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How to Buy a Used RV - Part 1

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Buying a Pre-Owned RV? Take these Helpful Tips Along for the Ride.

If youre in the market to buy a used RV, but are daunted by the process, the experts at, a leading recreation vehicle pricing and specification website, offer the following information and tips to help guide you in the right direction.

Find your RV.

When it comes to buying a pre-owned RV, nothing is more important than finding the recreation vehicle that is just right for you one thats in good condition, with a fair asking price and most importantly, one that meets your own personal needs and wants.

According to Lenny Sims, Vice President of Operations and RV Editor of, the Internet is one of the most important resources an RV buyer can turn to when it comes to finding his or her perfect Pre-Owned recreation vehicle.

Our website, for example, is a one-stop shopping experience when it comes to Pre-Owned RVs, said Sims. From used RV pricing to pre-owned RV search features to recreation vehicle buying and selling services, offers used RV buyers a wealth of services at the click of a mouse.

To get started, Sims says to evaluate your own personal situation to determine what type of pre-owned RV is right for you. From truck campers to motor homes to travel trailers & fifth wheels, the recreation vehicle market is chock full of a variety of different makes and models. It is very important to do your homework ahead of time to determine exactly what you need and want.

Sims says to keep in mind where you plan to travel with your pre-owned RV (and whether or not those places provide easy in-and-out access), where you plan to store your recreation vehicle (whether or not you have the accommodations to house and park it), how often you plan on using it (whether youre an RV weekender or full-timer), and whether or not you have any towing requirements (such as a boat, a smaller car or a trailer with ATVs or motorcycles). All of these are important factors to take into consideration when searching for that perfect recreation vehicle.

At, we offer access to used RV inventory provided by RVTraderOnline and RVSearch. With these features, you can search thousands of pre-owned RVs conveniently and easily, says Sims.

According to Sims, the tools offered at allow buyers to customize their searches to include information about Used Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, Travel Trailers, Truck Campers and Specialty Tow Vehicles, by Make, Model, Year, Price, Length, Location and Special Features (such as Handicapped Accessible or Good Sam Certified).

Finally, he suggests making a list of potential pre-owned RV prospects from your database search and then cross-referencing that list of RVs with the next step in the used RV buying process checking the fair market value at

Get the Value of the RV.

Once youve found your list of hot pre-owned RV prospects, the next step is to determine whether or not their asking prices are fair. The best way to do that is to research their prices at, where shoppers can access valuations for Truck Campers, Motor Homes, Travel Trailers & Fifth Wheels, Park Models and Camping Trailers.

Sims says that once youve selected the make, model and year of the RV youre interested in purchasing, you must then select the appropriate options for that recreation vehicle, since the inclusion and/or exclusion of certain options can affect the used RVs overall price. Once the appropriate selections are made, shoppers are provided with a Low Retail and Average Retail price of that RV. Sims says provides detailed explanations regarding the difference between these two pricing guidelines (with the fundamental delineation being their overall condition). These price ranges should serve as a benchmark in determining whether or not the asking price of your prospective RV is fair.

In addition to researching the RVs fair market value, Sims suggests buyers research the marketplace too.

Check out online resources such as RVTraderOnline or RVSearch at, says Sims, to compare prices of comparable used makes and models. Delve into your local newspaper to determine retail prices at local RV dealerships in your area or go online to your local RV dealers website to research used inventory and used RV pricing information there.

Finally, if you have a pre-owned RV for trade or for sale to a private buyer, Sims urges consumers to check out used RV pricing information to determine exactly what their pre-owned recreation vehicles are worth.

Knowing what your pre-owned recreation vehicle is worth is an extremely important part of the used RV buying process, said Sims. Not only does the value of your used RV determine a potential down payment, but that information can also be used to determine what you could potentially net in the form of a trade-in or outright sale, to offset other ancillary costs of owning an RV such as insurance, warranty and service expenses.

Finally, Sims says provides a wealth of additional services to assist used RV buyers, including RV Loan Quotes when applicable (to determine what your monthly payment might be if you were to finance that vehicle), a Credit Check service (to determine your credit score and types of RV loans terms you qualify for), Insurance and Warranty Quotes (to factor in exactly what recreation vehicle insurance and warranty programs will cost on a monthly basis), as well as the websites Cash for your RV program (a wholesale RV purchasing program that could net a potential buyer cash for his/her existing recreation vehicle, to subsidize another RV purchase).

Read Part 2

You may also want to read: Which RV is Right for You? -- How to Buy a New RV
Knowing How to Buy an RV Can Save You Thousands of Dollars

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