Traveling in an RV allows you and your family to enjoy the open road in a brand new way. With the comfort and convenience that an RV provides, getting there will truly be half the fun, and when it comes time for camping, you’ll be much more protected from the elements in an RV than you ever would in a tent.
But for all its pros, purchasing an RV can be expensive. Opting to buy a used RV, however, can reduce your initial investment considerably and, if you shop correctly, can still land you a high quality, reliable motor home. Here are a few tips to get you started on finding the used RV that’s right for you.
1. Check for Leaks and Dents
A used RV for sale is bound to have a few scratches, but you’ll want to make sure that it’s free of any major damage that could spell trouble in the future. Roof leaks are one of the biggest issues to watch out for. Look for any traces of recent water damage, like stained walls and corners as well as soft spots around the windows. Inquire about any large dents and scratches, as these could be signs potentially problematic interior damage.
2. Look for a Good Generator
An RV’s power generator is what’s keeps its appliances running. Look for a used RV that has a large enough generator to power all the appliances you want to have on board and check to see that it works. One good way to do this is to see if it can run the A/C and the toaster at the same time, as these are the two most power-consuming appliances on a modern motor home. You’ll also want to look for a generator that’s quiet. Loud generators can be annoying and lead to noise complaints if you’re staying at a shared camp site.
3. Test the Appliances
Checking that all the appliances on a used RV work properly is incredibly important. You don’t want to buy an RV with shoddy appliances that will break down under the frequent shaking that they’ll undergo while on the road. RV appliances must be sturdy enough to take the abuse. Even if the used RV in question sports a popular manufacturer brand like Keystone RV and Four Winds RV, be sure to check that all the lights work, that the A/C works and that the fridge keeps your food cold. It takes most RV refrigerators a couple hours to warm up, so if you’re planning on checking out a potential buy, tell the owner to turn the fridge on in advance so you can see it in working order.
4. Look for the Floor Plan that Fits Best
The size and comfort factor of your RV is of utmost importance. You and your family will be spending a lot of time in the RV, so you’ll want to pick a floor plan that’s spacious enough to accommodate everyone comfortably and that gives you enough space to move about with relative ease. Test the floor space of each potential purchase thoroughly by having everyone in the family climb on board. And remember, of course, to take it out for a test drive.
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Erick D. Smith lives in San Diego, California and blogs about cars.