OUR TIP TO YOU WHEN BUYING YOUR FIRST RV:
It is likely you will make several browsing trips to RV dealerships but one final trip to make your purchase. When you do make that final trip, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right with the purchase keep addressing the issue until you feel it is right or at least something you can accept. This is your new home not just another RV. It’s important that you are happy with your new home.
You don’t have a lifetime of experience with RVs so ask those questions until you are satisfied. Our lack of pressure on the dealership caused us headaches later on from a leaky ladder and rotting wall which we will discuss at a later time.
Our trip to the dealership started promising. An older, seasoned salesman greeted us, offered complimentary bottled water, and encouraged us to browse. He would be back with us shortly.
We made our way across the lot to the used class As via a route of new fifth wheel campers and new class As as if we were pretending we were going to take out a second mortgage to buy new. Brand new wasn’t going to work for us. Our goal is to live minimally, workamp and have fun not to continue to worry about bills. It was fun to see what was out there though.
Once at the used but not too used section we popped in and out of a few RVs we thought held potential. They showed nicely on the dealership’s website but we eliminated most of them quickly through small details. Most were dismissed by upholstery that looked like we will enjoy it when we are 40 years older, kitchen counters with empty spaces where the oven was removed, and a mirrored backsplash that reminds Katie of the ceiling of the “honeymoon suite” at the motor inn she cleaned on weekends back in high school.
Then at the end of the aisle of used but not too used RVs we found “Erv”. Erv had everything we were looking for in a RV. He had the Ford chassis, a couch, a dinette, and the deal breaker…a toilet in its own closet. We were interested and had questions to ask.
We tried locating our nicely dressed, complimentary bottled water offering salesman. Could we please get his assistance? Oh, no, no, no, my friend. Our seasoned salesman was replaced by Vapin’ Nate. When this tall drink of water presented himself to us with his soul patch, dirty white dress shoes and vape machine on which he constantly demonstrated his Freudian ways we raised an eye brow and glanced around for our original salesman.
Vapin’ Nate was all right but didn’t really take our questions and concerns seriously. He didn’t even take our purchase all that seriously. We liked his no pressure attitude to a degree. A little personal investment from him would have been nice. Which RV we buy was a pivotal decision in the transition of our lives to full timing.
Concern #1 met with Vapin’ Nates apathetic assistance:
We expressed out concern over the play in the ladder. Vapin’ Nate gave us a standard answer of “all RV ladders flex and move some.”
They all flex some? This ladder has the flexing likeness of Evenflo’s Joey Jump Up. Yes, we made the same faces as a six month old when we rode it as it was more of a ride than a climb. We dismissed this concern due to our lack of RV experience.
Concern #2 met with Vapin’ Nates apathetic assistance:
We expressed concern over a slight horizontal line about 1-2 inches from the floor on all wood trim, fixtures, and cabinets. Vapin’ Nate gave no explanation for the evidence left behind by every RV’s number one transgressor except the flooring was replaced recently. They had this RV on the lot for about a year with the old flooring in it. It was wood planks that were curled up. Now that the floor was replaced they have had lots of people looking at it. Vapin’ Nate reassured us that the actual floor was solid.
Come on, Nate! Get your head in the game! Vape juice ain’t free!
We were not getting anything of value from our salesman so we brought in our own RV expert, Ryan. His experience with RVs brought reassurance to our purchase. He reminded us of his previous advice. It didn’t have a faded exterior. Erv was likely protected from elements when stationary. He climbed the bouncing ladder to report back that the roof looked solid and leak free. As for the ladder, it was a gamble. We had to decide if we could live with the play in it.
Now back to the mysterious watermark on the wood. We used our super sleuth detective skills on the clues left behind by Erv’s previous life. What would cause a water line an inch off the floor and warped wood plank flooring? We took our best guess. We decided that the water line on the wood was from the water heater breaking and spilling water into the floor. The only evidence left behind was a small soft area in the bathroom floor, the water line, and new flooring. We could live with that.
Keeping in mind that all RVs both new and used require repairs as they are lived in 24/7/365, we found our new home. We could live with the faults we saw in it and attempt repairs as they came up. This was going to be a learning experience. We had a lot to learn which is exactly what our next step was.
Vapin’ Nate asked us to come back in a week when we would get our RV orientation and roll Erv off the lot.
Join us next time for Why Doesn’t This Switch Work? or The RV Shake Down with Damn It Ed!