12 FAQs When Buying an RV

July 18, 2016

So you’re dreaming of the RVing lifestyle and thinking of buying a camper for a new wave of adventures. Maybe even retirement living in the great outdoors’ We don’t blame you! Naturally, you have a lot of questions. Well, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 12 Frequently Asked Questions buyers often have and our helpful answers to make you feel more at ease.

Who are the major RV manufacturers’
Winnebago, Jayco, Airstream, Leisure Travel Vans, Forest River, Thor… the list goes on. The beauty of RV shopping is that there are so many options available to meet your needs. Check out the list of RV manufacturer members of the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA) as a guide for quality, safety and excellence.

What are the different types of RVs’
RV trailers are the most popular RVs and also provide the most spacious options ‘ from fifth wheels and tent trailers to truck campers, toy haulers and hybrid trailers. Motorhomes combine the transportation and living quarters into a convenient and comfortable road trip experience ‘ whether you’re looking for a compact model or the luxury of all the bells and whistles. Park models offer a cottage alternative for folks looking to settle in and enjoy your time away from home in a permanent location. To find the RV that’s the right fit for you, do some comparison-shopping with our handy RV selector.

Where do I find my tow-rating’
You can typically find your tow-rating in your vehicle’s operating manual. If you are having trouble there, try calling your car dealership or, consult TrailerLife.com’s list of tow rating guides for newer vehicles.

How many beds should we get’

The short answer is, the same number as people in your family. However, as families grow or you feel a need to entertain, you could make an argument to add one or two extra beds to accommodate. This is totally up to you.

How big should it be’
There are different RV floorplans suitable for various situations and number of people. Ask yourself: Do you plan to dine and entertain inside the RV’ Or do you prefer to eat al fresco and sit around the campfire among friends’ Think about how much living space and sleeping quarters fit your needs (and wants). The options are virtually endless so no matter what you need, there is usually a perfect fit.

What are some key criteria to keep in mind’
How will you use it’ When will you use it’ Who else will use it’ Where will you use it’ These preliminary questions will help you map out your needs before you start RV shopping. Then, run through this checklist to figure out which option is the best fit for your needs.

What are some of the popular ‘Options’ included in RVs’
As we like to say, ‘Home is where you park it’, so it’s great to add a few more options to your RV investment. A few popular options of your RV include:
‘ Multiple awnings for shade, privacy or rain protection
‘ An exterior mount for sporting equipment
‘ Trailer hitch for a bike carrier
‘ A secondary exterior door to the bathroom
‘ Extra stabilizing jacks
‘ Premium fabrics
‘ Premium exterior colours or detailing
‘ Air conditioning
‘ Upgraded entertainment systems

These may quickly become some of your favourite add-ons to your ‘home’ for the season. For more inspiration, check out this list of RV accessories.

Can I test-drive a motorhome’
Absolutely. Visit your RV dealership and you can arrange for a walk-through and a test drive. Get a feel for behind-the-wheel to see how you like the RV on the road. It’s an opportunity to validate your online research, with the RV dealer on standby in case you have any questions along the way. We highly recommend doing this.

Should I take my kids with me to the dealership’

If you’re bringing kiddos along for your RV adventures on the road, you’ll definitely want to get a sense for how your family fits within the RV footprint. Also, it’s a great way to get input from your camping family on your new ‘home’ to enjoy on summer vacations to come.

Where can I store my RV in the off-season’
Some dealerships will offer RV storage facilities, or you can park it on your own pad at home (space permitting). There are also plenty of storage lots to inquire across Canada. The most important thing is to winterize your RV and protect the water systems from freezing. Best to keep your RV protected from the elements of Canadian winter ‘ ideally in indoor storage. Avoid using a tarp or non-breathable fabric ‘ moisture condensation can damage your RV exterior. Check out our tips on how to store your RV.

What financing options are available’

So you’ve finally found your dream RV. Now you’re looking to figure out which financing options work within your budget. Know that most RVs can be amortized over an extended period ‘ up to 20 years for large RVs ‘ making them much more affordable than you may think. Work with your dealer’s financing representative to build a flexible payment plan. Check out the RV affordability guide to get a sense of ballpark numbers.

When is the best time to buy an RV’
This is a tough question to nail down. The short answer is: it really depends. We recommend checking out RV shows in your area to browse the different RV options in-person, after you’ve had a chance to do some preliminary homework online, and with friends and family. Our RV Persona Quiz can help you discover your perfect match and paint a picture of your dream RV. Your local RV dealer is also an excellent resource to help you find the RV that’s right for you.

Happy RV Shopping!

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