You've decided you want to join the ranks of RV owners who travel the highways searching for adventure. Not many can afford a new outfit, and there are plenty of used options to choose from, but how do you know which one to get? To ensure a safe and hassle-free trip, here are some things to look into before writing that check.
- Make sure it's what you want. You can get a deal on an old class-A motorhome, but if you're traveling cross-country, will it be reliable? On the other hand, if you intend to park it and just enjoy it as a home away from home, then that may be a wise choice.
- Check the value. Look up the year, make and model in a NADA guide to determine how much the RV is worth before you buy. Many depreciate quickly, but sellers try to get more than they are worth.
- Look outside your area. Sites like Craigslist make it easy to find a deal if you're willing to travel a bit. Just be sure to get pictures and all the information before you head out and be willing to walk away if it's not in the condition you expected.
- Check the vehicle history. A motorhome will have a VIN just like any other vehicle and you can get a history report at rvchecks.com. It will provide information including whether the RV was stolen, in an accident, damaged or if there are any recalls from the manufacturer.
- Ask for maintenance records. Check things like brakes, belts, tires and other items that are crucial to keeping you on the road. Breaking down on the side of the road can be costly, not to mention annoying.
- Check other functions. Make sure the heat, A/C, kitchen appliances, plumbing, holding tanks and hot water heaters are all functioning. Check the roof for leaks, which are a notorious problem for RVs.
- Take it for a test drive. Are you comfortable driving the vehicle in all sorts of circumstances? Try out a busy highway and a curvy country road. Remember, you want to do this because it will be fun, not stressful.
Once you find the right RV for you, contact your independent insurance agent to get an RV policy to make sure you're covered in the event of an incident. Then pack a few things and you'll be ready to hit the road!