Tips, Tricks & Trends

RV Buying Mistakes to Avoid

When you are buying an RV it’s a huge purchase. In fact, it’s more like buying a house than purchasing a car or truck. Especially if you are considering a full-time or long term RV adventure, it’s important to avoid some RV buying mistakes. When going through a big dealer like Camping World, you don’t want to go in blind.

John and Mercedes from RV Odd Couple have a Youtube channel for tips on buying, owning, and living in an RV. One of their videos gives potential RV buyers six mistakes to avoid when buying an RV or camper. They own a fifth wheel, but these same mistakes apply to any motorhome, trailer, or camper.

Don’t sign anything

The first mistake that the RV Odd Couple gives us to avoid when buy an RV is don’t sign anything. Unless you really know what you’re signing, just wait until you can take a moment to really look over what you are scribbling your John Hancock on. You could accidentally sign a buying agreement instead of signing off to have your credit checked.

In the video, John and Mercedes share an anecdote of how they were distracted with their squirmy baby and accidentally signed a lot more than they thought. Rather than giving permission for a credit check, they signed a much more loaded agreement. The RV Odd Couple takes full responsibility for this error, and it actually segues well into their next tip.

Campers and RVs at a dealer
Campers and RVs | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Hire a babysitter for RV shopping

When it comes to shopping and learning about RV buying, distractions can muddle the process. Mercedes and John recommend hiring a babysitter so that shopping for your RV and reading over documents is more free of distractions. Of course, if you have children, and RV is a great way to spend time together as a family. But ensuring that you are researching thoroughly and making focused decisions it important. Finding a babysitter for a day or two while you are shopping for your RV can be a big help.

Don’t take possession until you know your order is absolutely complete

The couple ran into some problems after they took official possession of their new fifth-wheel RV. They added a lot of options when they put in the order. Not all of these options were completed when you picked up their RV for the first time. Then it was on them to make sure the dealer fulfilled the full order, rather than keeping the responsibility on the dealer because the RV was still in their possession instead.

An Airstream RV trailer along with others, wait in a long line to enter the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park
An Airstream travel trailer | George Frey/Getty Images

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Don’t get too excited or feel obligated

Sales people are good at building relationships, it’s part of the territory. Don’t ever feel obligated to make a commitment because you feel that you wasted someone’s day looking at RVs. It’s their job to show you around and help you learn. It’s also their job to close the deal. So don’t be afraid to walk away and come back another day, no matter how excited you are about the RV. Move slowly through the process, rather than jump the gun and do things too fast.

Shop dealers

The odd couple decided to go with Camping World, due their massive presence all over the country. However, after experiencing the service, Mercedes and John say they would not buy again from Camping World. The couple recommends shopping through several dealers and doing plenty of research before deciding on the dealer through which you will buy your RV.

A drone takes a picture of a Winnebago Solis RV parked and set up at a campsite with two ladies sitting in chairs by it.
The Solis RV | Winnebago

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Have a parking spot planned and prepared for your new RV

Before you take your new motorhome, trailer, camper, or RV home, be prepared for the size of it. It’s very important to have a place prepared to park your new RV where you know it will fit. Whether on your property or off-site, a planned paring spot is a must.

Forest River travel trailer outside set up for camping
Flagstaff Travel Trailer | Forest River Incorporated

RV buying

These are some mistakes to avoid when buying an RV. Thanks to John and Mercedes from RV Odd Couple, we now know to avoid these six mistakes which are common for beginners. Though they may seem obvious, when you are in the moment and caught up with the excitement of buying an RV, these are some problems you can avoid running into.