used, conduct a thorough inspection. Look for signs of wear and tear, water damage, and structural issues. Test all appliances and systems to ensure they are in working order. Consider hiring a professional RV inspector for a more comprehensive evaluation.

Vehicle History (Used RVs)

Research the history of a used RV, including any accidents, maintenance records, and recalls. A clean history ensures you’re making a more reliable investment.

Test Drive


If you’re purchasing a motorhome, take it for a test drive. Pay attention to how it handles, the visibility from the driver’s seat, and how comfortable the living area is while in motion.


Price Negotiation

Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the seller, whether it’s a dealership or a private owner. Be prepared to walk away if the deal doesn’t meet your budget or requirements.


Purchasing an RV is a substantial investment, and using a comprehensive checklist is crucial to making an informed decision. Consider your budget, RV type, new vs. used, and the importance of a thorough inspection. Your RV is not just a vehicle; it’s your home on wheels, and your satisfaction and comfort should be the top priorities when buying your dream RV. With the right checklist in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to make an RV purchase that suits your lifestyle and travel aspirations.


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