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 dealers Utah 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. Better is to get it checked by RV repair near me.
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.
Make a Budget
Before making any significant purchases, you should first establish a budget that works for you. Setting a budget aid in limiting your possibilities. The size, features, and age of the RV you choose will depend on how much money you have to spend.
Finally, it is crucial to just exercise patience during the entire procedure. It may feel impossible to find the ideal RV at times and be daunting. But it is crucial to exercise patience and conduct study. Owning an RV is a significant life change. The effort spent looking for the ideal RV will be worthwhile if you locate one that suits your demands and those of your family. When you are prepared and have a clear idea of what you want, purchasing a used RV may be less stressful.
Ask the owner or dealer questions on the condition of the vehicle, its history, title, warranties, repair, and maintenance records, the reason it is being sold, and other details before you even check and test-drive a used RV.
Ask the seller to have the car’s mechanical systems completely charged up and ready to go when you try it out. Request a test drive of the car with the seller there to answer any questions and allow the seller to handle some of the driving so you can experience the RV from the passenger’s perspective. While driving, listen out for any sounds or other issues that you might not be aware of. Test the car on several roads, especially at peak speeds on a wide highway, and locate an empty parking lot to observe how it handles and backs up in confined spaces.
Give the roof a thorough inspection with care
Make sure everything is firmly sealed by inspecting the caulking throughout. Not just around the skylights and vents, but also all the way around the RV’s exterior, you should keep an eye out. Caulk that is deteriorating, crumbling, blackening, or growing mildew may be a warning that water is entering the RV and turning it into a lemon.
Verify the state of the tires
Do not only focus on the tread depth of the tires, but they are a telltale indicator of wear and tear. It is crucial to check from a legal and safety perspective. Examine the information about the date of manufacture and load rating on the side of the tire to make sure they are not worn out and are the proper type and size for the vehicle. It is important to check that your car’s tires are in excellent condition since the minimum required tread depth in Australia is 1.6 mm. If not, you can ask the dealer or owner to cover the expense of replacement tires.
Watch out for both typical and uncommon issues
For instance, you could believe that an RV with low mileage is a significant benefit. No, not always. It is advised to find a used RV with at least 10,000 miles on it (and preferably no more than 35,000), since a vehicle with too few kilometers may be difficult to operate or prone to problems. Parked and unutilized motorhomes nearly always need pricey maintenance, such as the replacement of fuel pumps, belts, batteries, tires, and brakes, as well as the rebuilding of the carburetor on the generator. Roof and other seam leaks are other expensive issues. If possible, attempt to check and test-drive an RV when it is raining to help find leaks and to get a feel for how it performs in adverse weather. Additionally, make careful to examine the plumbing for any burst pipes and other leaks if you’re considering a used unit that has spent some winters in a cold region and maybe has not been properly winterized.
Make a proposal
To bolster your case for making a lower offer than the asking price, arm yourself with knowledge of fair market values, recent sales and prices for comparable vehicles, and a list of any issues with the specific vehicle you are interested in. A strong negotiating tool is to offer to buy right now and pay in cash. Finding a suitable lender is harder if the RV is more than five years old and if you need to finance the purchase. The lender may occasionally wish to examine and authorize the used car.
Why Purchase a Used RV?
New RVs depreciate more quickly than ice cream in July in Arizona. Similar to the majority of automobiles, the moment you drive it off the lot, you lose a significant portion of its value. A brand-new RV is just not a wise financial decision. Once you drive it off the lot, you will typically lose 21% of the purchase price. That is a LOT.
Gain Profits from Improvements
One of the favorite aspects of secondhand goods is how readily you can customize and modify the appearance. Spend the money you would have used to purchase a new RV on the modifications you really want instead! On each (used) RV you have bought over the previous four years, you have really made money. Simply making slight improvements along the road is the key.
In the previous 10 to 15 years, not much has evolved in terms of RV technology overall. Class Bs have recently included a few modest new changes, but the fundamental idea has remained the same. For instance, some of the newest RVs are starting to include solar power, but you can easily add solar to any used RV for a fraction of what it would cost to buy one brand-new one.
Tanks, refrigerators, gas, electrical equipment, and furnishings are all essentially the same, but with somewhat varied exteriors.
Reduce Chemical Exposure
As manufacturers aim to minimize costs, a startling number of recent RVs have been found to have hazardous amounts of formaldehyde and/or ethyl alcohol. These are harmful substances that can result in fatalities, upper respiratory issues, asthma attacks, and headaches.
By purchasing a high-quality RV created before 1999, you can lower your risk because older RVs are well-built, composed of superior materials, and less prone to leak gasses. Additionally, purchasing a used RV means that the dangerous chemicals that you would otherwise be exposed to from new mattresses, adhesives, and furnishings have already had time to break down.
How to avoid the shakedown
The “shakedown years” are the initial one to two years. Even if everything that breaks or leaks is covered by warranty, scheduling maintenance still takes a lot of time. In warranty doesn’t always imply pain-free. You could need to wait many months to use, repair, and return your RV. It has been reported that new RV owners frequently had to travel to Iowa only to have their vehicles fixed while still under warranty. There are a lot of other locations we might be on vacation.
Where to Find a Used RV
- Benefits: Probably the best for getting in touch with dealers, simple search, and no registration fees.
- Drawbacks: You must be a Facebook user.
com or RVtrader.com
- Benefits: A large selection of RVs are available nationwide, and you may compare their pricing to choose what is a fair price.
- Drawbacks: Email and phone communication only; no instantaneous communication.
- Benefits: Simple to use and a respectable resource
- Drawbacks: You need to be a little more watchful about fraud and false listings here.
Online forums for RVs
- Benefits: Facebook communities like those for Escapees or buy/sell groups are a gold mine of information. It is an excellent approach to purchase an RV from a dependable seller because the community is well-connected.
- Drawbacks: It takes more time to identify the appropriate groups and the most recent information.
- Benefits: include a large inventory and the guarantee of quality control
- Drawbacks: Purchasing via a dealer may cost more than purchasing from a private individual. Strive for a deal; there is always room for it!
Friends / Family
- Benefits: Inform individuals that you are in the business. Purchasing a bargain before it is advertised is the greatest strategy. Nobody in the world of RV living is ever completely satisfied with their current RV, therefore they are constantly searching for the next one.
- Drawbacks: If you are buying from someone in your network, it could be more difficult to reject a deal or walk away.
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.