I have been camping in an RV since I was a small child, since I grew up rving I new a lot already when at 35 years old my wife and I decided to purchase our first TT. Like others I have found some good info on this forum, but I can't help to think what it must be like for somebody who doesn't have a clue about rv's or towing. It has to be very confusing, so they come to this forum looking for help. I just read a post where some folks with a very limited TV were asking if the TT they were looking at would be a good match for their TV. Of course the salesman said it would be "no problem!!!". The replies this member received did not help them in anyway, just added to their confusion. We had some saying"sure no problem" and others were saying "you must be crazy". I believe everybody was responding in an attempt to truly help these folks but we have to stop and think that these people are investing their hard earned money on something that is not going to be an investment, on what people tell them in this forum. There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with that. I like others did not do m y research before I bought my TT as far as what my truck could tow, not the best in my sig. I too took the word of a salesman, and what was suppose to be a wonderful experience with my family turned into a nightmare at times. Nobody to blame but myself, but if somebody who grew up rving can make this mistake anybody can and we owe it to them to try and answer their questions the best way we can, not just what we think might be true or what they probably want to hear!! Some of the best advice I can give a newbie is.
Do your own homework before you ever go to a RV show or a RV dealer!! Find out what the max you can tow and what the longest length you should be looking at depending on the wheel base of your TV. Don't let any salesperson talk you out of these limitations. Staying within 80% of max. capacity is a great general rule.
Spend some time in the unit without the salesperson and pretend you are camping. Have mom at the sink like she is cooking and see where the kids can be watching TV or ????? Basically is the floorplan livable??? This may sound funny but if you have spent anytime camping in a RV you will know what I am saying. I think most people that design RV's have never spent one night in one let alone camped in one, and some of the layouts make me want to say "what were they thinking???"
Know a price range you need to stay in and if possible arrange prior financing. This is one less area they can squeeze extra money out of you.
Beware of extended warranties. When I bought my new 05 they tried selling me a policy. It was the same policy that I could buy through Good Sam. They didn't even change the name of it. Of course they wanted almost 3 times more than what I could get it myself for. I wonder how many people fall into this trap??? Besides most RV's that are new come with a 1 year bumper to bumper warranty, so buying an extended warranty at the time of sale is throwing away one year of it right out the window.
Get familiar with what different terms are like GVCW, GVWR , dry weight etc. There is a huge misconception on this forum about dry weight. I have read that dry weight does not include the AC or awning or microwave, not even the refer. This is simply not true. The dry weight of a unit is suppose to be what the unit it weighed at the time it left the factory on it's way to the dealer. Unless the dealer added the microwave and the refer they are included in the dry weight. AC's and awning are usually always put on at the factory not the dealer. Try buying a car today without AC, it's the same for rv's. Now the dry weight will not include full propane tanks, batteries ,slide out covers, power tongue jacks or anything else that the dealer applied to the unit.
After you have agreed on a price for a particular model that you are sure your TV can handle tell the salesperson that you want it stated in the contract that this deal is contingent on your TV towing the unit to your satisfactions. If they are confident they have done their job and supplied you with a unit that will fit your needs and requirements then they should have no problem putting this in writing. If they don't find another dealer. This way if you made any mistakes with your numbers, and it does happen, then you are covered.
Make sure you thoroughly understand all the workings of the unit before you drive off the lot. Having your walk through on a Friday evening is not such a good idea. Videotaping is a wonderful idea. Spend sometime in the unit and note down anything that is cosmetic as there is no way of proving that you didn't do them after you leave. They can either fix it right then or note it down for a later service call.
Call your insurance company, so you know what the cost is to insure the unit before you buy, just like you would do for a car or truck. Make sure the awning is covered as with most companies this requires a separate rider policy. Since they don't write a lot of RV policies the agent might not be to familiar with them so ask questions. The time to find out something was not covered is not after it has broke.
