Useful tips when buying any vehicle is going to help you along in the process. Getting tips when buying a used vehicle is a whole other ball game. We are here to help you think of a few extra things to consider when you are buying a used RV.
The goal: find a reliable, safe, attractive RV with no mechanical, electrical or visible issues… It shouldn’t be that hard, right? Well, here is a checklist you can use when heading to the dealership.
Set and Stick to a budget
With any big purchase, you need to set a budget. Some used RV’s will be perfect from the get-go, while others will need some work. As you go in to buy a used RV, know what you are able to spend and know what you would be willing to put into it if that’s something you may want to do.
Do your research on manufacturers
Before you step foot into the dealership, do some research. Start to understand the RV world and get to know who has reputations for building the best RV’s. Each manufacturer typically specializes in something, so take a look at what they offer and that should help you make a decision.
Decide what type of RV you plan to purchase
What do you plan to use your RV for? Are you a big camping family and want something nice and comfortable to sleep in? Are you traveling solo and just need a small space to rest in between drives? Think about what kind of vehicle you have and what it is capable of pulling. Knowing what you plan to use it for and what you are capable of towing is a major factor in the buying process.
Check all the interior for smells and stains
As you begin your walkthrough, remember to use all your senses! Smell for animal hair, smoke, or any damage from water or mold. Remember to trust your nose and continue to look if you sense something off. Look at the couches, chairs, and bed for any stains and remember to flip cushions to see everything. Keep in mind, this is essentially your home when you travel so be very thorough.
Look at windows and test awnings
Open and close all of the windows. Make sure that they are opening and shutting properly and that you are able to close them quickly without error in case you need to avoid inclement weather. Test the power awnings as well to make sure they are opening and closing without any issues.
Walk around all the flooring and check for loose boards
When buying a used RV, take a walk around the entire RV. Walk through the bedrooms, bathrooms and high foot traffic area such as the kitchen and even the steps. Check the corners for any mold or rust. As you walk around make sure to check for any loose floor boards, holes, or hollow spots. These should be addressed prior to buying any RV.
Ask about the water system and check water tank
Having a working water system and water tank is crucial to any RV. Make sure to check all the water tanks available, check the status indicators and make sure the hot water heater works by running the shower and or faucet.
Test the Slides
Go through and open up all of the slides. This gives you the opportunity to check for scratching or issues on the floor. Check all of the seals around the slides to see if anything is bent or broken. Some RV’s can have 5 or 6 slides, so go through all of them and check them from top to bottom.
Check the entire ceiling
Don’t forget to look up! Checking the ceiling can lead you to finding any mold, mildew, rust or water damage. This is a great way to find out how the exterior and interior structure has been holding up. Look for any dents, scratches, or holes as well and test to see if anything is getting through.
Ask for previous maintenance records when buying a used RV
It is very important for you to have any and all maintenance records. The previous owner may have gone to different dealerships or mechanics for issues and you need to have that information. If anything has been replaced or was giving the previous owner issues, you know to keep an eye on that specific aspect of the RV.
This checklist should help you while you are doing your personal detective work on a potential used RV. Don’t always judge an RV by the exterior. Ask questions, do your research, and test everything! Also, go to a trusted dealership. Read reviews, look around and check out a few different places to get a feel of who you trust and where you want to buy from.