RV Buying Tips – The Best is Inspect a Used RV!

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One of the best RV buying tips I can give you when you are purchasing a used RV is to get it inspected!  By spending the time to inspect a used RV, you will save yourself headaches later on.  You will also be told all the things on the RV that need attention before you take possession of the vehicle. What does it take to inspect a used RV?  Please read on and I’ll uncover what this process involves!


inspect a used rv


I believe you deserve an RV that will give you worry-free travels and create lasting memories for a lifetime.  Traveling in an RV is one of the most enjoyable ways to visit places that you want to see!  You may have already discovered this and are now ready to buy an RV.


So what would be some good RV buying tips?  I think these are some of the most important ones to consider!


Top RV Buying Tips!


  1. Do your homework:  decide on the class of RV you think would most suit your needs, whether its for part time or full time RV living, and rent one. There is no better way to uncover things you may not have considered then to actually take an RV out and live in it for a week or two.
  2. Use the Power of the Internet: visit the RVing blogs and read what others are saying about your RV choice.  RV.net and RVforum.net are great sources that RVers love to post too.  rveducation101.com is another good source!
  3. Visit Dealerships:  only do this after you really know what you want! Take a look at different makes, floor plans, model years, etc.  Don’t get pushed by an RV salesman into making a decision.  Leave the checkbook at home!  Never buy on the first visit.  Take pictures, notes and go home and think about any purchase seriously before moving forward. Most dealership’s staff are an asset in helping you make a decision, but it is yours to make and you don’t want to make a very expensive mistake!
  4. NADA valuation:  be sure you know what the NADA value is for the RV you are seriously considering purchasing.  Comparison shop at dealerships either online or in person.  Craigslist and Ebay have lots of used RV’s for sale.  Be careful here!  You may find a good deal, but do your homework.  There are lots of well-intentioned people who want to sell their used RV at a fair price, but they are also grossly unaware of issues that may bring future problems!  Get it inspected!!


The Best of the RV Buying Tips You Will Need!


Inspect a used RV before you sign on the dotted line!  Let me say that again because people miss this one and wind up buying a money pit!  Be sure to have that used RV inspected by a certified RV inspector.  Not an RV tech, not the dealer staff, not a friend of yours, a certified RV inspector who will offer a UNBIASED inspection of the RV!


It is the job of the certified RV inspector to get the RV to tell them the condition of the vehicle at that point in time!  Through careful analysis of the major and minor systems of the RV, including oil and coolant analysis, their findings allow the buyer to know the exact condition of the RV!


What do things cost in an RV?

inspect a used rv

You see, if you purchase an RV with any of these items that may have an issue, you will not only be paying for the RV, but the cost of the repairs that should have been made before the RV was sold!


What Exactly is an RV Inspection?


When you inspect a used RV, or should I say have a professional certified RV inspector perform an RV inspection, what exactly is being done? It is much like a home inspection.  The RV inspector will spend as much as six hours examining the vehicle and testing it’s systems.  Here are just some of the items being evaluated:

  • Exterior items being evaluated: roof, vents, AC units, sealant, running gear, hookups, steps, etc.
  • Slide Outs: operation and integrity of the system
  • Electrical Systems: 120 volt and 12 volt systems, hot skin test, main panel and fuse box evaluation, inverter test, converter test, gfi’s, and generator operation.
  • Propane System leak checks
  • Water Systems:  city supply and water pump function, evaluate and test all plumbing onboard including function of gate valves.
  • Appliances
  • Interior condition and appearance
  • Furniture condition
  • Verification of vehicle data information.


Depending on the level of certified RV inspection that a person wants, the computer generated report detailing the inspectors findings can have 15 to 100 pictures included in it and be 50 to 100 pages in length.  The first few pages of the report summarize the major issues that may need immediate attention in the RV.  The rest of the report details the items the RV inspector examined and all findings that were observed at the time of inspection.  The NADA valuation is also included so the buyer knows that they are paying a fair price for the RV.


I believe you deserve to find an RV that is a good buy, and is trouble-free at that point in time!  If you would like to know more about this service, you may call me at 850-585-1811, drop me an email at howard@yourfulltimervliving.com, leave a comment below, or fill out the form on the right side of the web page.


We are growing to serve you nationally, so give us a call so we can schedule an appointment and help you find your dream home on wheels!


Howard and Pam


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    • Ron Booker on January 27, 2020 at 1:51 PM
    • Reply

    It makes sense that one should inspect the considerations of the RV, like the interior and appliances, before buying it. My uncle wants to buy a used RV, and I want to pass him some advice about buying it. It would be best to take it to a mechanic so they can have it insect to make sure it doesn’t need any repairs.

