How To Avoid the Biggest And Most Expensive RV Buying Mistakes

Buying an RV can be very stressful. And nobody wants to make expensive RV buying mistakes.

The truth is that RVs are not like most other purchases that you will ever make. For instance, most people like to do some research before buying a vehicle or a house. And that’s a smart thing to do.

But an RV is actually both of those things. It’s a vehicle that goes down the highway. And it’s a home whenever you are camping in it.

So it calls for a special kind of knowledge to know what to look for when buying an RV. And most people just don’t have that kind of knowledge or experience at first.

And without knowing what you should be looking for, it’s so easy to buy a rig that has hidden problems. Of course, that can lead to every RV owner’s nightmare – a money pit!

So let’s talk about how you can avoid those kind of RV buying mistakes and make a good RV choice instead.

RV Decisions That Need To Be Made

Before you even start the RV buying process, there is a need to make some important decisions.

For instance, which type of RV is best suited to you and the way you like to travel and camp?

Would a motorhome like a Class A, B or C fit you best? Or maybe you would do better with a towable like a travel trailer or fifth wheel.

Then you need to decide if you will buy a new or a used RV. There are advantages and disadvantages both ways.

Also, how much maintenance and upkeep can you afford after buying the RV? Some rigs are just more expensive to care for than others.

Then when you find an RV that you really like, how do you know whether you are actually getting a good deal or not? It’s easy to spend more money than you should if you aren’t prepared.

And of course, should you get an RV inspection on every rig that you are considering? If not, when should you bring in the RV inspector in the buying process?

Expensive RV Buying Mistakes

There are lots of RV buyers that make a purchase without really knowing what they are getting. And unfortunately, that’s an expensive way to buy!

It costs more on the front end when you actually buy the rig. And it continues to cost more afterward in the form of expensive repairs on hidden problems.

And when you don’t buy the kind of RV that fits you best, you may be changing rigs again soon. In fact, some buyers go through 3 or more RVs before they finally figure out what they should have purchased first.

If you add up all of the unnecessary money spent in these areas, it can be many thousands of dollars. And the vast majority of those expenses can and should be avoided.

So is there a common sense method of RV buying and RV inspection that puts the odds on your side? That helps you avoid the most expensive RV buying mistakes?

The good news is that the answer to those questions is YES!

How To Get An RV Buying Blueprint

As a certified RV inspector, I see examples of all of these RV buying issues that I have previously mentioned regularly.

So I have written a plainspoken guide to RV buying and RV inspection that many have found helpful.

It’s called “How To Avoid Buying An RV Money Pit”, and it’s an ebook that you can download.

Watch my YouTube video about “How To Avoid Buying An RV Money Pit here

In the ebook, I first explain how to choose the right RV for your needs. This is a crucial step to make sure that you get the RV you want right away.

The ebook also has several links to videos I have made that explain the various RV types in detail. And I cover the pros and cons of each kind of RV too, as well as who should buy them.

There are also videos on whether you should buy a new or used RV too. This is a big decision for most newer RV buyers.

And I explain the best way that you educate yourself about RV prices. This is important! Because armed with the right pricing information, you can get a great deal on your next RV.

So all of this information is really a blueprint for how to buy an RV the right way. And none of it is hard or difficult to understand.

In fact, I have tried my best to make sure that the tips and information in the ebook is understandable by even RV newbies.

But now we get to one of the most important parts of the RV buying process – the RV inspection.

You Can Perform A Pre-Purchase RV Inspection

One of the biggest issues with RV inspections is knowing when to bring in the RV inspector in the buying process.

That’s because if you pay for an RV inspection for every rig that you look at, that can get expensive fast! Especially if you don’t find the right RV for you right away!

Of course, getting an RV inspection by a pro is one of the best ways to avoid RV buying mistakes. So what’s the best way to handle this issue?

My recommendation is to learn how to perform a pre-purchase RV inspection of your own. And that is one of the best advantages of getting my ebook!

Get my RV buying and RV inspection ebook guide now!

I show you step-by-step how to inspect some of the most expensive items on an RV that you are considering. And none of the personal inspection process is too technical for the average RV buyer.

