Long-Distance Buying Guide: 10 Must-Ask Questions Before Buying an RV

Are you eyeing a super-sweet RV deal across state lines, but feeling hesitant about pulling the trigger on such a big purchase from afar?

Did you know there are 10 things you should always find out before buying a camper from a distant dealer?

Bish’s RV has been selling campers across state borders for 40 years. We’ve worked hard to make the long-distance buying process fast and easy. We’re always happy to share what we know, whether you buy from us or not.

By the time you finish reading this article, you can confidently start shopping for a camper that’s for sale in another state.

state to state purchase

Why Buy an RV That’s Far-Away?

Many people wonder if they should go through the hassle of buying an RV that’s not near where they live. Truth be told, the deal of a lifetime isn’t always in your backyard. You can usually save a ton of money by expanding your search area and looking a little farther from home for your dream RV.

But price isn’t the only factor to consider when buying an RV. It’s just as important to consider who you’re buying from.

There are RV dealers and sellers known for their outstanding reputations. They offer fantastic after-sale services and the kind of customer care that makes you feel like family.

So, when you find a combination of a great deal and a trustworthy seller, even if they’re states away, it makes every mile traveled to get your RV totally worth it.

10 Must-Ask Questions Before Purchasing a Distant RV

These questions are designed to cover every corner of the RV buying process, ensuring you don’t miss a beat. From understanding the true condition of the RV to the reliability of the seller, we make sure you know what to ask when buying long distance.

“Do you offer virtual tours or digital walkthroughs of the RVs?”

Don’t buy a lemon!

rv lemon

This can’t be stated enough — you have to check out the interior and exterior of a camper before committing to buy it, even if it’s far away.

Asking for virtual tours or digital walkthroughs lets you see inside and outside the RV just like you’re there in person — without having to travel.

With virtual walkthroughs, using Facetime or similar apps, you can get a good feel for how much space the camper has, what the layout is like, and what condition it’s in—all from your own home.

rv virtual tour

At Bish’s RV, our Virtual Walkthroughs make it easy to check out our campers. You can see their condition, layout, style, and size without having to travel.

Our expert outfitters give you a personal digital tour and answer all your questions. You can use FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype for the call – whatever works best for you. We show you every part of the RV so you don’t miss anything.

When you’re doing a virtual tour, try to have it live, so you can ask questions right then and see everything up close. You’ll want to check every nook and cranny for any signs of damage or wear and tear.

Don’t be shy about asking to see underneath furniture or inside cabinets where problems might be hiding.

If a live tour isn’t possible, ask for lots of photos or videos that focus on areas you really care about.

Getting a detailed look will help you feel sure about the RV’s condition and if it’s the right one for you.

“How Do You Handle Warranty Service and Repairs for Customers Who Live Far From the Dealership?”

When it comes to buying an RV from a distance, understanding the dealer’s approach to warranty service and repairs is crucial.

The reality is that no matter how smooth the ride, an RV will eventually need repairs—it’s not a matter of if, but when. The bumps and vibrations of even the gentlest highways can lead to wear and tear over time.

So, before making your purchase, you’ll want to know how you’ll get support if something goes wrong, especially if you’re far from where you bought your RV.

If you’re located far from the dealership, it’s important to find out if they offer any remote support for repairs or if you’ll need to bring the RV to them—or possibly to a different dealer.

rv long distance

However, seeking service from a dealer where you didn’t make the purchase can be challenging. Many RV service centers prioritize their own customers, making it difficult for outside buyers to get timely service.

Getting clarity on how a seller or dealer supports out-of-area customers is a key part of your decision-making process.

Some dealers, like Bish’s RV, are setting new standards with innovative solutions such as BishFix—a service that offers repair support for your RV no matter where in the country you are, without the need to visit a dealership.

This kind of support can significantly impact your experience and satisfaction as an RV owner, ensuring that help is always within reach, even if you’re miles away from where you bought your RV.

“What Are the Delivery Options and Costs for the RV to My Location?”

Figuring out how to get your new RV to your home is a big deal, especially when you’re buying from a distance. It’s super important to ask about delivery options and what it’s going to cost you.

Some sellers might require you to sign the paperwork in person and pick up the RV yourself, which means you’ll have to travel and drive it back. But others might offer to deliver it right to your doorstep. 

When talking about delivery, you’ll want to ask if the seller charges a flat fee or if the cost depends on how far you are from them, which is usually a per-mile charge. These costs can add up, so getting this info early on helps you budget properly.

Don’t forget to ask if they guarantee that your RV will get to you in tip-top shape. It’s crucial to know how they make sure the camper arrives without any damage and what happens if it doesn’t.

At Bish’s RV, we offer dependable delivery options for delivering campers right to your doorstep or a Bish’s store near you.

rv delivery at bishs rv

While our shipping fees fluctuate based on fuel costs and economic factors, we have some of the lowest rates in the country. With our fast and reliable delivery service, you can trust your RV will arrive quickly and in great condition, ready for your next adventure.

