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How to Buy a Used RV

Affordable, Convenient and Comfortable, a Used RV May be Right for You

Cruising Monument Valley
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Cruising through the Southwest

Cruising on California's beaches
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Cruising on California's beaches

Cruise America!
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Take the family & hit the road!

By Bob Caldarone


Purchasing an RV is a big decision -- literally. At 20 or 30 feet in length, an RV just might be the largest item you'll ever purchase, outside of your home. While there are many factors that should be part of your decision, one of the first choices you'll need to make is whether to buy new or used.

At Cruise America, we've found that a used Class C motorhome is the best choice for would-be road trippers seeking comfort and quality on a budget. Since 1972, we've sold more than 25,000 used RVs to happy campers across the U.S. and Canada. If you're considering buying an RV this year, it's time you learn more about the benefits of buying a used motorhome.

Who should consider a used RV?

The short answer is... everyone. While buying new makes sense for some RVers, most people find they don't need -- or want -- a brand-new model. If you're not sure, ask yourself these two simple questions:

1. How often will you use your RV? If you plan to live in your RV full-time for several years, a new RV may be a good choice. But for most owners who use their RVs a few times a year -- or even once or twice a month -- a used RV still has plenty of life left in it. In fact, a well-maintained, refurbished RV can easily last for 200,000 miles -- or more.

2. How much can you afford? New RVs are quite expensive, ranging from more than $40,000 for a small Class C model to millions of dollars for a bells-and-whistles luxury Class A. At a fraction of the cost of a comparable new model, a used RV may allow you to purchase the model of your dreams without breaking the bank.

What are the benefits of buying used?

A used motorhome has many benefits over high-priced new models -- if it's well maintained and mechanically sound. Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider a used model:

1. Nationwide company with a reputation to protect and a strong interest in making sure you are pleased with the purchase. Cruise America depends on happy campers to spread the word for future sales.

2. Does your vehicle come with a warranty or protection plan? A well-maintained used RV should still have plenty of life in it, but that doesn't mean it won't need care down the line. The best used motorhome dealers will offer some protection with your purchase, such as the 12-month, 12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty offered at Cruise America. In addition, reputable dealers often have partnerships with service companies, allowing you to purchase affordable mechanical protection coverage during the sales process.


3. What kind of maintenance has been performed? Before you buy, make sure scheduled maintenance has been performed on your RV. From tire changes and belt replacements to major repairs, regular maintenance and care plays a large role in how long your used RV will last. For example, at Cruise America, each used RV we sell has been professionally maintained since day one as part of our rental fleet.


4. Has the RV been inspected? There's nothing worse than buying a used car and realizing the brakes are shot a week later. Except discovering the same thing during your first family RV trip. A reliable used RV dealer should always offer a complete inspection. Here at Cruise America, your motorhome won't leave the lot without our 110-point bumper-to-bumper, tires-to-roof inspection.


5. Does the dealer offer financing or payment options? Not only is financing an RV a major decision, but it can also add unneeded hassle to your shopping process. Reliable RV dealers should have financing options available onsite, either through the dealer or through lending partnerships with reputable financial institutions.

Buying a used RV doesn't have to be risky. In fact, with these tips, it can be a rewarding, exciting experience. Don't spend too much for a new RV -- make the logical choice with a high-quality used motorhome.

Bob Caldarone, Cruise America, Inc.

Cruise America
Bob Caldarone is Cruise America's Asst VP of Marketing. Bob joined the Cruise America team in 1985 as Marketing Director. He has witnessed 1st hand the vast improvements in RV manufacturing on both chassis and coach portions, making today's used RV better than ever. In addition to marketing functions at Cruise America, Bob serves as the company's representative to the industry's GoRVing coalition and industry committees charged with spreading the RV lifestyle message.

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