Abby's Guide to Recreational Vehicles
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Buying an RV

So you have rented an RV, found the experience with your family or spouse exhilarating and are in the market for some ownership papers.

First shop around. Start at the RV shows that come around to major cities during the winter. This gives you the freedom to look, look, look with no pressure and no pre-stated requirements. Find out the latest and greatest and if it is vital to your RV experience. Most likely there will be videos to watch about RVing and all kinds of printed material to get you on the road, including where to vacation with your RV.

Next go to your RV dealerships. Make yourself at home in several options. If there are used RVs, check them out as well. You could save half to two thirds of the original price tag and be very happy with your purchase. As with cars, December and January are great times to buy as the dealers want to make room for the new models.

Look for the RVIA Seal that means the RV has been approved in 500 RV specs, including fire, safety, plumbing, gas and electrical system checks set up by the ANSI or American National Standards Institute.

Don't purchase an RV without a lot of research. There are unscrupulous people waiting to profit from your mistake. You are potentially buying a car and a home and the purchase needs to taken as seriously. If you are buying a used RV take a test drive and then check every system in the RV. Flush the toilets, turn on the stove and the faucets. It is very important that you check for leaks as water damage is a very expensive sometimes impossible repair. Dry rot in the wood or water stains inside or out might be indicative of a leak. One RV expert stresses the importance of getting a service record from a dealership, indicating repairs and regular maintenance work done. Automatic transmissions are crucial if you think you will ever sell the RV...most senior citizens want the ease of an automatic. And speaking of transmissions, one RV advocate points to the Allison transmission as the best produced for an RV.

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