Whether you buy from Bish’s or another respected RV dealer, understanding all the delivery options and costs can help you decide if buying out of state makes sense for you. 

“Are There Any Additional Fees or Charges I Should Be Aware of When Buying out of state?”

When you’re getting ready to buy an RV from far away, especially when the price seems incredibly low, it’s important to dig a little deeper and ask about extra fees.

Sometimes, the price you see isn’t the whole story. Hidden charges can pop up and surprise you later. That’s why you need to ask for the “out-the-door” price. This means you want to know the total cost, including everything, so there are no surprises.

Make sure to ask if there are additional charges like documentation fees, preparation fees, delivery fees, or even taxes that might not be included in the initial price listed. These can add up and suddenly make that great deal look not so great.

the bish's rv difference

At Bish’s RV, we believe in transparency and honesty, which is why our pricing is fully disclosed upfront, so you know exactly what you’re paying for before making a commitment.

We provide a clear breakdown of any additional fees, such as taxes, documentation fees, or shipping costs, ensuring there are no surprises. Plus, we never add unnecessary charges like prep fees or admin charges, ensuring your buying experience is straightforward and fair.

Understanding all the costs upfront will help you make a better decision and ensure you’re really getting a good deal on your new RV. It’s all about making sure that when you’re ready to make the purchase, you know exactly what you’re paying for and can plan your budget accordingly.

“What Is Your Return Policy, Especially for Remote Buyers, If the RV Doesn’t Meet My Expectations?”

When you’re buying an RV from afar, one of the biggest worries might be what happens if the RV isn’t quite what you expected once it arrives. It’s pretty common for most RV dealers to not offer returns in the traditional sense.

Sometimes, they might offer to buy the RV back from you, but outright returns can be rare. This is why understanding the dealer’s return policy before you make your commitment is incredibly important. It’s all about knowing your options ahead of time, in case the RV doesn’t live up to your expectations once you see it in person.

72-hour guarantee

For example, at Bish’s RV, we stand out by offering a 72-hour “Love Your RV” guarantee. This means if you buy an RV from us and it doesn’t meet your expectations, you have the option to return it within 72 hours for a full refund.

However, it’s important to note that shipping fees will still apply. Having a clear understanding of policies like these can provide significant peace of mind, especially when making such a big decision from a distance.

Knowing that you have a safety net can make the process of buying an RV remotely much less stressful.

“How Do You Facilitate Financing and Paperwork for Out-of-State Buyers?”

Most people choose to finance their RV purchase rather than paying all at once with cash. However, when you’re buying an RV from a distance, you’ll need to know if you can access all the financing options the dealer offers to local customers and whether the process for applying and signing documents can be done remotely.

Dealers experienced in handling long-distance transactions typically have processes in place to ensure you get the same financing opportunities as local buyers. This includes offering a variety of loan options and interest rates, tailored to fit different budgets and financial situations.

rv loan

The key question is whether you can complete these financial arrangements without needing to be physically present. Many dealers now use digital tools that allow for the secure submission of financial applications and remote signing of documents. This means you can handle most, if not all, of the paperwork from the comfort of your home.

At every Bish’s RV dealership, we have a team of financing experts who work with more than 50 banks and credit unions. We work hard to find you the best loan that fits your monthly payment preferences, taking care of all the details and offering several great options — and in most cases you can sign all the paperwork remotely, so you don’t have to travel.

“What Are the Insurance and Registration Processes for Out-of-State Purchases?”

It’s a good idea to ask if the dealership has a titling clerk or a specialist experienced in registering vehicles across different states. This expertise is especially important when dealing with motorhomes because motorized vehicles come with a unique set of challenges, including varying state laws related to emissions, inspections, and more.

Dealing with a dealer who knows your state’s specific requirements will ensure your RV meets all local regulations and is ready to hit the road without any legal hurdles.

rv insurance

If you’re financing the RV, dealerships often handle the registration process as part of their agreement with the lender, making it one less thing for you to worry about. However, if you’re paying cash or arranging your own financing, you might be responsible for registering the vehicle yourself.

At Bish’s RV, our stores have experienced titling clerks who understand the rules for getting licenses and insurance in each state. When you finance with us, we handle all the paperwork and ensure your new camper complies with state laws and regulations.

Understanding the steps you need to take to insure and register your RV is vital. Ask the dealer if they provide any assistance or guidance for buyers who need to manage registration independently.

“How Are Parts and Accessories Shipped for RVs Bought from a Distance, and What Are the Costs?”

When you’re considering buying an RV in another state, you need to think about the long term—specifically, how the seller supports you after the sale.

Although you are thinking about getting a new RV, you should also consider your camper’s upkeep and maintenance. How does the dealer handle shipping parts and accessories you might need for your RV? 

It’s important to ask if the dealer offers ongoing support for your RV after the sale. This includes whether they can ship necessary parts and accessories directly to you and the associated costs.

