If you don’t read anything else below, here’s the most important tip when picking up your RV: plan on spending your first night in the seller’s parking lot.
We bought our Airstream from Colonial Airstream in Lakewood, NJ after hearing so many positive reviews from other RV’rs for months. (To be honest, we had visited a few other Airstream dealers leading up to the purchase and everyone else either seemed pushy about the sale or uninterested in helping us find the perfect setup for our drive-around-the-country-and-park-at-random-coworking-spaces plan.)
In our case, we purchased the unit in late November 2015 and asked our sales rep to give us a few weeks to sort out our own parking setup back in DC. About a month later (two days before Christmas, of course), we went back to New Jersey to pick up our brand new 2016 Airstream Classic.
We hopped into the Airstream as soon as we arrived at the dealership and, before we did anything else, we threw Christmas Vacation into the DVD player. Because unpacking (and drinking) to any National Lampoon movie around the holidays is the best.
Back to the point: the best thing we did when we picked up the Airstream was stay in the dealer’s parking lot for the night. The views weren’t great but it gave us time to “kick the tires” on all of the trailer’s internal systems before the dealership staff returned the following morning. Inevitably, we found some issues (read: a leak and a few other minor things).
We walked over to the service team with our list in the morning, they had a technician knock everything out within the next hour and we were on our way back to DC that afternoon.
Whether you’re buying new or used, don’t leave the seller’s lot until you’ve had a night to test everything out. And don’t leave until it’s fixed.