Auto & Recreation

Buying an RV?

Buying an RV may be easier than you think but consider these things before you hit the road.

Key takeaways:

  • Buying an RV may be easier than you think.
  • Consider important factors before buying an RV.
  • There’s an RV for every budget, and Global can help you make the RV ownership dream a reality.


Are you ready to explore? Buying a recreational vehicle (RV) is the dream of an increasing number of Americans. Today, more than 11 million U.S. households own an RV, and nearly 90% of owners actively use them, taking three or more trips in their RV each year.1


Should You Buy an RV? 4 Questions to Consider

1. What type of RV do you want?

Options range from Class A motorhomes to travel vans, pickup campers, fifth wheels, and towable travel trailers. Do you want to drive from coast to coast on major highways and stop at established campsites, or would you rather travel on gravel roads and park next to the lake? Make sure you buy the RV that fits your dreams and your reality.


2. Do you want to drive your RV or tow it?

If you want a fifth wheel or travel trailer, include the cost of the towing vehicle in your budget, and make sure it can handle the gross vehicle weight of the RV you’re considering. If you want to buy a full-sized motorhome, consider how you’ll get around for everyday needs like groceries once you arrive at your destination.


3. What types of unexpected costs should you budget for?

Be sure to account for storage fees if needed. Know that the security of your storage choice may impact your insurance costs. Don’t forget to budget for winterizing your RV

each year, and factor in expenses for occasional cleaning and waxing. Make a point to save for unexpected expenses like tires or engine repair. New RVs may come with a covered maintenance program; used RVs usually have higher maintenance costs.


4. How will you protect your investment?

You’ll want to protect your RV and your other assets with both comprehensive and liability insurance, and you’ll probably want towing and emergency roadside assistance coverage as well.


When You’re Ready to Buy Your RV

Treat an RV purchase with the same care that is used to buy a home or car. Before you buy, consider these factors.


Consider getting preapproved first; this lets you know exactly how much you can afford to pay and gives you better negotiating power when it’s time to close the deal.


New vs. used

There are pros and cons to both. If you decide to purchase a used RV, have a qualified mechanic check it out before you buy. Research the vehicle’s VIN number to learn its ownership history or to see if it has been in any serious accidents. If it is a new RV, use a pricing tool such as the NADA Guide or an online appraisal site to research specs, pricing, and other factors.


Shop around

Consider shopping for deals at an RV show, which can offer some of the deepest discounts of the year; they may even have used models. Your friends and neighbors may also know someone with an RV for sale. Regardless of whether you buy new or used, count on negotiating to get the best price.


Verify purchase details

Be sure you know exactly what is and is not included in the deal. A quick visit to an RV supply store will give you a good idea of how quickly the costs of missing belts, hoses, and accessories can add up.


An RV for Every Budget

When you take the same diligent approach to choosing the right model and negotiating the best deal for your new RV as you do when you buy a home, your hard work will pay off. And the selection of ‘location, location, location’ will be completely up to you.

While prices change over time, there is an RV for every budget:


RV Type

Projected Price Range (new)

Folding camping trailers


Pickup truck campers 


Conventional travel trailers


Fifth wheel travel trailers


Type B and C motorhomes


Type A motorhomes


Source: RV Industry Association2

Did you know?

Global Credit Union Insurance Brokers can shop the best RV insurance rates for you!

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