Congratulations! You’re about to buy a pre-owned luxury motor home…exciting stuff! However, before you pull out your checkbook make sure you know what to look for and what questions to ask in regards to the condition of the coach. Here are a few pointers we recommend you get familiar with when buying a used motor home before you sign on that dotted line.
Make sure to see the coach in person before you get too excited. Pictures don’t always tell the whole story. It’s too easy to enhance pictures or simply leave out pictures that may be considered “less than flattering” to increase the perceived value of a motor home. Get the seller on the phone and make arrangements to see the coach for yourself.
Know what part of the country the motor home is kept in for the majority of the year. If you’re looking to purchase a coach that is located in an area that experiences harsh weather conditions, there could be potential issues with the pipes, the battery housing, the water system, tires, bearings, and more. Extreme cold or heat could add years of wear to a motor home in just a short period of time. Be sure to ask the owner how the coach was stored and where when it wasn’t in use.
Beware of water damage. Get up on the roof (carefully!) and inspect it thoroughly as well as all of the seals around the windows and doors to ensure that no water has leaked into the body of the coach at any point. Also walk through the cabin and check the ceiling for water spots. If you do happen to see signs of water damage you may want to consider other options.
Inspect all of the appliances, especially the refrigerator and stove…the two most expensive. If the fridge and stove aren’t working properly (and you’ve ruled out the possibility of it just being a bad fuse), you have a solid opportunity to start knocking some dollars off of the asking price of the motor home. Having to replace or do serious repairs to the major appliances is only going to delay the sale or when you’re able to get on the road and start enjoying your new purchase.
Check the aesthetics of the coach. Look both outside and inside the motor home and look for signs of premature wear and tear. You’ll want to see that the exterior paint job is still bright and crisp, as well as the interior of the coach still has comfortable and soft furniture. Looking back to knowing what part of the country the coach has been in for the majority of its life, you may find that a coach that is kept in very hot or cold climates may have faded or chipped paint and hardened furniture. Unless you really want to reupholster the cabin or get a new paint job, it might be best to avoid buying a used motor home that has too much aesthetic damage.
Get the VIN number and run a check for accident reports. Hopefully, you’ll be purchasing your pre-owned coach from a reputable dealer or an honest private seller, but it never hurts to be overly careful. Don’t take their word for it, run the report and find out the information you want for yourself.
Find out about the standing of the manufacturer’s warranty. In many cases, the warranty only applies to the original owner of the motor home. The current owner may tell you that the coach is still under warranty, and while that may be true, it won’t matter much if the manufacturer has a clause that makes the warranty void after resale.
Bottom line: know what to ask and what areas to inspect before considering buying a pre-owned motor home. The more knowledge you have about your potential purchase, the better you’ll be at negotiating a fair deal. Avoid becoming one of those unfortunate people who got burned by buying a “luxury” coach that was ultimately nothing but trouble.
Do you have questions about purchasing a new or pre-owned motorhome or just about the luxury motor home lifestyle in general? If so, please contact us so we can answer all of your questions and concerns!