10 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Shop for an RV

If you’ve decided to buy an RV, you may be wondering “How do I choose the right one for me? RVs are expensive. If you’ve decided to buy one, the last thing you want is to pick one that puts a dent in your bank account and leaves you with a steaming side of regret. 

Here at Bish’s we sell RVs to all types of people with every need imaginable – you better believe we helped a guy find an RV with the perfect space for a giant turtle. We know how important it is to find the right RV for your individual needs.

We’ve spent more than 30 years helping RVers find the right RV at a price they can afford. You know your needs better than anyone else, so we’ll help you know the questions you need to be asking so you can find your ideal RV.. 

Make sure you choose the right RV by asking yourself these 10 questions:


Save time and effort: Download these questions and bring your answers to an RV dealer. At Bish’s RV we can use your answers to narrow your options to 3 RVs in your budget! 

answer these questions to find your next rv
Click to download a printable sheet of questions

#1: Where and How Do You Want to Camp?

Before you can find your ideal RV, you need to understand how you’ll want to use it. 

Will you stay at luxurious RV resorts, or do you dream of rustic, off-grid locations? Do you want to relax in the nearby mountains, or take a long trip to camp in the southern sun? 

Balance the features you need and want with where you plan to go. While there may be some smaller RVs with more features, it’s a good rule of thumb that more features require more RV. 

Bigger RVs will probably cost more and may have more luxuries and features, but could also limit your camping options. If you plan on going to remote areas or national parks you can expect size/weight limits that keep large RVs out. 

Write out all the ways you want to use your RV, so you can narrow down the size and features you want. 


Popular RVs tend to strike a good balance between features, size, and price. Check out these top RVs to see if one is a good pick for you:


#2: How Many People Will Sleep in the RV?

Bad sleep = bad camping. Everyone needs a comfortable place to sleep whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with a large family.

There are budget friendly campers or motohomes that fit a large crew and also luxury RVs built just for couples. 

No matter how many folks you’re bringing along, you’ll find options for different types, sizes, and prices of RVs. Just make sure you’ve identified the minimum number of sleep spaces you’ll need. 

Choosing an RV with more sleeping space might mean you need a larger RV. This could impact where you can travel and park. So, once again, balance what you want with where you want to stay before you make any decisions. 

Feel free to send a message to one of our RV Outfitters if you’re having a hard time finding the RV with the right sleep space. They love to help! 

chat with an rv expert for help finding your rv

#3: How Often Do You Plan to Use the RV and for How Long?

A simple, compact RV with easy set up and take down may be ideal if you go on frequent and/or short trips. 

Going to park and stay for a long time? Then an RV with more living space and upgraded features may matter more than how easy it is to tow. 

Read these for help choosing the best type of RV for your lifestyle:

Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel 

Motorhome vs Towable 

#4: Where Do You Live: Consider Weather & Terrain

Your location can influence which RV will be best for you. 

If you live somewhere with extreme hot and/or cold weather, an RV with more insulation may make a big difference. If you live where the weather is mild, extended season packages and extra insulation may not be a high priority. 

Towing over mountains is a different ballgame than towing over the plains of Iowa. So you’ll want to factor in how your RV tows over the type of land you’ll be crossing. 

You should also ask yourself how far you plan to drive or tow it for trips. Different types of RVs are more taxing over long trips. A large travel trailer can be more tiring than a 5th wheel, for example. 

Where you live can also affect how you’ll store your RV and what that will cost. If you can’t park an RV at home, check out local storage options in your area and what they cost. 

Learn more here about how much it costs to store an RV

#5: How Will You Tow Your RV?

If you’re buying a towable RV your tow vehicle makes a big difference. 

Some dealers will be more worried about pushing you into the top of your budget rather than making sure you’re buying an RV that’s a safe fit for your tow vehicle. Don’t let this happen to you!

Your safety matters, so always check your vehicle’s tow rating and consider the type of terrain you’ll travel over. Ideally you’ll find an RV within your budget that gives your tow vehicle some wiggle room to accommodate rough roads and heavy loads. 

Learn more about choosing an RV that’s safe to tow with Josh the RV Nerd

#6: Are You Trading Something In?

A trade can affect your buying budget.

Consider the value/condition of your trade, whether it’s another RV, a different type of vehicle, or some other desirable item – have we traded for a bouncy castle? You’ll never know. Just kidding. We absolutely did and we have no regrets

Your dealer will ask you about repairs or problems with the trade. Be transparent about this because they’ll find out eventually. It’s better to get the right number from the get go so you know your real budget.

Curious what your trade is worth, feel free to ask! Click below to submit an online request and our Outfitters will help you find out. 



#7: What Have you Liked or Not Liked About Your Past RV(s)?

