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Old 04-23-2016, 12:00 PM   #1
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Advice on buying a used Motorhome

Something I never see mentioned on here is someone looking at a used motorhome has contacted the previous MH owner. Probably no one would have more information on the condition of a MH than someone who has traveled in it or used it. The previous owner should be able to tell you if there are any problems or shortfalls you should know about. What is good about it or bad about it?
I bought my last two motorhomes from people I knew. I knew how they cared for things and trusted them to tell me about any problems I should be aware of. I have been very fortunate I have had only minor issues which were easily repaired.
If you are buying from a dealer he (or she) should be willing to give you the previous owners information so you can contact them and get a review of the overall condition of the unit you are considering buying. This information could be extremely valuable to you in helping you make a decision of whether to purchase a new to you unit.
Even if you are checking on E-Bay or Craigslist the seller should have paperwork with the previous owner's name and address if he (or she) is a dealer. If you are dealing with the actual owner ask enough questions to feel comfortable they aren't unloading a lemon on you.
Buying used is always a crapshoot. Do as much research as possible before you throw down the cash.
Lynn

Other ideas?
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Old 04-23-2016, 01:00 PM   #2
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I am/was looking at one on consignment from a dealer. They are not supposed to divulge the name of the owner due to privacy laws, though they could get permission to share. I am walking away from my deal due to issues I found in the old records and a few findings on the independent inspection.
My advice, added to the OP's is to always get maintenance and repair records, and an independent professional inspection. The money I spent on the inspection paid itself back several times over. The time I spent on records review was just as valuable preventing a several hundred thousand dollar mistake.
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Old 04-23-2016, 01:17 PM   #3
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I think the best advice is to buy (and sell) without the dealer. The less expensive the Unit, the truer this statement proves to be.

It does take more time, but when you find the right one, you will know.

We ordered our new Motorhome from the best priced dealer. We sold it ,after 2 years to an individual. We bought our used trailer (had withdrawal) , and all our transactions worked out fine.
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Old 04-23-2016, 01:40 PM   #4
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I believe the problem with the dealer giving you the previous owners info is that it would violate privacy laws. However, you should be able to have the dealer contact the previous owner and have them call you. That's assuming they even have that info to start with.
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:13 PM   #5
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That's assuming they even have that info to start with.
I believe the dealer would have to have a clear title in hand with the previous owner's name on it before he could sell anything? Otherwise how would he know there were no liens against the RV? Or if it was stolen? If someone wants to be hush hush I would suspect something is not right and I would walk away from the deal. Maybe the previous owner had a serious problem he didn't tell the dealer about or the dealer knows about it and is hiding it from you.
I don't sell cars or trucks but own an independent repair shop. Too often I see vehicles bought on Craig's list or other venue from an independent owner which are absolute junk. The unsuspecting buyer has no recourse and is stuck with what he or she bought. Most states have some sort of lemon law if you buy from a dealer. If a dealer won't offer any sort of warranty I wouldn't walk. I'd run.
Checking these laws should be automatically part of a buyer's homework especially if buying out of state.
It's too bad we can't trust someone at their word but we can't anymore. It's just the way it is.
Lynn
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:58 AM   #6
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I would never buy a used MH from a dealer. I only buy from the person that owned, drove and maintained the RV.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:21 AM   #7
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We have bought four RVs. Two from dealers, two private parties. One dealer experience was very good, the other very bad. Both private party experiences were very good. Overall I would much prefer to buy from private party. You then have some insight into previous usage and care.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:26 AM   #8
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I've sold plenty of RVs privately. If you think a private sale gets you full disclosure, think again. My motive was selling, not a partnership with the buyer. I didn't lie, but I didn't embellish on any history of repairs or trouble.
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:44 AM   #9
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I've sold plenty of RVs privately. If you think a private sale gets you full disclosure, think again. My motive was selling, not a partnership with the buyer. I didn't lie, but I didn't embellish on any history of repairs or trouble.

Agree. Note that I commented 'some' insight gained by buying from private party. (-:
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:57 AM   #10
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Dealers do not want a prospective buyer to speak to the previous owner.

Dealers go through their used RVs with a fine tooth comb and remove any paperwork that contains the previous owners name.
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