Buying Your First RV: 4 Questions to Ask

My Vehicles October 16, 2014

Recreational vehicle (RV) enthusiasts across the county describe their lifestyle as “living the dream,” or as taking the “great American road trip.” Some folks are weekender types who prefer to take occasional short trips with their RV. Others might take a month-long vacation, and some transform their lives and become full-time RV residents who stay in a favorite RV park for an extended time or who roam when the urge hits.

Whether you are buying your first RV for recreational use or want a major lifestyle change, there are key questions to ask when shopping for an RV.1. What Type of RV Do I Want?

1.  What Type of RV Do I Want?

When you start searching for an RV, you’ll see the categories of Class A, B and C motorhomes. Learn what to ask when shopping for an RV by understanding what the categories mean.

  • Class A motorhomes look like transit buses, are the most luxurious and feature many amenities. They might have a master suite with a glass shower and a washer and dryer on board. Many have HDTVs with surround sound systems.
  • Class B motorhomes are the smallest; some people call them “camper vans,” but they are larger than standard vans are. Amenities are limited, but this class gets the best gas mileage.
  • Class C motorhomes typically have a truck or van chassis with an attached cab. They are a midpoint between the A and B classes regarding amenities and size.

2.  How Much Can I Spend?

Think of buying an RV as buying a second home; that should help you when you budget for an RV. If you havegood credit and a good debt-to-income ratio, you might qualify for an RV loan. Some financial institutions offer RV loans and finance between $5,000 and $150,000 for a motorhome purchase. You can use a payment calculator to get an idea of what you can afford.

3.  Where Will I Keep It?

When purchasing an RV, don’t forget to consider where you will store it when you’re not using it. If you buy a Class B motorhome, you can probably fit it in your garage. However, you need a plan for a Class A or Class C motorhome. You have options:

  • You can park it on your property on a concrete pad or in a special shelter if you have room and there aren’t laws that prohibit you from doing that.
  • You can rent a storage space that has a section for RVs. If you do that, you need to budget a monthly allowance, typically between $100 and $400.

4.  Are There Insurance Implications?

Although you can probably insure your RV through your auto insurance company, you might want to look for an insurer that specializes in recreational vehicle insurance. A special RV policy can cover your personal belongings better than a typical auto policy can. In addition, you might need insurance similar to a homeowner’s policy if you live in the RV full time to cover medical expenses if someone were injured on or around your motorhome. RV insurance might also allow you to drop collision coverage when you are storing the vehicle.

Adventure is calling. Visit usbank.com for more information about RV Loans.

Credit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association and subject to normal credit approval. U.S. Bank does not offer RV insurance. Please visit your local insurance agent for more information regarding RV Insurance.