When buying a preowned anything, the objective is always to get the most for the money. Sure, it might need some improvements, but it might be worth the cost in the long run. Or, it might not – then it’s time to look for something different. That rule can be applied to purchasing anything, especially recreational vehicles.
With brand-new models costing as much as some homes, it’s not always necessary to get the latest and greatest on the market. However, having some modern functionality and comfort is always nice, and it’s not too difficult to find a gently used RV with sought-after features.
At ProPride Hitch, we want you to be informed when looking for a preowned RV. Get the most for your money. Get the model that has the features your family wants. Get one that fits into your budget.
Let’s take a look at some of the primary influences during the purchasing process.
First of all, you’re probably not looking to break the bank. So cost, unfortunately, is always going to be a determining factor when it comes to making a major purchase. So set your budget, and make sure to stay within that budget. It might also help to leave a 10-15 percent margin to compensate for any potential repairs/upgrades.
Also, pay attention to depreciation. We all know that cars instantly lose value once they’re driven off the lot, and the same goes for RVs. Also, it might be smart to look at Kelly Blue Book or other value guides. If you’re buying for $50,000 this year … but it’ll only be worth $20,000 in a few years … well, it might be time to look for something different, something that retains value when it comes time to trade in or sell.
This one pairs with budget: Get the features and functions that you want, all the while maintaining your budget. RVs made within the past 5-7 years are sure to have most – if not all – of the modern bells and whistles. There are plenty of quality, pre-owned RVs that have wi-fi capabilities and other smart features. So don’t go into the situation thinking that you have to settle for some antique – you can, and should, get a lot of modern features in something 5-7 years old.
And you’ll save some money too!
Everyone knows that brand-new vehicles often go through a de-bugging period. Things settle. Some of the computer systems work out glitches, or glitches end up emerging… all of that can be a real pain, so it often makes sense to get a pre-owned RV that’s past the “shakedown” years – many go through a quality check process, so dealers will make repairs in order to have a more appealing option for consumers.
Cost also plays into this, as does the features/functionality aspect. A model that has a few seasons under its belt probably has worked out all the issues and fits comfortably into most budgets; it’s settled – literally, such as panels, etc. – and is ready to roll.
This goes without saying … but sometimes details get lost in the mix: Check for leaks and cracks in the engine, always check mileage and verify if the RV has been involved in any sort of accident or had major repairs.
Check the floor for soft spots
Kick the tires. Check all the doors and mechanisms, ensuring that everything is in working order. Aesthetics are important for some buyers, so search for dents and scratches. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller, either.
All of that is important to remember. But here’s the main point of this section: Check the floor! Yes, the floor.
Warped or damaged floors will cause major problems in the future – and those problems won’t be cheap. Check the floor. It’s basically the foundation of your RV, right?