What to Consider Before Buying an RV – Motorhomes and Trailers

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
It’s no secret that we live in one of the best states for enjoying the outdoors. Between Lake Tahoe, Red Rock Canyon, Black Rock Desert and more, the things you can do and see in Nevada are endless. We’re also close to other desirable destinations, such as Yosemite National Park, Utah’s Arches National Park, and the coasts of Seattle and Oregon.

With so much to discover, many Nevadans turn to RVs to enjoy those adventures more comfortably. However, an RV is not a small purchase and there are several things to consider before buying one.

Class Type

There are several different types of recreational vehicles for camping. It’s important to evaluate each and decide which one best fits the type of traveling you’re looking to do. Motorhomes consist of three different classes – A, B, and C. For trailers, the two most popular types are fifth wheels and travel trailers. Take a look at some of the main differences between each:
  • Class A motorhomes are the largest, with some as long as 45 feet. These RVs tend to be the most expensive and often include all the comforts of home including bathroom, kitchen, and even washer and dryer.
  • Class B motorhomes are the smallest and resemble an oversized van, though they can still be costly, as well as comfortable.
  • Class C motorhomes are somewhere in between, with many Class A features though usually smaller. For more information on the different motorhome classes, click here.
  • Fifth wheel trailers offer the many comforts of a motorhome and can be up to 40 feet long, though they require a pickup truck in order to tow them.
  • Travel trailers are lighter and can be towed by most SUVs, trucks and sometimes mini vans.  For details on each sub-type, click here.
Remember to consider fuel efficiency, too. On average, motorhomes and trailers get between 5-15 miles per gallon.

Maintenance

Motorhomes require regular maintenance to keep them running, just like cars and trucks. Plus there’s the maintenance of the camper itself, including appliances, plumbing, flooring, and fixtures. With a trailer you won’t have an engine to deal with, though it will still need operational maintenance, such as tire rotations, and keeping the camper parts in order.  You’ll also have to think of the wear and tear it could do to your tow vehicle, which is why having the right truck or SUV is important. It’s important to research the annual licensing and registration fee, plus insurance costs too.  

Storage

Before you buy a motorhome, check your neighborhood regulations about storing it at your home. Some areas won’t let you park an RV outside at all. Others require that they are behind a fence and can only be a certain height.

Getting a Loan

Once you’ve done your research and looked at some different RV options, it will be important to shop for the right loan. Knowing how much you can borrow and getting a pre-approval usually helps you negotiate a better deal on both new and used RVs. Be sure to check with your financial institution first, and don’t be afraid to shop around for the best loan, including rate, term, and monthly payment. In fact, you can check out Greater Nevada’s RV loans to start shopping and comparing. And don’t hesitate to talk to one of our lending consultants for additional guidance.
4/7/15