How to Buy a Used RV
Affordable, Convenient and Comfortable, a Used
RV May be Right for You
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
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
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
Bob Caldarone, Cruise
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.