Don’t exclude private sellers
Thinking of buying your first RV? Apart from certified dealers and RV parks, you can also buy the right vehicle, at the right price, with just the right features for you, from a private seller. That’s what Kimberly DeCarrera, author and creator of RV Tailgate Life, did when she purchased her second RV. “You can go to RV Trader and RVT to find private sellers. Some people also have success on Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace.”
You can also join online communities and social media groups to find out more information and tips about RVs and even get in touch with private owners. “Surprisingly, Facebook groups and RV forums are another good resource for buying an RV, especially a used one,” says Brooke Baum of TrailingAway.com, who travels all over the country with her husband Buddy.
The advantages of second-hand RVs
If you’ve decided to purchase your RV from a private owner, it’s pretty obvious that it’s now a new vehicle. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, according to Kelly Beasley, co-founder of RV education and product review site Camp Addict, “it’s quite common to hear stories from people buying new, and the RV has issue after issue and stays in the shop for months,” she says. In which case, you can get a problem-free vehicle that has even had certain upgrades made to it.
Avoid coastal vehicles
It’s not that we’re discriminating, but RV purchased on the coasts, especially the East Coast, have a shorter service life than their inland counterparts. “I would always hesitate to buy an RV from a coastal region,” DeCarrera says. The reason? “The salt and water will cause corrosion. Also, be on the lookout for salvaged RVs damaged from flooding. These are often uninsurable due to severe water damage and mold, so a deal can be too good to be true.”