New vs Used Travel Trailers:The 16 Considerations Before Buying

When someone starts looking to buy a caravan, the question that still arises for the buyer is whether to buy a used caravan or a new caravan. I’ve done a lot of research and I’m here to help you make that choice.

Here is the list of 16 points to take into account before buying a new or used caravan:

Know your budget
Prior research
Discounts and resale value
Incentives?
Announced cost versus actual cost
Funding
Amortization
Age and owners
The unknown
Lot rot
Differences in construction
Floor plans and characteristics
National dealers versus local dealers
Dealer versus private
What to inspect during an inspection?
Back to the dealership

Know your budget
This advice seems so obvious and you may be rolling your eyes at this very moment, but I promise you that this is the first thing you should have on hand before you start looking for caravans and choosing between new and new caravans. ‘opportunity.

The cost you are willing to pay will guide your search, and your price cap may well end up being the final factor in your choice between new and used travel trailers.

Many websites that sell caravans and travel trailers (in fact, any type of online store) can filter your search by price. That way, you can only see the options in the price range that you have set for yourself. It only helps you mentally, because you don’t have to fix things that you can’t have.

Recreational vehicle dealers will also start by asking you what type of equipment you are looking for, the model you are interested in and the price you are willing to pay.

Of course, they will do their best to make you spend more money, but when you tell them your budget, they will be able to tell you which models match your price range.

Prior research

When you know your budget, you can start your research. Be sure to do more research. Don’t just look at the price. See if you can find discounts or offers that will help you and your budget.

The easiest way to start looking for a motorhome or caravan is to consult websites like RV Trader which list all kinds of motorhomes, caravans, motorhomes, buses and caravans that are currently on the market.

These databases list new and used travel trailers, and dealers even put their stock on these sites to attract more traffic (pun intended), so you can even get a feel for what you can expect you when you go to a dealership.

Other people are also great resources. Chances are you know someone who has owned a recreational vehicle, who has researched recreational vehicles, who has considered purchasing a recreational vehicle, who has traveled to a parking lot for recreational vehicles or who knows someone who has one.

They’ve already done half the work for you, so take advantage of them and call on their intelligence. In addition, many of them are probably older and older people like to talk (who knows, you might even get free cookies from them).

If, by a curious combination of circumstances, you do not live near an RV expert, see if you can find a convention or an RV dealership near you where you can do your research on site.

The point is, you really need to educate yourself before you get serious about studying RVs or travel trailers.

You need to know what you want, where to find it, if you can afford it, and what to look for to be sure you’re getting a good deal. Otherwise, you may end up with a bad RV or caravan, whether you bought it new or used.

Reductions and resale value
At first glance, it seems that the purchase of a new recreational vehicle is always more expensive than the purchase of a recreational vehicle or a used caravan. This is often the case, but you will be surprised to find that new caravans and travel trailers sell for less than used cars.

That said, in general, you can save a lot of money by buying a used camper or caravan instead of buying a new one or waiting for the end of the season to make a sale.

This is where your budget and your research come in handy. If you know you can only spend $ 40,000 on a recreational vehicle or caravan, then you will only have recreational vehicles or caravans in this price range.

That’s when your research comes in. Because you dug deeper than the listed price, as I asked you, you found a lot of deals on new travel trailers and caravans.

A new caravan or a travel caravan whose price is $ 60,000 may benefit from a reduction or an offer that brings it down to approximately $ 40,000. The most common offers are:

Cash payment
A large deposit
Buy an old model
Be a loyal customer
Bring a reference
One or a combination of these offers can easily lower the price of a new RV or trailer to match the price of a RV or trailer second hand.

This means you could find yourself driving a new RV or caravan that is still in your price range and that is much more recent.

The resale value of used caravans and motorhomes rarely decreases, as there is no real reason why it should decrease in the eyes of the dealer.

Incentives?
Most used travel trailers and RVs are in the mix because they were exchanged by a customer for a discount on a new RV or trailer. This means that the dealer does not really care about used travel trailers and caravans. There is also much less used equipment in recreational vehicle dealerships.

