What Questions to Ask the Dealer BEFORE You Buy Your RV

You’ve taken the first step towards starting your RV journey, and now you’re ready for the fun part – buying the RV of your dreams. Buying an RV is an investment, so you want to feel as confident and prepared as possible before you hit the road. We’ve asked RV owners, across multiple brands, and curated a list of questions you’ll want to be sure to ask the dealership before purchasing the RV of your choice. Like automobiles, you can't buy an RV directly from the manufacturer, so stick around to the end to learn how to find the best RV dealer near you.

Product Questions 

  1. What is the total length from tongue to tail and not just box length?
  2. What is the height of the RV?
  3. Which tires come on the RV? If they are not steel belted, ask if they can upgrade the tires if you plan to take the RV outside of your local area. Ensure a spare tire is provided as well. If they do not include better tires, that should be the first upgrade.
  4. How old are the tires and when should they be replaced?
  5. Does it have any water damage?
  6. How much storage space can I add to the unit?
  7. Is this a three-season or four-season RV?
  8. What kind of vehicle do I need to tow the RV?

Operational Questions 

  1. How do you use ___? (Insert appliance/feature)
  2. Which outlets are on the same circuit?
  3. How long can you run the batteries without hookups?
  4. How does every specific system operate?
  5. What extra equipment will I need that doesn't come with the RV? Sewer hoses, water hose, etc.?
  6. Propane: What type of filling system the RV has, how to fill it and where to fill it.
  7. Generator: Is this included? If so, how does it work?

Point of Sale Process

Do not leave with your rig until everything is in tip-top shape to avoid a long wait for picking it up later. Research the reviews of your chosen dealership prior to deciding. You want a dealership who will want to spend time answering your questions, and as a newbie, you will have a lot of them.

  1. How important is honesty and reputation to you, as the dealer?
  2. What is the sales volume at the dealership? (For the brand you’re shopping for.)
  3. Does the dealership have an on-site service facility?
  4. Does the dealership service facility carry parts on-site for repairs? (For the brand you’re shopping for.)
  5. Does the dealership have facilities to allow buyers to stay on-site for a few nights after the sale to make sure everything is working properly? If so, are those facilities available for year maintenance visits?
  6. Does the dealership offer a thorough Pre-Delivery Inspection? You need to know how to use everything and ensure that anything that may need to be fixed is done prior to handing over the money.
  7. How thorough is the Pre-Delivery Inspection and how long does it take?
  8. How thorough is your “walk-around” and how long does it normally take?
  9. Ask what is included. Will the dealership be providing the hose to dump tanks? Electrical cord(s)? These items are not always included.
  10. Does the dealership offer/include SnapPads with the purchase? If they don’t, ask if they can. If they don’t include them, but sell them, buy them. They are worth the purchase.
  11. How much is the hitching system?
  12. Does the dealership offer hitch installation? If they don’t, work in the hitch installation to the truck if purchasing a fifth wheel.
  13. What fees will you pay in addition to the sticker price?

Yearly Cost and Maintenance

  1. How to maintain the RV. What are the best practices for winterizing, de-winterizing, storing, preventative maintenance, etc.?
  2. What preventative maintenance is there and what schedule should I follow?
  3. How much does it cost to register and license the RV?

Service After Sale 

  1. What does service after the sale look like?
  2. What does the warranty include? What does the warranty not include?
  3. If warranty work is needed, how far are appointments booking out? Will the dealership stick with you after the purchase is final?
  4. Ask for a list of helpful phone numbers. For example, Heartland RVs, Lippert Components, Dometic, etc.
  5. What extra services does the dealership offer?
  6. If you need tech support on the road, what do you offer and who do we call?

Now that you know which questions to ask, it's time to find a dealer. If you're wondering, "Who's the nearest RV dealer near me?" we can help. Click here and search for a licensed Heartland RV dealer near your location.

Disclaimer: The guide provided above is not intended to be a definitive list of questions you should ask before buying an RV. This is just a collection of questions we hear frequently from current owners and dealers to help you as you get started with RV shopping.