When somebody is ready to buy a used RV or recreational vehicle, he or she should be aware of the costs that aren’t readily apparent. Depending on the state where the RV is purchased, buyers may be subjected to freight destination and dealer handling charges as well as any connected prep fees.
Purchase of an RV in Texas and Utah involves coverage of the aforementioned fees. These fees are usually added to the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) and are discernible by looking closely at the lot sticker posted by the used RV dealer. The freight charge is the dealer’s transportation fee; most dealers expect to recoup this fee in the sale of the vehicle.
Negotiating the best possible price for cash typically results in deletion of these non-MSRP costs. During the negotiation process, the prospective buyer should ask the used RV dealer for a printsheet breakdown. If by careful examination, certain amounts appear to be little more than padding, and if the dealer cannot justify a significant loss by absorbing them, deletion of these miscellaneous fees shouldn’t be impossible.
Not all dealers add freight and presale prep fees to the sticker price, so comparing stickers is a must. Some dealers will even exclude documentation, finance and government fees, and taxes. The advertised price will in turn reflect the number of accessories and options the RV boasts.
Beyond the initial purchase price exists the ongoing ownerships costs of owning and operating a RV. Before a newbie goes out to buy a used RV, he or she must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of RV ownership. Many owners consider the RV lifestyle to be exactly that and not merely a vehicle that casts a large shadow on a concrete slab. These lurking costs include:
• Fuel, oil and fluids – Such large machines, RVs are lumbering hulks that can compare to tanks with their consumption of gas, engine oil and even transmission fluid, coolant and windshield wiper fluids. Bigger means more, and more means it takes more of everything to run. Fuel economy will also be considerably poor and no greater than 25-30MPH — but then, gas economy isn’t what RV owners are after.
• Groceries — Eating on the road tends to cost more, and though the fridge in an RV can be sizeable, it still won’t match the practicality of a fridge in the home.
• Insurance – Insurance rates tend to climb higher in proportion to the size of the vehicle, so the cost to insure an RV could hit the ceiling.
• Maintenance — Anything can happen, and hopefully it will be in the form of replacing the battery and checking the tire pressure and not major repairs.
• Parking – Mobile home parks are everywhere, but sometimes they’re overstuffed with other weary denizens of the road — renting/buying lots isn’t cheap, either.
• Towing – Towing businesses absolutely love calls from RV drivers, because it means big bucks for them and handling even just one RV can take up a chunk of the day.
RVs are fantastic pieces of road-worthy merchandise to own, but it’s smart to know what buying and owning them means up front. RV ownership isn’t for everyone, but for those who are ready, the perks can outnumber the risks.