If he has a choice, a dealer will always try to sell you a new RV or caravan. These have the most value for dealers. The demand for used recreational vehicles and travel trailers is also lower, so no one will focus on selling them.

Due to the lack of interest and incentive to sell used travel trailers, dealers will not offer very good deals on the platforms. They have no reason to do so, because they can get more money by offering or reducing a new RV or caravan.

Another disadvantage of the lack of incentive is the resulting lack of information on used travel trailers. The dealer is not going to “waste” precious space by displaying the plans of the travel trailers or by showing the platforms in the most visible places.

Sellers won’t know as much, and that means you won’t know as much either.

Cost announced compared to actual cost

Often, the advertised cost of an RV or caravan is not what you will end up paying. In reality, it can go one way or the other; you may end up paying more than the price listed or less than the price listed.

We’ve already talked about how you can save money and pay less than the advertised price by looking for deals, sales and discounts. It takes smart shopping and a lot of research, but it’s worth it when you end up spending less than you planned.

The other thing we still have to talk about is the hidden costs that are often added to the final price of a motorhome or caravan (or indeed any vehicle you buy from a company for that matter) .

Concession Fees – A concessionaire will always add a few hundred dollars more to what it calls “concession fees”. No one really knows what these fees are for, but the end result is always a few hundred dollars in surplus.
Warranties – Most dealers offer warranties for new recreational vehicles and travel trailers. They usually last for a few years and cover you in the event of a malfunction in a system in your vehicle (for some reason, I feel like it’s always the power supply that does this, just when you need it most).
Additions – You can pay more for them. Dealers often offer additional equipment or add-ons for a small fee. Make sure you know what you are buying in your RV and what they are trying to add to it.
Carrying charges – if you can’t pay for the vehicle or caravan out of your own pocket (who can?), You will need to plan your payments with the dealer. Because of the loan that you are going to have to get, you are going to have to pay interest, and it is likely that they will add more just because you could not pay everything in advance.

When you buy an RV or caravan from a dealer, whether you buy a new or used caravan, always make sure you know exactly how much you’re going to pay. Be candid about it and ask lots of questions.

Used travel trailers and caravans will have less additional cost to add to the advertised price (for example, dealers often do not offer a warranty for used travel trailers), but they also have fewer discounts. When making your choice, be sure to weigh your options carefully in order to get the best device at the best price.

Financing
Most people can’t pay for a car up front, and they certainly can’t pay for a motorhome or caravan all at once. If you can, then you probably don’t need to worry about whether to buy a new or used car, and you should rather worry about the color of your new home on wheels.

Many dealers will offer you a payment plan and a loan to help you buy your vehicle. If you have good credit, you should be fine. Most of the time, they also offer a warranty on the vehicle to cover anything that could break soon after purchase (usually only for a manufacturing error).

The problem is that dealers really only want to help finance or guarantee new RVs or travel trailers. They do not consider used caravans or trailers as a safe investment since they are already worn out.

Even if they help you get a loan and payment plan, you’d be hard pressed to find a dealer who offers warranty on a used caravan.

If you opt for a used caravan, you may have to pay a lot more out of your pocket or in cash. This helps the dealer and he might even offer you some help in return if you are lucky.

Depreciation
The biggest depreciation that can occur naturally to a vehicle is that which occurs when you drive it brand new outside the concession parking lot. Now that the vehicle has an owner, it is no longer worth as much.

When you buy a new RV or caravan, you are the first owner, which means that the brilliant new RV will be worthless when you try to sell it yourself.

If you buy a used recreational vehicle or caravan, this big depreciation has already occurred. This means you can buy it cheaper and sell it at a loss (or no loss at all if you cross your fingers).

Age and owners

When you buy a new trailer or RV, you guarantee that you are the only person who has ever owned this equipment. This means that you get a whole new unit with that “new car” smell. You are the only person who has ever lived, used the toilet, cooked and driven in this vehicle or caravan.

You have full control over how you will treat your new vehicle. Not everyone is as careful as you are, and as you are the only person who has ever owned this vehicle, you can make sure that your new trailer or RV stays beautiful and works like new. .

