What to Ask When Buying a Used RV May 2, 2017 Ted Palmer Share At A&M RV Center, we are often asked lots of questions when customers are considering purchasing a used RV. This is not only normal, but also very wise. By failing to ask the right questions, buyers put themselves at risk of rushing into an RV that they end up unhappy with. In order to avoid purchasing a regrettable used RV, here are some good questions to ask when thinking about buying. What has this RV been up to? Has someone been driving and maintaining the RV, or has it been sitting unused somewhere? Usually when it’s been driven a lot, that means its owner has been taking care of it and keeping up the maintenance. However, if it’s been sitting on an empty lot somewhere, that probably means it hasn’t been well-maintained, and you could end up facing some issues. Does this RV come with maintenance records? You will definitely want maintenance records with your used RV. These will alert you to previous problems that you’ll need to keep an eye on, such as any leak damage or replaced parts. By having the maintenance records, you’ll know exactly what has been fixed on the RV. How many owners has this RV had, and who were they? Knowing how many people have previously owned an RV, and what sort of people they were, can help you understand more about the RV itself. For example, if it was owned for a long time by a family that included small children, you’ll know that it’s safe for kids. If it was owned by an older couple that loved to travel, you’ll know that it’s a strong vehicle that can make long distances. Can I check things out? Brake lights. Clearance lights. Engine. Generator. Hot water heater. Try them all before deciding to purchase a used RV. Try the faucets, the water pump, and any other feature you see. It’s critical to make sure that everything works before you purchase—or if something doesn’t work, if you’re okay with it or not. Can I look at the shower? Some people live in their RVs for months. This is why having a shower that you like is so important. Before buying a used RV, check the shower out to make sure it will be large and comfortable enough for you during those long periods on the road. It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but trust us, it is. When were the tires last replaced? The maintenance records should tell you this. Keep in mind this is very important if you’re purchasing a used Class A RV because these tires are very expensive. As in, very expensive—around $300 per tire. So, be sure to ask about the tires! It also won’t hurt to have a look at them to see if they look worn. If they look like they’re on their last leg, determine how much it would cost to replace them, and ask the seller if that amount can be discounted from the price. Does this RV have any water damage? Many people will agree that water damage is one of the main reasons to avoid buying a used RV. It’s tricky—water damage is often difficult to notice right away (until it’s a problem), so it’s important to not only ask the seller, but to investigate. Check everywhere, including the roof, window area, and walls. Look for soft spots that might show evidence of previous water damage. Have there been pets in this RV? This is just good to know. Even if there are no signs of previous pets, it’s information you should ask about. For example, if you or a family member is allergic to certain animals, any lingering traces (even the faintest) may have an effect on your decision to buy or not. Can I take a test drive? If the answer to this is “no”, walk away. Don’t buy the RV. Just don’t. Instead, what you’ll want to do is take the used RV onto the open road, floor it, and see how it handles. Try different speeds, go around turns, swerve, honk—whatever! See how everything moves and operates and if you’re comfortable driving it. Imagine yourself and your family inside of it, going up mountains and zipping across highways. Open your ears, and pay attention to any strange noises as well. A&M RV Center in Anchorage, AK, are your RV experts. Not only do we provide RV rentals, we sell previously owned RVs as well. Call us at (907) 279-5508 to learn more about what we have to offer.