Listed below are some
Frequently Asked Questions.
If you do not find the information you are looking for here,
send your question to Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the best RV to buy?
I am not aware of anyplace to find good objective reviews. Most magazine reviews read
like advertising copy. Most manufacturers build several different models that range from
the less expensive entry level units to the higher-priced deluxe models. Some of the entry
level units have quality construction but lack the more costly features and options. Some
companies have enjoyed an excellent reputation but have been bought out by other companies
that reduce costs by decreasing quality and take advantage of the brand name reputation.
In the final analysis, I recommend that you take your time in buying an RV.
RE resale value. There is a market for every type of vehicle. The most important
factors in determining whether an RV can be easily re-sold are cost and condition. It
is true that Class C's and small towables are lower cost and the average automobile driver
finds them easier to drive. However, those interested in serious RVing find their
facilities and size very limiting which results in a quick upgrade. From a financial
point of view, your least expensive route is to carefuly research what you want to do and
limit the number of upgrade RVs you have to purchase.
Assess your intended uses, determine what you can afford, and what you can justify based
on your intended use. Attend RV shows where a variety of manufacturers and models are
represented. Determine whether you can do some of the maintenance yourself. If you
can do some of your own automobile and home maintenance then you should be able to do some
of your own RV maintenance. This will free you from having to deal only with a local
dealer and the models he sells. You can then shop many locales for the best price for the
vehicle you want.
Start looking at RVs to find one or more that has features you like, such as storage
space, insulation, protected water tanks, interior design, external appearance, etc. When
you find one you like, check out the company (current corporation, not the brand name
reputation) by taking a factory tour. While there, try to learn how they provide customer
If they have an owner's club, get that information so you can contact current owners to
see how they are satisfied with the product and the company. Talking to current owners is
an extremely valuable tool and cannot be stressed too much.
The most important thing is to give yourself the time to make a careful, considered
decision. Do not let sales people push you into making a decision too quickly.
There are also some advantages to buying used RVs. After you know which models you are
interested in, you can often get more options for less money. When buying used, you must
assess the owner, not only character & honesty, but whether he is knowledgeable about
his RV and if he has good maintenance records. Also note if there are any long-term
warranties that are transferrable to a new owner. Many private owners sell their own RVs
because they believe them to be worth more than wholesale. By settling on a price between
wholesale and retail, both parties get a good deal. Previously owned RVs are advertised in
most publications and on-line.
How can I find the value of my RV?
Many RV dealers subscribe to N.A.D.A Appraisal Guides and/or Kelley Blue Book, Official
RV Guide and can look up current values. Additionally, N.A.D.A. publishes marine and RV
information on their web site, www.nada.com.
Where can I find repair manuals for my RV or towed vehicle?
If you are looking for a manual for the RV itself, you will probably have to contact
the RV manufacturer directly. If you are looking for a manual for the chassis or the towed
vehicle, you have more choices. First, of course, is the manufacturer. Other helpful
publications are the corresponding truck manuals. These are often available in auto parts
stores. Auto parts stores also have manuals for cars and pickups. Another excellent source
for repair manuals is Helm Publications Division, 14310 Hamilton Avenue, Highland Park, MI
48203, 800-782-4356 (313-865-5000). Helm, Inc. prints most of the OEM manuals. If you do
not wish to purchase a manual, you may be able to find a copy at your local library or a
local dealer who services trucks. They may allow you to make a copy of the pages you need.
How can I contact the manufacturer of my RV?
Visit www.rvia.org (Recreational
Vehicle Industry Association) or www.gorving.com
to search for the manufacturer. You will often find links to web sites, addresses, and
How can I find a dealer?
Visit www.rvda.com where you can
search by geographic area.
What are the best vehicles for towing?
Each year Famly Motor Coaching magazine and
Motorhome magazine usually run articles listing acceptable tow vehicles. Occasionally,
there are differences of opinion regarding towability. In addition, one vehicle may track
better than another although both can be towed. I approach finding a tow vehicle as
1. What kind of vehicle do I want?
a. type of transmission
b. front, rear, or 4W drive
c. truck, station wagon, or other type
2. Weight should be around 3,000 lbs -less is better
3. Visit www.remcotowing.com or call Remco (800-228-2481). They manufacture a variety of
devices that enable almost any car/pick-up to be towed (driveshaft disconnect, front wheel
hub disconnect, automatic trans lubricating systems). There are some vehicles for which no
devices are manufactured - either because none are required or the demand is limited.
4. Generally speaking, standard trans, FWD vehicles are easy to tow and often do not
require special devices. Some, but not all, 4WD are towable, and a few automatic
transmissions (notably Saturn) are towable.
In the final analysis, I use the owner's manual of a candidate car and advice from Remco
to make a decision.
We have had excellent service from Ford Escort (1982 and 1989), both FWD, manual
transmission, and our current tow vehicle, a Mazda (same as Ford Ranger) extended cab
Pickup, 3,275 lb. All of these vehicles require no extra equipment to adapt to towing. The
owner's manual of each states unlimited speed and distance four wheels down are
acceptable. Please note that these manuals were written when the national speed limit was
55 mph. In our experience all track well. The 82 Escort was towed with a 16,000 lb gas
class A motorhome. When we towed with our bus, we noticed no perceptable difference in
tracking or anything else.
I am also concerned with what type of tow car braking system is used. If I were purchasing
a tow vehicle, I would check with Leon Meadows of M&G (800-817-7698) if my coach has
air brakes (See the article, The M&G Car Braking
System) to determine if his equipment would fit the candidate tow vehicle.
With hydraulic brakes, the installation is a bit more difficult. If M&G does not fit a
particular vehicle or I do not want to alter the hydraulic system, I would strongly
consider the Brake Sentry by Preston Systems (800-867-7600).
My choice for a tow bar is the M&G
backable towing system-see the article, The
M&G Tow Bar.
Where can I find repair parts for my RV?
If you cannot get parts from the manufacturer, you can try the following sites. www.all-rite.com, www.rvrecycler.com, and www.rv.net. The last site has links to other RV
sites and along the left side, you will see a listing for obsolete parts.