There are many steps to buying a used RV. Here are some helpful tips that may make it a better experience, even if it is not your first RV purchase!
Start your research for your RV in advance of when you are wanting to start using it. Before buying a used RV it is a good idea to decide what type of RV that will best suit your needs. Take in to account where you will be traveling, how often, and whether you want to dry camp or rely on campsites and RV parks.
Educate yourself – There are hard cover books and ebooks, written by RV experts. Reading these types of books will aid you in what to look for and perhaps what you might want to stay away from!
Go to an RV show – Going to an RV show can be fun, however you are going to find NEW RV’s there. Nevertheless, this way you can get up close and personal with RV’s, the different types, and different floor plans. This is a good way to gather information and get some ideas!
Rent or borrow an RV – This is good usually for those who have never owned an RV before. When you rent or borrow one it may not be the exact brand or model that you end up with but you will learn lots from the experience.
Browse the ads online – There are many different websites that have plenty of used RV’s available. There are far more advantages buying from a private owner as opposed to a dealer. A dealer will mark-up the price considerably and in some cases try to sell you warranties that you can already find transferrable from private owners.
Check out NADA Guides– NADA Guides will give you an approximate value of the RV you have your heart set on. Understand that RV’s are just like cars – meaning that they sell for what someone is willing to pay for them. They also in some cases sell for more than what the book value states depending on their availability and desirability. Recreational Vehicles do lose their value much faster than an automobile, but there is a lot to be said for those RV’s that have been stored since new, never been smoked in, and are in top shape!
Start Looking In Your Area– As a rule of thumb most people start by looking to what is closest to them. This is not a bad thing and it can be convenient. However, there are a good number of people (depending on the RV class) that will travel across the country for the right deal! For Class A, Class B, and Class C RV’s, most are willing to travel great distances if needed. When it comes to RV’s that are towed most potential buyers don’t want to travel more than a 500 miles.
Seller’s Misfortunes– Why someone is selling an RV can be a good opportunity for the buyer and actually the seller as well!. Sometimes there are those that have become too elderly to travel like that have before and its time to hang it up. Buying their RV is good because they are happy to get rid of it and you might be able to find a super great price in the process! If, on the other hand, if something about the seller doesn’t seem right, be extra cautious. If you’re suspicious, get the VIN number (copy it down yourself from the vehicle not the ownership documents – don’t ask the seller to do it for you) and run a police check to be sure it’s not stolen. Buying a used RV has been made a little safer in the last few years (in Ontario) with the Used Vehicle Information Package before you can transfer ownership.
Ask Questions– Don’t be afraid to ask a long list of questions about a seller’s RV. In fact, it is advisable to make a list of things that are important to you and go through the checklist when speaking to them on the telephone.
If things sound good to you based on photos or video and a phone conversation with the owner – make a time to look at the RV and have it inspected. Try to have your inspection when the weather is good enough or you are seeing it in a well lit area to see how beautiful it is along with the tiny imperfections. It is also good to have a checklist of thing you want to make sure are in good working order.
If you really believe the RV you have inspected is the one for you its ok to make an offer that may be a little lower than their asking price. Understand that you are making an offer their “baby” and if you offer too low they might be insulted. Nevertheless, it never hurts to try and buy at the best possible price. Most of the time a seller will be flexible if you yourself are serious about purchasing their RV.
When buying a used RV sometime it can be quite daunting with so many different brands, floor plans, prices, budget, etc. etc. With some patience however, you will succeed in buying the right one just for you!
*If you are looking to buy or sell your used RV, go to I Sold My RV Here!