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RV How to

Checklist for Purchasing your First RV


Do you remember your first RV experience? Was it was a family trip as a teenager, or driving out to a summer music festival with a group of your closest friends? Maybe you’ve yet to experience the joys of the RV lifestyle, but you’ve decided to jump in with both feet.

Whether the idea of sharing adventures with your kids or travelling Canada with your partner has inspired you to purchase your first RV, this checklist will help ensure you’re asking all the right questions. It’s a big decision to purchase an RV, right up there with deciding on a new car or even home. But with a little bit of research, dealership-visiting, and quizzing your network, buying your first RV doesn’t need to feel overwhelming. Use this checklist to take yourself from RV admirer to RV owner, and let the adventures begin!


1. Have you rented or borrowed an RV before?

When you’re thinking of purchasing an RV for yourself or your family, it’s really important to have clarity around the style of RV that will meet your needs. The best way to figure this out is to actually spend time in different RV’s, or the RV closest to the model you have in mind. Driving, parking, and spending a few nights in a couple different RV’s will help you figure out which model will best fit your personal needs and travel style. If you’re not sure where to start your RV search, we’ve got a handy RV Selector online that lets you compare different RV types.

2. Take it Social – Ask your networks for help and advice.

Consider asking your online networks on platforms like Facebook or twitter for feedback and suggestions on their favourite RV models, or if they’ve found a local RV dealer or sales consultant they love. Past that, there are countless resources online to help. Consider joining, a non-profit website that provides independent ratings on many different types of RV’s. There are also many online forums, like Class B Forum, RVers Online, or join our Go RVing Canada community on facebook for help and advice.


3. Find the right RV dealership and sales consultant for you.

Do your research, and shop around not just for the right RV, but also for the right RV dealer. Equally important – finding an RV sales consultant that understands your personal goals and what you’ll be using your RV for will help you find the perfect RV faster. It’s important that you feel very comfortable asking questions, and that the sales consultant is listening to your specific needs. Everyone is purchasing RV’s for different reasons, and what could be right for someone else might be completely wrong for you. Use our online locator to find the RV dealers that are near you.


4. Go prepared with a list of your ideal features.

When looking at RV’s there are a few things that are important to think about before you go to a dealer. A few things to consider are:

– Are you towing or driving your RV?
– What kind of a floorplan do you want?
– How much storage will you need’ Are you traveling light or bringing the whole kit and caboodle?
– What features are priorities for you? A certain number of beds? Kitchen appliances? Luxuries?
– Do you have appropriate parking space for the RV size?

For more ideas watch our video on choosing the right RV.


5. Make sure you know your budget.

Know your budget, and stick to it. The sales consultant’s job is to help you find the perfect RV for you and work with your budget, whether it’s flexible or not. You might want to consider looking into a pre-approved loan. Loan terms for both new and used large RV’s now extend up to 20 years. The minimum down payment for an RV is typically between 10% and 20%, but some finance companies also offer ‘No-Money-Down’ loan program options to qualified applicants. Remember to get RV Insurance to protect yourself and your family. Use our handy affordability guide to help you find plan that works for you.


Visit a dealer near you to explore models and learn more about what your options are to get into the RV lifestyle. If you’re looking for more great suggestions, inspiration or RV maintenance tips, make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


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