When you are looking at a used RV sale in Florida, and you find what you want, is there any way to have assurance that your potential RV purchase is not a lemon?
What Should You Be Aware of in a Used RV Sale in Florida?
If you are purchasing your used RV from a location in Florida, yet you are out of state, what will you do to verify the RV is like the website pictures show and the RV description proclaims?
Will you take the word of the seller? Most people are always skeptical! They want some assurances before they travel to the RV’s location and survey the vehicle for compatibility with their needs.
It could be at this point that they are so focused on the RV’s cool amenities that they neglect to check what is important. Sure, curtain colors, nifty appliances, and cool floor plans are necessary too, but once the RV is purchased and mechanical and other issues start to show up, those initial exciting features will quickly become unimportant.
So, what can you do to be prepared when looking at a used RV sale in Florida?
You should have a checklist of items you are going to review. Don’t commit to the purchase on that first look. You should go through your list of items that need review. Things like:
- Roof Condition and its ability to keep moisture out
- The condition of roof vents, skylights, vent covers, and roof accessories
- The overall condition of all sidewalls and end caps
- Slide Out Rooms – Do they work, are they aligned? The condition of all seals, wiring issues, etc.
- Do all awnings and slide toppers work as they should
- The condition of all three RV electrical systems
- The condition of all fluids: oil and coolant analysis
- The condition of the freshwater system – check valves and leak tests
- The condition of the wastewater systems – gate valve leaks and work-ability
- Test life safety items: LP detectors and smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, appliance updates, etc.
- Safety of propane system – is it leaking?
- Do all appliances function as they should?
- Is all interior cabinetry and furniture workable?
- Do interior shades have upcoming service issues?
- Is interior plumbing leak-free?
- How about the RV chassis, steering components, shocks, leveling system, and tire condition, including what to do with DOT codes, proper tire load range for posted RV weight
- Engine, transmission, running gear condition
It can take four to eight hours to do a complete review of an RV! It is like doing a home inspection but for an RV.
Can You Perform This Kind of RV Review?
Someone who has a fair bit of RV knowledge has mechanical aptitude, and is not afraid to get their hands dirty could possibly get this type of inspection done on their own. However, will the seller let you engage in such a complete analysis of their RV without the appropriate insurance in case you break something?
Do You Want to Go Through All This When Searching for a Used RV Sale in Florida?
Probably not! That would take all the fun of looking for your perfect home on wheels.
Pam and I have been enjoying the RV lifestyle since 2008. We researched our purchase for months before deciding on our current full time RV home. We did not purchase it on the first visit. I took lots of pictures, crawled all over it, and did my best to smoke out any possible issues with the unit.
It was only two years old when we purchased it, and it looked new. Once we bought it, we did have water leak issues from the roof that I had missed. The fridge had not received its Norcold recall upgrade.
The tires were questionable as the dealer had done a great job of covering small surface cracks, the RV had a black tank odor that the dealer did not address, and a few other small issues that I missed during my initial evaluation.
But, I knew nothing about the real mechanics of an RV even though I had put thirty-five thousand miles on rented RVs over the previous six years.
Now that I possess some RV certifications, fixing issues with my RV is easy. The next RV we purchased was a much different story. Friends now tell me I am a salesman’s worst nightmare! Will I buy new or used?
My feeling is it’s always better to find a lightly used RV than buy a new one. I mostly feel this way because of the massive depreciation in the first few years of the RV’s life. Also, it takes two years to work the bugs out of some of these vehicles!
Since 2008 we have now purchased two new RVs, and even though we addressed issues at the point of sale, both RVs went back to the manufacturer for warranty work.
But what about your search? Can you seek professional help in evaluating your dream RV?
Is There a Professional Nationwide Service That Can Help?
Yes, through the new National RV Inspectors Association, the NRVIA, there is now a nationwide network of certified individuals who are able to evaluate RVs for you! They are able to do the dirty work for you so you can have your new or used RV completely analyzed before you buy it.
What better way to have the assurance that the RV you have fallen in love with will provide you with years of worry-free travels as opposed to being a money pit?
How Much Does a Service Like This Cost?
Great question! Since there are lots of RV classes out there in the marketplace, and each one has three levels of inspection services that can be performed, there is quite a range for the used RV sale in Florida clients, and nationwide too!
Let’s take a look at the high end first. Let’s say you want a class A diesel pusher. What would the three levels of inspection service cost? These are potential costs an NRVIA inspector might charge.
What if you are interested in a travel trailer? What could be the costs to evaluate this class of RV? These are potential costs an inspector may charge.
For the money that someone would spend on any one of these RV inspection types, the savings could be measured tenfold or even more.
What if the proprietary RV inspection report reveals issues with the RV refrigerator? That used RV sale in Florida could turn into a money pit! Costs on RV refrigerators can cost two thousand dollars, or more, to correct a failing unit.
Roof AC units range in price from $600 to $1,200. What if there is an engine, transmission, or generator problem that could have been identified with a fluids analysis? The costs to repair those items will be in the thousands.
And, if an issue arises while you are out on the road, not only will your vacation be ruined, but the costs to repair could be significant; perhaps the issue could even be life-threatening.
So, please be careful when purchasing your used RV. Don’t be fooled by how pretty it is or what great features it has. Sure, you want those, but consider that when you spend the money these vehicles cost, just like in a home inspection, you want to know everything about the RV!
If you would like more information about this service, please contact HMRVI Corporation at email@example.com. We are able to provide NRVIA certified inspections, not only in Florida, but nationwide.
Finally, listen to what Terry Cooper, the Texas RV Professor, has to say about all this!
Please feel free to leave a comment or question if we can be of assistance to you!
Wishing You Many Blessings as You Enjoy the RV Lifestyle!
Howard and Pam