More than 11 million households in the United States have some type of RV they use on a regular basis and for good reason: they make traveling easy! Owning an RV is one of the best ways to help your family experience new things and travel around the country without sacrificing the comforts of home.
While you can buy a brand-new RV, doing so can put a serious strain on your budget. Believe it or not, you can save tons of money by buying a used RV as places such as halterman.
However, finding the best used RV for sale isn’t as simple as you might think. Here are a few key things you need to do to make sure you’re getting the best camper for your budget.
Tour the RV in Person
Viewing listings online is a great place to start, but you still need to see the camper in person whenever possible. This will help you assess the condition of the RV and make sure the floorplan is right for your needs.
When you’re looking at the camper, walk around the exterior and check for dents, scrapes, or visible signs of repair. If the outside of the RV looks good, head inside and get a feel for the space.
Remember, photos taken by even the most reputable used RV dealership won’t show you every detail of the interior. Worse, some may use a wide-angle lens to make the RV seem larger than it really is.
When you’re seeing the rig in person, you’ll be able to look for signs of wear and tear, test the couches and beds, and inspect the cabinets for loose hardware or other issues.
If you can’t see the RV in person, ask the dealership or seller to do a video walkthrough with you or ask someone you know to tour the RV on your behalf. This way, you’ll still be able to assess the RV’s condition and make sure it’s the right fit for your family.
Look for Signs of Water Damage
RVs see a lot of wear and tear under near-constant exposure to the elements. Though most of the damage is easy to fix, water damage can be catastrophic.
Even a minor leak can leave behind serious wood rot, mold growth, and structural damage. Worse, the seller may not even be aware of the water damage in the first place.
That’s why it’s always best to look for signs of water damage when touring different used RV trailers for sale.
Check the floor for soft spots, paying attention to the way it feels when you walk throughout the RV. Look for warping in the walls and bubbling in the wallpaper. If you notice either, it’s likely that there’s a minor leak inside.
It’s also a good idea to look for signs of delamination in the RV’s walls. Walk around the exterior of the RV and make sure the seams are properly sealed. Look for any warping or bubbling out in the walls.
If you notice anything, it’s best to keep looking. It’s possible to fix water damage, but doing so can get expensive, fast.
Work With a Dealership Whenever Possible
There are far more private RV sellers looking to offload their RVs than there are dealerships. And while buying from a private seller may seem convenient, it’s almost always best to work with a dealership instead.
Reputable dealerships inspect their used RVs for wear and tear before putting them up for sale. If they notice any major issues, they’ll be able to make the necessary repairs so the RV will be safe to use as soon as a buyer falls in love with it.
Even better, you’ll be able to look at more than one make and model without having to drive to a different location. This will make finding the best used RV for sale easier in the long run.
Research RV Values
Once you have an idea of the type of RV you’re interested in, take the time to research the average value of that type of RV. Use resources like the NADA guides to see estimated values for different years, conditions, and options.
Ideally, the RVs you’re looking at should have prices close to the ones suggested in the NADA guides.
If prices are significantly higher, the sellers are asking too much. If they’re a lot lower than the suggested prices, the RV may have hidden damage that the seller doesn’t want to disclose.
Be Willing to Shop Around
The most important thing to keep in mind when looking for used RVs for sale is that it’s okay to take your time. Rather than buying the first RV you find that fits your needs, shop around.
Look at different models and manufacturers before you make your decision. Then, compare the prices you find from different dealerships and private sellers.
This way, you’ll be able to get the best price and best RV possible.
Remember, new listings for used RVs pop up every day. Finding the perfect camper may take time, but it’s better to wait until you find the best RV for your needs than it is to rush the process and end up in a camper that you’ll trade in a year later.
Now You’re Ready to Start Looking for a Used RV for Sale
Finding the perfect used RV for sale is possible, but it can take time. Keep these things in mind when you start your search.
As long as you make sure the RV is in good condition and make sure the seller is asking a fair price, you’ll be in good shape.
Once you have your new-to-you RV, you’ll want to take it out for its inaugural camping trip. Check out our latest posts for tips and tricks to help you plan a trip you won’t forget.