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We are saddened to announce the passing of Gary Bunzer on April 17, 2020. We hope the RV Doctor website will continue to provide helpful information for you. Thank you for your interest and support for the RV Doctor - Debbie, Heather and Gretchen

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Objective RV Research Before the Sale

We enjoyed attending your seminars at the Hershey RV Show. We do not own a RV yet, but are doing our research to learn about what we want; size, layout, etc. We will be buying a used diesel Class A motorhome, 40-foot or above. We wanted to ask you if there is a website that compares and rates every single make/model of motorhome based on such criteria as comfort, dependability, ride, value, maintenance issues, etc. This info would be so helpful to us in making our decision as to what motorhome to purchase in the future. Brian M., (PA) 

Brian, in all honesty, unbiased opinions (read: unpaid for), or non-funded evaluations or ratings are probably going to be difficult to find for any type of RV, across the board. Here's what I usually suggest: Narrow your choices, then contact each manufacturer and ask them to convince you why you should purchase their coach. If they seem disinterested in trying to convince you....well, that speaks volumes about their customer service! Seek out an owner’s group for that brand and contact some owners to see what they like and don’t like about their unit. Also search recall lists (available online), to see if that brand or model has any active recall notices, and finally visit a dealer who sells that unit and try to ask one of the service technicians (in addition to a salesperson), what they’ve learned about that model in their shop. The people who work on that brand a lot will be most familiar about the pros and cons of that model.

If you ask the manufacturer or dealer for recommendations, you’ll likely get a list of their most-happy customers; again not a true reflection of what you might learn doing your own due diligence. Searching the Internet using different key words about that brand and model will yield some interesting posts of consumer forums as well. Take it all in as you narrow your choices. There are many different parameters to investigate. Make it a fun adventure!

Avoid buying by price alone. Take into consideration service after the sale. Does the selling dealer have a fully equipped service facility? If you buy from an Internet seller only, they may not even have a service department. You'll definitely want dealer support after the sale! Even when purchasing a used unit. If you buy from a private party, however, I always recommend both seller and buyer invest equally in an aftermarket PDI (pre delivery inspection), performed by a certified RV technician.


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If you are in doubt or do not feel comfortable about a procedure, do not continue. Simply call your local RV service facility and make an appointment with them. The advice, recommendations and procedures offered by the RV Doctor are solely those of Gary. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions, procedures and recommendations of our sponsors or advertisers.