When you buy a new vehicle, you also tend to get newer models with better features, improved devices and spares, and more amenities. Although you can be the first to buy an old model and you can always buy newer used models, you will have more options if you buy a new model than if you buy a used model.

When you buy a used model, you may end up buying a model from a former owner who was smoking. Or maybe the caravan had some accidents. Or maybe this caravan is super old and has traveled too many thousands of kilometers.

Or maybe there is a ton of water damage. You should always be more careful when buying a used vehicle, as the caravans to which you have access have suffered many accidents (you might not even be aware of it until you bought the trailer).

Used travel trailers are also older, and with age come problems. They start to break down, and even if you saved on the original purchase, you may end up spending more money on repairs when your old vehicle starts to break down.

The unknown
This mainly applies to used travel trailers, caravans, motorhomes and camping caravans (in reality, this applies to all used vehicles), not to new drilling rigs.

When you buy a new caravan, you know exactly what has happened to it since it left the assembly line. In fact, you can even find out where each part of the vehicle came from before it was even assembled. You know the whole history of life. However, when you buy a used motorhome, you are never quite sure what it suffered.

Even if the person who sells you the vehicle tells you as much as possible about his vehicle, there will always be an oversight. Some private sellers even intentionally omit information if they think it could affect the sale of their vehicle.

Damage to the used device may even be covered instead of being repaired, and you may not realize it until it is too late.

At the end of the day, you don’t know what a used recreational vehicle was and what type of repairs you need to do or have been done.

Another problem is that recreational vehicles tend to run very well for a few years and then break down (after all, it’s a bit like dragging a house on wheels). So the motorhome may have worked very well for the former owners, but as soon as you have it, it starts to break down and you end up not saving any money at all in the long run.

A common problem with all travel trailers is that you never really know how many kilometers are recorded on the trailer because the trailers do not have an odometer. Even if the tires have been replaced, the trailer itself is still worn.

Little things you may not even think about are starting to wear out and you will never know exactly how worn they are and when you need to replace them. Things like:

Tires
Shackles
Nuts
Axels
AC units
Slides
Cabinet doors
The wear and tear on the air conditioning unit may be more or less than you would expect, depending on the climate in which the motorhome has lived and the climate in which you are going to move it. Cabinet doors lose their spring and damping, and the slide rails can burn, wear out, or fail to close properly.

Lot rot

Even if you buy a new caravan or motorhome on the ground, there will be what is called “ground rot”. Ground rot occurs when a motorhome sits in the ground for a period of time.

Nothing really terrible has happened to him, but just sitting in the field and being exposed will start to make a little noise on the device.

One of the most important things to consider is the condition of the battery. Batteries should be kept charged to more than 50% and should never be used for a long time when they are below 50%. You should never run a dead battery.

The problem is that when the models are exposed to potential buyers, the battery is often left on (the lights usually stay on), and you’d better bet they make it work even if it’s less than 50%.

Most of the batteries of the models present in the field are exhausted and are not recharged for several days.

When buying a motorhome or caravan (be it a used model or a new model), always ask for a new battery. Chances are, the dealer will provide one for free or at a very reduced price.

Another important element to take into account is the age of the tires of the model you buy. Tires age before wearing out. Since caravans and travel trailers are assembled piece by piece on an assembly line, and then delivered worldwide, your vehicle is already a few months old when you buy it and your tires may already be six to nine months old.

Check the DOT date on the tire when looking at a model to buy (it is written on the tire). If you buy an RV just out of the assembly line, the DOT date will be in a month or two.

If you want to buy new tires, the dealer can give you a discount on new tires when you buy a motorhome or caravan from him.

Of course, when the model is simply placed in cold weather, there will be some wear. You will need to make sure that there is no water damage and that the exterior is still in good condition. Check for leaks where the slides enter and exit the platform and around the entrances.

Differences in construction
When you buy a new RV or caravan, you get a very different model than the one you currently have. New models of caravans and travel trailers have turned things upside down and changed the floor plans every time they launched a new model.

