Before you get carried away dreaming about that swanky speed boat or cozy camper, review this handy checklist. Doing your homework will help prepare you to make the best possible purchase for you and your family.
- Decide what fits your plans.
What type of camping, traveling, or boating will you do? If you’re imagining big family outings, comfort and reliability are a must. Will you be towing? Make sure you have the right vehicle and equipment. How big will you go? The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the costs, including maintenance, gas, insurance and storage. Think, too, about features such as Wi-Fi, kitchen space and safety.
- Know what you can afford.
This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people go shopping without a limit. Crunch the numbers with a loan calculator (like this one from RCU) to see how much payment your budget can absorb.
- Shop around and compare.
Online shopping is a good way to compare a wide variety of used recreational vehicles. Both Craigslist and eBay are popular options for anything with a motor, but check out your local dealers, too. They offer professional service, and you can be confident their pricing is based on market value (compared to private sellers, who may set their price based on emotional investment). Ask for a test drive, and don’t be afraid to walk away if it’s not right.
- Check the vehicle’s history.
Do a little research into the vehicle you want to buy. instaVIN® is powered by the DMV and provides vehicle reports starting at $7.99 for motorcycles, RVs, powersports and more. Boat History Report offers a similar but pricier service for most types of marine vessels.
- Protect your purchase.
Get an insurance quote before you go shopping, and factor it in when determining your recreational vehicle budget. (Check out RCU Insurance Services.) Consider protection products like roadside assistance for extra peace of mind.
When you’re ready to buy, talk to RCU first. Whether it’s a boat, tent trailer or motorhome, we provide low-rate, quick-decision loans. Plus, you can use your RCU loan to buy from a private party or dealership, giving you greater flexibility to make those big adventures happen.