Last Updated on March 14, 2023 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?
No. 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. However, you can, and I’ll tell you what I would do differently when buying an RV out of state.
Buying an RV Outside of Your State
If you search online, you’ll likely 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?
Things to Consider Before Buying an RV Out of State
When you’re looking at an RV and asking, “Should you buy an RV out of state?” there is some specific information you need to know.
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, and there was the time we had to take off work and all that jazz.
A big one when you’re asking, “Should you buy an RV out of state?” is the hassle. Think about 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.
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.
Can You Get a Walkthrough?
When you’re out of state and asking, “Should you buy an RV out of state?” the seller might expect you to put a deposit down or commit to buying it without even seeing it. Make sure you have the ability to walk away when you see it isn’t what you expected.
If they don’t want you to have that contingency, I would be a little nervous about why that is.
Will a Local RV Dealer Do a Price Match?
If you find an RV out of state that is cheaper than one at your local dealer, don’t be afraid to ask them if they would do a price match. Many times local dealers are more than happy to price match so their clients won’t travel out of state. And then you won’t even have to worry about answering the question, “Should you buy an RV out of state?”
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.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Making Your Out-of-State RV Purchase Go Smoothly
When asking the question, “Should you buy an RV out of state?” you want to make it as smooth as possible if you do go that route.
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 frustrated 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.
Bottomline – Should You Buy 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 it by all means.
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?
- Best RV Campgrounds & RV Parks Near Anchorage Alaska - December 17, 2023
- Best RV Campgrounds & RV Parks Near Birmingham, Alabama - May 22, 2023
- Do You Need to Chock Both Sides of an RV? - May 7, 2023