Buying used travel trailers for sale by owner is a better deal then buying one from a dealership. Dealerships like to mark up their inventory 30 to 40% above their invoice amount. On trade in’s, these mark up’s could be as high as 50%. During good economic times RV dealers make a killing. Buying a travel trailer for sale by owner allows you to cut out the middleman and save a lot of money. The following tricks will help you find more used travel trailers for sale and find the best deals available.
Tip #1 Be vigilant, good deals are everywhere. When you are driving to and from work or when you go shopping, look around for parked travel trailers with “for sale” signs in them. This will increase your buying and finding pool. Also talk to your friends, family and neighbors. The chances are very strong that they will know an owner that wishes to sell their travel trailer.
Tip #2 Don’t be afraid to look and see what is for sale online. There are a lot of RVs listed if you know were to look. One really good source (for bigger cities) is Craigslist. Often I can find more RVs for Sale by owner listed there then I can listed in the newspaper. Again these listings usually expire after one to two weeks. When I hunt for RV bargains, I like to start at the end of the list and work my way forward. There are several other online sources you should check out, but the quality of these sources varies by location.
Tip #3 Check the classifieds and RV and car magazines for travel trailers for sale by owner. I suggest you keep these and call people up two months after they have placed an ad in the paper. Chances are that they will not have sold their travel trailer. Calling them a few weeks after their listing has expired will probably make you the only interested buyer. Plus, waiting a few extra weeks to call them will soften up the price as well. Don’t wait though if the deal is too good to pass up on.
Tip #4 Visit RV trade shows and RV park ‘n sells. When I go to these, I usually spend a few minutes in the parking lot looking for great bargains. You will definitely see a few used travel trailers for sale by owner in the parking lot. In addition, RV shows are a lot of fun and they help you decide what type of RV you want if you are not really sure.
Tip #5 If you are looking for a specific model like an Airstream or a Serengeti, use the search engine to help you find the Make or model of the RV you are looking for. I do not recommend that you buy an RV that is more than 200 miles away, but if you are interested in one, see if the owner wouldn’t mind driving it out to you or if they would be willing to meet you half way.
How to Inspect Used Travel Trailers for Sale
Before you buy travel trailers for sale, you really need to know if you are getting a good deal. Sometimes the price is cheap for a reason. If a travel trailer for sale by owner has a low price, you might think that it is a good deal but you could be wrong. It could be selling at a cheap price, because it is has a lot of things wrong with it. You won’t save yourself any money if you buy a lemon. There are several things that you can inspect and they are as follows:
The first thing that you can inspect is the exterior of the travel trailer for sale by owner. You want to make sure that the travel trailer has not been involved in an accident. Sometimes if they are in an accident they can have a lot of problems show up later on. If it is a fiberglass travel trailer that is in an accident, it is almost impossible to fix it without it being very expensive. The next thing you want to do is inspect the roof of the travel trailer. You want to make sure that there are not any leaks.
Tires – make sure the tires are in good and usable condition. Sometimes tires for motor homes and travel trailers are very expensive to replace. If the previous owners have been neglectful, they may have left their tires exposed to direct sunlight. After a couple of years of direct sunlight, tires can become cracked and eventually ruined. If these need replacing, it can add significantly to the cost of buying a new travel trailer
Check for leaks in the ceiling and around the windows. Also check in the bathroom and kitchen for signs of water damage.
Make sure to check the appliances, especially the water heater, the generator (or batteries) and the refrigerator. Make sure all the other appliances and light are working as well. Also try out the slides (if any) to make sure they work properly. If it is a travel trailer for sale by owner, make sure to ask the owners what types of problems they have experienced with the RV.
What To Do If You Are Not An Experienced RVier?
Now, if you are an inexperienced RVier, or it is your first time buying an RV, then it is best if you bring along someone with a lot of RV experience when you do your inspection. You could bring an auto expert or mechanic with you when you go shopping for an RV. The reason why you should do this is because an auto expert can offer his valuable opinion on whether a used RV or used travel trailer for sale is a good deal, or a lemon. If you go off by yourself without any knowledge or background about RVs, then you could end up spending way too much for an RV that is not worth the price you have paid for. You could end up with an RV that has so many mechanical problems that could cost you hundreds of dollars in repair. So always bring along an RV expert or mechanic to offer a second opinion.