buying a motorhome how to save on a purchase

Buying a Motorhome: How to Save on a Purchase

Have you ever dreamt about traveling with your family or friends by a recreational vehicle? The year 2020 has proven that this transport means will never go out of fashion. Just like buying a regular used car, an RV becomes significantly cheaper after leaving the store of the distributor. But if you are looking for a motorhome, you mustn’t overpay and get a vehicle in proper condition. Otherwise, there can be a lot of troubles. Here are some useful tips.

Do Your Own Research

Nowadays, every purchase should start with a thorough investigation of forums and blogs. If you are interested in buying a motorhome, there is a lot of information to study. Of course, when you are considering a particular vehicle, carrying out an RV check by its VIN number is a must-follow procedure. If you want to save money on this purchase, the better you are informed, the lower are the chances to overpay.

Clearly Define Your Needs

After you have read more about motorhomes, you know that there are numerous variations to choose from. Thus, to make sure that a vehicle you will buy will suit your needs, define them in the first place:

  • With who will you travel? Will you invite more people? Are you sure you will find such trips comfortable?
  • Do you plan trips within the USA only? Would you like to visit other countries with this motorhome?
  • Will you travel in summer or winter, or any season?
  • Are these going to be long or short trips?

The responses to the above question determine the number of passengers to accommodate inside the vehicle, as well as the equipment installed there. Of course, if you are going to Canada with your family, making sure that the heating system works well and the availability of ample space inside is crucial when you decide on a specific RV.

Look for the Signs of Mold

Mold is one of the worst things that can happen with a motorhome. It is almost impossible to get rid of it while it is harmful to the health of passengers. Thus, buying a used RV, checking it for the presence of mold is among the top priorities:

  • Smell: it is one of the surest ways to define if there is mold inside. When there are lots of air fresheners, it is a sign that a vendor is trying to hide an unpleasant smell.
  • Ceiling and platform: if there have been water leaks, look for traces in the corners of the floor and ceiling. Aside from the problems with the mold, as a sequence, there can also be troubles with the water system of an RV.
  • Bathroom: if the room is properly ventilated, there should be no problems with the mold.
  • Cabinets and closets: while the majority of vendors will try to remove the traces of mold on the ceiling and in the bathroom, the surfaces inside closets can be often overlooked. Take a flashlight and carefully study every corner.


Aside from the possible troubles with the mold, the condition of the ceiling can serve as an indicator of other problems with an RV. For instance, malfunctioning of the water system may lead to leaks, or issues with heating may lead to the collection of condensate on the ceiling. Thus, there will be signs on it. So, make sure that its condition is fine and that it was not changed.

External Check

Just like buying a car, an inspection of the external part of an RV is essential. Make sure that there is no corrosion, that the bolts and screws are clean. In the case of water leaks, the latter can be corroded.

Panels & Equipment

No one would be glad to buy a vehicle with equipment that does not work. Make sure that you test the working condition of the heating and air-conditioning systems. Many may forget about an air-co in winter or about heating in summer. This is especially relevant if you plan to travel in all the seasons.

Get Your Own Experience

It is one of the last recommendations, but it is one of the most important ones for those who are looking for their first RV. If you would like to buy one, rent it first. It would be even better if you manage to find a model you are considering for purchase. In this way, you will understand if you like this kind of traveling in general. Besides, it will become clear if you can drive such a vehicle. Finally, you will be able to rehearse the process of checking the interior and exterior of an RV and conclude if you manage to define the possible problems.

All in all, a motorhome is a beloved means of transport among many families. It provides freedom. Thus, take your time to choose one and enjoy the first trip on the wheels.

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About the Author


Fernando James

James has offered expert financial insight at CouponAnnie since 2020. As a freelance writer, he has been published in a variety of prominent publications. He's been featured on the Washington Post and Financial Planning Magazine, and has been quoted by Money Magazine, Retailmenot, and more.