Shipping can vary widely in price, so it’s important to ask if there are any discounts available for parts or for the shipping itself. Some dealers might offer reduced prices or special deals on shipping for their customers, which can lead to significant savings over time.

rv shipping

 dealer that values ongoing customer relationships will often provide excellent after-sales support, helping with parts, accessories, and even service advice when needed.

For instance, when you purchase from Bish’s RV, you’ll receive a 10% discount on all camper parts. Additionally, while shipping costs vary based on weight and distance, our stores strive to secure the lowest possible price for you and, in certain cases, may even ship parts to you free of charge.

If you need help installing a part yourself, you have access to a certified RV technician with Bishfix – our new service for quicker RV repairs anywhere in the country.

Establishing a good relationship with a dealer who values long-term customer care can make all the difference in your RV ownership experience. It ensures you have access to the necessary parts and accessories, potentially at a discount. 

“What kind of assistance can I expect for routine maintenance tasks such as winterizations and annual inspections?”

Regular maintenance tasks, such as winterizations and annual inspections, are critical in keeping your RV in great shape. It’s important to know how the dealer can assist you with these needs, especially when you’re not nearby.

Ask the dealer about the support they offer for RV maintenance. Some dealers may have partnerships with local service centers closer to you or offer mobile maintenance services that can come directly to your location. 

Also, inquire about what resources the dealer provides for you to understand and potentially perform some of the simpler maintenance tasks yourself.

Do they offer instructional materials, online tutorials, or customer support hotlines? Having access to this information can empower you as an RV owner, making it easier to manage routine upkeep.

Additionally, it’s worth asking if there are any maintenance packages or discounts available for services like winterizations and inspections.

Some dealers might offer these as part of the purchase deal or at a discounted rate for their customers. This not only helps in planning your maintenance schedule but also can offer significant savings over time.

rv winterization

At Bish’s RV, we offer complimentary yearly winterizations for as long as you own your RV.

If you purchase from us from out of state, we can often arrange to send you antifreeze and provide instructional videos so you can handle winterizations yourself.

For additional assistance, our customers have access to the BishFix helpline, where a certified technician guides you through the winterization process via video chat.

By understanding the level and type of maintenance support offered, you can ensure your RV remains in top condition, regardless of where your travels take you. This peace of mind is invaluable, allowing you to focus more on enjoying your RV and less on the logistics of its upkeep.

“What Kind of Support and Communication Can I Expect from You After the Purchase?”

When you buy a new camper, you are also investing in a long-term relationship with the RV dealer. Will they be there when you need them after the sale?

Ask your dealer about the types of post-purchase support they offer. This could range from customer service hotlines and online chat support to scheduled check-ins or newsletters with maintenance tips and updates.

Inquire about the frequency and types of communication you’ll receive.

Will the dealer update you on new models, accessories, and parts that might interest you? Do they provide reminders for routine maintenance or service specials?

This ongoing dialogue can help you keep your RV in peak condition and potentially save you a ton of money on servicing and upgrades.

rv post purchase

Lastly, it’s important to gauge the dealer’s commitment to customer satisfaction after the sale.

At Bish’s RV, we believe that post-sale support is just as crucial, if not more so, than assistance during the sales process.

We follow up with text messages, emails, and phone calls, and all customers have access to certified technicians through Bishfix.

Additionally, we offer a Learning Center subscription to help you keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the world of RVs. When you find your dream camper with Bish’s, your journey with us is just beginning.

A dealer who values long-term relationships with its customers will ensure you feel supported and valued, helping you feel confident you’ve made the right choice not just in your RV but also in your dealer.

Next Steps to Buying a Long-Distance RV

You had some questions about buying an RV from out of state – now you know the 10 most important questions you should ask to make the best long-distance purchase.

It’s clear that finding the right RV at the right price from the right dealer involves more than just comparing price tags. 

For almost 40 years, Bish’s RV has been helping people buy RVs from across state lines because we believe long distances shouldn’t stop you from finding your dream RV. 

If you have questions (and you now have 10 great questions) give us a call. We’re always happy to help you get outdoors and camp.

Here Are the Next Steps to Buying a Long-Distance RV:

  1. Discover Your Dream RV: Explore our inventory with just a click to find the perfect match for you.
  2. Financing and Monthly Payments: We’ll assist you in understanding financing choices and remotely handling paperwork tailored to your desired monthly payments.
  3. Speak with an RV Specialist: Discuss the convenience of having your new RV delivered right to your doorstep, including delivery options and associated costs.
  4. Post-Purchase Support Inquiry: Learn about our comprehensive after-sale support, including our 72-hour “Love My RV” Guarantee, BishFix Membership, and complimentary Winterizations.

Bish’s RV is here to make your long-distance purchase an experience that exceeds expectations, proving that the extra mile is worth it for the right RV with the right dealer.

Learn More:

How Much Does it Cost to Buy an RV

Costs of Owning an RV 

► Browse RVs for sale at Bish’s

►Watch Josh the RV Nerd’s tips for first time buyers:

Greg Long Bish's RV

Greg Long

Bish’s RV Content Manager

Amateur adventurer; professional dreamer.
aka: The Bish-Blog-Guy