There are several advantages to buying a used RV over a new model. However, you have to know how to successfully buy a used model in order to reap these benefits. Unfortunately, many people succumb to sketchy deals and end up spending too much money on a used RV or get scammed altogether. To help you get the best you can out of the deal, here are some tips for buying a used RV.
1. Always see the RV in person before buying.
When buying an RV used, it’s critical that you get to see it in person. Never deal with a seller who insists on making the transaction before you’re able to get a glimpse of the RV in real life. Not only could this end up being a general scam, but you could end up running into unforeseen problems in the RV that end up making the cost over-the-top. When you have a chance to inspect it yourself, you ensure that the investment is worthwhile.
2. Look carefully for symptoms of mold.
Mold is an RVers worst nightmare and not something you want to inherit when purchasing a used model. Mold growth could also be pointing to other structural damage in the piping or ceiling of the RV. The corner of the RV’s floors and ceilings is a great place to check for any symptoms of mold growth or water damage, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Don’t forget to open closets and cabinets and use a flashlight since these areas are typically more humid than other areas in the RV and could potentially be harboring mold.
3. Check the top of the RV.
When inspecting a used RV, don’t’ forget to check to make sure the top is in good condition. Many models come with an attached ladder that makes it simple to get a good vantage point to ensure there aren’t any problems. You’ll be looking for weather damage, normal wear and tear, dents, cracks, and any other imperfections. These aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, but they give you a better idea for the overall condition of the RV and how much it’s worth. Just don’t let something out of your field of view go without a proper inspection.
4. Test any movable arms.
Many RVs feature movable extensions that can drastically increase the surface area available when stopped. Since the mechanisms required to move these parts back and forth can become worn out over time, it’s a good idea to test them before purchasing a used RV. Having someone on the outside and inside of the RV so you can look out for any problematic sounds or sights that catch your attention. Extending and retracting the parts twice should be enough to tell what kind of condition they’re in.
5. Look at the engine.
Too many people get caught up in the domicile portion of an RV that they forget that they’re also part vehicle. Just as you wouldn’t purchase a used car without checking to make sure it functions properly, you shouldn’t rush to buy an RV without seeing how it runs. Ideally, you would know a little bit about engines in order to detect potential problems, but anyone can spot major issues. When the engine is running, keep an eye out for any leakage on the floor, irregular noises, and abnormal smells. These could all be telltale signs that something is awry.
6. Buy from a reputable dealer.
While you might be able to find some deals that sound great on random websites, you’re gambling your money with no protection. When purchasing a used RV it’s ideal to only work with reputable dealers. These dealerships should have years of buying and selling used RVs under their belt, positive reviews from previous customers, proper licensing, and excellent customer services. If you can tick all of these boxes, you’ll probably feel more confident in the purchase. You won’t have to waste time or risk your money working with shady people on random sites.
7. Check the history of the RV.
Like all vehicles, RVs have documented histories of servicing and any accidents. Getting this information can give you a better idea of the current condition of the car than you could glean just by looking at it. If you’re dealing with a reputable RV seller, you shouldn’t have any problem getting your hand on this information. When purchasing from an individual, you can request the information, although you might not have as much luck when it comes to learning about the history of the RV.