How We Chose Our Used Motorhome
RV Life and Travel Blog by Coleen
(What We Looked for When Buying a Used RV)
We Looked for a Used MH - Bought This LazyDaze
What do you look for in buying a used motorhome? We've answered questions before about what you should look for when shopping for used RVs. I'd like to tell you that we have a checklist, a handy list of things we carefully examine before making the purchase. But, we don't. Before buying a used RV, it is wise and prudent to take it to a knowledgeable RV mechanic and have him do a thorough inspection. We don't do that, either.
We bought another used motorhome last fall. We aren't fond of the drive from Alaska, through Canada, to the Lower 48. So, we took the Alaska Marine Highway from Whittier, Alaska, to Bellingham, Washington. The cost of taking a vehicle on the ferry trip depends on the vehicle length. It is much cheaper to take a small car than a long recreational vehicle. So, we decided to leave our travel trailer and Suburban in Alaska, and take a short SUV on the ferry. That meant when we reached Bellingham, we needed to go used RV shopping.
We went to a few RV dealer lots. We wanted an older campervan, or maybe a small motorhome. Well, really, we wanted a campervan or motorhome that didn't cost much. They didn't have anything in our price range.
We kept going, traveling from Washington to South Dakota in the SUV. We stopped at RV dealers along the way. We didn't find what we wanted within the budget we'd set.
Camping World outside of Rapid City, SD came close. We found one there that we thought would work. The price was more than we hoped to pay, but was within reach. We took it for a test drive. Bob liked the way it ran and the way it handled. It had a residential refrigerator that we didn't like, because we do a lot of boondocking. We can replace a refrigerator, though, so that wasn't formidable. The main drawback was the length. It
was too long. We wanted something 18 to 24 foot long; this one was 28 feet.
We were tired of packing stuff in and out of motels. We missed having our home with us. We were soon heading to visit family that doesn't welcome our dog and cat inside. Maybe the extra space would be handy....
Sitting in the motel, on a lark, I checked the local Craigslist. What were the chances there'd be a small, not very expensive motorhome or campervan for sale?
But there was! A 22-foot LazyDaze Class C Motorhome. It met three of the necessary requirements right off the bat. The length was right. The price was within budget. It was only a few miles away.
I called to see if we could look at it, and off we went. It looked decent enough. We took it for a test drive. We offered a few hundred dollars less than the advertised price. We signed paperwork and drove it away. It took little over an hour from the initial phone call to when we returned to where we were staying.
Buying a motorhome that is nearly 30 years old, we knew Bob would need to do some work on it. Much of it was maintenance, such as resealing the roof. We've replaced things that we could have gotten by without -- the step, a Fantastic fan, a couple interior lights.
As for what we look for, signs of leakage and the condition of the tires. I look for water damage and avoid RVs with obvious stains or newly painted ceilings. Bob checks the tires. If we need to replace tires, we need to add that expense into the cost of buying the RV. We listen to our gut reactions.
We comfortably traveled and lived in it all winter -- and plan to go back to it in September.
So that you don't need to ask.... It is a 1987 and we paid $4,600 for it.