RV Lifestyle eZine

Helping to Make Your RV Life Run Smoothly


January 10, 2016

Issue #336




  • Buying Your First RV
  • Buying an RV Long Distance
  • Finding the Perfect RV – Helpful Resources
  • Geography Trivia

Buying Your First RV
The New Year is only a few days old and already you hear the road calling. If you do not know how to answer that call, here are a few suggestions:
Motorhome or Trailer Decision
Decide if you want to travel (Class A or C motorhome) or stay a season in one location (fifth-wheel/trailer). Forget about the extra space that a fifth-wheel or a trailer provides if you have to back it into a space every few days or weeks.
Statistics show that the highest percentage of change RVers make in the first few years is a switch from one type to the other. If you are a travel bug, don't even think about trailers or fifth-wheels, go motorhome. Without experience driving a big rig, start with something in the motorhome 33 ft. range or smaller.
If you are traveling alone and not thinking about a full-time adventure in the beginning, the Class B+ vans might be the right choice.
The best bang for the full-timer buck, if one of the drivers has experience, is a 10-year old 40 ft. high-quality motorhome. Full body paint is important for the long-term. The layout is paramount if you are planning to travel full-time. Slide-outs are a nice addition along with a washer/dryer.
Another important feature is storage space. Having full basement compartments, automatic levelers, and newer tires are on the top of the list for motorhomes. Ensure that the salon is laid out to suit you, the TV in the right place, not too many sofas, etc. 
Please resist the urge to redecorate until at least six months down the road; you cannot recoup the money spent if you decide to change vehicles.
If you are thinking about buying used, know that a Class C motorhome is built on a much cheaper chassis  (truck) than a Class A, so construction is not as solid either. If you buy new, there are some quality Class Cs now available.
Once the basic decision has been made (motorhome or 5th-wheel), search RVT.com and RVTrader.com. RVUSA.com is another site to explore. Use the NADA.com database to get a price range. Also decide on gas (much cheaper original cost and at the pump) or diesel (more power, longer life) for the engine choice; do your research first about maintenance.
For help justifying the cost, read this article:
www.rversonline.org/ArtFAQ3.html for tips about how much you should pay for your RV.
Choose about three models you like, then get serious about finding one from a private owner. Here are a list of websites to peruse:
Important: Purchasing an RV without an "independent" RV maintenance person giving it a thorough checkout definitely comes back to haunt you.
Visit NRVIA.com. This site searches the USA for certified RV Inspectors.
If a certified inspector is not available near you, mobile RV repair services are everywhere. Most reliable RV repair facilities have someone who can handle the inspection. This service can be free (hoping to get the repair work) or up to $300.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Have the current owner drive it to the facility (liability reasons) or have the inspector come to your location. If you decide on a motorhome, it is a good idea to have an oil analysis done as well. This can tell you a lot about the current state of the engine. 
If you wind up on a dealer's lot (last choice), have a mobile service stop by for an hour. ALWAYS plan to attend this, never accept the salesperson's word. Be careful with warranties, do your research.
Don't assume anything while at the dealer's lot. Get EVERYTHING in writing. Be prepared to deal with sales personalities, do not let them intimidate you. Succeed in getting the best value by not signing on the dotted line before doing all your research. If you need to, put a small deposit down on the rig until you decide if it is the right one for you. 

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
               - Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist

Buying an RV ... Long Distance


You have looked online and found several RVs that you like. The layout looks good for you, the price range is right, it has hydraulic levelers, powerful enough diesel engine, big enough TV, quality built, enough slides, and includes most of what you wanted; it just happens to be in Arizona, California, Utah ...


There is a new organization available to assist you. They certify, and help you search for, RV inspectors. Go to NRVIA.org and use the search field to find an inspector in the area where the perfect RV is located (or within a few hundred miles).


RV Inspection Connection is one of the companies available that is comprised of NRVIA certified inspectors. Find out everything you need to know about what they include in their inspections. Pricing starts at $295 and includes photos. Take  a look at the reports they generate on their website.


Have an inspector go look at the RV you have selected and check it out. They have a checklist that you can view and change if necessary.


[Always keep in mind that changing RVs within the first year or two is very expensive.]


When the inspector finds the right RV, make a deal with the owner and either drive there to pick the motorhome up or have it driven to you by a professional. An RV Pre-Purchase Option Agreement is helpful to complete the deal. Use this example and create your own agreement, or use as is.


It could also be delivered to an RV driving school, meet it there, take the course and drive away. See Driving-Schools-BootCamps for a list of places to find a driving school.


The RV inspector makes sure you do not get a lemon, so you cannot lose there. You may also want to get a fluid analysis to ensure the engine is in good condition. The inspector should be able to help you there. Believe me, the first RV sets the stage for a great full-time experience. Get the right one for you.


Having the RV inspected by a professional is always a good idea no matter where you buy it; even if the inspector is a local RV repairperson.





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Finding the Perfect RV - Helpful Resources


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


RV Consumer Group: We analyze RV brands and manufacturers in the following way: Consumer surveys. By staff evaluations. We visit dealer lots, attend RV shows, and make unannounced visits to RV factories. Consumer complaints. We review the type of complaint against a brand and compare it to the input received through surveys and staff evaluations. $$
​​RV Guide: If you're in the market for an RV, be sure to take a look at some of our reviews before you make your final decision. RV Guide puts each of its test units through its paces and tells you exactly what to expect, what works, and what does not.
RV Reviews: RV Reviews offers the most comprehensive RV Consumer Buying Guides on the internet. Find your new or used RV with our non-biased recommendations and expert advice. Our RV buying guides help you select the best RV model and save thousands in the process. We rate over 105 RV manufacturers in North America and provide individual model ratings. RVReviews.net is owned and operated by JR Consumer Resources Inc. We have no ties or connections to manufacturers or dealers. We do not receive compensation, kickbacks or commissions to promote one company or model over another. $$
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. 


Geography Trivia


1. Name the state that is mostly a peninsula.

a. Florida
b. Hawaii
c. Louisiana
Hint: A peninsula is a portion of land nearly surrounded by water and connected with a larger body of land.
2. Name the 840-acre park that features an Egyptian obelisk, a skating rink, a zoo, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
a. Golden Gate Park
b. Central Park
c. Lincoln Park
Hint: The park is located in Manhattan.
3. Name the longest cave in the world.
a. Lechuguilla Cave, N.M.
b. Altamira Cave, Spain
c. Mammoth Cave, Ky.
Hint: You can get lost underground right here in the United States.
4. Name the state that is made up of islands.
a. Alaska
b. Puerto Rico
c. Hawaii
Hint: The word “state” is important.
5. Name the smallest national park, which measures a mere .02 acres.
a. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
b. Acadia
c. Badlands
Hint: The park is located in Pennsylvania
1. Florida. The Florida peninsula juts out into the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Gulf of
Mexico to the west.
2. Central Park. The city of New York acquired the land for Central Park in 1856, and it took 20
years to create the park.
3. Mammoth Cave, Ky. The Mammoth Cave system has 345 mi of subterranean passageways.
4. Hawaii. This 1,523-mile chain of islets and eight main islands became our 50th state on Aug.
21, 1959.
5. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial. Thaddeus Kosciuszko was a Polish patriot and
hero of the American Revolution





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