Deciding where you purchase your RV can be tasking at times. The good news is, you have options! Your RV will be a major purchase and we want you to feel confident and comfortable in your decision. Whether you decide to purchase from a dealership or private party, know that protecting your investment is our priority. Outlining your needs as a traveler will help you in determining where you want to purchase your home-on-wheels. You will have options on how you want to protect your new rig while you take on the huge responsibility of adventuring!
In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of purchasing an RV through a dealership or private party. As well as the warranties that will help you along the way.
Purchasing From a Dealership
Purchasing from a dealership can be very exciting! Nothing gets our wheels turning (pun intended) than seeing new and shiny rigs all lined up. One benefit from purchasing from a dealership is the one year- or sometimes two- manufacturer’s warranty that comes with a new RV. These warranties always leave customers feeling good about their purchase, like an incentive. If you purchase a used RV from a dealership, they will usually give you a 30-day grace period in case repairs need to be done during your time of ownership. But what happens when that one or two year warranty or 30-day grace period is over? Who will make sure that your rig is covered and protected without it costing you a fortune? These are important things to consider when going through a dealership.
If you choose to go this route, you have two options when protecting your investment. You can either buy an extended warranty contract through the dealer’s existing programs, or you can go through an online reputable broker. There are also two important questions you should ask yourself when deciding the type of coverage you want from a warranty. First, will they offer you a personalized quote? Having a personalized quote tailored to your traveling needs and lifestyle is pertinent to reliable coverage. Everyone has different travel expectations and you should not be subjected to paying a high premium. With a personalized quote, you are able to protect the components most important to you and not others you don’t. A blanket price should not be offered to everyone as a one-size-fits-all policy is not fair pricing.
The next question you should ask is, who are the experts selling the warranty? When you purchase an RV you want them to be an expert in who the administrator, repair facilities, and obligor are; not just be an expert in rigs. If you purchase from a dealership, more times than not, you will never see or speak to the person who sold you the RV or warranty again. This is an unsettling feeling. Post-purchase, you want to be able to have someone who will walk you through every step of a claims process and ensure a smooth experience.
When purchasing through a dealership, it’s important to consider the network of repair facilities. If you breakdown on the side of the road, can you take your rig to any mechanic in the U.S. or Canada? Do you have to go to a certain dealership? Is roadside assistance offered? Certain policies want you to stay within a network and only go to dealerships or very limited repair facilities. Your warranty is of little use if you cannot get repairs done in the area where you broke down.
If you want to be smart with your money, it’s best that you purchase a warranty while your RV is new, rather than later down the line when your rig has aged. It’s more costly to offer coverage to older units due to the nature of running a higher risk of breakdowns. If you purchase a warranty while your unit is newer, this will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars later on.
Purchasing Through a Private Party
If you decide to purchase a used RV through a private party, you will either find that A) the previous owner has done the majority of repairs and most repair issues have been ironed out. Or B) you’ll find that the used rig needs many and all repairs to be done at your expense. Purchasing from a private party can be a bit of gamble, but it doesn’t always have to be!
When you purchase a used RV and it comes with a warranty, you can rest assured that that rig has been properly maintained and inspected. RV’s that have an active warranty, are rigs that have passed an inspection and are functioning well with no preexisting conditions. Buying a used rig that has an active warranty is like hitting the jackpot! It’s also important to note that when you purchase from a private party, an online broker will be your only option for extended coverage(if the RV doesn’t already come with one).
Unfortunately, the older the rig is, the more susceptible it is to breakdowns. That’s because 3 out of 10 RVs will need a major repair within their first two years on the road. That jumps to 8 out of 10 RVs by the fifth year, and nearly every RV by the eighth year of use! Those odds aren’t great for your budget if you don’t have some sort of additional protection in place.
Extended warranties can help determine the level of risk a unit can hold. Warranty companies are constantly evaluating the risk associated with specific units before they offer coverage. This will help determine the price of the coverage and deliver insight on how frequently an RV is expected to breakdown during the lifetime of the policy.
If You Decide to Sell Your RV Later Down The Road
Let’s say that you want to sell your RV. Selling your rig with an extended warranty can add monetary value to your home-on-wheels. This is a major plus and tells potential purchasers that your RV is in top-notch condition. When you purchase a warranty, it’s important to know if the warranty can be transferred to the new owner. Being able to transfer policies allows for the new party to have reliable coverage, just like you did before. Transferring should be seamless, just a small fee and a couple of signatures. A good online resource to buy, sell, or trade RV’s is RVTrader.
You have options when it comes to buying your RV and protecting it long term. The tips above are an excellent way to begin your education on the differences between a private party and dealership RV purchases, along with the different roads you can take to protect your investment after you’ve secured your home-on-wheels.
If you have any more tips and tricks, leave them in the comment sections below to share with your fellow RV’ers. Remember, being an RV’ers means that you take extra precautionary measures to keep yourself and others safe on the road.
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