So the pre-purchase inspection helps you know that the main components of the RV are functioning correctly. It therefore means that you can now seriously consider that RV for purchase.

And to help make the personal inspection even easier, I also provide you with a checklist to use as you go. So as you proceed through the inspection, you can record what you find on each part of the RV.

This becomes especially helpful if you look at several rigs before purchasing. After a while of looking at lots of RVs, they just all seem to blend together.

It’s hard then to remember exactly what you saw on each RV that you inspected. But the checklist helps organize your thoughts on each rig and easily bring them back to mind.

Do You Still Need A Professional RV Inspection?

So if you know how to make a pre-purchase RV inspection of your own, do you even need a pro inspector?

Let me say clearly that my ebook inspection guide is not meant to replace a professional RV inspection. That is not the purpose of the ebook at all.

Instead, the pre-purchase personal RV inspection helps you narrow down the RVs that are worthy of consideration. It helps you weed out right away those could likely be an RV money pit!

With those unworthy rigs out of the running, you have clearly saved yourself lots of time and money. So you are already avoiding making serious RV buying mistakes!

Then just keep looking until you find the RV that fits your needs and passes your personal inspection. When you find that RV, it can be time to call in a professional RV inspector.

Why Do You Need A Certified RV Inspector?

My ebook will help you learn about how to inspect some of the most expensive parts of an RV. And the inspections can be done by almost anyone.

But RVs are complicated things. And many of the systems on an RV need to be tested thoroughly before purchase.

The tests that need to be performed are well beyond the ability of most RV buyers. So having a well trained RV inspector’s experience is a must in these areas.

NRVIA certified RV inspectors help you avoid RV buying mistakes

The RV inspector also will have the right equipment to inspect every part of an RV. All the way from the roof to the tires.

And the inspection that a pro will perform will be much more comprehensive and thorough.

There still may be things that the RV inspector finds that will need attention or repair. But in most cases, it will not be a deal breaker.

But by your personal inspection you have avoided calling in a pro on a rig that didn’t deserve a thorough inspection.

Avoid The Most Common RV Buying Mistakes

The biggest and most expensive RV buying mistakes are made by uninformed buyers.

They aren’t sure of what kind of RV they need or how much it will cost. And they know very little about how to spot an RV with hidden problems.

They choose an RV for purchase based mainly on the color, or the floor plan, not on its quality. Of course, appearances are important, but they shouldn’t be the sole reason for buying an RV.

With just a little knowledge imparted by someone who is a pro, the average RV buyer can make a great choice.

So be sure to get a copy of my RV ebook “How To Avoid Buying An RV Money Pit” now!

If you do, I will also make myself available to help answer any questions that you have about buying an RV. And I will help you through the personal inspection process if you feel that you need it.

As always, have safe and happy travels!

Class B RVs – The Pros And Cons You Need To Know

Class B RVs are becoming very popular. In fact, they are one of the fastest growing segments of the RV industry.

But what is a Class B RV anyway? Well, usually they are built on a van chassis. For instance, either a Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, or Ram ProMaster frame and chassis.

That means that they are often about 15 – 20 feet in length. And they can come in either gasoline or diesel powered versions.

So you may have seen plenty of Class B RVs on the road and just didn’t know it. That’s because they tend to blend in more with passenger vehicles because of their size and shape.

But like all RVs, they have pros and cons that you should know about before buying one. So let’s talk about those advantages and disadvantages of Class B RVs now:

