6 things to look for when buying a used RV

There is a certain allure to purchasing something brand new. Bright, shiny and never used, there’s something to say for being the sole owner of your RV. But is there value to buying used?

Buying a new RV is a lot like buying a new car. Within the first few years of your purchase, the value of your vehicle (or in this case, RV) usually depreciates. If you’re willing to let go of that brand-new car feeling, you may be able to save some money. With a pre-owned RV, you may be able to skip the higher depreciation period and pay only for the post-depreciation value of the motorhome.

There are plenty of things to keep in mind when buying a used RV. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of six things to look for on your hunt for the perfect used motorhome:

1. Floorplan & Layout: Before you purchase a pre-owned RV, you need to consider who will be using it and how it will be used. Establishing these things will help you ensure that the floorplan of your RV can accommodate your needs. For example, if your entire family will be using your RV, you’re going to need more space than if it were just for you and your partner. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the layout too! Make sure the kitchen configuration, storage spaces and washroom setup all suit your tastes. After all, you’re most likely going to own your RV for years to come!

2. Tow Vehicle: If you’re considering purchasing a towable, make sure your tow vehicle is capable of towing it.

3. Canadian Compliance: If the RV you’re considering purchasing was manufactured in the U.S.A, by law, it will need to be checked to make sure it meets Canadian Standards for Electrical, Propane, and Department of Transport. An electrical inspection should have been performed by an Electrical Safety Inspector and the RV should have an orange ESA sticker on the electric panel or inside the door. Propane inspections must be performed by a certified RV-1 TSSA (Technical Standards & Safety Authority) Propane Technician and be tagged appropriately (Usually on one of the appliances). The RV should have been certified that it was inspected to meet Department of Transport Standards. Further information is available on these websites: Canadian Standards Association (CSA) www.csa.ca, Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) www.esasafe.com.

4. Water Damage: One of the first things you need to look for when choosing a used RV is water damage. Be sure to check the perimeter as well as all the tucked-away spots inside the RV for leaks—closet corners, under the bed, inside cupboards, etc. Repairing water damage in an RV can be a large project, depending on the extent of what you’d like to have repaired. Be sure that the previous owners have taken the proper preventative measures to protect the RV from water. Whether there are signs of water damage or not, it is always a good idea to have your RV tested for water leaks. We have different methods and tools available to test for water leaks that expose areas where potential leaks may occur, which allows us to do a better job preventing water from entering your RV.

5. Maintenance Records: If you can, try to get your hands on a copy of the maintenance records for the RV you are interested in purchasing. Not only will these records confirm that the RV has received maintenance, but they will also help you determine whether or not the RV was serviced by reputable professionals.

6. Pre-Purchase Inspection: It is prudent to have a certified RV Propane technician to inspect any RV you purchase before you use it, not only to give you the piece of mind to know what you’re buying, but for your safety and the safety of others. Since an RV is essentially a home on wheels, when it’s in travel it vibrates and flexes. This can cause things to loosen, move around and wear. A certified RV propane technician will check your propane system for leaks, and make sure all of your appliances run properly. This is essential to your safety and is also required by law to have your propane system recertified before a new owner uses it. During the inspection, the technician can also check to make sure the RV complies with Canadian Standards. In addition, the technician will inspect all of the RV’s systems including: plumbing, holding tanks, electrical systems, mechanical systems, towing and rigging. Smaller details, such as cabinets and doors that may also be adjusted when you bring your RV to Outdoor Travel for RV service.

For more helpful advice for buying a used RV, visit Outdoor Travel in Hamilton. We carry a wide selection of both new and used RVs at fair prices. Visit us online at http://www.rvvacations.com/ to learn more!

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