Buying an RV: The Complete Guide for Beginners

Buying an RV can be extremely exciting! But, you want to ensure you know what you’re doing before making this life-changing purchase.

Whether you’re buying an RV for the time or you’ve made the leap before, we can help! From financing to choosing the right type of RV to finding the best brand and model, this guide will help you every step of the way.

Let’s get started!

What to Know Before Buying an RV

Buying an RV can be a huge investment and a life-changing experience!

“I remember feeling excited, confused, and anxious the first time I bought an RV. I can still feel those emotions today just looking back on it. But, the resources weren’t available back then to help guide me through the process. That’s why this RV buying guide means so much to me. You won’t find a better resource on the web when it comes to buying an RV!”

Tory Jon | CamperFAQs.com Chief Editor

So, let’s make sure you start on the right foot with these foundational guides.

Did You Know…
RV vacations are cheaper than other types of vacation travel, even if you factor in the total cost of ownership and gas! A study by CBRE Hotels Advisory Group found that a two-person vacation cost on average 8-53% less, and a 4-person vacation costs 21-64% less when traveling by RV.

What Are the Different Types of RVs

Different types of rvs

There are nearly a dozen types of RVs on the market today. And even more, if you include all the subset types (class super C, destination hauler, toy hauler, etc.).

Understanding the difference between the types of RVs and finding the right one for you is an important step in the buying process.

Here you can learn more about the different types of campers, the pros and cons of each, and more to find the one that best fits your needs.

Tip: If you already know the type of RV you want, skip down to the buyer guides in the next section.

Once you have a good idea of the type of RV you want to buy, continue below to our buying guides!

Tip: Use one of these quick jump links to go straight to the type of RV you’re interested in, or scroll down to view them all.

Buying an A-Frame Camper

Buying an a-frame camper

A-frame campers are a type of hard-sided pop-up with an A-shaped roof. When you’re ready to travel, they easily pack down and hitch onto your tow vehicle.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about a-frame campers and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Class-A RV

Buying a class-a rv

Class-A RVs are among the biggest class of motorized RVs available. They are essentially a home on wheels, typically offering the most space and amenities of any type of recreational vehicle. If “go big or go home” is your motto, then a Class-A is right for you!

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about Class-A RVs and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Class-B RV

Buying a class-b rv

Class-B RVs, also known as camper vans, are actually the smallest of the three classes of RVs (yes, they are smaller than Class-Cs). They are essentially a cargo van with a living area in the back. They have grown in popularity in recent years thanks to travel bloggers and social media personalities promoting the #vanlife lifestyle.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about Class-B camper vans and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Class-C RV

Buying a class-c rv

A Class-C RV is actually the middle ground option for motorized RVs. They are smaller than a Class-A but typically larger than a Class-B. They sit on a cutaway van or truck chassis and are recognized by their over-the-cab sleeping quarters.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about Class-C RVs and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Fifth Wheel Trailer

Buying a fifth wheel

Fifth-wheels are the largest towable trailer, rivaling Class-A motorhomes in space and amenities. They are called fifth-wheels because the front of the trailer extends over the truck bed where it connects.

Tip: Keep in mind your truck’s towing capacity when choosing a fifth wheel to buy.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about fifth-wheel campers and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Pop-up Camper

Buying a pop-up camper

Pop-up campers fold down for easy towing and storage, and when you’re ready to use, they “pop up” to provide a good amount of living and sleeping space.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about pop-up campers and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Scamp Trailer

Buying a scamp trailer

Scamp campers are American-made fiberglass travel trailers that come in 13 ft., 16 ft., and 19 ft. sizes. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to tow.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about Scamp trailers and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Teardrop Camper

Buying a teardrop camper

A teardrop trailer is a compact, streamlined, towable camper that gets its name from its teardrop shape.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about teardrop campers and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Travel Trailer

Buying a travel trailer

Travel trailers are arguably the most popular type of towable camper and come in various sizes. Like a fifth wheel, they are essentially a home on wheels, with the main difference being how they connect to your tow vehicle – a travel trailer connects to the tow vehicle’s ball hitch, and a fifth wheel connects via a kingpin to the fifth wheel hitch in the bed of the truck.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about travel trailers and to help find the best option for you!

Buying a Truck Camper

Buying a truck camper

A truck camper is just what it sounds like, a camper that rests in the bed of your truck. You can easily unload it, let it rest on its support stands, and load it back up when it’s time to travel.

Check out our informative buying guides below to learn more about truck campers and to help find the best option for you!

General RV Buying Guides

RV buying guides

Finding the Best RV for the Money

An RV can be a large investment, so it’s important to find the best deal possible before making this life-changing purchase! These guides will teach you everything you need to know to get the RV of your dreams for the lowest price possible!

RV Buying FAQs

Are There Hidden Fees When Buying an RV?

There are hidden fees when buying and owning an RV, including insurance, taxes, stocking your RV with essentials, maintenance, fuel, campground fees, storage fees, and various amenity fees (like wifi, cable TV, etc.).

It’s important to budget for each of these before purchasing your RV to get an idea of how much buying and owning an RV will really cost you!

Is Buying an RV a Good Investment?

An RV is typically not a good investment in terms of vehicle value as it will depreciate over time. However, it’s a great lifestyle investment as it can improve your quality of life and help create experiences and memories you might not get otherwise.

Plus, renting out your RV can help offset the cost of buying and owning a recreational vehicle and potentially even make some money!

If you don’t see an answer to your question here, feel free to contact us!

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