Buying a Used RV? Know What to Look for

Are you in the market for a good used RV? There are plenty of them out there. But how can the average buyer tell the difference between a good deal, and a headache waiting to happen? Before you buy, do your homework. There are lots of resources available to help you make the right decision.

Wise Words From RV Owners

Check the condition of the upholstery, carpet, kitchen, and bathrooms. If they haven’t been well cared for, there is good reason to believe that the working parts underneath have also been neglected.

Check the toilet tank, known in RV terms as the black tank. Does it reek? Obviously it’s not going to smell like roses. But if it hasn’t been maintained properly it will have a strong odor that can invade the whole RV.

Don’t forget to check the tires, battery, air conditioner, and the refrigerator to make sure they are all in good shape.

Will your family fit comfortably in the RV? You expect to have limited space when traveling in an RV. But if too the unit is too small to house your family for several days in reasonable comfort, an RV trip may turn into a nightmare.

It Pays to Sound Like You Know What You’re Doing

Know ahead of time what you are looking for so you don’t end up buying a unit just because the price fits your budget. Check out enough models so that you know what floor plans are comfortable for you. A good pre-buying tip might be to take a weekend trip in a rental RV to see if the floor plan is a good fit for your family.

Before you shop, here are a few RV terms you should know:

Class A Motorhome: single chassis, sleeping and kitchen area, self-contained, 24 to 40 feet long.
Class B Motorhome: “Van type” has all the features of a larger RV.
Class C Motorhome: “Cabover”, self-contained, living, sleeping, and kitchen areas, 20 to 32 feet.
Fifth-Wheel Trailers: A towable RV, attached to a hitch in truck bed by king pin of the trailer.

Listen to the Pros; They Know

As RVing grows in popularity, the availability of good used RV’s has never been better. But like anything else, buyers beware.

RV technician Les Doll tells potential buyers this: “Many dreams and hard earned dollars are involved in purchasing a used RV. Attention to details is essential. Educating yourself is the most important aspect.”

The Search

A good deal is only a good deal if it still feels like one later. helps purchasers find used RV’s for sell. But they suggest that you don’t spend a dollar until you read the warnings on their website, like this one:

Acquire and verify the seller’s address, phone number and e-mail address. Match the address to the title to the RV, and if they don’t match, be sure you know why.

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