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RV Purchasing Information 

Select The RV That's Right For You!

Camping tends to be a social activity, so family members should be involved in the process of choosing a RV. Determine what activities the family wants to do then go determine the models to fit those needs.

Make the wish list long to start then make notes of the "must have," and "can do without." Determine your monthly budget for RV ownership and try to stick to it. But, don't give up a necessity for a few dollars which will cost you convenience or usage later on. Remember that you will often be inviting guests, so plan a little extra room for them and for you.

Talk to people who already enjoy camping for selection tips; visit local dealers or the local RV show; pick up a few camping magazines at the news stand or library; check the Internet. You'll quickly find a number of brands that fit your needs and budget. So, which is best for you? As with autos, differing prices generally equate to amenities and size.

Remember that the dealer that sells the RV will be your partner for advice and service. He or she should be willing to listen to what you want in a RV, then make recommendations. When the RV needs scheduled service or repairs, the dealer should be there to stand behind the sale. The point is, when shopping for a RV, also shop for the dealer you feel most comfortable with or one recommended by friends.

RV Operating Considerations

Once a RV is purchased, what is the yearly operating cost? Like the RV itself, it depends on your budget and how much you want to spend. Most RV owners set for themselves an annual budget for camping. With a small, trailerable RV, you can spend as little as a few hundred dollars per year for your camping fun. As the RV goes up in size, the annual cost of using it also goes up. Items to consider are insurance, fuel, minor maintenance and winter storage. Generally speaking, the cost of all of these items increases with the size of a RV.

Shopping At The RV Shows

This year, literally thousands of RV's will be on display at local RV shows across the country. Many experienced RV owners believe RV shows are the best places to shop intelligently for RV's and related products and services. And many find shows a perfect entertainment destination for friends or family to spend an afternoon.

Shows offer comparison shopping for completely packaged rigs, but also for accessories, gear and everything else that goes on the RV or concerns the fun of camping. The concentration of exhibitors is a real time-saver for RV buyers where comparisons can be made in the course of a few hours, as opposed to days or weeks.

In addition to the advantages of being able to shop a number of exhibitors under one roof, RV shows also bring in RV experts from manufacturers or dealerships. These professionals can answer the specific questions you may have about powering, fuel economy, etc. Experts help in other ways, too. Describe your needs to them and they'll offer advice on which product is best for you.

Simple RV Show Shopping Tips

Wear comfortable, soft-soled shoes. If you're a first-time buyer not exactly sure which RV is best for you, the show can help you narrow the choices. In addition to strolling the aisles, it's a good idea to decide beforehand what you specifically want to accomplish. Show directories, generally available at the entrance to the exhibit hall, categorize RV's, products and services and identify booth locations.

Plan to visit your target exhibitors first so that after seeing the whole show you can return if necessary to double check a price or reexamine equipment. If you're comparison shopping for features and price, it helps to make up a list of points ahead of time. Decide what's important to you. Everyone has their own individual style of camping. Go over the list while you check the RV's in the size range you want. Check the features you want. If you have one, remember to ask about trade-in possibilities on your present RV. The local RV show is a great place to shop and dream a bit and a logical place to find your first or next RV.

RV Financing Information 

There are many, many ways to finance a RV, as in any loan, key items to you need to be aware of are the money you need to contribute, interest rates, terms, and the small print.

After you have decided on the source of the RV loan you will need to be "approved" which means do you have the wherewithal to pay it back. The paperwork can be called a "loan application", "finance application" or "credit application" and is the lending sources information about you. Take the time to complete this form completely.

This is also a good time for your annual credit report checkup. Most lenders will require proof of income, and credit information. The interest rate you will pay can be all over the board and can be either fixed or variable. If you want to know what your monthly payment will be and have it stay that way, find a fixed rate loan.

If you are buying a large RV and this is the only loan you can get, go for the variable rate loan which can have a little lower start up interest rate but these "go with the flow" so to speak interest rates often do rise. The other choice you may have is whether the interest is calculated on a per day basis, i.e., you pay for the time you borrow the money or if it has been calculated over the life of the loan. Also, be aware of any early payoff penalties or fees.

Determine how long you want to be pay for the RV, the longer the length of the note, the longer it will take you to acquire equity, which is the part you own. This can get complicated depending your cash situation, your income and how long you usually stay enamored with a particular RV. The "term" of the loan usually ranges between 5 to 25 years for most RV's.

The amount of down payment can depend upon the lender, how much you are financing (the minimum amount being financed by a lot of lenders at this time is $25,000), the age of the RV, what you plan to do with it, and where you are going to be taking it, and can be as low as 10% or as high as 25%.

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