These are just a few of the things that I think will be helpful to the NEWBIE. If you follow the above advice it will help insure that your first days spent in your RV are pleasant and enjoyable ones, not spent with worry and regret. Then make sure you come back to the forum and share what you have learned with others as that is what this forum is all about = Helping Others and sharing information.
For those of you that have been around the block remember we owe it to that new generation coming up to pass on good and reliable information. If we are not sure, then we need to say so, there maybe a financial decision made based on what we say.
I hope this post is a help to somebody.
2000 Ford F350 4X4 PSD,CC, DRW
4:10's, BTM Muffler, Isspro Gauges,
Coolant Filter,CCV Mod
FTVB , Ford AIS
6.0 Cooler,SCT2 W/DP's 40 tow & 80 econo,Zoodad mod
2005 Keystone Hornet 30BHSS
Reese Dual Cam
Family of 4 saved by Grace!!! MY TRUCK OUR TRAILER
Thinking back to when we bought our first RV there was no RV Forum(heck, there wasn't even an Internet) so there was no one around that we could ask any questions. We did talk to a lot of campers that had trailers that looked like what we thought we wanted. Many of them would invite us in to look at their set-up. We even attended a couple of RV shows to see what the market had to offer before we bought. After all that we lucked out and got what we wanted at a good price and it had zero defects (wish I could say that about our current trailer). I think that you've offered some great advice and it would be nice if the moderator would post it at the top so that any interested "newbie" could read it.
I just got to thinking after reading so many posts with conflicting opinions and ideas, what is this forum for anyway??? Are we here to share opinions or facts. I would think as a newbie you would be looking for facts not opinions. If it can help one person then it is well worth it. I would also like to thank all those that helped me when I had questions, but most of all my mom and dad who took the time to take me camping.
* This post was
edited 08/09/05 06:39am by NCHornet1 *
Thank you, as a future RVer you have provide us with questions and answers that we had not even thought of. We will now be able to not only make the right choice, but not get tripped up with insurance or needless warrentys. Thanks again
Me -older, wiser but still a leaf fan
The Boss tells me my team sucks
The Bosses Boss 12 and a happy camper, go Argos
little chicken shuit-zu
Nice simple job of putting it all together! This is very valuable information for those just starting out, or for those "No-It-Alls" out there (you know who you are) who hate to ask for help.
If I might add... especially on this forum, you will get "Positive" and "Negative" responses on EVERY trailer you ask questions about. The best result (like NCHornet1 covered), is to do YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!!!
Two Thumbs Up for this info!!
Gary & Karen Thurman & our Yellow Lab Angel named "Abby"
05 Dodge Ram 3500, Cummins Turbo Diesel,Auto,Quad Cab,SRW-LB,4X4, Prodigy & 16K Reese
2005 NuWa Hitchhiker II LS 29.5 LKTG
Corvallis, Oregon Our Trailer & Camping Pictures
"The dry weight of a unit is supposed to be what the unit weighed at the time it left the factory on it's way to the dealer."
I think the key word here is "supposed".
You're suggesting that every unit is ACCURATELY weighed as it leaves the factory and that by looking at the sticker inside the trailer I can tell EXACTLY what this trailer weighed when it arrived on the lot?
I don't know what you are trying to say???? I said the dry weight is suppose to be the actual weight the unit weighed when it left the factory, so yes the sticker on the inside of the door is suppose to be the weight that the unit weighs on the dealers lot minus anything the dealer has added. I am not sure if you have a problem with this or not? I did not say that each and every unit are weighed. When they start a new model line they weigh a unit when it comes off the assmebly line and this is the weight they put on the lables, Unless changes are made that weight is applied to every unit of that same model. I would say there is probably a variable of 40 OR 50lbs in that figure. I do also suggest that everybody take your unit to a scale once loaded with all your gear to get an idea of the weight you are towing. You would be surprised how fast all that gear adds up.
* This post was
edited 09/14/05 05:08pm by NCHornet1 *