Next to purchasing a house, an RV or class B motorhome is going to be one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Are you ready to ask the right questions?
There are many reasons to invest in a recreational vehicle. Maybe your family loves taking road trips and camping on the weekends and summer vacations. Maybe you and your significant other have retired and finally have the time to explore parts of the country you’ve always wanted to see. Avid rock climbers, backpackers and all around outdoor enthusiasts know that purchasing a class B motorhome is the one of the best ways to pursue their passion.
Travel vehicles call for FREEDOM – and who doesn’t want more of that?
Class B motorhomes are more popular than ever. People are recognizing that bigger is not better. Class B or Type B recreational vehicles offer greater maneuverability, less maintenance, higher fuel efficiency, easier storage and all of the amenities the class A and C motorhomes can provide at a much better price point.
Since motorhomes and RVs come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, abilities and amenities, it’s understandable you may be overwhelmed with where to start looking. Some of the basics you will likely require are a sleeping area, bathroom, kitchen, entertainment and storage. All additional features will likely vary from vehicle to vehicle.
Gathering a list of questions to ask when shopping for your class B or RV is invaluable! Making a checklist is a great idea to help you find exactly the type of vehicle you will need to make your dream of FREEDOM a reality.
Checklist for Deciding Which Type of Motorhome is Best for You
1. What type of camping will you be doing?
This is the starting point when searching for motorhomes. If you’re interested in primitive camping or using your motorhome for hiking, climbing and spending a great deal of time outdoors, a basic class B should suffice. Class B motorhomes can come as basic or as fancy as you want.
A couple, for example, would do great in a class B motorhome and could upgrade the vehicle as much as they desire. If you’re looking to live full time in your RV, or you plan on bringing the whole family along, a larger class C or class A may be the way to go. Larger motorhomes offer more glamorous amenities such as in-vehicle office stations, spacious living areas and washer and dryers.
2. Where are you planning on camping?
Depending on where you plan on camping, the type of RV/motorhome you buy will vary. If you are passionate about camping in national parks, open space areas or boondocking, then a class B motorhome will be your best option. Since class B motorhomes are easier to park and more maneuverable, they will be allowed in most national parks and campgrounds. Class C and class A motorhomes are going to be more limited to RV parks with amenities and hookups due to their size.
3. What should my budget be?
Budgets will vary from person to person. New and used motorhomes and RVs can have a huge price range. Making sure you have a set number in mind of how much you are willing to spend will help you become less caught up in the excitement of all of the “bells and whistles” that can accompany an RV when you walk into a dealership.
Remember, used motorhomes often come in fantastic condition. If you’re looking to get an RV for weekend or summer travel, look into slightly used class Bs. If you have decided that full-time life on the road is your goal, a new motorhome or RV may be worth the investment.
List of Structural Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Used Class B Camper Van
We recommend asking the following questions about the condition of the camper van before purchasing a used class B motorhome:
- Trailer Frame – Are there any obvious signs of damage to the frame that indicate a collision? Look for signs of rust. Rust indicates the motorhome’s foundation is in poor condition. This could mean costly repairs and maintenance issues down the line.
- Tires – How old are the tires? If they are over 5 years old, be aware that even if they have low mileage, UV/sun damage can weaken them. Make sure prior to using your RV/motorhome that you have quality tires.
- Brakes – Very important! If you’re looking for a vehicle with a drivetrain, make sure the brakes are in strong condition. Considering that motorhomes are heavy, you will want to know that in the incident of an abrupt stop you’re brakes can hold up.
- Appliances – Make sure all appliances are tested before purchasing your motorhome. Buying a motorhome with appliances such as toilets, refrigerators, microwaves and dishwashers that don’t work can cost you thousands of dollars in additional repairs.
- Leaks – Check ceilings and floors for leaks, soft spots, properly insulated doors and windows. A leak can be incredibly costly to fix and should be taken to account when negotiating the selling price.
- Inverter – You will need an inverter to convert DC power to AC power for your appliances on the road. Make sure the motorhome you’re interested in has a properly working inverter.
Choosing the Type of RV/Motorhome
There are so many different types of motorhomes and RVs to look at. Depending on your needs, there is a travel vehicle for just about anyone! Some of the types of RVs are listed below:
- Pop-up: sleeping capacity for 2-3
- Travel Trailer: sleeping capacity for 2-3
- Class B: sleeping capacity for 2-3
- Class C: sleeping capacity for 3-4
- Fifth-Wheel: sleeping capacity for 4+
- Class AD: sleeping capacity for 4+
- Class A: sleeping capacity for 4+
Choosing an RV Floor Plan
There are several different types of floor plans to decide upon when searching for your RV. Depending on what you will be using the vehicle for, certain floor plans may be more desirable than others. Your options are:
- Bunkhouse: Great for families! Bunk beds found at the rear of the unit are ideal for sleeping children.
- Toy hauler: A toy hauler is ideal for those planning on transporting ATVs, motorcycles, sports cars or snowmobiles.
- Rear living: This is typically best for those who plan on cooking and entertaining in their RV.
Ask Around for Buying Advice
Asking friends who own motorhomes and RVs is a great way to decide what they like and dislike about their travel vehicle. There are also many blogs and forums for people who use their RV frequently. They have tons of great advice and insight into purchasing and maintaining a motorhome.
Here are a few additional resources to help get you started with your research:
Ready to browse class B motorhomes and other travel vehicles? Classic Vans has a huge selection of RVs, motorhomes and camper vans. We specialize in pairing the perfect travel van with buyers. Purchasing your next motorhome is an exciting endeavor. Let the experts with 30 years’ experience at Classic Vans walk you through finding your path to FREEDOM on the open road!