So, you want to buy your first RV

Or Travel Trailer, 5th Wheel, Conversion Van

The best suggestion I can give you is to read as much as you can stomach, go to as many RV shows as you can find, walk through every brand RV that you can find; inside and outside of your price range.

You want to figure out things you like in RVs, things you hate. Make a list, seriously.

Part of the reason of checking out rigs that are outside your price range is to feel the difference in the various fit and finishes. What you think may not be a big difference to you now, you may realize later on that you settled for something you really didn’t want.

Look at the differences (and simularaties) online with different brands. In my research, I realized that most brands share the same floorpans with minor differences between them. This comes down to the fact that the vast majority of Travel Trailers have their frames and floorplans built by the same company, so you get the same exact overall construction regardless of the name of the trailer.

See? Told ya so.

Now, there can be different quality control processes that improve the various brands and trims within Thor. I had a very bad experience with a Jayco travel trailer (as a new rental unit) a few years ago that really soured me on their products. When we were looking at Thor trailers recently, I just didn’t get the overall feel of a solid unit that I really wanted.

At the end of the day, purchasing an RV of any type is a huge decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You don’t want to be the person that buys it, puts it in storage (either at a facility or in your yard) and never uses it. Make sure you are getting what you want or making acceptable compromises.

And finally, I’m not trying to talk anyone out of buying the rig they want. I just hope everyone knows what they are getting into and making the decision that’s best for them.

After you buy the perfect unit, before you take it home, make sure you go online and find a very over-detailed PDI inspection form. The one I took with me to the dealership was 4 pages (single sided), typed. I spent over 3 hours on my PDI. Fortunately, the tech that was assigned was very accommodating and didn’t try to rush me. Beyond the form I had, he made sure I understood how everything worked in the trailer and that there were zero issues. Not every dealer looks out for their customers like my dealer did (was dumb luck on my part, I didn’t expect them to care that much), so you need to cover yourself and insist that it’s done right. Otherwise, you could be in for a big hassle (best case scenario) or expensive repairs if you don’t have a warranty.

Lastly, get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!

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