So you want to buy a MotorHome

Knowing what to buy or even knowing what you want to buy can be a very difficult task when considering MotorHome ownership. This is kind of like buying a house and sometimes almost as expensive. Once you buy it it’s yours and there’s no giving it back without great expense. Ever try to give your house back to the Realtor? Unless you have a special offer or special deal with your salesman they don’t take back your MotorHome if you don’t like it. If they say you can, get it in writing. Learning the ins and outs of purchasing a MotorHome can be a trying, confusing experience and you need to proceed cautiously.

There are several MotorHome manufacturers out there who all claim to make the best product. To make it even more confusing, each manufacturer offers many models from which to choose. To determine just which MotorHome is right means you have to ask yourself several questions. For example, How are we going to use it—for long cross country trips, for short jaunts to the beach, as a tow vehicle for a race car? How many people are going to be traveling, eating, sleeping in the MotorHome? Where do we want to park—state parks, KOA campgrounds, private RV resorts, U.S Forest campgrounds? How much do you want to spend?

Despite all the problems, planning the purchase of a MotorHome can be a fun project. Probably the best place to start is with your own checklist. First determine what you want and why. If you wait to make these decisions on a dealer’s for sale lot you may find yourself pushed into purchasing a MotorHome that the salesman wants to unload, but that will not meet your needs. Go on your shopping expedition armed with as much information as you can about MotorHomes. Then use the experience to gain additional information about MotorHomes. Also, get as much literature to review as you can. Ask questions, lots of them no matter how dumb you think they sound. It’s your money you’re spending so don’t worry about it. Don’t make hasty, rash decisions no matter how good a deal looks. It will be there tomorrow or if not, there will be another somewhere else later. Take time to think things over. Talk about the pros and cons of what you are doing with your spouse, significant other, partner, and/or family. Talk to other people who own MotorHomes and find out what they like and don’t like.

One way of gaining experience about and understanding of MotorHomes is to rent one. Renting may sound like an expensive proposition, but look at the cost of buying one. You can rent a Class A or Class C MotorHome for a few hundred per week plus mileage. The monthly payments if you buy and finance one will be many hundreds of dollars per month, for 10-15 years. And, you may not have what you want if you buy without first checking out the market.

Renting can be a pleasant experience. You have the peace of mind knowing that if anything happens to the rental coach it is the owner’s problem in most circumstances. You check and add fluids and fuel and drive as far as you like. All you have to do is pay the fee. You can also learn a lot by renting. Best of all you can learn what you like and don’t like about the coach you are renting. Then when you’re finished with it you can give it back and keep the lessons learned. Make a list of what you liked and didn’t like about the coach. Maybe the fridge was too small, or the hot water heater didn’t supply enough hot water for your crew. Were the holding talks large enough? Was the fresh water tank large enough? To test these issues you will need to use it away from the convenience of hookups. Try “dry camping” and use the coach for a night or two without “shore power” or dumping facilities. What was the fuel mileage? Was the engine powerful enough for your type of driving? Towing? Did you like the quality of the coach? Use this experience as a baseline for comparing what you want to what you need. Additionaly, renting will give you the opportunity to find out if you really like this lifestyle or not. You really would hate to make such a major investment and then discover that you’d rather be at a Holiday Inn.

Consider renting a Class C first if you are completely new to RVing. These MotorHomes are configured on large van type chassis and have a cab overhang like a pickup camper. You may find this type vehicle easier and less intimidating to drive and become accustomed to because it feels like driving a pick-up. Later you may want to “graduate” to a larger Class A coach after you feel confident about driving the Class C. The Class A coach is built on a large truck type frame and is characterized by its bus like appearance.

Renting may not be necessary for you if you feel you have the knowledge and confidence to wisely select the coach you want to purchase. If you are unsure of what you want and need, renting is certainly an inexpensive way to learn about MotorHomes. When you purchase a MotorHome remember, once you sign the papers and drive off, it’s yours.

While you’re shopping, stop by and ask questions about any concerns you have. We’ll be happy to give you the benefit or our years of experience.

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  • Aria Wellington May 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I like that list of questions that you lay out in the second paragraph. My parents are looking into buying an RV and I’m pretty sure that they would be using theirs for long road trips. Is there a certain type that is better for that sort of thing? I think that would want something with decent gas mileage but still room for family to come with them.

  • The MotorHomeGuy May 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Aria,

    Please go to our “Ask a Question” button on our front page and contact us. Then we can talk about your comments.

    The MotorHomeGuy

  • Vivian Black May 13, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I like the perspective that planning the purchase of a motorhome can be a fun project. It makes sense to start with your own checklist and decide what you want and why. I wouldn’t have thought to rent an RV to get a better idea of what you are looking for before buying, but this is a great tip.

  • noel emory December 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I want to sell my motorhome. the Winnebago chieftan 27 is priced at $4000.00 and the inside and outside is in good condition for a collectors item. let me know if you can find buyers that are interested.


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