If you were looking to buy an RV and budget was a concern for you, then you probably contemplated the idea of buying a used one. Many people decide to get a used RV after exploring their options, and it could be a good choice for you. But you should know that used RVs come with a fair share of risk and buying a lemon could end up ruining you, so you have to be careful. You should also know that there are plenty of things that you can do to drive the cost of the unit further down. Let’s take a look at a few things you should consider when buying a used RV.
Set a Clear Budget
The first thing you have to do before you start searching for units is to look at your budget and set your priorities. Custom fixtures and granite countertops are all nice, but they are not necessities and will drive the price up, so be ready to make sacrifices.
You should also look at how often you intend to use your RV. If you’re only going to use it to go camping once or twice per year, then going for a unit over or near six figures wouldn’t make that much sense. Consider what you are looking for in a unit and what you’re ready to settle for so you can set a clear budget and focus your search.
Broaden Your Scope
If you want to get the best deal on your next RV, you need to cast a wide net. There are so many places where you can find great units for sales. You could check places like Craigslist, local Facebook groups, dealerships, or even word of mouth. Another option you could consider is auctions.
Auctions can be a great opportunity to find beautiful, repossessed units that are in near pristine condition. You could also take your chance on an older unit that needs some love, but that’s a bit riskier.
You can go to auctions in person, but online auctions are much more convenient. You’ll be able to bid on a wide variety of units and find hidden gems without leaving your home.
If you want to participate in online auctions, the first thing you’ll have to do is find a reputable auction website. If you want an example of a good site, click here. Since you can’t get a warranty on auctioned vehicles, the reputation of the service is extremely important, so only go for a service that has been around for a long time. They also have to allow you to come to see the unit and perform a first-hand visual inspection.
You should know that you can always buy the RV sight unseen if you’re ready to take the risk and trust the service’s inspection. You could also have someone pick up the vehicle, but you will have to submit some paperwork like a release form and things like a copy of your driver’s license.
You should not be afraid to travel if you want to find a good deal. If you decide to buy a used unit from an online classified site and the unit is in another state, look at the cost of traveling there and transporting the RV to where you are. RVs will often be cheaper in smaller towns since there will be much less buyer competition. So don’t stay stuck to your geographical area and don’t be afraid to go hunting for deals.
Look at the Floorplan and Layout
One thing to pay very special attention to when looking at various units, whether it’s online or offline, is the floorplan’s configuration. Some people make the mistake of picking a unit only because it’s cheap and it works but consider who is going to use the unit and how.
If you are going to be traveling with your children, you may need extra space. You also want the floor layout to be as open as possible. Look at the unit’s layout as well. If you’re going to do a lot of cooking, for instance, consider the kitchen’s layout and see how comfortable you would be there. You should also look at things like storage space and the washroom and see if they would work for you.
Beware of Water Damage
Water damage and leaks are some of the first things you need to look at when buying a used RV. Repairing water damage on an old RV can set you back thousands, so check the perimeter and things slide cupboards, closed corners, and window seams.
Look under sinks and around the shower too. You might see visible signs of leaks, but odors can be a dead giveaway as well. If you notice that certain areas smell old and musty, then it’s usually a sign that something is going on there, so be careful.
Another thing to do is get on the roof. Check if any cracks were resealed. If you find sealed cracks, it’s up to you to tell if the unit is still a good deal. You could use this to get the seller to give you a discount, or you can dismiss the unit altogether. Both options can work, but you have to consider how much it would cost for you to deal with future roof issues, as they’re not always easy to fix.
Test Drive the RV
If you’re buying the RV from a dealer or an independent seller, you need to run it for a proper test drive. You should know, however, that most dealers will not allow you to just come and test drive any unit, so you might need to book an appointment first.
If you want to save money on your next RV and get something that will last you for years, or maybe even decades, follow our few tips. Take your time and only buy from a reputable seller if you want to get the best deal possible.