6 Ways To Simplify the RV Buying Process - Part 2

May 16, 2018

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If you're thinking about purchasing an RV, the buying process may seem a little overwhelming. It’s not quite the same as buying any other type of vehicle. In fact, in some ways, buying an RV has more in common with buying a house than it does a car.

In part 1 of this series, we provided some tips on the early phase of buying an RV:

  • Determining your goals for traveling in an RV so you can see what you need from this vehicle.
  • Making a list of all the things you’d really like to have in your RV but that aren’t true necessities.
  • Prioritizing your list of wants and deciding where you’re willing to compromise.

Now that you’ve done these three things, it’s time to move on to narrowing down your choices even more and deciding which RV to purchase.

Note that, yes, these first three steps are very important. Don’t simply decide to skip over them and start looking at different RV models right away. This type of purchase requires a good amount of thought.


Using your list of needs and prioritized wants, along with your budget, it’s time to start looking at different models of RVs. You can learn a lot from going online and perusing the many different resources for making this decision. Many RV websites now offer full video virtual tours that walk you through the entire RV. You’ll find long lists of features each model includes, too, plus floor plans and plenty of photos. You can use this information to narrow down your search to models that meet your needs and even include many of your wants.

You should also look at online reviews by RV owners. Some have even uploaded YouTube videos within which they talk about their RVs and the things they both love and hate about them. These honest reviews and videos can be very helpful when narrowing down your list of potential models.


RV shows are a lot of fun. Even people who aren’t completely serious about buying an RV enjoy walking through them and pretending that they’re driving down the open highway. RV shows feature rows and rows of RVs, all of which you can get in, walk through, and test to see if they’re what you need and want. You usually can’t actually drive them, but you can tell if they’re the right size for you and your family.

Some RV shows are held by a certain manufacturer, while others feature RVs of different brands. This means there will be a good mixture of different models on display. There are also some sales reps around, but they usually aren’t as pushy as they would be at a dealership. They’re more on hand to answer the questions you might have about a particular model.

While you’re touring these RVs, here are a few things to check in the models that have made it to your short list of potential buys:

  • Get in the shower – is it tall enough and spacious enough for you?
  • Stretch out on the bed. Does it feel comfortable? Is it big enough?- Sit in the driver’s seat. Do you feel comfortable there? Is there enough headroom for you? Make sure everyone who may drive the RV tries it.
  • Is there any risk of hitting your head anywhere?
  • Is the kitchen/living area laid out in such a way that it feels natural and intuitive? Is there room to open the fridge without blocking the path?
  • Can everyone who will be traveling in the RV comfortably fit around the table?
  • If the RV has extended slides, ask if the rep can pull them in. This way, you can get a feel for how the RV will be while you’re traveling. That can make a lot of difference regarding how comfortable it will be.
  • Can you easily get into all of the exterior storage areas?

Basically, go through everything you can think of with regard to the three or four models you’re serious about buying. Also, take your own photos or video and be sure to ask the rep if there are any available pamphlets or paperwork to take home.


Never buy an RV until you’re certain it’s exactly what you want. If you have questions, get answers. RV owners are the best people to ask these types of questions. They will give you their honest answers because they’re not looking to sell you anything. It is also helpful to research RV blogs to learn more about the RV experience.

Once you’ve got all of your questions answered, you should be able to narrow down that list of potential models to one. Now it’s time to go to the dealership and make the purchase! Congratulations, you are on the path toward finding the best RV for your needs! Feel free to reach out to us at Fleetwood RV for more information.