Should you purchase your first RV from a dealership or private party?

Should you purchase your first RV from a dealership or private party? Because I have a low tolerance for risk, I decided to buy my first RV from a RV dealership versus buying from a private party.

Variety of Options

Dealerships have many different brands and floorplans, so I was able to view many different types of RVs during one visit. It helped me to compare and contrast the different RVs sizes, features, floorplans, and prices all at the same time so I could get a better idea about what RV would fit my needs financially and otherwise.

Financing, Warranty & Service

Some other reasons why I wanted to buy from a dealership versus buying from a private party were that the dealerships I visited could provide financing approval on the spot, offer an extended warranty, and had service and parts departments on the premises for future RV services and repairs.

New Versus Used

Typically, you can buy a new or used RV at RV dealerships. I looked at both new and used RVs when I was shopping at the RV dealerships, but what I noticed was that the RVs that were 1-5 years old were not that much cheaper than new RVs. If you’re open to buying an used RV, then you should look into the pricing difference to see if you can find RVs that are a few years old that offer significant price discounts. Your experience may be different than mine. For us, the slightly higher price of the new RVs was worth the cost because the modern finishes was more appealing and made us happy.

Forever Warranty

The RV dealership we purchased our RV at offered what they called a “forever warranty.” Basically, we are required to bring our RV in once per a year for an inspection to maintain the warranty coverage. The warranty covers our trailer as long as we continue to get the annual inspections. The annual inspection costs around $250 at the dealership we purchased our trailer at. Note, there were different levels of warranty coverage for different prices, but we just went with the basic warranty coverage that was included in the price of the travel trailer. You’ll want to ask your dealership if they offer a “forever warranty” and about the different options.


In our first year of ownership of our RV, we used the 1 year manufacturer’s warranty a lot. Hence, I recommend that you live within a comfortable driving distance from your RV dealership. Unless, you plan to take your RV to another dealership that is closer to your home. But, you’ll want to verify that the dealership that is close to your home will work on RVs that they didn’t sell. I’ve encountered, while I was shopping for our RV, dealerships that will not work on RVs that they didn’t sell.

Should you purchase your first RV from a dealership or private party? Hopefully my experience has given you something new to think about as you go through the process of purchasing your first RV.

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