Tips for buying a used RV


A white classic Volkswagen bus driving on an overcast day.

Buying a used RV rather than a new one saves thousands of dollars—here’s how to evaluate if the rig you have your eye on is a good buy.

Like automobiles, new RVs lose value as soon as they are driven off the dealer’s lot. That’s why many people opt to buy used RVs. Here are tips to help you decide if that rig you’re considering is a good buy.

Look for leaks and mold

Look for brown spots that indicate water leaks. Thoroughly inspect ceilings, walls and floors. Check out the corners as well as the caulk around kitchen and bath fixtures.

Also ask about the seller’s procedure for winterizing. An RV that’s weathered northern winters without proper maintenance could have burst pipes and other leaks.

Use a flashlight to check the interior of cabinets and storage areas for signs of mold.

Make sure all systems are operational

Request that the seller has all systems charged when you arrive for a test drive. Ask about the vehicle’s history, maintenance records and if there are any recurring problems.

If you’re not mechanically inclined, recruit a friend who is or hire an RV inspector to help evaluate the RV.

Test drive and test ride

Drive the RV yourself to see how it handles. Also, ask the seller to drive so you can experience the ride as passenger. When riding along, listen closely for noises you may not have noticed while driving.

Check the RV’s history

Ask how the seller used the RV and why they are selling. There are lots of good reasons to sell: upgrading to a newer RV, a change in family lifestyle or lack of use to justify the investment. Listen carefully to the seller’s reason and trust your instincts.

Get more peace of mind by checking out a used RV’s history on RVchecks. For $25, you can discover any reported damage, salvage, odometer records, manufacturer’s recall history and more. To use the service you’ll need the RV’s 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Do you have RV loan questions? Call our knowledgeable loan professionals at 800.991.2221. If you’re ready to buy your new or used RV, apply here. We’re here to help make your travel dreams come true!

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