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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Buying Used

We saw the RV Roadtrips show on DIY and wondered if you’d share some buying tips. I am interested in buying an older motorhome; a 1985. I am a novice working on mechanical projects, but want to learn. What are the most important things I need to be looking for before buying?
Gordon, (Blooming Grove, TX)

Wow, there are so many things to look for in buying a used RV, Gordon, especially one of that vintage. I always recommend that you take the RV to a local dealer and have a PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection) performed. It is well worth the expense to be sure all is in working order. During a PDI, literally every component in every system is checked. It is paramount that any discrepancies be detected before settling on a selling price.

There are too many items to list here, but I would look closely at the LP system and the LP-burning appliances as well as the integrity of the battery and AC systems. Appliances over 20-years old most certainly will have issues unless serviced annually. A PDI will reveal these issues. If the seller is not willing to have a PDI performed, stay away. A well-performed PDI will reveal discrepancies that can become a bargaining chip during your negotiation of the selling price.

I would also recommend a book called The Idiot’s Guide to RVing, written by Brent Peterson. It includes a long list of items to check out before buying.


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