Navigating the RV Buying Process

Guest Blogger and veteran RVer, Ric Walter, shares his insights for first-time RV buyers!


Over the last nine years my family has purchased three fifth wheel trailers, all from Modern Trailer Sales.  However, I grew up camping.  As a child we had a 1973 tent trailer and the nine-passenger station wagon that was used for 15 years.  One of the biggest benefits of RVing for our family is we enjoy the freedom and cleanliness that our trailer offers.

There are a couple of things that a new RV buyer should consider prior to purchase.  What is your vehicle’s towing capacity?   How many beds do you need?  How many days per year do you plan to use your trailer?

Next, if you are in the market for a new vehicle, you may want to consider the type of RVing you are interested in.  For example, if your goal is to have a fifth wheel which is not permanently parked, you may want to look at a truck verses an SUV as your next vehicle.  Considering the fact that most people end up trading-in for a larger towable as they gain experience, it’s best to realize your preferences and amenity wants ahead of time.

We have been very pleased with our experience with Modern Trailer Sales.  A lot of the same employees have been there throughout our ten years of working with the dealership.  We had the same sales person (Shane), service advisors (Drew and James), parts manager (Tom), and worked with Christy and Tami in the business office the whole time.  When we looked to upgrade our RVs we shopped the competition and it was amazing to see the turnover and lack of knowledge at those establishments.  With little turnover, the staff of Modern Trailer Sales treats you as a friend.  They ask about your latest adventures.  When we were ready to upgrade, they listened to our needs and made suggestions to potential units that would work for our family.  In addition, by knowing us as friends, they can make recommendations on potential maintenance items.  For example, the dealership pointed out a potential tire issue prior to a 4000 mile trip that would have be fine if we were camping locally that year, but wasn’t safe for a long trip.

On occasion, we have called the service department and asked for assistance.  There has never been an occasion where we were not helped.  These calls have pertained to “where is something”, winterization, or help with the inverter.  Over the years, we have learned there are four simple maintenance items that should not be neglected.  They are charging the battery, wheel bearing repacking, roof treatment, and tire monitoring. One of the best pieces of advice that we were told after our first purchase was “With camping, you are either watching a show or you are the show”. This was followed by “Anything can be fixed”.  After ten years of fifth wheel camping, these statements are still true today.  Each year we look forward to the new and exciting family adventures we will have on our camping trips.


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