So there’s no chance of buyer’s remorse for you.

So you’ve been thinking of hitting the open road? Picking a destination and taking a long way there, enjoying every odd stop and scenic route along the way. Stopping where you want and staying for a few days without getting a hotel or pitching tents. You want adventurous but still convenient.

You want to purchase a new RV. There are a lot of things to consider before purchasing a new RV camper or trailer.

But now that you know you want an RV or trailer, the journey to finding the right one for you begins.

With any big purchase, there are a lot of things to consider, price, model, condition, to start. If you buy new or used. Whatever you choose, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth and don’t end up with a headache of repairs deterring you from taking that adventure.

It’s safe to assume that, just like when buying a car, salespeople want you to know as little as possible. But you’re not going to fall into that trap because we’re going to help you go in and know what’s what.

Let’s start by knowing exactly what you want in an RV or trailer.

Related: Travel Trailer vs Fifth Wheel

Choose the RV or trailer that is right for you

You’ve established that getting an RV or trailer is a good idea for you and a great way to spend time with your family. Now you need to decide which type of RV or trailer will fill the purpose you’re looking for.

These are your options:

  • Travel Trailer: Smaller trailers you can hitch up to a tow vehicle, but still spacious enough to take a family on a long haul and for medium to long-term camping.
  • Fifth Wheel Trailer: The big travel trailers you see parked at campgrounds and RV parks. They are great for larger families and long-distance road trips.
  • Class C: Built on the frame of a pickup truck, sort of like a camper shell, but built as its own unit.
  • Class B: Camper vans that have everything you need, and can be more affordable, but will fit fewer people.
  • Class A: Big bus trailers you typically see towing a vehicle behind it. These are on the higher end, very roomy, and are likely more of a home alternative.

Check out this list and think about what you’ll be doing with your RV or trailer. The purpose is huge when thinking of things to consider before purchasing a new RV camper or trailer. Are you taking shorter camping trips and just need a place to sleep? Are you taking longer road trips with longer stops and stays? Or are you planning on spending more time in your trailer than exploring?

These are all things to consider when choosing an RV or trailer from this list!

Consider the costs outside of the RV or trailer price tag

Purchasing an RV or trailer is not like purchasing a car, in more ways than one. Yes, it’s often more expensive than a car, but you also have to consider how you’re going to store it, maintain it, and move it around.

When you get a car, you know you can park it in a garage or on the street. An RV or trailer needs more consideration. Unless you have a property that is zoned to park a large RV or trailer, you’ll likely have to pay to safely store or park it somewhere else. Ongoing maintenance and repairs are also costly and should be anticipated so you can always have a safe trip for yourself and others on the road.

In addition to costs that come with storing an RV or trailer, another thing to consider before purchasing a new RV or trailer is what size tow vehicle you’ll need. If you don’t have a vehicle that can tow the type of trailer you want, that is another cost to budget for.

Other costs you may come across include, but are not limited to, a sway bar, breakaway brake kit, safety chains, taxes, title, insurance, propane for heat, and filling your RV camper or trailer with everything you need for your trips.

Related: Tax Deductions for RV Owners

What to look for when you go pick out your trailer

Now that you know which type of trailer you want and the costs that go with it, you’re ready to go take a look at your dream RV camper or trailer.

This is where you encounter salespeople, and a lot of information being thrown at you, so it’s helpful to know what you need before you walk in.

One of the top things to consider before purchasing a new RV camper or trailer is the condition of the trailer you’re looking at. Be sure to give the RV camper or trailer a thorough inspection, new or used!

Things to look out for:

  • Mold: Mold can be dangerous for your health, and is usually an indication of underlying problems like leaks or other water problems.
  • Exterior problem: Be sure to open all of the exterior panels and push on the walls to check for rust and make sure the walls feel sturdy, not flimsy.
  • Check the tires: If a tire blowout has happened in an RV camper or trailer it can be more detrimental than in a car. Look for the DOT label on the tire sidewall to see how old the tires are.
  • Know its history: If you can, you want to know everything about this RV. If it’s used, use the VIN number to look up its history to check for accidents or damages.

Always ask to be taken on a test drive so you can experience the wear and tear, how it drives, and see if there are any unusual noises. Make sure to ask if the test drive can include top speeds and tight maneuvering so you can experience every aspect of how your potential RV camper or trailer handles.

Take your time so you don’t waste time or money later

The final thing to consider before purchasing a new RV camper or trailer is how long to find the right one may take. Give yourself enough time to make an educated decision that isn’t made in haste, or excitement.

Your goal is to find an RV or trailer that fits your needs as best as possible, doesn’t need a lot of upfront repairs, and will give you adventures for years to come.

Take your time, see as many as you need, and do your research so when you find the right one, you’ll know!