The Ultimate RV Shopping Guide—Part 2

Last week, we went through the process of researching your next RV and we suggested test driving or renting RVs to help you make your decision. Now that you have an idea of the RV you want to purchase—whether you are buying online, from a private dealer or from us at Guaranty—we want the rest of the experience to be exciting and as stress-free as possible. This week, we will guide you through some of the specifics of checking over a potentially perfect RV. The first step is to check the RV from front to back.

We shortened our list to the bare essentials, but there are many great online checklists you can print out and bring shopping with you! And for even more on how to choose the perfect RV, check out our RV 101 buying guide.

Step One: Checking Out the RV

Before continuing forward with the buying process, it is important to check the vehicle out by yourself, then have an expert check it out. First, let’s check out the outside, then move inside to make sure everything is in great condition.

Outside Walk-Around

Check for leaks. It is important to look around the vehicle and in all the exterior bays to make sure there are no signs of water damage or leakage.
Look at the general frame. Are the walls free of cracks? Is there any warping or damage? Etc.
Check the roof. It is important to check the roof every year anyway, but this is a good baseline for the overall condition of the vehicle. Are the vents in good working order?
How do the tires look? Is the tread still good? Is there a spare tire, and is it in good condition?
How are the holding tanks? Are they leak- free and in good shape?
Storage compartments—How are the doors, seals and lights? How are the sliding mechanisms?
Slide-outs and awnings—Do all of the parts work as they are supposed to? Are there rips or tears in the awning? How are the seals?
Check the utilities. Make sure the propane, inverter and the generator systems are in good working order.
Don’t forget to check out the black tank pump, the outdoor shower, stabilizer jacks, power awning, rear and side cameras, outdoor lighting, etc.

Checking the Inside

You will be spending at least your nights inside your new RV, so it is important to give it a good look and fully test before purchasing. Here’s a list of some of the most important parts on the inside to check out.

Check for leaks. Just like we suggested for the outside, it is important to check for leaks on the inside. Look under cupboards, on floors, ceilings and walls for signs of water damage or staining.
Do the water lines work correctly? Run water through all the faucets if you can.
Make sure all the upholstery and flooring coverings are in good condition, without tears or stains.
Check the windows to make sure they work properly and have working blinds or shades. This is another place to check for signs of leakage.
Don’t forget to test all the appliances in the kitchen, as well as peek into kitchen storage areas.
In the bedrooms, lay in all the beds, check the mattresses, the lights, etc.
Check the bathrooms to make sure the sinks, toilets and showers work, as well as lights and fans.
How is the AC and/or heat pump?
If there are washer and dryer options, do they work correctly?
Make sure the entertainment systems are running properly and that all TVs, stereos, cords, antennas and switch boxes are ready to go.

Buying Pre-Owned: Get it Checked Out By an RV Technician Before You Buy

Whether you are buying a new or used RV, it is important to have an expert look it over. This is important even for new RV’s, because new RV’s can have manufacture malfunctions that you want to catch right away, but it’s especially true if you’re looking at a pre-owned model. When you buy a used car, most people choose to have their mechanic check it out before purchase. You should have the same mindset when purchasing an RV. Make sure your favorite RV technician takes a look at if, particularly if you are purchasing a pre-owned RV from a private seller. If you are in the Junction City area, our RV Service Department will be happy to inspect any vehicle you are interested in purchasing.

Step Two: Safety Equipment and Licensing

Make sure you have the proper titles, licensing and insurance before take off. (We will go into detail about this later on.)
Ensure you have all the correct interior safety devices. This should include a fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detectors, etc.
It is important to receive manuals, or make sure you can find all the information online.

Step Three: Financing

Getting behind the wheel of a new RV is exciting and intimidating, and financing can feel like the scariest part. At Guaranty, our finance department can help you secure a competitive RV loan rate, because we’ve developed strong relationships with the nation’s top lenders. But if you’d like to get a sense of how much payments might cost you, there are plenty of great online tools for this process. And of course you can check with your bank.

Step Four: Don’t forget insurance!

Once you fall in love with your new RV, it is important to choose the right insurance to keep you protected. In our Insurance 101 blog, we tell you all the discounts you should consider before purchasing insurance. If you have questions, we’re happy to help you!

Whether you decide to buy a new or a pre-owned RV, now is a great time to buy because dealers tend to have end-of-season specials in late summer and fall, and private sellers are done with their summer camping. So hit the dealership or start searching online!

If you have any questions during the process, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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