They also modify the construction of the model based on customer feedback, always trying to improve it.

The recreational vehicles of recent years are more comfortable and have more modern features. For obvious reasons, used travel trailers and caravans do not have this modern quality.

In fact, used recreational vehicles, because they were generally built years ago, have basically the same construction between different models. Since these are generally old recreational vehicles, companies have not had time to change their construction as quickly.

So if you are looking for a recreational vehicle identical to yours, but in better condition, try to find someone with the same recreational vehicle as yourself, who has taken care of it and who is ready to sell it to you.

Floor plans and features

This is very closely linked to the idea that the construction of new leisure vehicles and travel trailers is different from one model to another, while the construction of used leisure vehicles is often the same one model to another.

New recreational vehicles and travel trailers offer more options than used models, simply because they are new. For example, it would be difficult to find an old motorhome or a used caravan that is equipped with slides.

Some old travel trailers also don’t have a place to put a TV or microwave.

Some elements of the caravan are easily upgradeable, such as the toilet and seat cushions. If you get a used caravan that is new enough, you even have the option of upgrading the television model. Do not make these things disruptive when looking to buy a caravan.

However, there are also many things in caravans that you cannot improve very easily. Be on the lookout for parts that cannot be replaced or are out of date.

Old used motorhomes have items that need to be replaced, and you need to make sure they are still new enough to have spare parts that you can order online.

Basically, the idea is that if you buy a new camper or caravan, you have more plan options and things are more modern. In the event of a breakage, you can easily access the parts to repair them.

If you buy a used motorhome or caravan, you will have fewer options and you may have obsolete parts that will be extremely difficult to replace.

Local or national dealers
National RV dealers are often much cheaper than local dealers. They are often huge lots and they offer popular and prestigious models of recreational vehicles. Among the top ten national dealers, we find (see the full article here):

Affinity RV Service
Bill Plemmons RV World
Curtis trailers
RV warranty
Hartville VR Center
Mont Comfort RV
The crafts of the princesses
United Recreational Vehicle Center
Veurinks VR Center
Walnut Ridge Family Recreational Vehicle Sales
Even though national RV dealers are often less expensive, many people still choose to go to a local dealer because they are closer and allow you to show your loyalty to your community.

At a national recreational vehicle dealer, you will find a lot of variety, but you won’t really find people willing to negotiate prices. You can also use national dealers as a model to continue shopping and help with your research.

If you choose to go to a local dealer, that dealer will have more used vehicles than a national dealer. There will also be more local dealers near you than national dealers. Local dealers are smaller and less varied, but they are more likely to negotiate prices and offers.

Dealers or individuals
You can either go to a dealer in your area to buy a recreational vehicle or a caravan, or contact an individual who sells their vehicle.

If you choose to contact an individual for the sale of your vehicle, you have several possibilities. Many people will post the RV or caravan they want to sell on online sites.

A large website for the sale of recreational vehicles is called RV Trader. They display new and used vehicles there, and some dealers even display their stock there. You can find caravans for sale across the country at a price (usually) lower than that of a dealer near you.

If you want to go even cheaper, you can try a search on the Craigslist to find used RVs near you. The people who want to sell on Craigslist are probably selling used vehicles, and a number of them are likely to be repairers. If you want an inexpensive motorhome to remodel and make yourself, then Craigslist may be the answer.

One of the advantages of buying new travel trailers and caravans from sites like RV Traders is that the models listed have not been shown as much, so they are in better condition. However, if you choose to go through a private site, you have less guarantee that what you see is actually what you get. You

Recreational vehicle dealers offer more options and equipment, but you may not get the exact model you want. You can’t really go into the dealership and ask for the model, equipment and price you want. It just may not be there on the ground.

You can place a custom order online on the dealer’s website. It’s a lot more expensive, but you get exactly what you want, and you get it straight from the assembly line (no lot rot).

If you go through a private seller, you are more likely to close a deal. If you’ve already bought something on Craigslist, you know you can haggle the price, usually at least a thousand dollars.

