Seven Tips for Buying a Used RV or Travel Trailer
As with cars, buying a used RV or travel trailer can be a great way to get the best bargain. Like cars, new RVs tend to devalue, although less dramatically, the second they are driven off the lot. Knowing this has led many a bargain hunter on the search for the perfect used travel trailer or RV.
But there’s a lot to be wary of with any used vehicle. This especially goes for travel trailers, fifth wheels and RVs. Besides needing to be road worthy recreational vehicles also need to be equipped to provide a comfortable residence. These double duty vehicles should be double checked by buyers, especially those in the second-hand market.
Here are some tips for picking out the right vehicle:
- Overall check: The initial walk-through is extremely important. Try to get a general feel of the living space on the inside and the vehicle on the outside. While taking in the general view also make an effort to notice the details. Follow-up on anything that seems amiss.
- Insurance: Before closing the deal make sure that you can get proper insurance for the vehicle. An independent insurance agent can steer you in the right direction on this decision; don’t leave it up to the word of the seller.
- Batteries: Find out where all the batteries are. Motor homes generally have two; travel trailers one but that’s not always the case. The vehicle’s batteries are important especially in a motor home. Make sure that the batteries are in good shape, can hold a full charge and, in the case of the motor home can start up the vehicle after long periods of being unused or cold.
- Brakes and Wheels: Thoroughly test the brakes on motor homes. Closely inspect the wheels and tires to make sure that they are in good shape, well-aligned and highway safe.
- Toilet: Make sure that the toilet is in working order and can hold water. You don’t want to get on the road and find your toilet is malfunctioning or letting in smell from the black water tank.
- Paperwork: What’s the history of this used RV? It’s important to know. Make sure that you obtain and fully check all records of repairs, maintenance, inspection, etc. Also double check that the VIN from the paperwork matches that of the vehicle.
- Flooring: The flooring is sometimes damaged around sinks and toilets in RVs and travel trailers. Make sure to thoroughly check these areas for soft spots or rotting wood.
There are just a few things that one should look for in a used RV or travel trailer. Most importantly take your time. If you feel like the owner or salesperson is trying to push you into making a deal don’t. The seller is aware of the importance of this purchase and if he can’t give you the time and space to make it just move on.