What to Look For When Buying a Used RV

By: South Thompson RV   |   30 Jun 2018
used rv overlooking the water in kamloops

Here at South Thompson, we love both new and used RVs.

They both have their pros and cons when compared to each other, and they can sometimes surprise you. With a used RV you can save yourself from pesky depreciation and often spend less money. With that in mind, you’re also getting a unit that was loved before you first laid eyes on it. Here’s how to find a used RV that can handle your adventures.

Price and Budget

When looking at used RVs, just like any vehicle, it can be hard to determine what a fair market price is. Here at South Thompson, we survey the market to ensure that we’re offering Kamloops fair and competitive prices on our used RV units. When you’re shopping around, make sure to compare prices so that you’re starting off at what you believe to be a reasonable price. Looking at units of similar age, odometer ratings, and brand will help you gauge what to expect.

Beyond just the price of the RV itself, be sure to consider your budget. Whether you’re buying outright or financing your RV, keeping your total and monthly budget in mind is critical. You can estimate monthly payments based on the term you want to finance for, and our finance team can help. This way, you’re shopping in the right segment and won’t be prone to overspending.

The Exterior of the RV

Of course, you want it to look stylish, but it’s also important not to overlook the functional details on the outside of your RV. The first thing we suggest looking at is the RV’s openings. Check doors, windows, hatches, and storage areas to ensure that they are sealed and no moisture can penetrate the barrier. If caulking has been used on these, that’s great! It means that a potential leak has been taken care of.

Look at how the outside materials have aged, if there are any cracks or dents, as well as to see what type of storage and accessibility you have from the outside of the unit. Open storage areas to see their true size, and be sure that compartments don’t have any rust. This goes for all parts of your RV or motorhome.

Check for mildew and signs of sitting water on the roof. Many RV roofs have slants that are much less angled than our homes and this can be easily forgotten. Have one of our experts or someone you trust check out the top of the unit for any damage or excess wear-and-tear.

Used RV Interior Checkpoints

Just like the outside, it is important to check all openings, windows, and doors for any signs of leaks and/or moisture. Beyond just there, check around plumbing such as toilets, sinks, and showers for any moisture. Around the plumbing cuts is where you’ll be most likely to see any damage. Better yet, you might not find any damage at all!

Inside, make sure you like how it feels. Is there enough room for your family and your desired number of guests? Will the amount of food you intend to travel with fit in the fridge? Keep these small details in mind when you’re considering storage space. See how you fit in the rooms where you’ll be spending the most time.

We test all plumbing for functionality, as any reputable RV dealer should. Ask questions about repairs done on the unit to understand if anything needs to be done and how the RV arrived on the lot. If you’re lucky, the previous owners may have kept maintenance records. If they did, your salesperson would be happy to share these with you. A history of regular and preventative maintenance is a sure sign that the previous owners treated their used RV with love.

The Nitty Gritty

Now, we have to get just a little technical. There are small things to take into account with your used RV purchase as well:

  • Tires: how worn down are they? Are they in good condition?
  • Mattresses: are they stained or in good shape? If you need to replace them, are they a standard size?
  • Connections: from plumbing to electrical, make sure that all connections are in working order.
  • Towing: if you don’t have a truck and don’t intend on getting one, a fifth-wheel isn’t the type of RV for you. Make sure that your vehicle matches with the type of RV that you’re purchasing. Our team members will be able to guide you, don’t worry!
  • Weight: on top of your towing technicalities, make sure that your vehicle has the towing capacity to pull your RV! You’ll be able to find the weight of the RV and the towing capacity of your vehicle on their respective manufacturer websites or manuals.

That should get you started! Most importantly, make sure that you like the unit you’re purchasing and will want to spend time on it. Your RV becomes your home when you camp, so make sure that you love it. Buying used can help you save on costs and leave more money in your wallet for s’mores equipment. Check out our online inventory today, or stop by for a visit! We’d be happy to help you find your dream RV for all of your adventures.

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