Buying a Used RV – Avoid the Pitfalls

RV's For SaleUsed Travel TrailerUsed Motorhome for sale

Purchasing a used RV, Travel Trailer or 5th Wheel etc…

In episode 49 I explain why it is so important to thoroughly check out an RV before purchasing regardless of how good the deal might seam to be.

There are many things to check out – there are companies that provide this service -They might be pricey.

I am bringing this up because I hear of so many RV’ers buying used RV’s and they miss so many problems that cost extra money and sometimes even sour the entire purchase. Dry rot, torn awning fabrics, broken steps, bad wiring etc…

You may need to segment the RV purchase inspection into 4 main categories. You also need to be a detective and find the problems before you shell out your hard-earned cash. When you’re done with your inspection every square inch of the RV should have been inspected and be in your head.

The 4 Segments or Sections:

1) The Roof – Inspect every item on the roof including seams, vents, the roof it self etc…

2) The underside – This would include all of the chassis components, holding tanks, plumbing, electrical, the underside of the floor, frame etc… With a Motorhome you might want to have the chassis inspected by a professional only after you have you have inspected everything else and it meets your expectations. Why, because the inspection will cost money

3) The 4 exterior side walls, 2 sides and the front and rear – Check all of the lights for operation, paint, decals, exterior finish, screw cover, check trim and windows for leaks, awnings, compartment doors, hatches, locks & Keys etc…

4) The interior – It might be easier to segment the interior by rooms. Check that the stove, microwave, AC, furnace & water heater are operational. Check lights, converter, all plumbing and related items etc…

If you categorize it the inspection it might not seem so daunting. Many people just eyeball everything and take the word of the seller that everything is okay. Some sellers might really not know about a problem where as, some might be trying to hide it.

Bring a note pad, have someone take notes if possible. Take pictures of visible problems to review later on and possibly get quotes to repair. Don’t be in hurry to by any RV no matter how good the deal is, there is always another deal.

Older RV’s lets say 1995 and older might be pristine but, sometimes they will fall apart when you start to use everything. I am not saying to ignore them, just consider there might still be an extra expense. If the RV is super clean that could indicate someone took very good care of it. A few extra minor expenses might be worth it.

The lesson here is to take your time and thoroughly check every thing that you possibly can before making the purchase. You might be surprised what you find and how much it costs.


If your hands are clean, you’re not having fun……..

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About the author, Eric

I have been a hands on DIY'er since childhood, yeah since childhood with the idea that the job has to get done. My job (not a career) history is not the typical job history. I have run successful multi-million dollar companies, I have started RV related businesses from ground up. Over the years I have acquired many skills, some self taught and taught by others in a hands on environment. Today everything I have learned over the decades has come together and now I love to help others and keep myself involved in my favorite industry, Recreational Vehicles! This is not even close to being finished......