Should You Buy an RV Out of State

Should You Buy an RV Out of State?

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Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Jessica Lauren Vine

You just saw a great deal on an RV—but it is out of state.

Should you buy an RV out of state?

Before we get into it, I’m going to tell you that I don’t recommend it. I’ve done it before, and it is a huge pain if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Buying an RV Outside of Your State

If you search online, it’s likely you’ll find “the perfect” RV, but it’s almost always far away. I’m not sure why that happens, but if you’re on the east coast—it’s on the west.

We try to make the journey most of the time because we get a good deal of the RV in question. We look at all the similar RVs near us, and they are thousands of dollars more expensive, so it makes sense to travel a few hours to save those thousands of dollars on the exact same RV, right?

Maybe.

Things to Consider Before Buying an RV Out of State

When we started to look for an RV, we wanted to find the smallest and least expensive one possible. We only had a little SUV to pull it, and we didn’t have a big budget. We saw an RV in Ohio that we wanted, bought it, and got ready to go pick it up, but we didn’t know the whole deal.

Before you put your money down on an out of state RV, make sure you keep these things in mind:

Travel Cost vs Savings

The cost to travel to Ohio was a little more than we’d thought about when we bought it. We had to hire a babysitter to keep the kids, so there was that. We also had to spend money on gas, there was the time we had to take off work and all that jazz.

Hassle

Another thing to think about is how much of a hassle it is to travel outside your area to go get an RV that may or may not be in the condition you want it to be. Yes, we bought ours new but it was really annoying since they didn’t walk us through much of anything.

See also
How to Buy a Used RV from a Private Party

Taxes

The state of Ohio where we bought the RV had some kind of deal where we would buy from them, but since we registered our RV in Tennessee, we had to pay sales tax afterward with Tennessee. We did not factor that into the price, and that would have made a big difference for us. #facepalm

We paid them the money for the RV, and then we paid taxes when we registered, which was correct, but we didn’t understand what was going on.

What I’d Recommend Doing Before Traveling Out of State to Purchase an RV

It’s totally fine if you want to go out of state to buy your RV. It’s not that big of a deal as long as you know what’s going on and what you need to do.

Another thing I will say, however, is that you might be able to use those out-of-state RVs to your advantage.

Before we bought our second RV, I made sure to research and find every RV that was similar to it. Before making the purchase from a dealership right down the road, I looked to see what else was available in a different state and if I felt like driving to get it or not.

Finally, when I called the RV dealership, I spoke with a salesperson and told them about the other RVs I’d found. If they didn’t believe me, I was ready to give them the links to those RVs.

The person I spoke with was very helpful but tried to be a bit sneaky and get me to pay more by valuing my trade-in lower than they should. I looked up other RVs similar to mine, and I made sure they got close to those prices so they wouldn’t make tons of money off my trade-in. After all, they were already getting money from selling me the new RV.

If you do this, it can help you avoid paying a lot of extra money for your new RV—and you might not even have to travel far.

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What Is a Fifth Wheel? Top 6 Reasons Families Love Them

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Making Your Out of State RV Purchase Go Smoothly

If you looked around and you couldn’t find an RV you wanted nearby and no one would make a good deal with you, there are some things you can do to make your purchase from out of state go as smoothly as possible.

Ask All the Questions

If you have a question, ask it before you go to pick up your RV. If you aren’t properly prepared to pick up your RV, it can take quite a while to go through everything. On the other hand, if you have everything together, you can be out before you know it.

While you might have good luck, you need to be thorough when you buy used vehicles like RVs. In fact, even the new ones might have some things you need to look over before saying you’re good to go.

Do Any Paperwork You Can Beforehand

Buying an RV can take forever because you have so much paperwork to go through. If you can do some of the paperwork before you get there, that will speed up the process.

I wouldn’t sign anything final until you see the RV if I were you. But I did do it as me, so I mean, you can.

Make a Trip Plan

Knowing when you will drive and who will drive can help the trip go a lot easier. When you go through other states, you might not know the road, and you don’t want to feel frustration getting the RV back to your home state.

Most states are pretty easy to navigate, but that’s not always the case. If you know what you are going to do, it can really reduce the stress and make your trip to pick up your RV a lot easier. In fact, it can be a pretty memorable experience.

For instance, when we drove our RV back to Tennessee from Ohio, we learned about those little pins that stop the RV dead in its tracks if something pulls it out. Thankfully, we were just at the gas station, and it was the middle of the night in a little town, so no one was really upset with us.

See also
Bad Credit RV Loans

Bottomline – Buying an RV Out of State

As I said, I wouldn’t do it again because it is a pain. However, if you’re up for it and you really do the calculations right to save money then have at by all means. It would be an enjoyable time.

As a matter of fact, some of my favorite memories are the times we went through some “interesting” challenges because it made me see that we could overcome anything.

If you find the perfect RV, go ahead and go get it. Just make sure you prepare yourself for the unexpected so you don’t go through too much hassle. If you can avoid it, why not?

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out How to Winterize an RV and How to Remove RV Roof Sealant.

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