Class B RVs boondocking

Click here to watch my YouTube video about the pros and cons of Class B RVs

The Pros Of Class B RVs

  • Easiest RV to drive – in fact they drive pretty much the same as a passenger van. This is great for newer RVers and those who find Class As and Class Cs too much to handle.
  • Great gas mileage for an RV – Much better than a Class A or Class C motorhome. And much better than most tow vehicles that pull either a 5th wheel or travel trailer too.
  • Class Bs can go places that larger RVs can’t – if you like boondocking in nature, this is a big plus. They also travel well on almost any kind or size of road.
  • They can fit in most campsites – their size allows them to fit into almost any campsite out there. This is especially great for National Park and National Forest campgrounds.
  • Often have the latest technology – they can come with equipment like a solar system installed. Also lithium batteries, instant-hot water heaters, and more.
  • Repair facilities are easy to find – this is because they are built on a common passenger vehicle van chassis. So the engine and drivetrain can be repaired almost anywhere.
  • Can be stored in your driveway – this is a big plus for some. Class A and Class C motorhomes are often prohibited from being parked in a home’s driveway. But Class B RVs look pretty much like any another passenger vehicle.
  • Can be used for stealth camping – they fit in so well that you can even stay in them overnight on many city streets.

The Cons of Class Bs

  • Smallest living space of any RV – very tight living quarters for more than two people.
  • Limited storage space – you won’t find many storage compartments on these RVs. Most of your storage is inside the RV.
  • No tow vehicle – this means that if you go anywhere, you must disconnect your campsite hookups whenever you leave. And when you return, you have to connect them again.
  • More expensive per square foot than other RVs – this is due to not being mass produced yet. As time goes on and they gain in popularity the prices may moderate more.
  • No permanent bed – in most cases the bed is often used as a sitting or dining area during the day. So every night the sitting or dining area must be changed into a bed.
  • Small bathrooms – these truly are tiny bathrooms. And that could be an issue with larger or older RVers with health issues.
  • Tiny kitchens and refrigerators – there just isn’t much room for counter space or a larger fridge.
  • Small fresh and waste water tanks – there just isn’t much room for them either. So you will have to refill the fresh water tank and dump the waste water tank more often.

Who Should Consider a Class B RV?

Class Bs are a great choice for solo RVers or couples that get along well in small spaces.

They do not work nearly as well for more than a couple. As you add more people, the available living space shrinks dramatically.

They are also good choices for RVers who don’t need many luxuries or amenities to be happy. There just isn’t space for lots of extras in these RVs.

They can also be great for weekend campers and tailgaters at sporting events. In fact, lots of people use them for shorter camping trips and overnights with great success.

Who Might Not Be A Good Candidate For A Class B?

RV couples that are fulltimers or part-timers should probably think twice about getting a Class B RV. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible.

But I have seen several couples who started out fulltiming in smaller RVs decide that more space was needed. And this seems to become more apparent as they spend more time in the rig.

Also, maybe you really like things like washer/dryers, residential sized refrigerators, larger showers. Then maybe a larger motorhome like a Class A will fit your needs better.

Conclusion

It is good to remember that there are no hard and fast rules about who should buy what kind of RV. There are just too many variables in people’s preferences to make that kind of call.

So if you still aren’t sure whether a Class B RV should be in your future after reading this article, that’s understandable.

Perhaps the best way to know for sure whether a Class B fits your style best is to try before you buy.

There are many RVers that rent out their RV during the times of year that it isn’t in use by them. So you could rent a Class B through a site like Outdoorsy.com and try it out first.

Go camping in the rental for a while. Get to know the little quirks of using a Class B RV on your own. Then you’ll have a much better picture of what it’s like to travel and camp in a Class B.

You can also ask other Class B owners that have similar traveling and camping styles to your own. See what they say about their rig and what they like and dislike about it.

By doing your homework in advance, you can put your mind at rest and determine whether or not a Class B RV is right for you.

As always, have safe and happy travels out there ……

Glamping VS Camping – What Kind Of RVer Are You?

Glamping VS Camping – what does that phrase mean to you? Actually it can mean different things to various kinds of RVers.

But for now, lets define what both “glamping” and “camping” mean as used in the text of this article.

For instance, this article will consider that “glamping” is the kind of RVing that is linked to the comforts that full hookups bring. So if you are a glamper, you most likely will be spending most of your time in campgrounds.

On the other hand, “camping” in this article means that you like to spend much of your time without hookups. And probably a lot of your RV camping experiences will be out in nature away from campgrounds.

To watch my YouTube video on Glamping VS Camping, click here now

Glamping VS Camping – What It Means For You

So why do you even need to be thinking about whether you are a glamper or a camper anyway?

