Nerak from Ontario, Canada
(Buying an Older, but Never Used RV)
Hi! I am interested in buying an RV. I've found one that fits my price range and its size is perfect for my family & my vehicle. But, it is a 2007, "never been used." Should I be leery in such a purchase? I live in northern Canada and am hesitant because the owner said he had had it winterized, but then never used it. What kind of problems would one expect with an RV that had, "just sat in the yard" for four years?
Coleen, the RVing editor comments:
You may have just found yourself an excellent deal!
An RV ages, though, even when it just sits there. Here are some things to be aware of and check:
• Tires deteriorate with age. It helps if they have been covered. The date of manufacture is on each tire.
• Rubber roofs can deteriorate and start to leak.
• Pests may have invaded and caused damage in the living quarters and storage areas. And for motorhomes, in the engine compartment.
• Seals may have dried out so windows, vent covers, doors, valves, and slide-outs do not open and close properly.
• Fabric may be bleached by the sun if windows and vents were left uncovered. It's possible the fabric may look fine, but may be suffering from sun rot and will shred when used or washed.
• Batteries may have gone bad through age, phantom loads, or not being properly maintained.
• Generators, ideally, are exercised on a regular basis.
• Leaks and condensation can cause rot. Looks for signs of water spots or water damage.
• The warranty has likely expired. If there is a warranty still in effect, it may not transfer to the new owner.
• For motorhomes, there may be oxidation and degradation of the fuel and fluids. I would think you would want to change them.
These are things you'd likely want to check for on any used RV that you are considering for purchase.
A couple of additional thoughts.... While it may be an unused RV, it is still not a new RV. For your use, that may not make any difference. However, when you trade it in or sell it, the value will likely be based on the year of the RV, not the number of miles on it. And, if you should happen to want to stay in one of the RV parks that has age restrictions on the recreational vehicles it allows, those years sitting unused will count against you.
I'm not pointing these things out to discourage you from buying the unused RV you've found. On the contrary, I'd like to find such a deal myself. Just do some checking and be aware of what could be trouble spots and what things you may need to deal with or replace.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.
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