Things to Look For When Buying a Used RV

For many people there is nothing more fun than owning a recreational vehicle (RV). It is like a hotel room on wheels that you do not have to pack and unpack as you go from place to place. Unfortunately, the price of new recreational vehicles is going up so high that many people cannot afford one. If that is the case for you, maybe you should look into buying a quality used RV. To help you on your quest, here are some important things to consider when shopping for a used recreational vehicle.

Of course the first thing you want to look at is the asking price of any used RV. You should have a good idea before you start shopping for a used RV about the approximate price range that is within your budget. Keep in mind that owners will often come down in price a little if they want to sell a unit bad enough. However, it’s also important not to set your budget too low, or you may end up buying a used RV that needs a lot of work doing to it – and this will likely mean a larger investment.

Body Condition
You want to look for both obvious and not so obvious body problems with any used RV you are serious about purchasing. One thing that is a big red flag is signs of any rust or other big corrosion areas on the outside of the RV. Rust usually indicates that big body problems or some other expensive structural repair are looming on the horizon. You always want to look for dents or any signs of previous bodywork too, as this could be a sign the RV was in an accident and could have damage that is not clear on an initial inspection.

High mileage can be a concern with recreational vehicles, but at the same time it’s OK to compromise a little here because they are designed to handle being driven a lot. A good place to start getting concerned with engine wear on a used RV is at 100,000 miles for a gasoline engine model and about 300,000 miles if the engine runs on diesel fuel.

The Brand
Just like there is a difference in the quality of cars that are produced by different auto manufacturers, so too are there differences in quality between recreational vehicle manufacturers. Certain brand names like Keystone Sprinter signify that a particular RV line has a history of being made to higher quality standards than a lot of the competition. Be sure to do some internet research before you shop if you are not familiar with the higher quality RV manufacturers.  This way you will know what to expect from each of them.

Most recreational vehicles will sit in one spot for up to six months at a time before they are used again, but this does not mean they are not taking wear and tear. Vehicles that sit up north are exposed to such conditions as extended periods of ice and snow which can cause premature rusting and other problems. Vehicles which are in the extremely sunny states can be affected by excessive sun beating down on the vehicles and dust that blows into places where it can cause problems. So it is important to consider the location where a used vehicle has been parked when it was not being used.

The RV Type
RV’s can be either self-driven, pull behind or what is called a fifth wheel variety. Of course pull behind and fifth wheel RV’s do not have engine and transmission wear that you have to worry about like a self-driven RV. If you have a reliable vehicle to do the towing, you may want to strongly consider one of these other types of RV’s.

Leaking Fluids
If you look under the hood of an RV, or crawl underneath it for a look, and you see any type of fluid dripping, this could be a bad sign. It is best in a circumstance like this to have the owner agree to let you have a mechanic check it out before buying it.  You may also want to ask for a warranty in case it breaks down within a certain time frame.
Like when buying anything that is used, you have to keep a sharp eye out for potential problems. You can’t expect a used RV to be perfect, but you don’t want to have to absorb an expensive repair after you purchase it either.  Keep these tips in mind and you should be successful with your purchase.

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