Purchasing an RV is a large financial commitment. Whether you are buying a small trailer or a big motorhome, you will be spending a significant amount of money on your rig – even if you are buying used. Therefore, it is important to have a plan in place when you visit your local RV dealer to avoid driving home with a lemon. By following some basic guidelines and using a little common sense, you can greatly increase your chances of landing an RV that you will love using for years to come.
Before you sign a check and purchase a used RV, read through the list below.
Rust in an RV is a Bad Sign
You might have to get a little dirty in order to find the right RV for you and your family. If you locate an RV that you are interested in, get down on the ground and take a look at the frame that supports the rig. Is it in good condition, or has it accumulated a large amount of rust over the years? Should you find extensive rust throughout the frame, you might be better off to look at a different RV. After all, there are plenty of used models on the market to choose from, so you certainly don’t have to settle for the first one you find.
Look Up Inside the RV
Once you are inside the rig, be sure to look all around – including up. If the RV is leaking at all, you should see signs of water damage on the ceiling. Leaks can be costly to repair, and the water that has made its way inside the RV may have already done damage that you will have to fix at some point down the road. Purchasing an RV with a leaky roof is a project that you probably don’t want to get into, so this is another problem that should encourage you to pass on the rig in question.
Open and Close Everything
The seller of the RV should welcome you to open and close the door and all of the windows to ensure that they are all functioning properly. A window that won’t open or close can be an expensive fix, and it also might be a signal that there is trouble with the overall structure of the RV. Consider it a good sign if you find that all of the windows easily open and close without any undue effort.
Is the RV Fridge Cold?
You certainly don’t want to have to replace or repair the fridge in any used RV that you purchase. One of the first things you should check on is the condition of the refrigerator and its ability to keep your food and beverages cold. Ask the current owner of the RV to have the fridge up and running before you come look at it so you can verify that it is able to reach and maintain the proper temperature.
RV In Livable Condition?
Finally, make sure to carefully inspect the condition of the carpet and upholstery on the inside of the RV. While it is possible to replace these items if necessary, you would most likely be better off simply finding a used RV that is in good condition. Some RV owners are harder on their rig than others, and the wear and tear that you find in the interior is a good reflection of how they have treated the rig as a whole. You won’t be comfortable spending time in your RV if it is dirty or severely worn, so take your time inspecting the whole interior before making a decision.
A big part of buying a used RV comes down to common sense. Take a walk around – and through – the RV to get a good overall impression for the condition of the vehicle as a whole. Never feel like you are being pressured into a purchase, and only sign on the dotted line when you are completely comfortable. If you are buying the RV privately, it may be worth your time to ask a local RV dealer if they will inspect the RV for a small fee. Considering the amount of money at stake when buying a used RV, you want to take all possible precautions to prevent against taking home a lemon.
What other tips can you think of to help when buying a Used RV? Leave a comment below.