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Once you find the perfect RV make and interior layout, use the following resources to check for value and quality:

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) is the first place to start verifying the quality of your RV choice before purchasing it. If you have the VIN #, you can see all the manufacturer recalls on this particular vehicle. If none display, enter the year, make and model to see if other RVs have been recalled. There are certain manufacturers that remain on the recall list for years. Obviously, this is not a brand you want to buy. The quality of all RVs since 2001 have declined, so be careful. The average new RV buyer spends the first season in the shop, some never get that new RV road-ready. FREE
  • RV Consumer Group: This group analyzes RV brands and manufacturers in the following way: Consumer surveys; consumer complaints; staff evaluations; visiting dealer lots, attending RV shows, and making unannounced visits to RV factories. $$

  • RV Guide: If you're in the market for an RV, be sure to take a look at some of these reviews before you make your final decision. RV Guide puts each of its test units through its paces and tells you exactly what to expect, what works, and what does not. Keep in mind that this group is tied to the industry, so maybe not that objective. This is a good site to visit while still in the "looking" stage. For an overview of quality, check each selection with NHTSA (see above) for recalls.

  • RV Reviews: RV Reviews offers the most comprehensive RV Consumer Buying Guides on the internet. Find your new or used RV with our non-biased recommendations and expert advice. Our RV buying guides help you select the best RV model and save thousands in the process. We rate over 105 RV manufacturers in North America and provide individual model ratings. RVReviews.net is owned and operated by JR Consumer Resources Inc. We have no ties or connections to manufacturers or dealers. We do not receive compensation, kickbacks or commissions to promote one company or model over another. $$

  • NADA Guides: Research new and used recreation vehicle pricing, specs, photos and more for everything from travel trailers to truck campers. NADA Guides offers a broad range of data, products and services, informational articles, tips and advice and video buying guides that help make the vehicle purchasing process easier for consumers. In addition to being known as the leading provider of vehicle pricing and services to consumers, NADA Guides is also the largest provider of vehicle data and information to the nation's leading banks, credit unions, fleet and lease organizations, dealers, insurance companies, government agencies and financial institutions. FREE

  • Make and Model Forums on the Internet can be found through the browser search method using Google, Yahoo or the hundreds of other search engines available. These individual forums focus on real-time issues and may answer real-time questions for you. As an example, if you are undecided about whether to purchase the gas or diesel model, search the forum for an answer or join the forum and ask the question. Example: Enter into a search engine: (year make & model + forum) e.g., 1999 Safari Trek forum. These forums may require you to "join" with username and password. The best insider information is found on these forums. Most of these sites allow you to post a free "wanted" ad, or "for sale" ad.

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Choosing That First RV

Videos: Tips to Help You Make the Best Choice When Purchasing an RV

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