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Old 11-27-2006, 04:46 AM   #1
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Default RV Tips - Go to an RV Show Before you Buy an RV

RV Tips - Go to an RV Show Before you Buy an RV
By Mark Polk

If you are a new RVer, or if you are in the market for a new RV, RV shows are a great place to start your research. RV dealers come from miles away to attend RV shows. When you attend an RV show don't be afraid to ask questions about the RV dealership and the products they have to offer. Not only will you find a good selection of RV dealers to check out, but there will be every make and model of RV imaginable too. RV shows are a great place to do some comparison shopping too. Keep in mind that RV's are available in entry, mid-line, and high-end models. When comparing prices, make sure it is apples to apples. One RV may look like another one, but you need to compare the options, construction, equipment and features they both have to offer. If you are in the market to buy an RV you should have some idea of what your needs are, what you want, and how you plan to use the RV. This is extremely important. Here are a few things to consider before you buy at an RV show.

* What type of RV is best suited for you and your family?

* What type of floor plan will work best for you and your family?

* What price and payment will comfortably fit in your budget?

* Do you plan to travel cross-country with the RV or is it going to be set up at one location and left there?

* If you're going to be towing the RV is the tow vehicle capable of handling the weight of the RV and do you have the proper hitch work to safely tow it?

* How many people will be in the RV and what are the sleeping requirements?
* Is there enough seating space?

* Do you need a slide-out(s) for additional living space?

* Is their enough outside storage, and are the storage compartments large enough to accommodate what you plan to take?

* Is there enough closet, cabinet and drawer space for all of your personal belonging?

* Are there enough cabinets and drawers in the kitchen? Don't forget about the pots and pans.

* How much counter space does it have in the kitchen? Is it enough?

* Where is the dinette table in relation to the range, oven and the refrigerator? Does it make sense?

* How does the bed feel when you lay down? Is it long enough and wide enough?

* Are there windows where you want windows?

* Can you reach the microwave?

* Is the A/C ducted throughout the unit? If not will it cool the entire unit?

* Do you prefer a split bathroom where the shower is separate, or a bathroom where everything is together?

* Is the bathroom big enough? Can you stand up in the shower and sit on the toilet?

* How much fresh water can you take with you? Is it enough?

* How large are the gray water and black water holding tanks?

* Are they large enough for the way you plan to use the RV?

* How much LP gas does it hold? Is it enough for how you plan to use the RV?

* If you want a motorhome drive it before you buy it.

* Do you need a generator?

* If equipped with a TV where is it located in relation to the seating arrangements?

* Do you need a phone jack?

* Does the RV have an awning? If so, where is it situated, does it interfere with any storage compartments or windows etc?

* How long is the warranty for on the RV? Do you need extended coverage to protect your investment?

* How is the RV constructed?

* If you're buying a motor home do you want gas or diesel? Which type is more practical for how you plan to use it?

This is just a partial list, but it should help you make a more informed decision before you purchase an RV. Another important consideration is the options on the RV. When a dealer orders an RV they order the options that they feel will help sell the RV based on their experience. On the other hand they can limit the options to make the price more appealing, but it may be some options that you really want or need. Sit down with a sales person and review what options are on the RV and what options are available. If you found a floor plan that you really like but it's not equipped the way you want talk to the dealer about ordering one for you. Do not rush into anything. I know that waiting is difficult, but remember slowww down, it will be worth the wait to get the RV you really want.

Happy Camping,


Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101

RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books.

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Old 04-02-2015, 12:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: RV Tips - Go to an RV Show Before you Buy an RV

I appreciate all of these New RV'er Basic's and Tip's that are listed helps so that i wont have to ' Learn-on-the-fly'. Thanks, Bugsy.

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Old 10-22-2015, 12:11 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Big Yes to RV Shows

We couldn't agree more about going to an RV Show first, although we got so inspired we jumped in with all four feet! My wife had never even been in an RV prior to the California RV Show last week and I had only ever rented. We had done tons of hours of internet research but that was not the same as being there, walking through the vehicles and even test-driving a couple of times. We also got a super-deal on a Pleasure-Way Prestige that exactly fit our needs! We couldn't have done that price except at a show, and probably then only at this manufacturer's event. Great for knowledge. Great if you're buying new.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:11 PM   #4
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Thank you for sharing
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Demixl View Post
Thank you for sharing
Welcome to the forum Drmixl!

Mark's original post is 13 years old. Yet as relevant today and when it was written. And so is Mark.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:49 AM   #6
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Agree with the going to shows advise. Also, the biggest thing for us (this was our first RV) was to rent a class B first. We rented twice (1 long weekend and then a full 7 days) and it helped us narrow down what was important to us (length, layout, appliance options, etc) and if we even wanted to get an RV. After that as described above we listed all the ways we would use the van and how often (day trips? Weekends? Big vacations, camp grounds or boondocking?). Based on our use case and renting experience we picked a class B that really works for us and love the decisions we made (RT Agile, all electric, AGM batteries, and no volt start). We saved lots of money not buying options that we didn’t need
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:10 PM   #7
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Also agree - went to at least three RV shows before settling on my Airstream Interstate.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:24 PM   #8
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The only caveat of just going to shows is you are limited to companies that have dealer network connections which means they manufacturer or compromise to what dealers think, desire or can support. RV shows are generally dealer driven showcases.

The shows don't feature the more custom, customer driven and innovative vans like Advanced RV, Sportsmobile and the fast growing segment of independents that build active adventure vans, cold weather vans, etc. If that is your bent you will have to do your research on the internet mostly. YouTube which didn't exist to do this 13 years ago helps.

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