Well, the answer to that question will affect almost every decision that you will make about RVing.

Glampers and campers both enjoy RVing, but they come at it from two different directions.

And neither direction is better than the other. They both work equally well depending on what you want to receive from the RV lifestyle.

For instance, a glamper is more focused on enjoying the comforts that can be experienced in a rolling home.

But a camper usually prefers more challenging adventures in their RV travels.

So, in the glamping vs camping dilemma, is there shame in either choice? Is one style of RVing inherently better than the other?

Not at all! So if you recognize yourself as either a glamper or a camper in the material below, own it!

Because once you know what style of RVing you naturally prefer, it makes a lot of your RVing choices much easier.

So What Is Glamping?

If you tend to be a glamper, the size of your RV doesn’t matter much. You can even get a big rig if you want because many commercial campgrounds can handle it.

In fact, the larger you go, the more comforts you will typically see in an RV. This is especially true in diesel pusher motorhomes!

So if you are usually in a campground connected to full hookups, consider these “Do and Dont’s”:

  • Don’t worry much about solar power. I know that a lot of RVers may make it seem that if you don’t have solar power, you are missing out. But for those who spend the vast majority of their time hooked up to shore power, it’s just not necessary.
  • Don’t feel that you need an expensive generator either. Again, if you are going to be enjoying the comfort of full-time shore power, it’s not needed. In that case, a generator just becomes a backup for times when shore power is not working. So buy accordingly.
  • Don’t feel the need to invest in a lithium battery bank. That’s because lithium batteries are still very expensive. And they are overkill for situations where you are plugged into shore power most of the time. In fact, for those who spend most of their time in campgrounds, AGM batteries or lead acid batteries are fine.
  • Do focus on slide-outs. They open up space inside an RV like nothing else. So if you like space and comfort, get as much as you can afford.
  • Do get the best campground memberships. Glampers find that the most expensive part of camping for them is usually campground costs. So lower those costs with a good campground membership like Thousand Trails or RPI.
  • Do accept that nature can still be enjoyed on your RV travels, but by day trips instead of camping there. Glampers can still see lots of nature as they travel by finding campgrounds close to nature. Then travel to see whatever you want to see when you want to see it.

What You Need To Know About Camping

If you are a camper instead of a glamper, the following Do’s and Don’ts apply instead:

  • Do keep your rig to a manageable size if you like camping in nature. This probably means 30 feet or less. The smaller your rig, the more nimble you tend to be. And you can fit in more off-road spots when your RV is on the smaller side.
  • Do keep your RV weight down if boondocking in remote areas in on your camping menu. That will probably mean fewer slide-outs and amenities.
  • Do focus on power needs for your RV. If you are seldom hooked up to shore power, solar power and generators become more important. So do your research in these areas and buy quality equipment that won’t let you down.
  • Do get holding tanks that are as large as you can for your size rig. That’s because your waste water tanks will force you to have to move from your campsite at some point. So the larger the tanks, the less you have to move.
  • Do get familiar with ways to find good boondocking spots. For instance by using websites like Campendium. And get to know your way around National Park campgrounds. Learn about BLM land in the West and join boondocking groups on Facebook.
  • Don’t worry about finding campground memberships so much. Passport America may be helpful, but campgrounds will not be your normal thing.
  • Don’t get a residential refrigerator. You need the flexibility that a gas absorption fridge provides for boondocking.

Glamping VS Camping – My Conclusion

I see RVers making poor buying decisions all the time. And often it’s because they don’t base their decisions on the style of camping that they actually prefer.

Of course, some of the RV lifestyle influencers on YouTube don’t help much. Because some of them promote expensive equipment just to get higher commissions from the sale.

And they often make it seem that all RVers need this equipment regardless of the style of camping that they do.

But it’s simply not true. Glampers don’t usualy need solar power or lithium battery banks.

And campers don’t need campground memberships or residential refrigerators in most cases.

Instead, every RV buying choice that you make should be based on the style of camping you prefer. And if something doesn’t seem very useful for that kind of camping, you probably don’t need it!

I hope that helps, and as always, have safe and happy travels on your camping adventures!