Video: RVer admits rookie mistakes buying motorhome

In this 11-minute video, an RVer admits to what he did wrong when he purchased his motorhome. Most of the mistakes, you will likely conclude (as we did), were because he didn’t do his homework before buying. Still, the mistakes he made are the same ones made by others day after day. If you’re in the market for an RV, this is well worth watching.



10 Thoughts to “Video: RVer admits rookie mistakes buying motorhome”

  1. Hit The Road

    I didn’t “scold” anyone. I’m just mentioning how we are going about it. And I don’t have experience with an RV, and know there will be mistakes. To each his own, and this is how I choose to do it.

  2. Robin

    Always amazed how more experienced audience members sound off judgements vs appreciating someone’s willingness to share info that could benefit others. I’m pretty sure all the planning and research in the world never fully prepares anyone for real-life experience. I’m sure we’ve all had some rude awakening moments in our RV lives at some point or another. Sometimes we forget that we were “once there” and don’t allow others space to grow. Cut this young man some slack and encourage him and others like him with more productive solutions vs scolding him for “bad” decisions he’s already realized.

  3. Hit the road

    We have been researching our purchase for 2 years! We had a plan but moved it up after realizing life is too short to sit home all the time. I understand financing and depreciation. Few things appreciate in value and certainly not RV’s.
    We have looked at hundreds of models, quickly eliminated many and have finally narrowed down to one. We have researched maintenance, manufacturer customer service, campgrounds, and all the systems in the RV. Measurements galore. Thinking where this is going to go, that is going to go. Generators, solar, storage, weights, capacities! Now we are just ready to go, not full time yet, but ready none the less. 99% of our research was on the internet! I know editing is involved but I don’t understand these RV shows where people show up on the Lot and drive away with a new rig? Have they thought about sleeping arrangements, cooking, towing, driving, finding a space long enough., storage?
    It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!

  4. Rob

    Unfortunately, this gentlemen’s list are basic research someone does when they purchase anything. I find that our society doesn’t take the time anymore to really plan before they leap. Some additions would be.

    6. Maybe rent a unit before you buy
    7. Plan and save for large ticket items before you buy
    8. Understand that debt is not your friend.
    9. Always if possible don’t borrow money for depreciating assets


  5. Pat

    Really don’t need the big holding tanks. Especially if you’re alone. Doggy bag the waste as if you were picking up your dog crap! Then collect the urine and a different portable container and empty it out when convenient.

  6. Traveling Man

    You mention that you are concerned with depreciation…

    Go back to the sticks-and-bricks and factor in Taxes, Interest, Insurance, Utilities, Upgrades, Lawn Care, and a 30 Yr Prison Sentence to pay the mortgage.

    Now tell me that the RV depreciation is really all that bad.

    You still have to buy smart. Buying second hand is an excellent way to reduce the expense and repair of a new rig.

    Other things that you HAVE to consider:

    Has the rig been engineered correctly?

    Do you have the right tires, axles, springs? Many a factory has put on equipment that is not rated for the rig.

    You also have to understand your Full Time Lifestyle. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU BUY! DO NOT be spontaneous and go for pretty.

    Do you understand MAINTENANCE? Motorhome expenses are CONSIDERABLY higher than a fifth wheel. Tires alone are good for 6-7 years (without road hazards) and can cost $600 EACH. Want an oil change? That’s $400. Need a tow? That can be $2000. If money is no object, Motorhomes are the way to go for luxury and convenience. If you are budget conscious, go fifth wheel for full-timing. Bigger is not always better. Depending on your use (boondock or parks), you may opt for a shorter rig of 35′. If you plan to stay in parks, many have limitations on 50A services. Spaces are at a premium. No new parks are being built under record sales.

    Other considerations…

    Where will you store everything?
    Is there enough drawer and pantry space?
    All electric or the convenience or multi-source appliances? (inverters versus propane features).
    Real Wood cabinets or particle board?
    Conveniences of a Washer and Dryer or head tot he laundry mat? (Pros and Cons both ways).
    Need a dishwasher or do by hand? (Pros and cons both ways).
    Tow Vehicles…Do you have a truck that can pull a rig safely? Many under size their tow vehicles and pay for it later with transmission or engine problems.

    One thing is for sure about full-timing whether you are single or married or in your senior years…you CAN save a ton of money and enjoy life all over the country if you do this right. Had we done this years ago, we would be sitting on a small fortune NOW!

  7. Scott M.

    Not sure if it is funny or sad, but at least he’s honest. Clearly didn’t research issues like he should have. One can camp, talk to others, certainly get some insights before making a major financial decision. Having said that, experience is the real teacher and sometimes an expensive way to get an education.

  8. Frank F

    Totally disagree with his assertion that he couldn’t have been aware of some of the issues he complains about BEFORE he bought. He obviously knows about the internet…he couldn’t do some research on the myriad of RV forums out there? Regarding his discovery that campgrounds are not for him, he couldn’t have visited a couple of RV parks and learned what they’re like? Bottom line: do your due diligence…PPPPPPP (Prudent Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance).

  9. Lisa Dupree

    I just have to say “Duh” on numbers 1 and 2. Isn’t that just plain old common sense?

  10. Dan Coffey

    He is an excellent example of why basic facts of “real” life needs to be taught in high school.

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