SMART RV BUYING TIPS TO REMEMBER
BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR DREAM MACHINE!
Only after you know just what kind of RV you want
and which one meets your needs, are you're ready to get serious. If
you're buying online or from eBay or an auction site, you should
contact the seller and ask as many questions as you can and ask for as
many photos as possible.
Also, see if you can get the seller (in an email) to commit to
"guarantees." Good online RV buying tips are; asking if its ever been
wrecked, asking why they are selling, do they know of any problems and
has it been maintained properly. If its a lemon, you'll be in a much
better position to get your money back if the seller has lied in print.
Buying locally, obviously is safer. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy
online, but RV's have a LOT of parts and systems. Remember to carry a
note pad and pen when you go looking. You'll see the value of this as
soon as you start in on your inspection. Besides, you'll really look
like you know what you're doing and you'll make the salesperson or
seller a little nervous! That's a good thing.
1. EXTERIOR The first of the RV buying tips is to
look really closely at the exterior. Check to see if any body damage
has occurred. Tap around with your fingers. If you think Bondo or
filler is present, inspect closer. Look along the surface toward
the light. Are there ripples or inconsistencies? Go up on the
roof and check the calking, especially around the air conditioner and
vents. Have the decals been replaced? Look closely at the window
moldings. Are any cracked or brittle? Look underneath and in the fender
wells. Any rust? Always ask if its been in a wreck.
2. FIXTURES Have your original "motorhome specialist
101" notes with you as to what appliances and features you want or
need. You should have already searched online enough to be 99% sure of
what you must have and what can be expected to come with the particular
RV you're looking at. This includes awnings, stereo systems, interior
options, kitchen extras, etc.
3. INTERIOR Inspect the interior for signs of leaks
and water damage. Assess whether the stains are from rain getting in or
a plumbing problem. Is it serious or something that can be easily
fixed? Is the flooring mushy? Is the wall laminate separating or
rippled? Do all the systems and appliances work properly? Are there
throw rugs to protect the carpet or hide the carpet? Sniff around the
toilet. Lift the dinette seats and look under.
4. ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING Plug in the 110VAC
cord and check those systems. Open the Grey Water cap (the small cap on
the large drain cap on the left side of the RV). Does water come out?
How about the Black Water cap? No water should come out of either if
the blade valve is closed. If you can, hook up to a garden hose and
check to see if any of the inside fixtures leak.
5. MECHANICAL If you can, while you're doing all
this, have the mechanic be doing his/her thing. This includes the
engine, transmission, drive train (motorhomes), brakes, tires,
electrical, water supply and plumbing systems.
6. RATE IT From your inspection and your notes, give
the RV a score. Rate it "A", "B", "C" ect. or 1 to 10, whatever you
like based on the combination of all factors. Even if your score is
really low, however, you just may decide to buy it ... especially if
the low score is caused by things you can fix easily, or were thinking
These RV buying tips will give you tremendous bargaining power, really
establish you as a specialist and show you what to expect you'll have
to deal with if you buy it. Remember, your most
powerful buying strategy is being able and willing to walk away.