Tuesday, February 3, 2009

5 Tips for Purchasing A Used Camper

1 - Separate what you want from what you need

You will probably have some idea as to which sort of used camper you are looking for. But do you really need that class? If you haven't done so already then you should really spend a few days in a similar model to the one you would like to buy. Renting or using a friend's rig for just a few days will give you a clear idea on how suited you are to that particular size of rig. You may be looking at 'Class A Motorhomes' and realize that it is in reality far to spacious for your needs, difficult to drive and park and you may come to the conclusion that a smaller model would be a better investment. Or the opposite may be true. You may be looking at small campers when in reality you need to be considering a large 'Class A' rig. Getting clear on this will take only a few days and will save you a lot of hassle later when it comes to buying your own used camper.

2 - Check Out The Vehicle History

Investigate the history of the vehicle you will be buying as deeply as possible. This means asking to see all the paperwork, including any repair bills and receipts for spare parts. This way you will get an idea as to what has been replaced and can hazard a guess as to what is likely to need replacing soon. You also need to check that the VIN number matches that on the vehicle and that on all paperwork it is the same number. Try to find out how many owners it has had and you may even try to contact the previous owners and ask them if they can remember anything of importance that cold be a problem.

3 - Check Out the Mechanical Side

Taking a qualified mechanic with you when you view a motorhome or camper is highly recommended, even if you are mechanically minded yourself. Your mechanic can be checking over all that is the driving and mechanical side whilst you inspect the living area, bodywork and coach work.

4 - Check Out The Bodywork

Have a good look at the outside panels, check for corrosion and laminating where the panels are bulging and separating from the side of the vehicle. take a good look inside at the ceiling especially in corners and on top of wardrobes or cupboards. Check for signs of damp. Also check the floors in the kitchen area and the bathroom. Soft floors can indicate corroded wooden supports as a result of leaking water system.

5 - Check out fixtures and fittings.

Try everything. Firstly to see if the living area is comfortable and secondly to see if it all really works as it should do. Just sit in the dining area, make sure you will all fit comfortably, sit on the sofa or armchairs and make sure you can see the TV or talk to each other well, test out the bed, etc. Then check for functionality. Open and close every single cupboard door and locker, both inside and out. Turn everything on and off again. Test absolutely everything - There are bound to be things that need attention. These should be noted down and used later when negotiating the final price.

The best place to look for a real bargain in used campers is in a police auction or a seized auction.

Source: Barry Bushnell

2 comments:

Penny @ Camper Blue Book Value said...

Thanks for all the tips. I hadn't thought of looking at a police auction! I bet you could really get a good deal!

food guy said...

Yeah you would be surprised what you find!