Features and amenities are the “fun part” of shopping for an RV. However, there’s more to consider than entertainment systems and kitchen appliances. Buying an RV is a major financial decision, with many costing as much as a house – and sometimes, replacing one. Doing your research before making a purchase can help you avoid buying a 5th wheel RV that’s a hassle to own or simply doesn’t match your needs.
Also referred to as Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW), the dry weight of an RV is how much the vehicle weighs without cargo, fluids, or passengers. This important consideration indicates whether or not your vehicle can tow your 5th wheel RV. Luggage and water for bathing or cleaning can easily add a few thousand pounds to your trailer, so be sure that you have a tow vehicle with a towing capacity that comfortably exceeds the dry weight plus several thousand pounds.
Most of the most persistent issues with these towables have to do with build quality. While things like siding and flooring coming loose over time is common in even the best fifth wheel RVs, poor build quality is a different story. Your RV should be able to withstand long-distance travel and being lived in; that’s why you bought it. Use online reviews or an in-person visit to learn how well things are manufactured and installed on a vehicle.
While most 5th wheel RVs come with a warranty, there’s a lot of variation in those warranties. Some cover more than others, and coverage lengths also vary. Another important consideration is whether or not a warranty will transfer. This is crucial information if you’re considering selling the vehicle after your travels, or if you’re buying one second-hand.
When you buy a car, all dealerships under that brand have an obligation to fix your vehicle, no matter where you bought it originally. But that’s not the case when it comes to RVs. So, the dealership where you buy your RV from is extremely important, as you’ll be tied to your home dealership throughout your vehicle’s lifetime. Your dealership is also important at the brand level. Some brands have better reputations for service than others.
No amount of reviews, 3D renderings, or videos can replace seeing an RV in-person. While it may be difficult to find a dealership depending on where you live, it’s certainly worth the effort considering how much you’ll be spending. There are certain things you can only experience in person, like the mounting hardware the manufacturer uses, how comfortable the furniture is, or how well the interior LED lighting works.