Summer calls for road trips! One of the most adventurous ways to take your road trips this summer is in a RV. It seems like many would agree. According to KOA, almost 9 million families own an RV, so we know you want in on this fun too.
However, we understand RVs can be a major expense. If you’re not ready to put down a large sum of money for a brand-new RV, buying a used RV might just be a great alternative. This option also leaves you more money for travel expenses and adventure.
If you’re not sure how to get the purchasing process started, read on to learn more about recreational vehicles, how to find a great pre-owned RV, and the best RV storage options in Texas.
What Makes a Great Used Recreational Vehicle?
Purchasing a RV can be a great investment for your family. However, it can also be an overwhelming process if you don’t know what to look for.
With The Wandering RV reporting that the average RV owner drives around 4,500 miles each year in their RV, finding a great used RV is also a process you don’t want to take too lightly. That’s a lot of miles to spend in a vehicle that’s not all you thought it would be.
To make your buying journey a little easier, we’ve come up with four tips to help you understand what makes a great RV and how you should go about buying one.
4 Tips for Buying
1. Set Your Budget
The first step is to set your budget. Creating a budget will help you narrow down your options and help you maintain realistic expectations during your search.
2. Determine What You Want
After setting your budget, the real fun begins! Now is the time to begin researching what features you would like to have and what type of vehicle you would like most. From motorhomes to travel trailers to pop-up campers, there are so many options to choose from.
While each has its own set of pros and cons, you will surely find one type of recreational vehicle that’s best suited to your needs.
Some things to think about when determining what to purchase:
- Do you prefer a towing trailer or a motorhome?
- How many people do you want to fit comfortably?
- Where do you want to camp?
- What features are most important to you?
3. Begin Your Search
Once you’ve set your budget and determined what you’re looking for, it’s time to begin your search. Don’t be afraid to widen your search net and check for RVs through dealerships, local Facebook groups, Craigslist, RV Trader, and other online options.
Always look for options that will allow you to get the most for your money, and research the current fair market value before contacting the seller.
4. Meet Up With the Seller & Inspect
Once you’ve found a vehicle that meets your criteria, it’s time to set up a time to inspect it. With a used RV, it’s extremely important that you thoroughly inspect them before making a purchase.
When it comes to exterior inspection, look out for the following:
- Cracked or dry seals
- The operation status of the towing lights
- Tire conditions: they should have a date stamped on them, and about 3 years is getting old due to dry rot even though the tire may look new.
- The condition of the roof: Leaks in the roof are pretty common on used RV’s. Inspect the roof for cracks in the caulking and roof materials. If you have a leak, typically it will be soft. Walk around on the roof looking for soft spots. Oftentimes you can see roof damage better from the inside.
When it comes to interior inspection, look for:
- Soft spots in the floor
- Water stains on the ceiling or walls: Look for separation (bubble) in the outside walls indicating a leak or defection in the sidewall.
- The condition of the holding tanks and wastewater valves
- Any signs of water damage throughout the interior
- Mileage: Low mileage is not always an indicator of a good RV. Sitting for long periods of time is often worse for it than using it.
When buying a motorhome, always do a test drive too. Learn more about proper RV health in our article Your RV Seasonal Start Checklist.
Get the Best RV Storage in Texas
If you follow these strategies, you should end up with a great used RV for all of your upcoming road trips and adventures. However, when you’re not using your RV, you will need a great place to store it.
If you’re in the North Texas region, Good Shepherd RV Park provides the best storage services, superb security, and a wide range of amenities. Check out more about RV storage in our article Here are the Best Ways to Store an RV.