You can also search for exactly what you want and chances are you can find exactly that somewhere in the United States. However, if you go through the private sector, you will not be able to place personalized orders.

What to inspect during an inspection

New and used travel trailers are going to be in trouble, and you need to know what to inspect to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

In general, used caravans need to be repaired because they are older. The previous owners may also have had to make repairs. Make sure you know what repairs have been made and make sure they have been done well. You may need to redo the repairs.

You may be able to have many of these repairs repaired by the dealer before you leave the field if you catch it before buying it.

Joints and fittings: the fittings that have started to peel off the wall can be repaired with nails or liquid tacks. You can ask the dealer to fix it if it was caught while it was still in the lot before you bought it. If you’ve already brought it home, you just have to fix it yourself, because it’s pretty simple.
Water damage: Check especially where the carpet goes to the tiles or where it meets the wall, check the corners of the motorhome and check around the runners. Make sure the seal around the rails is flat against the wall when the rail is retracted. If it has not been raining for a while, you can spray the RV with a water hose to check for leaks (do not use a high pressure nozzle, as you can always force the water this way).
Constant water flow if the water coming from your sink faucet or shower nozzle spurts or is irregular, it may mean that you have water in the pipe. Sometimes you can just wait for the system to purge the air and the current starts to flow steadily, but you have to fix it. You can do it yourself, but it’s a little tricky, so I recommend you get help.
Refrigerator and stove / oven – the refrigerator may take a while to cool down because of the model (and depending on whether the appliance is level). The stove may take a long time to turn on if you need to purge air from the system. If the range does not turn on, allow the gas to drain for about 20 seconds, then try again.

The cabinets remain closed – they could move as the pipe will stress the parts that are supposed to be rigid. You can fix yourself by removing the screws, repositioning the door, and then screwing it back in.
The air conditioning ducts work in a certain way, so if you turn some of the vents in a certain way, you will not get a constant flow of air. Make sure the vents are well placed so you can get good airflow where you want it. The problematic vent is usually the one closest to the air conditioning unit, because the air pressure causes cold air to pass directly over the vent if it is oriented in the wrong way.
Light switches: Check for flashes, delays and things that don’t work. That means you have a pinched wire somewhere. This can cause a short circuit or ground, which can be dangerous and cause electrical problems. You should probably have them repaired by a professional. Repair it immediately.
You shouldn’t worry as much about the little problems that you need to fix. All recreational vehicles will have problems. See what you can fix yourself and take care of the rest as soon as possible.

Take it back to the dealer
You are going to want to get a good recreational vehicle from the start, whether you decide to get a used vehicle or a new vehicle if you decide to buy one from a dealer.

If your RV has a problem and you want to take it to the dealer for a look, you should know this very important fact:

It will take you forever to recover your vehicle!

Even if your caravan or recreational vehicle is repaired, it may still be blocked, which means that you will not be able to recover it until the blocked vehicle has also left. You may also be unable to retrieve your vehicle for a period of time because it may be waiting for a part.

Once you have returned your vehicle, you will not be able to remove it sooner if it is not repaired, because the company does not want to be held responsible for letting you drive a vehicle that it saw broken .

If you buy a recreational vehicle from a private seller, you can bring your caravan or recreational vehicle to a dealer to have it repaired, but it will cost more and may not even take it.

Used recreational vehicles and travel trailers generally have more things that could go wrong and have more things to repair. This means that you may need to bring it more often to the dealer. This saves you from wasting time walking around in style.

In fact, you don’t want to have to take your RV or go back to the dealership to have it repaired. Purchasing a new caravan increases your chances of keeping your vehicle out of the dealership.

Related issues
Do recreational vehicles have their value? Like all vehicles, travel trailers and caravans depreciate over time, whatever you do (unless you are restoring a caravan). Recreational vehicles retain their value longer than other vehicles, and less expensive recreational vehicles depreciate more quickly.

What is the cost of a recreational vehicle inspection? You can have your vehicle inspected if you sell or buy a used vehicle. Depending on the type of vehicle and the type of inspection you want, the cost can range from $ 250 to $ 1,200.

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