RV buying and COVID-19

Thinking of shopping for an RV? Here are the answers to some of your coronavirus related questions…

The impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is widespread and rapidly evolving. And it’s tending to throw up more questions than answers. Here are a sample of some of the questions we are being asked at caravancampingsales.com.au regarding the impact of COVID-19 on RV buying.

Make sure you check back in as we’ll add more to these as they crop up – and we can proffer decent information…


Are RV dealerships open for business?

Absolutely, as this FAQ is being written, Australian new and used RV dealerships are still open for business… And it seems Aussies are still keen on parking a new-to-them caravan, camper trailer or motorhome in their driveway.

Many RV dealerships have responded well to the COVID-19 precautions suggested by government and many are able to provide electronic opportunities via caravancampingsales and other vendors to discuss RV purchasing. There are, of course, more than 10,000 new and used RVs for sale right now on caravancampingsales.com.au

Does visiting a dealer yard or showroom expose me to coronavirus?

It’s common sense to take precautions (more so if you are in an at risk group) but there are no reasons why a visit to a an RV retail yard or dealership should expose you to any more risk of contracting COVID-19 than a trip to the shops – and RV dealers still have stock on the ‘shelves’.

If you have any doubts, check with the dealership via telephone or email regarding the COVID-19 precautions it has taken. And if you’re concerned about a long stay away from home, perhaps ask for a fixed appointment time. Some dealers are also offering live chat, video tours and video calls to limit your time at the dealership.

Remember too, that you can do the majority of your RV research and shopping online at home via caravancampingsales.com.au.

Read our independent expert new RV reviews or our how-to and advice guides for information.

In addition, caravancampingsales has a suite of research products such as New Caravan Showroom and you can also watch our collection of RV video reviews on site.

Consider also that some brands offer new caravan configurators and 360 degree ‘walk-thoughs’ at their own websites. Here you can ‘build’ and even price an RV. To buy or just for fun if you feel that way inclined.

Am I safe inspecting an RV for sale?

Ask the dealer (or private seller) what COVID-19 precautions they have taken to ensure the RV is safe and clean. Failing that, here are some measures you can take to minimise the risk of contracting the coronavirus.

1. Consider cleaning the vehicle’s ‘touchpoints’ with an alcohol-based disinfectant or wipes before you inspect it.

2. Ideally wear gloves while cleaning it and test the cleaner on an out of the way area of the benchtop or cabinetry before you launch into the rest of the interior. Avoid overly harsh cleaners (ie: bleach).

3. The touch points you should target in the vehicle include the door handles, grab handles, interior benchtops and switches, and other places you’d normally touch such as the water monitor display or taps. Don’t forget the entry steps and blinds!

4. Don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson to stay outside or keep a distance of 1.5 metres while you look at the van. You’re not being rude, just observing the social distancing recommendations.

5. And don’t forget, you actually need to work out whether the vehicle suits you -- so do the research before heading to the dealership.

Should I buy an RV sight unseen?

Thanks to third-party inspection services like RedBook Inspect (RBI) (coming soon to caravans) and the protections offered by dealers under consumer law, this is very much an option.

The key is to do your research first. Make sure you look hard at the pictures that accompany the caravancampingsales ad and if you need more, then ask the dealer. Many dealers are also posting video of their cars for sale, so look at that too.

Compare the market to make sure the price is in the ballpark and start negotiating… And if you’re serious, book an inspection or get someone with expert knowledge to check it out.

Will COVID-19 effect waiting lists and delivery times for new RVs?

This is a hard question to answer briefly. Because, well… Frankly, it varies across brand, model, country of manufacture, and so on…

There are no shortage of new RVs for sale at Australian dealerships, right here and right now – in some cases, an embarrassment of riches. In other cases there are long and growing waiting lists.

Many Chinese plants/manufacturers will have experienced some form of production line stoppages or go slows. These will inevitable affect availability on popular imported models and will affect delivery times.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) measures are also affecting production schedules of local manufacturers, although some are now prioritizing customer orders over stock orders to dealers. In short, ask your dealer – it might pay to be flexible and grab a good deal now on existing dealer stock.

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