Ready to get out and hit the road? Looking at buying a used RV and need a few essential tips? Buying a used RV can be a big commitment.
But a big commitment means a big amount of fun to be had! Do you know what to look for in an RV? It’s hard to figure out where you should even begin.
Let us help you get on track with these essential tips.
5 Essential Tips for Buying a Used RV
Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck! You’re making an investment that’s going to change your road trips forever.
RVs and motorhomes depreciate faster, up to one third the value in the first three years. This means it’s a great choice to buy a used RV. You’ll save money and still be able to get a camper that’s in good condition.
Take the time to view as many models and options as you can. Review your budget and follow this advice on how to buy an RV before you make your big decision.
1. Read Reviews First
When you’re trying to figure out how to buy a used RV, it’s hard to know where to start. The first place you should begin your search is researching reviews.
One of the advantages of buying a used RV instead of a brand new one is that people have already tried and tested these vehicles over time. Read as much as you can. Then compile a list of the models and brands that people loved and look for RV sellers with those models.
Word of mouth is the most important way to find out the truth about a company or a product. If you have friends who are expert RVers, you’ll want to hear what they have to say.
You can browse through chat groups, Facebook communities, or product websites. These are the best places to find what others have to say.
2. Create a Wish List
It’s important that you figure out exactly what you want in your RV. At the same time, it’s also important to note what you’re willing to compromise on. This will help you find an RV within your budget.
For example, you might think you need a big kitchen, but be realistic. Most RV owners rarely use the ovens in their kitchens. When you’re camping, it’s more enjoyable to cook your dinners over the fire or outside in the fresh air.
This is especially true during summer months. At that time, heating up dinner in the oven also means heating up the temperature inside the camper.
Are you looking for something you can jump in and go, or are you willing to put in the extra effort to remodel? This will determine the age range and model of used RV you should buy.
If you’re willing to put in a little extra and remodel it the exact way you’d like it, you can look at some older models without hesitation.
But if you don’t have the time and want to get going right away, consider a newer model that will be more reliable off the bat.
3. Size Matters
Torn between a big, comfy model and a smaller, cheaper model? While either option is appealing, keep in mind a few factors. Consider where you think you’ll be going and how many people will generally be on the trip.
Let’s say you and your spouse want to hit the open road for a leisurely trip. In this case it really just comes down to how much space you want or need.
Those who are looking to travel a little more off the map should consider smaller models. These campers can handle the back roads better.
Do you have a big family- or just some really energetic children? Then consider the larger model for the greatest space so everyone is able to tag along on the trip.
4. Consider the Seasons You’ll be RVing
Are you going to be using your RV all year round? Or are you going to be taking it off the road in the winter? If you plan on using it on a seasonal basis, this could change which models you look at.
These questions are essential. You could end up wasting money on areas where you don’t need to spend it. If you’re just going to use your RV in the summer, you don’t really need to spend more on the one that has heat.
But you might want to make sure it does have air conditioning. It’s not necessary to have air conditioning in your RV. In fact, many people don’t have it. But it could make your life a lot more comfortable on summer road trips.
If you’re going to be using your RV all year long, you’ll probably want something with heat and air conditioning options. At the same time, you’ll want enough space to live comfortably. For long road trips during all seasons, you’ll want something that feels like a home away from home.
5. Inspect all the Parts
Now, this is the most important step to take! Once you’ve viewed a few different models, it’s time to look at the technical stuff.
Check out everything. This includes the plumbing, electrical, interior, and exterior features.
Get down on your knees and look under the rig to inspect the frame for signs of rust. If there’s too much rust, that could be a sign that your RV won’t last as long as you want it to for the money you’re paying.
While you’re under there, be sure to check for other signs of damage, like cracks or breaks in the welding. It’s also recommended that you check the braking system for signs of wear and tear.
Tires can be overlooked as well. When you’re purchasing an RV, the tires should be less than 5 years old on a used model. If they aren’t, be prepared to replace them soon or move on to a different vehicle.
Tires on RV’s are vulnerable to weather damage and blowouts. This is because of the ways that the vehicle is used, as well as its size and weight.
Surface features are commonly overlooked. Make sure you look at the condition of the slide out supports. You’ll also want to look at the overhang poles and anything else that could cost you a lot if it becomes damaged.
On the inside of the vehicle, check for leak stains on the roof or the walls. This could mean a major cost coming your way in the future for repairs.
The floor should be free of soft spots, which would show poor floor structure. This is also costly to repair and could pose a safety hazard to your family while using the vehicle.
Other features to check include doors, windows, locks, and any aluminum siding. Door locks are not overly costly to replace. But if the whole door is going to need fixing it could be a renovation you aren’t prepared to deal with.
Check to see if the manufacturer of the RV is still in business. If they aren’t, you’ll have to make sure that you can get any replacement parts from elsewhere. If your RV needs repairs and you can’t get the right parts, you’ve wasted a lot of money.
Take it on a test drive on the type of roads that you know you’re going to be using it on. It doesn’t make sense to test your RV on a city road if you’re going to be using a lot of back roads. You could be in for a big surprise if you don’t.
There are so many different kinds of RV’s that suit different budgets and needs. Do your research and shop around until you’re fully comfortable with your decision.
Find the Perfect RV Park With Book Your Site
Now that you’ve made your decision and invested in your new RV, it’s time to take it on the road.
Book Your Site lets you choose from thousands of campgrounds and RV parks in North America. Each park has its own page that lets you view the accommodations for the camper you’ve bought. This way, you’ll be able to find the best park that suits your needs.
Don’t waste the time that you could be on the road! Check out our app or website to get started on your next adventure.