Go Big or Go Home! How to Buy an RV

Go Big or Go Home! How to Buy an RV

A recreational vehicle (or “RV” for short) is a wonderful way to see a country as wide open and geographically diverse as Canada.

As Christopher Mahony, president of Go RVing Canada says, it’s a lifestyle that allows you to rediscover an inner spirit of adventure and freedom. Toss the schedule out the window. It’s more about taking an unexpected turn, leading to unique experiences and meaningful memories with family and friends.

RVing can be an escape from city life for some much-needed outdoors time. It’s also a cool way to hit the summer music circuit, or head out on a long family trip to the Maritimes.

Just for clarity – motorhomes, truck campers, travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers – are all considered RVs. “RV people are attracted to the notion of camping, travel and socializing,” says Jim Nolan, of RV Canada in Ottawa, the largest RV dealer in Ontario.

Your RV is a home away from home

When you go RVing, you get to travel and vacation in a self-contained vehicle. You’re less likely to feel you are away from home. At the end of the day you come back to your own bed, with your sheets and pillow.

“It’s hard to get homesick when home comes along with you,” Mahony says.

And it doesn’t matter where you are travelling – there will be an RV park waiting.

Prices for new RVs range from $10,000 (for a tent trailer) to $500,000 (even up to $1 million for ultra luxury motor homes).

Shane Devenish, executive director of the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association, says the RV lifestyle is booming, when it comes to recent sales statistics. Manufacturer wholesale shipments (meaning manufacturer to dealer inventory) were up 32% overall in Canada in the first quarter of 2018. Sales of all classes of motorhomes were up 24%. Both Devenish and Nolan agree that it’s a lifestyle that baby boomers are particularly drawn to.

Thinking of buying an RV?

When purchasing an RV, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Know what you are buying. Consider renting different RVs before committing to buying one. It’s really important to have clarity around the style of RV that will meet your needs. Drive, park and spend a few nights in a few different models.
  • Head to social media for help and advice. GoRVing.ca is an information resource for help on drivability, affordability, as well as FAQs and insight into RV lifestyle. RV.org is a great place to go for independent ratings on different types of RVs. There are also many online forums like Class B Forum, RVers Online or the Go RVing Canada Facebook community.
  • Do your research and shop around. Look not only for the right RV, but the right RV dealer. “Does your RV comfortably accommodate enough people and was it designed to travel long distances?” Nolan says. Make sure the sales consultant understands your personal goals. What might be right for someone else may be completely wrong for you. Go here for a list of RV dealers that are near you.
  • Are you towing or driving your RV?
  • What kind of a floorplan do you want?
  • How much storage will you need? Do you plan on travelling light or are you more comfortable bringing more items from home?
  • What are your priorities? Kitchen appliances? How many beds will you need? Are there other upgrades that might be worthwhile additions?
  • Do you have the right parking or storage space for the RV size you are interested in getting?
  • Know your budget and stick to it. In some cases, you can amortize motorhomes over 20-25 years so the monthly payments are lower. The minimum downpayment for an RV is typically between 10% and 20%.
  • Remember to get RV insurance to help protect your investment and your family!

With some research and testing, you’ll soon be behind the wheel, with endless destinations and possibilities.

You can read more about summer vacation preparation and tips on camping on the GOODHANDS® blog.


Lead image compliments of Go RVing Canada