Can You Finance A Car Purchased Directly From Private Seller RV Buying- New Versus Used

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RV Buying- New Versus Used

Cost is one of the main factors regarding new and used RVs, but there are other factors to consider as well. If you’re only going to use the RV two weeks a year, a used RV might be your best decision. On the other hand, if you’re planning on going full-time or traveling cross-country, a new RV with a full warranty would be a better choice.

Speaking of warranty, if you decide a used RV is your best bet, check to see if any type of warranty is available. If you buy a used RV from a private owner, it’s usually a used RV with no warranty. This is also true with many VR dealers. Replacing an RV refrigerator or other major appliance can be very expensive. Most RV dealers will offer an extended service plan or contract if the used RV meets the service plan criteria. You can also buy these plans from RV clubs and reputable websites on the Internet. The age of the unit will factor into the cost of the plan, but you should be able to negotiate a service plan with the dealer. Be sure to read all the fine print and understand exactly what is and isn’t covered in any type of service plan or contract you purchase. Often service plans offer different levels of coverage based on the cost of the plan. You also want to be sure that other RV dealers and repair facilities will honor the service plan you purchase. It won’t do you any good if you need repairs while you’re traveling and no one is going to stick to the plan.

Another factor to consider between buying new or used is how long you plan to keep the RV. What I mean by this is that if you’re buying an RV with the understanding that as soon as you get your next pay raise you’re going to upgrade to a bigger RV, you might be best considering buying used. RVs depreciate, not appreciate. If you buy a new RV and sell it or sell it within the first two years, you will lose a substantial amount of money. In many cases, a used RV has already taken the brunt of the depreciation, and you can’t lose as much if you get rid of it sooner. Of course, this will depend on how much you pay for the used RV. Most RV dealers use the NADA Guide to RVs to determine used RV prices, http://www.nada.com.

Used RV prices are based on the unit’s age, condition, options, and mileage, if it’s a motorized RV. The NADA Guide has wholesale and retail prices for used RVs, and all NADA prices assume the RV is in good condition and in good working order. Ask to see the NADA price for the unit you are buying or search for it on the Internet. To get accurate figures, you’ll need to know the make, model, year, options, and for gas motorhomes, the chassis manufacturer and mileage. You wouldn’t pay full Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a new RV, so you shouldn’t pay full NADA retail price for a used RV either. Some used RVs are more in demand than others, but if the used RV is in good condition and everything works properly, a fair price would be somewhere between the wholesale and retail price of NADA.

Another consideration when thinking about buying a used RV is the financing terms and interest rates. Because the RV is used, banks offer shorter financing terms and higher interest rates compared to new RV financing. See the financial section of this chapter for more information.

If you decide to buy a used RV, make sure that all systems and gadgets are in working order and that there is no hidden damage that cannot be easily seen. Damage caused by water leaks can be difficult to detect and extremely expensive to repair. If you are not familiar with RVs, you should take someone who is to inspect the unit you are considering purchasing. It may be possible to hire someone to thoroughly inspect the unit before you buy it. Most RV dealers will give you a walk through of the RV orientation and demonstrate that everything is working properly. I recommend that you purchase an RV training video for the type of RV you are purchasing and watch it before your scheduled ride. You will have a much better understanding of how everything works and will be able to ask more specific questions.

Be sure to consider the cost, how you plan to use the RV, the warranty, and how long you plan to keep the RV when deciding whether to buy new or used.

happy camping,

Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk, Owner of RV Education 101

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