11 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an RV

Whether you’re a seasoned road warrior or a newbie to the RV scene, finding and buying the perfect new or used RV comes with some challenges. With so many options and details to consider when purchasing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed—especially if it’s your first time. To help you navigate this exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking journey, we’ve put together a list of 11 common mistakes to steer clear of when shopping for your dream RV.

A couple shopping for a new RV in front of a motorhome. Photo: Shutterstock.

1. Buying before doing proper research.

Jumping in without thoroughly researching can lead you to miss out on finding the perfect match for your needs.

2. Choosing the wrong RV for your travel needs.

Not all RVs are created equal for every traveler. Matching your RV to your travel lifestyle is key.

3. Paying too much.

A staggering 80% of RV buyers pay more than they should. Knowledge is power—and savings.

4. Buying at an RV show because you believe the prices are at their lowest. Wrong!

Don’t be fooled by the hype; RV show deals aren’t always the lowest.

5. Buying an RV without ever having traveled in one.

Investing in an RV without any prior travel experience can lead to buyer’s remorse.

6. Buying before doing a trial run.

Spending time in an RV before buying can reveal a lot about its livability for you.

7. Buying a used RV with hidden damage. 

A great deal can quickly sour if unforeseen damage emerges after purchase. Have everything thoroughly inspected before buying an RV.

8. Buying an RV from a supermarket parking lot.

Purchasing from a supermarket parking lot can be risky and lacks buyer protection.

9. Buying with no money down and stretching the payments out too long.

Zero down payments and extended loan terms can make an RV significantly more expensive in the long run.

10. Buying from a salesperson using high-pressure sales tactics.

Don’t let a salesperson’s urgency push you into a hasty decision.

11. Buying now because the price is too good to pass up.

An unbelievably low price can often lead to compromises and hidden costs. The excitement of buying an RV can sometimes cloud judgment, leading to hasty decisions based on what others are doing or the allure of a seemingly perfect model. However, the true measure of a successful purchase lies in how well the RV fits your lifestyle and meets your travel needs. This requires doing your homework and approaching the buying process with a clear head and a focused strategy.

Armed with the knowledge of these 11 common mistakes on buying an RV and how to avoid them, you’re now better equipped to navigate the RV buying process. By taking the time to research, reflect, and test, you can ensure that your purchasing journey is as rewarding and fulfilling as the adventures that lie ahead.

Get tips from other RVers

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including the buying process, products, destinations, RV mods, and more.