Buying a used RV is a great way to save money and still get the options you want. Just like used cars, used RVs depreciate as soon as they leave the lot. Buying used means someone else takes that depreciation hit for you. However, before you head to your local used RV dealer to look around, it’s important to know what to look for in a used RV.
Always Buy a Used RV In Person
Just like with used cars, it’s important to never buy a used RV sight unseen. No matter how thorough a virtual tour looks for a used RV, it’s easy to hide imperfections by editing the video and not uploading photos of certain areas. If you buy a used RV from a private seller, any repairs needed will be your responsibility. If you buy from a used RV dealer, it’s possible that they will do any repairs for issues found.
In any case, it’s important to get a used RV inspected by a mechanic and also to check it over yourself. Some things to look for include any signs of mold or water damage, a leaky roof, squishy flooring, and electrical problems. One of the most common issues with a used RV is the presence of water. This might manifest in rust or corrosion, or it might appear as mold.
Check HVAC Systems
The HVAC system of your RV is what makes it livable when you travel to different climates. This includes the AC unit and the heating unit. Inspect the inside of the RV for roof gasket leaks and ensure that the filter system is in good condition. The rooftop unit should also be inspected for damage and debris. It’s also important to inspect all the wiring, the fans, and any electric
The best way to check the AC unit is to run it for about 15 minutes or so and then check the inside temperature. The interior of the RV should be roughly 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the outside temperature. Make sure that all the exhaust fans work and are properly vented. Bug screens should also be checked.
RV Gas and Plumbing
It’s a legal requirement for a used RV’s LP gas system to be inspected and certified before the sale. However, it’s still a good idea to check the system out yourself. Ensure that the propane cylinders are less than ten years old and that the valves, hoses, and other elements of the system are fully free of leaks. A propane leak can be deadly, so this is a very important part of your used RV to check.
Finally, check the plumbing system, including the toilet, shower, and water heater. Once again, everything should be free of leaks and flowing properly. The water heater should be able to heat the water coming out of every faucet.
When you’re shopping for a pre-owned RV, you’re looking to get the most value for your money. Whether you visit a used RV dealer or buy from a private seller, it’s definitely important to fully inspect any prospective purchase just like you would with a used car.
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