Buying a Used RV

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Passing all the RV dealerships as you drive down the road makes the mouth start to water just a little.  Wouldn’t it be nice to pull in and buy that brand spanking new washed down rig?  Well….. yes and no for me.

Sure they are pretty and have some items that you couldn’t get a few years back, but for the most part the RV has not changed much.  For that and other reasons, many buyers choose to go with a used rig.


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One of the main reasons we chose to go with a used travel trailer was our budget.  We did not want to blow the whole shebang on our rig and have nothing left to travel on.  There are many used rigs out there that are in extremely great shape, almost like brand new and will save you thousands of dollars.

Whatever your looking for, there is a used one out there if you search good enough for it.  Some people still want the “new feel” and will get one a few years old, while others may want a vintage camper.  No matter your choice, it is out there.

I have heard that some campers with some age are built a little sturdier than the newer ones these days.  I have no proof of this, I think it most probably depends on certain manufacturers and the standards that they have.  We purchased our travel trailer first for the design layout that was perfect for our needs and then that it was a Coachman brand that has a good reputation in the industry.


The Purchase!

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First of all, when purchasing a used rig – be confident.  You are the one that scrapped and saved to put that money in your back pocket.  You are in complete control of the situation and if you want to hand over those hard earned greenbacks or not.

  1. Be prepared – when you call about an RV that you have seen and are interested in be ready to ask the right questions on the phone.  I always ask if there are any leaks or water damage right off the bat.  That was a deal killer for me, because I did not want that type of repair on my hands.  For you, it might mean a cheaper rig that you can fix the repair on.  I usually ask after that if it tows well and if all electrical systems are in working condition.  If those things check out, I simply ask is there any other issues that you can tell me about before I come to look at it?
  2. Take your time –  When you schedule a time to go view the RV, make sure to ask the owner if they will have adequate time for you to check everything you need to be confident with the purchase.  A good and honest seller will have no issue with this request.
  3. Bring your tools – Don’t expect the buyer to get things for you while your there.  I recommend taking 3 tools.  A ladder, an extension cord and a flashlight with you.  With the ladder, check out the roof good for any cracking or water pools.  With the extension cord, you will be able to check the electrical systems for the most part.  You will want to take a look at the frame, tanks and wiring under the rig as well, this is where the flashlight will come in handy!
  4. Negotiation –  Everyone wants that amazing deal that is out there.  But be fair with your negotiation.  You will know the approximate cost of the rigs you have been looking at and most likely you will have a number in your head that you will pay.  Be confident and make your offer.  If your price cannot be met, do not be afraid to walk away – remember it is your money that is being handed over.  If the seller is reasonable and your offer is competitive, then a deal should be easily struck.  Shake hands and become an RV owner!

Now that you are a proud RV owner, the fun begins!  Take it straight out to the closest state park or take it home for the remodeling phase.  No matter what your next step is, you just passed a major milestone on your way to becoming a full time RVer!

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