A recreational vehicle (RV) is a powerful purchase.
Buying one of your own means you’ve got a vacation home ready and waiting for the next place you want to take it. Planning each new adventure becomes simpler, thanks to:
· The flexibility to move when and where you choose
· Less travel and accommodation logistics — and expenses — with the added peace of mind that your bed is just behind the wheel
· The security that all your necessities come along for the journey
There are tons of different RV styles and models, and each option brings an opportunity to customize your travels to fit your lifestyle. The right mobile home for you opens up the path to your lifestyle ideal.
That’s why selecting your RV is the most important part of your journeys ahead. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. You start by considering your essentials and understanding what you won’t compromise, then matching models to this vision.
We’re here to help with this process. Our team at Travelcamp RV has the expertise to point you to solutions that align with your needs, whether you’re after:
· Every homelike amenity, from appliances to entertainment, that a Type A motorhome offers
· A nimble yet spacious vehicle, like a Type B motorhome or van camper
· A living space that adjusts to each adventure with a Type C motorhome’s expandable slides
· The convenience that comes with a towable, ready to hitch onto your truck — or even the family car — in an instant
· A toy hauler that brings your ATVs, kayaks, dirt bikes, and more along for the ride
But the freedom and flexibility RVing offers comes at a price — and buyers often get the best value on their investment with a used motorhome.
The benefits of buying a used motorhome
Buying a used RV can save you thousands of dollars off the bat. On average, RV lifestylers trade in their mobile home for an upgraded version every few years — and their previously loved models tend to have plenty of lifespan left in the engine.
There are many benefits in shopping for used RVs. When browsing for a pre-owned RV, you:
· Gain access to features originally outside of your budget
· Have extra cash to configure your used mobile home with personalized upgrades, décor, and accessories
· Save significantly on insurance premiums
Just like new homes and vehicles, off-the-lot RVs usually have some growing pains. Often when you buy a used motorhome, the previous owner has already resolved those annoying kinks and issues. They may have even added extra upgrades in the process, like bigger TVs, solar panels, electric jacks, and more.
But nothing can spoil a great deal like hidden costs in the long-run. These used motor home tips will help you know what to look for to ensure you’re getting the best — and most sustainable — value on your vehicle.
Things to watch out for when buying a used motorhome
The terms “used” and “old” aren’t necessarily synonymous — and in general, you don’t want a motorhome with too many years under its hood.
From a logistical standpoint, some campsites and parks have restrictions on allowing RVs more than 10 years old. But if this rule doesn’t apply to your travel plans, a dated motorhome can still be a great buy depending on considerations like:
· How it’s been stored
· How often it was used
· What system renovations are due
This due diligence can give you a baseline for how valuable a used RV is in its current condition. But before you buy, run through these used motorhome tips to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises to spoil your journeys.
Potential maintenance expenses
Whether you’re looking at a model with 12 years or 12 months clocked on its engine, the first step is to ask the owners about the RV’s storage, use, and maintenance history. Be sure to check the vehicle’s owner’s manual against the RV’s current maintenance log to understand what upgrade investments you should expect.
Then a few routine checks can help you confirm what you see on paper, like:
· Looking under the hood — if the oil smells burnt, there may be engine damage
· Checking the battery expiration date and operating voltage
· Examining the tires for the manufacture date and signs of wear — if it’s been more than five years, they need replacing
· Smelling for any propane leaks with the oven and stove turned on and checking the condition of hoses and valves
· Testing that the slideouts and awnings are fully operational
· Looking for corrosion or broken parts under the RV, including axels and suspension components
· Ensuring safety equipment like smoke, carbon monoxide, and LP gas detectors are up-to-date
If you find any issues, you don’t necessarily need to rule out the purchase. But it can give you some negotiating power over the price to cover necessary fixes and expenses.
Signs of water damage
The cost of water leak and damage repair can run into the thousands — and in major cases, it can outweigh the value of the vehicle. These expenses aren’t usually covered under insurance policies, as they’re often the result of poor maintenance.
Inspect a used motorhome for signs of impending water damage, including:
· Mold spots on the corners of the ceilings, floors, or along the walls
· Closet and cabinet spaces that feel warmer than the rest of the interior, pointing to potential mold
· Soft patches in the floor, walls, and roof that can indicate rot
· Sturdy, white caulking with no signs of corrosion or crumbling, from around bathroom fixtures to roof seals
· Visible deterioration and rust around screws under the exterior trim
Electrical and plumbing integrity
You’ll also want to test all electrical and plumbing systems to ensure they meet your needs on the road without interruptions.
Keep your nose primed for odors coming from drains, water sources, or appliances that could point to a problem. Then inspect that:
· The circuit breaker doesn’t produce excess heat or have loose fuses
· Lighting connections are in good shape and don’t overheat
· Air conditioning filters, vents, and fans are clear and the power cord is undamaged
· The gas furnace fires up quickly and smoothly
· All appliances and entertainment features are in good working order
· Freshwater tanks, waste tanks, water heater, and the water pump are in good condition with a good flow
The best deal you can get
Inspecting a used motorhome for all potential issues ensures peace of mind in your investment — but don’t settle until you shop around for the best price available.
Buying a used RV through a reputable dealership adds even more value to your purchase, because:
· Pre-owned options are all inspected for quality by experts who know what red flags to look out for
· You can finance used motorhomes, hitting the road right away with rates as low as $200 per month
At Travelcamp RV, we’ll match you to the most cost-effective used motorhome for your travels — and you may qualify for even more price reductions in the process.
We offer discounts for buyers in community-facing roles like teachers, firefighters, and members of the military, police force, and coast guard. There are also daily Red Tag Special RVs and monthly Manager’s promotions that knock off up to 40% more of the cost.
Get in touch and let us know what you’re looking for, or have our team help you pinpoint your wish list. We’ll get you on the road in a reliable vehicle with all the essentials by the time you’ve finalized your itinerary — and at the best available value.