The RV Buyer’s Guide

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The RV Buyer’s Guide

Thinking about buying an RV? Here are five questions to ask before purchasing the RV of your dreams.

  1. Who will use your RV?
  • Large family
  • Just the two of us
  • Somewhere in between
  1. Where and how will you use it?
  • Mostly on weekends; short trips in our local area
  • Long vacations with travel throughout the U.S.
  1. What’s Your Budget?

RVs prices range from $10,000 to $1 million+. Your budget will determine what size and type of RV you can afford.

  • Top-end. Money is not an object; we want top-of-the-line inside and out.
  • Mid-range. We want a good family-sized RV with a few “bells and whistles.”
  • We’re just looking for a basic RV we can camp in comfortably.
  1. Drive or Tow?


  • Big rig for less cost
  • Don’t need a separate car for short trips
  • Lack of engine increases living space
  • Lower maintenance costs


  • More room and comfort
  • Direct access to food, drinks and bathroom while driving
  • Don’t need special equipment or experience towing large vehicles
  • Faster setup once camp is reached
  1. Which Class of Motorhome Fits You Best?

Class A Motorhome – $$$$

  • Largest style, with the most features
  • Rear-mounted engine (gas or diesel) provides power and performance
  • Quiet, comfortable ride
  • More storage options
  • Ideal for long trips and extended camping

Class B Motorhome (Camper Vans) – $$

  • Limited space; comfortably holds 2 to 3 campers
  • Offers some class A features, such as bathroom, television and kitchen
  • Similar handling/gas mileage as a family car or SUV
  • Good for short and long trips
  • Can be used as an everyday car when not camping

Class C Motorhome – $$$

  • Smaller than Class A RVs; 20 to 40 feet long
  • Cab-over design provides additional sleeping space
  • Front-mounted gas engine provides ample power
  • Offers many Class A amenities on a smaller scale
  • Larger models can accommodate slide-outs for extra space

Fifth Wheel – $$$$

  • Biggest type of towable RVs
  • Requires big pick-up truck with special fifth-wheel hitch
  • Large living spaces
  • Safer to tow because they attach directly to the truck bed
  • Unhitching lets you drive around while in camp

Travel Trailers – $$ to $$$

  • Less room than larger models
  • Available in many sizes and types
  • Towed behind a truck using a bumper or frame hitch
  • More versatile than other models
  • Gives you a separate vehicle after unhitching

Fold-Downs – $$ 

  • Small, lightweight and versatile
  • Flat camper top pops up to increase living space
  • Larger models can include bathroom and other amenities
  • Good entry to the RV lifestyle

Truck Camper – $$

  • Fits in the back of a pickup truck
  • Can go where larger RVs can’t
  • Ideal for small families who enjoy simple camping

Expandable – $$

  • Towed by mid-sized vehicles with a bumper or frame hitch
  • Has fold-down tents at the ends or sides for sleeping
  • Larger models can include a kitchen, living space and bathroom

Toy Hauler – $$$ to $$$$

  • Designed to carry snowmobiles, four-wheelers and other toys
  • Large cargo space for carrying oversized items
  • Big rear door for easy loading/unloading