America’s most trusted RV extended warranty for over 30 years.

What To Look For When Shopping For A Used RV

September 7, 2022

If you’re in the market for a recreational vehicle (RV), buying used can be a smart choice. Not only do pre-owned models come with a lower price tag than new ones, but they may also have already undergone any necessary repairs or upgrades.

However, shopping for a used RV can still be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. Before you start browsing listings and hitting up dealerships, there are several factors to consider when searching for a secondhand RV.

From inspecting the exterior and interior to evaluating the mechanical components, taking the time to do your research beforehand can help ensure that you find an affordable, reliable vehicle that meets all of your travel needs. In this article, we’ll provide some tips on what to look for when shopping for a used RV so that you can make an informed decision and enjoy many road trips ahead.

Evaluating The Exterior Condition

You might be hesitant to purchase a used RV due to concerns about its condition. However, with some careful evaluation, you can find a great deal on an RV that is in good shape.

The first step in evaluating a used RV is examining the exterior. When inspecting the outside of the RV, pay close attention to the paint quality. Check for any areas where the paint may be chipping or fading. This could indicate that there has been damage to the vehicle’s body and it may require repairs. Additionally, look for signs of water damage. Water stains or rotting wood are telltale signs of leaks, which can cause significant problems down the road.

In addition to checking the paint and water damage, also examine rust and tire wear. Rust spots on metal parts like hinges or steps can signal potential corrosion issues that will need fixing sooner rather than later. Tire wear patterns should be even across all tires; uneven tread could mean suspension issues or alignment problems.

By taking these factors into consideration when evaluating the exterior of a used RV, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of maintenance work you may need to perform if you decide to make your purchase.

Moving onto inspecting interior features… … it’s important to check for signs of water damage, wear and tear on furniture and appliances, and the overall cleanliness of the living space. Look for any signs of leaks or water stains on the ceiling, walls, and floors. Check the condition of the furniture and appliances, making sure they are in good working order. Take note of any unpleasant odors or signs of mold or mildew.

A thorough inspection of the interior will give you a better idea of the condition of the RV and help you make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase it.

Inspecting The Interior Features

When inspecting the interior features of a used RV, one important aspect to consider is the quality of the upholstery. Check for any signs of rips or tears in the fabric, as this can be an indicator of wear and tear. Additionally, examine the cushions and seating areas to ensure they are still comfortable and supportive.

Another crucial factor to assess when looking at used RVs is the functionality of its appliances. Test out all major appliances such as the refrigerator, stove, oven, and microwave to make sure they are working properly.

It’s also essential to check smaller items like air conditioning units and water heaters, as these can often be overlooked but play a significant role in making your trip more enjoyable.

Before finalizing your purchase decision based on what you see inside the RV cabin area, it’s best to have a professional mechanic go through everything with you – especially if you’re not familiar with mechanical components yourself. This will help identify any potential issues that may exist.

Once you’ve looked over all elements within the living quarters of your prospective vehicle, move on to assessing the mechanical components such as engine performance before committing to buying anything!

Assessing The Mechanical Components

As you finish inspecting the interior features of a used RV, it’s important to turn your attention toward assessing its mechanical components. Don’t be fooled by an attractive exterior and cozy living space; Engine health, tire wear, brake functionality, and electrical systems are crucial factors that can make or break your RV experience.

To help you navigate this aspect of shopping for a used RV, here are four things to keep in mind:

  1. Engine Health:
    Check the engine oil and coolant levels. Look out for any signs of leaks or corrosion on the engine block.
  2. Tire Wear:
    Inspect the tires for uneven tread wear or bulges. Make sure they’re properly inflated and have enough remaining tread depth.
  3. Brake Functionality:
    Test the brakes to ensure they’re working correctly. Listen out for any abnormal sounds when braking.
  4. Electrical Systems:
    Turn on all lights and appliances to see if they work as intended.

Remember that even if everything appears fine during your initial inspection, it’s always best to get a professional mechanic to take a closer look before making a purchase.

Don’t forget to also check for maintenance records! This will give you insight into how well the previous owner(s) took care of their RV and can alert you to any potential issues down the line.

Checking For Maintenance Records

Maintenance records are crucial when shopping for a used RV. These documents paint a picture of the vehicle’s upkeep, allowing you to make an informed decision about its current condition and potential future performance. The importance of these records cannot be overstated.

When speaking with previous owners or dealerships, don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions about maintenance history. Inquire about routine services such as oil changes and tire rotations, as well as any major repairs that have been performed on the RV. This information will give you insight into how well the vehicle has been cared for over time.

By reviewing maintenance records and asking thorough questions, you can gain confidence in your purchase and potentially negotiate a better deal. Don’t overlook this essential step in buying a used RV – it could save you both money and headaches down the road.

With maintenance records in hand, you’ll be better equipped to navigate negotiations and close the deal on your dream RV.

Negotiating The Price And Closing The Deal

After checking for maintenance records, it’s time to move on to the next step in shopping for a used RV. This can be an exciting but overwhelming process, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. However, with some preparation and research, you can find the perfect RV that fits your needs and budget.

Tips for Preparation:

  • Determine your budget before starting your search.
  • Make a list of must-have features and amenities.
  • Consider the size and weight restrictions of your towing vehicle or storage space.

Importance of Research:

Research is key when shopping for a used RV. You want to make sure you’re getting a fair price and that the RV meets all of your needs. Here are some things to research before making a purchase:

  • Average prices for similar models
  • Reviews from other owners
  • Recalls or safety concerns

When negotiating the price and closing the deal, don’t be afraid to ask questions or request repairs before finalizing the sale. With proper preparation and research, you’ll feel confident in your decision and enjoy many adventures in your new-to-you RV!


In conclusion, buying a used RV can be an exciting and cost-effective way to travel and explore the world. However, it is important to evaluate several key factors before making your purchase.

According to a recent study by RVIA, 9 out of 10 RV owners feel that their unit allows them to escape the stress and enjoy nature more fully.

With this in mind, taking the time to thoroughly inspect the exterior condition, interior features, mechanical components, and maintenance records of a used RV ensures that you are investing in a vehicle that will provide you with many happy memories for years to come.

By negotiating the price and closing the deal with confidence, you’ll be well on your way to exploring new horizons from behind the wheel of your very own home on wheels.

Recent Posts

Like this article? Share it!

Share It
Tweet It
Pin It
Email It
Send It
Print It

Complete the Form Below
For Your Free Quote