wikiHow to Buy a Used Camper

Buying a camper can lead to major adventures for your family, but many campers can be costly and out of your budget. Knowing how to buy a used camper, though, can be cost effective and lead to many happy memories for you and your family. You just need to know where to find the best deals and how to purchase the right vehicle for you.


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    Know about campers before jumping into a purchasing decision.
    • Because campers depreciate so quickly, you can purchase a relatively newer model far cheaper than you can purchase a brand new one.
    • Inspecting the camper to make sure that the vehicle has no mechanical problems is key to a good purchase.
    • Purchasing a camper from a private-party seller can often be cheaper than buying off a new or used camper lot, BUT not always...most private party owners will owe money on their campers and will be upside down. So, compare deals that you can get private party with deals at your local dealer.
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    Start your camper search locally by first hitting the classified section of the newspaper, and then follow that up by checking the vehicle inventory of your local vehicle lots.
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    Move to a regional search by doing the same thing, but look up information on the closest large city or metropolitan area around you. The larger the town, the higher likelihood that you will find what you are looking for.
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    Expand your search to a national one by using online tools to help find the best camper for you.
    • Search for a camper by type, make or location at
    • The site lets you look for vehicles being sold both by individuals as well as campers being sold by dealers.
    • Search on the internet for RV Dealers (insert your city here). Most dealers have websites.
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    Contact the seller and discuss price and how you plan to get the vehicle to you. Your best bet, though, is to go to that location and drive the vehicle back home. This will allow you to test drive the vehicle before signing any agreement with the selling party.
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    Check out the camper vehicle before you purchase it.
    • Inspect the chassis for cracked tires, dents, brake line wear, fluid leaks, a properly-mounted hitch, a present spare tire that is in good condition, an up-to-date emissions test and lube points that look properly maintained.
    • Look at the roof for damage or leaks.
    • Check not only the interior of the vehicle but the engine as well.
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    Test drive the vehicle, but also look it over after you have done the drive. You want to make sure that there are no obvious issues such as oil leaks.


  • Another good idea would be auction sites. They sell donated, repossessions and insurance vehicles.
  • If you are simply looking for a fun vehicle but are not necessarily inclined to know how to inspect a camper, bring along a family member, friend or expert to give his opinion on the condition of the vehicle. You want to be 100 percent certain that the vehicle is in quality shape before investing in it. Often times used campers will have hidden problems that can equal huge expenses. A soft spot in the roof, for example, is a common problem that is often not visible unless you look for it. The cost to repair a roof is anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 depending on your repair facilities labor charge and the size of your camper.

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Categories: Recreational Vehicles