Summer vacations in the family RV are as much of an American tradition as cheeseburgers and the 4th of July. And just as savvy buyers can save a boatload when purchasing a used car, smart outdoorsmen and women can save a great deal by purchasing a used RV. However, there are always a few important considerations you should examine before purchasing a used vehicle – especially one designed to be used in the not-so-forgiving great outdoors.
Know Your Needs
There area several classes of RVs. From simple fifth wheel trailers that can be towed behind mid-sized vehicles to tour bus-sized luxury cruisers that contain any amenity you can conceive of. If you’re looking for somewhere to simply stash your gear while you do some rock climbing your needs will be very different compared to someone looking to take a cross country trip with a family of six. Planning for your needs can help you avoid getting too little – or too much – RV.
Prepare for Maintenance
RVs have all the maintenance and upkeep associated with both a home and a vehicle. As a result, it’s important to take regular maintenance into account when you’re looking at the RVs condition. How extensive is the plumbing? Is the electrical a plug-in 120V line or is it run by a generator? Because it takes the hardest beating, how well maintained is the roof? All of these things need to be considered when putting together an offer for any used RV you might find. It’s also extremely important to find out if your RV comes with any warranties or service guarantees. Those types of agreements can be real life savers in the event of an unexpected breakdown soon after your purchase.
Test it All Out
Like we mentioned before, RVs have amenities and functionality of both a home and a vehicle. Because there are so many different items included, you’ll need to really take your time and go through any potential purchase with a fine toothed comb. Does the shower work? Does the flooring need to be replaced? Are all the weatherproof seals in good condition? Pay particular attention to the roof of any RV as most are nearly flat. This will be one of the first places to develop leaks that can lead to hidden water damage throughout the entire vehicle.
As we’ve recommended in previous posts, your best bet will be to ensure that any potential purchase is inspected by a professional. In lieu of an RV professional, you’re best is to bring in a seasoned RV owner who can help guide you through and inspection or bidding process – especially if this your first RV purchase.