Take a minute to think about your current or past RVs. Do you love the bunks but hate the kitchen prep space? 

Evaluating what’s been important or frustrating to you about your RV will help you decide which features matter the most for your next RV. 

If this will be your 1st RV, check out these 8 tips from Josh the RV Nerd before you buy:

#8: What Do You Like About Other RVs?

Inside the luxurious Jayco Pinnacle 5th Wheel bathroom

Maybe it’s an outdoor kitchen, solar panels, or a particularly spacious shower. Pick out your “wish-list” items. 

This helps narrow down your search and makes sure your new RV feels like the upgrade you’re after. 

We have oodles of written RV reviews and video RV walkthroughs with Josh the RV Nerd. Give them a read or watch to see which features catch your eye.  

#9: How Much Do You Want to Pay for Your RV?

Buying a home on wheels isn’t all that different from buying a home . . . or wheels. 

You may drool over luxury items, but all the drooling in the world doesn’t necessarily put it in your budget. 

And, that’s okay! There are fantastic RVs options for all kinds of budgets. Our goal at Bish’s is to get you the best possible value at your price point – whatever it may be.

Feel free to ask our Outfitters for help getting an idea of what you can expect in your budget. You can also check out these articles that explain the ins and out of RV price:

How much does an RV cost and what will make it cost more – or less

If you know the type of RV you’re looking for read one of these:

If you’d prefer to look or talk with an Outfitter in person, click to find your closest Bish’s location

#10: How Do You Want to Pay for Your RV? Cash vs. RV Loan

How you want to pay for your RV can definitely affect your overall budget. 

If You’re Paying with Cash:

Decide how much you can and want to spend on your purchase before you step foot into a dealership. 

Get a better idea of what you can get afford by shopping Bish’s RV’s online. You can filter by price as you browse. 

Search for your RV by price range

70% – 75% of RV buyers finance their RV purchase. If you’re with the majority and plan to get a loan, these factors can help you know which RVs are in your range:

If You’re Getting a Loan 

What’s your down payment?

A larger down payment can lower your monthly payments and improve loan terms. Decide what you can afford and how it aligns with your overall financial plan. 

FYI: the bank would ideally like to see $3,000 down for every $10,000 financed. So, if you purchase a $30,000 RV, putting $9,000 down can improve your rate/term options. 

How much of a monthly payment do you want?

After your down payment you’ll pay off your loan in monthly payments. Take a serious look at your lifestyle and budget to decide how much you’re comfortable spending each month. 

Take a peek at our handy Payment Calculator to get a better idea of what your RV may cost each month. 

Monthly rv payment calcluator

You can also browse RVs by approximate monthly payment on our site. Look around to see what’s available in your payment range.

 

How is your credit?

Your credit score will impact how much of a loan you can get, how long you’ll have to pay it off, and the interest rates the bank will give you. 

All of these factors can change your monthly payment and how much you’ll pay overall for your RV. 

You can apply for financing before you visit Bish’s to get a better idea of what your RV loan may look like. 

FYI: Many RV dealers add hidden fees at closing. These can increase the price of your RV by thousands of dollars from the online, or agreed on price. This is unfortunate practice could cause you to end up buying an RV that’s suddenly out of your budget. 

Check out these tips so you can avoid scammy surprise fees. 


Read this to find out how to get the best deal on your RV Loan:


When you buy an RV you’re investing in a lifetime of memories and experiences. Choosing the right RV for your adventures shouldn’t be a daunting task. Now that you know the 10 questions you should be asking before you buy, you’ll be able to narrow your search to find an RV that matches your needs, budget, and lifestyle. 

At Bish’s RV we’re always here and happy to help you on your path to find your RV. We know that no two RVers are the same, and we love helping you find the right, no regrets RV. Here are some of the benefits of buying from Bish’s RV that include:

Bish's RV is different than other RV dealers, find out how
  • 72-hour return guarantee to make sure you love your purchase
  • No hidden fees: our low online price is our price
  • Free winterizations, inspections and more service perks
  • No pressure RV Outfitters who aren’t paid based on how much you spend

Save time and effort buying your RV! We can narrow your RV search down to 3 RVs that fit your needs and budget if you bring you answer this question and answer sheet into a Bish’s location or share it with an outfitter online. 

Download your sheet below to get started: 

Answer these questions to get your next RV
Click to download your sheet of questions

Find a Bish’s RV Near You

Chat with an RV Outfitter Online

You can also browse our available RVs if you’d like to narrow down your search yourself:

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becki johnson at bish's rv

Becki Johnson

Bish’s RV Content Editor & Writer


20 years in the RV industry and a lifetime around RVs have convinced me that nature is a lot better with a comfortable bed and working bathroom.

I love to use what I’ve learned to help RVers find the best RV for the best possible price.

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