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Should You Buy A Used RV? What To Look For To Make Sure You Don’t Get A Lemon

So, you want to buy a previously owned RV. You can save tens of thousands of dollars by buying a used RV, and you can get one that will serve you dependably by doing some careful shopping.

To find a good used RV you need to search as many places as you can. Buying a previously owned RV can be riskier than buying a new one, but the savings can be remarkable.

Fear is cited as one of the major problems with buying used. In his book "How to Select, Inspect, and Buy an RV", J.D. Gallant says you must stay within your budget, get a floor plan that works for you, and buy a quality unit. The easiest way to be sure that you are buying a practically risk-free motor home is to buy one that is “almost new” at a price between 30% and 60% of its “new” price.


Define Your Needs, What You Want and Your Budget - Before You Buy
Before you buy, you need to set the dollar amount you can spend on an RV. Take your time and shop around, and ask yourself why you want an RV, so you can better define your needs. Consider renting different kinds of RV for a weekend. What kind of camping do you enjoy? Determine the number of people that will travel with you, and decide where you will store the RV when it’s not being used. Finally, take into account the cost of ownership: operating costs, insurance, finance charges, maintenance and camping fees.

Americans love driving recreational vehicles, although the price of gasoline continues to climb upwards. And while RVs are legally motor vehicles, most states exempt them from coverage under the lemon laws. That’s because RV’s are generally assembled by hand, unlike most cars, which are mass-produced by the millions.

As you begin your motor home buying project, keep in mind that your RV is a home on wheels. Buying an RV sounds easy – go to RV shows, visit a dealer, or search the want ads and then make a purchase. However, it’s difficult to find the perfect used RV, and you might have to settle for a few little problems.

Here are some things to look for when purchasing a used RV:


1. Inspect everything relating to your propane system.
2. Make sure the refrigerator works with both propane and electricity.
3. Check the condition of the house batteries.
4. Carefully inspect the furnace and air conditioning equipment.
5. Check the engine records, especially if the RV has a gas engine.
6. Make sure the toilet holds water.
7. Look for soft spots in the flooring, especially in the kitchen and bathroom areas.
8. Check the skin on the outside of the unit for signs of corrosion.

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