Buying a used RV is no minor decision, but is an incredibly smart move. Purchasing a new-to-you camper is a great way to lower that hefty initial purchase price. This lower price tag makes buying a used RV a great option out there for a wide range of customers. But that doesn’t mean every used RV you come across will be a great buy. Some older rigs don’t have the necessary technology for today, and they might not be up to par as far as safety goes. The staff here at Crossroads Trailers is ready to help you find the right camper for you and your family.
Some RVers like the idea of buying an older or used RV because they feel they were constructed better and withhold more weathering than newer models, in addition to being less expensive. Or people buy them because they are particular to a specific brand or year and don’t mind spending the money to renovate or refurbish. These are all great ways of thinking about used RVs, but it’s still important to do your research and be well-informed on whichever unit you plan to purchase.
When it comes to buying a used RV, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. It’s important to be armed with as much information as you can before you search used RVs for sale online or step into a dealership. Here are a few things to consider when looking at used RVs, and what to know before purchasing one.
Crossroads’ Guide to Navigating the Pre-Owned RV Market
Used RVs and trailers still won’t necessarily be cheap, but they’ll be less expensive than their newer counterparts. New RVs depreciate as much as 20 percent the minute they’ve driven off the lot, so buying used automatically saves you money.
There are other ways you can benefit from buying a used RV, besides saving money. The previous owners may have already repaired any problems or issues they’ve had, and they may have even conducted a bit of premeditated maintenance to keep the rig in good shape. Previous owners may have even added some homey touches, like more storage, upgraded furniture or an extra mirror in the bathroom.
When shopping for used RVs, be sure the rig isn’t too old. Some parks and campgrounds have age restrictions. If you plan to visit luxurious resorts, be sure your RV isn’t too vintage. And the older an RV gets, the more wear and tear it accumulates. This can mean more RV service and repairs down the road. If you don’t want to use the money you saved by buying used on repairs, make sure to do a thorough walk-through and look for any water damage or mold along any walls and inside cabinets.
However, if vintage is what you’re going for, then have at it! Older RVs have such character and personality about them that it’s hard not to fall in love with one.
If you choose a used RV, be sure you go to a trusted RV dealership in your area (or even out of your area) that you know will be honest with you. The most important thing is to do your research before settling on anything at all. If you don’t, you might end up with a rig that doesn’t fit your needs or a hefty payment that simply isn’t worth it.
Tour In Person Before You Buy
It’s easy for sellers to hide any imperfections of an RV by simply not uploading photos of them online. Because of this, it’s critical to tour the RV in person before you make any decisions. The seller should be more than happy to accommodate this request. If not, your best bet is to walk away. Any hesitancy here should raise a red flag that something is seriously wrong with the rig and they aren’t telling you.
Remember, if you buy the RV from a private seller, repairs are automatically your responsibility. It doesn’t matter if it’s two or twenty years old. If you’re unsure about the quality or uncomfortable looking it over yourself, you can always have it professionally inspected. Take it to your local RV dealer and have them do a full inspection. Since it’s not their RV and they aren’t trying their best to sell it, you’ll get a more objective inspection, too. If this isn’t an option, you can look for RVs that have already been inspected by the dealer and received a seal of approval.
You can always purchase from a dealership, which normally means you have a better chance of getting repairs taken care of. Depending on the age of the RV, most dealerships will offer some sort of warranty that you can add to your purchase. This helps make future service and repairs much less of a headache.
Look for Mold or Water Damage
Even if you don’t see any immediate signs of water damage on the interior of the rig, mold usually means there are leaks and other plumbing issues. Take a flashlight with you and open up all the cabinets. Check the walls, corners, the caulking in the bathroom, and every nook and cranny you can to ensure there isn’t any mold or signs of leakage. If the cabinets or closets feel warm, there may be mold growing.
Don’t forget to check the roof as well. If possible, gently walk on the roof of the rig to make sure it’s sturdy and doesn’t give. If you can feel too much give, it might be rotting.
Inspect the Floors
Similar to the roof, you’ll want to make sure there isn’t too much give on the floor. Walk heavily or even jump in a few spots to test for yourself. Make sure you don’t see any brown spots, as these are never a good thing to see.
We hope this helps you in your search for the perfect used RV. If you’re located near South Jersey, come see us and our stock of used RVs for sale!
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Start your search at Crossroads Trailer Sales in Newfield, New Jersey. You’ll find the best RV deals and the best customer service in the northeast at our dealership! We’ve been providing RV sales, parts and service for over 30 years. Get started by browsing our inventory online today!