    1. Hi Ron!

      Actually, it is best to have an NRVIA certified RV inspector examine the RV. A mechanic does not know all the intricacies of all the systems in an RV. As far as motorized parts of the RV, fluid analysis on those components is far more revealing than what a mechanic can see!

    • Quinne Elliot on January 31, 2019 at 10:39 AM
    • Reply

    I love how you said to do your homework before buying a trailer. My dad is in love with the idea of getting an RV to camp out in. These tips could really help bring him down to earth, so thanks for sharing them.

    1. Thanks for stopping by our website Quinne!

    • Sutton Turner on July 25, 2018 at 2:27 PM
    • Reply

    I like how you said to do your homework before buying an RV. My brother bought an RV and found that the brakes needed repair. Thanks for the tips for buying an RV.

    1. Thanks for stopping by our website and sharing Sutton!

    • Millie Hue on April 10, 2018 at 9:48 PM
    • Reply

    It really helped when you said to get the RV inspected to ensure that the RV is in good condition and checking the NADA valuation to be informed if the RV is at the right price. I don’t have the intention to buy an RV, but I am planning to sell mine. It is good to be informed about the factors that buyers would consider. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Thanks for stopping by our website Millie!

      As a seller, you might want to consider having an NRVIA certified inspector check out your RV and create a report that a potential buyer could use to verify the condition of the RV. If issues are found during the inspection you can either get them fixed or take fixing them off the sales price.

      Either way, the new owner will probably have a better ownership experience with all issues addressed before hitting the road!

    • Gary Puntman on March 29, 2018 at 12:19 PM
    • Reply

    I’m thinking about selling my old motorhome and getting a newer one that is used. I think it will help me save money. I agree that you should always do your homework first. I should make sure I do plenty of research to decide on what class of RV will fit my needs.

    1. Greetings Gary!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Yes, buying a used motorhome can save you money on the depreciation factor of the purchase, but you can also be buying someone else’s problems. If going with that approach, please seek out an NRVIA certified RV inspector that will coach you through the buying process. They will help by evaluating your potential RV purchase to be sure you don’t wind up having to pay for repairs that should have been addressed prior to your purchase.

      Please refer to usedrvisnpection.com for the points of inspection.

    • Bobby Saint on January 3, 2018 at 11:59 PM
    • Reply

    I like that you provided some tips when purchasing an RV such as visiting dealerships. It is recommended that you look for a dealership that offers different models where you can compare the features of one from the other. This way, you wouldn’t have to go from one location to another. It’s best to ask the staff for their own personal recommendation or ask some of their past clients regarding their own personal experience with their RV. This should more or less give you an idea which model is the best one for you. If I were to purchase my own RV, I would make sure to keep this in mind. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Bobby!

      Yes, asking the RV salesperson their opinion is good to do if they are knowledgeable about the full time RV living lifestyle. If they are, they certainly can lend some additional input to the buying decision. Visiting a larger dealership can also make the selection process a little easier with more to choose from.

      The ultimate decision on which one to buy is will the RV meet your needs for your lifestyle! Let a certified NRVIA RV inspector help with that decision!!

    • Frank Delaware on August 28, 2017 at 1:39 PM
    • Reply

    It’s always been a dream of mine to go on a camping trip as a family, and my wife told me that the only way she would consider it was if we bought an RV. I love that you say to hire a professional to inspect the entire RV for you. It would be nice to make sure that nothing is going to go wrong when you are on the trip.

    1. You bet Frank! Hiring a certified NRVIA inspector is the best way to go!

    • Pat on March 14, 2017 at 9:49 AM
    • Reply

    I see people post in various places that they buy used, and old rv’s to full time in. They alway brag about getting it for $2,500 or less and just putting new tires on, or very minimal investment and hit the road. This is one end of the spectrum…..

    Then I read your blog (the other end of the spectrum), and it scares me to death to even consider buying a used rig. It sounds like this exhaustive of an inspection is expensive. Buyer beware whether you are buying old or new!

    I want an entry level used trailer to see if this is right for us. I don’t want to put a lot of money into the first “experiment” rig, but neither do I want to get stuck with something unsafe or a money pit. It’s scary out here!

    1. Hi, Pat!

      Yes, buying used is a gamble unless you have all the facts. That is what an NRVIA certified RV inspection is all about! They range from $299 to $999, depending on the level of inspection and the type of RV being inspected.

      Have you considered renting an RV to try it out? That is how Pam and I started before we bought our first used RV. If that might be an option, visit rentwizard.com. You can find owners who will rent their RV’s to you. It’s a great way to try it out before buying.

      Once you do decide to buy, be sure to give us a call! We will help you get all the facts about the used RV you are interested in.

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