Buying a used camper can be a great way to save money—you can get more features for less, and avoid the estimated 20% drop in value when you simply drive a brand new RV off the lot. However, with so many used RVs for sale, it can be overwhelming to even look at listings. In this post, we’ll focus on some key things to keep in mind that will help you narrow down your search for a used camper.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Camper
Start with these five points to ensure that you purchase the perfect used RV for your needs:
Before you even begin looking at used campers for sale, do the math and figure out a target budget range that spans from your ideal price to your stretch price. Remember to factor in all the additional costs that come along with owning an RV, including registration, insurance, maintenance, repairs, equipment, storage, and, of course, the costs of actually going out in your RV which include fuel, camping fees, groceries, supplies, and so forth. Make sure that you keep your initial purchase cost low enough that you have money left over to actually enjoy your RV!
Type and Size of the Camper
Next, consider what type of used camper or RV will best suit your needs. RVs can be divided into two main categories and several subcategories:
Motorized RVs - Motorized RVs come in three different classes: A, B, and C.
Class A motorhomes are the biggest rigs, and are often built on commercial bus or truck chassis with luxury and maximum space in mind. These RVs are typically 21 to 45 feet in length and most have two or more slideouts.
Somewhat counterintuitively, Class B RVs are the smallest, usually measuring 17 to 19 feet long. These often look like oversized vans, and may in fact have van fronts. While you sacrifice living space with a Class B, you can fit in virtually any parking space and enjoy better fuel economy than essentially all other RVs.
Class C campers are somewhere in the middle of Class A and B, generally measuring 20 to 31 feet long. The cabover sleeping area is the most distinctive characteristic of this class.
Towable RVs - These campers require that you have a truck or other vehicle that is capable of towing a substantial amount of weight. When assessing what size of camper your vehicle can tow, remember to factor in the weight of the camper itself as well as the load you’ll be carrying, including full water and propane tanks, food, luggage, and any other equipment and supplies that you’ll be bringing on the road. It’s never a good idea to completely max out the towing capabilities of your vehicle either—look for a used camper for sale that uses about 80% of the tow capacity at most. Towable RVs come in many different shapes and sizes, such as:
When assessing what type and size of camper will be best for you, ask yourself questions like:
Do I plan to camp only at campgrounds and RV parks or will I be boondocking or offroading?
Do I value having a towable trailer that I can leave at a campsite while I adventure or run errands in my truck, or would I prefer a motorized rig and potentially a tow car?
How comfortable am I with driving a big rig or towing a large trailer?
How many people will be sleeping in the RV?
Do I value comfort and space or fuel economy and agility more?
Features and Amenities
Once you’ve narrowed down the type and size of used RV that makes the most sense for you, consider what features and amenities are must-haves. Perhaps you need space to keep your four-wheeler or you can’t sleep on anything smaller than a king-size bed. Maybe you must have a microwave or you require an outdoor kitchen. With your traveling partner(s), make a list of non-negotiables as well as things that would be nice to have but that aren’t deal-breakers. This can go a long way toward narrowing down your search.
Condition and Maintenance History
One of the most nerve-wracking parts of buying a used RV is that you can never be 100% sure about the condition of the rig and how well it’s been maintained. However, you can often suss out problems by simply performing a thorough in-person inspection of the RV and giving it a test drive if possible. If you aren’t comfortable doing that, you can hire a professional to inspect it for you. Be sure to ask the seller for all maintenance records that they have—if they have none, that’s definitely a red flag.
Reputable Sellers and Dealers
One of the easiest ways to mitigate the risks associated with buying a used RV is to make sure that you work with a reputable seller or dealer. When you do the research to find a legitimate seller, you can benefit from receiving the most information possible about your new RV, and may even be able to transfer the original warranty over to you.
Search for Used Campers for Sale on RVPostings.com
Speaking of reputable sellers, you can find used campers for sale from private sellers as well as high-quality dealerships on RVPostings.com. You can find thousands of used RVs for sale, no matter what type you’re searching for. Plus, we even offer convenient financing options.
ConclusionIf you are considering buying a used RV, narrow down your search by considering what type and size of RV will best suit your needs, as well as the amenities and features that you’d like to have. Then, use those parameters to identify a handful of potential options. Research reputable sellers and check the history and condition of any rig that you are considering buying before you sign any paperwork. Or, make the whole process easy by searching for a used camper for sale right here on RVPostings.com!