Buying a Used Motorhome RV

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Things to Know When Buying a Used Motorhome RV

A friend and client sent an email today asking for an RV insurance quote on a 2001 Dynamax Corp Isata 270 Motorhome today. Here's my reply:

Is the Motorhome for fun? Have you owned one before?  I'm just asking because there's a lot of "gotchas" with motorhomes and maybe I can help save you guys from potential misery :0 )

In the meantime, I'll look up the average value and create some quote options for you. 

I'm not an expert, actually far from it. But like all current and previous owners of travel trailers, Class A and C Motorhomes, there's a few universal truths that at some point you learn and/or figure out. The first is that Murphy's Law is alive and well when it comes to four (or more) wheel homes of the road. Another is making sure everything perfect before you hit the road so you don't spend the entire time of your trip trying to fix something when the tool that will make the fix easy is at home and not in the tool chest. 

Speaking of tool chests, that's another must-have item when on the road. I used a couple of cheap plastic look-alike ammo cans from Harbor Freight that I picked up for maybe $4 each to hold small tools including screwdrivers, cotter pins, and allen wrenches etc…I bought a Craftsman cordless socket wrench from Sears for the leveling jacks. It's a lot easier to level with the cordless driver than manually turning by hand. Word to the wise though, if you're late pulling in to a RV lot, don't think you can use the cordless socket while others are trying to sleep, or expect some blow back from your neighbors. 

Well, it's hard to know where to even begin….

All systems need to be thoroughly checked. They're likely on the second hot water heater, and if not, expect to replace it for sure. You'll want to look veeeeeeeeeeery closely at all seams and look for water damage and rotting along the bottoms of the walls ESPECIALLY slide-outs. 

If it's a Benz, well….. MB isn't known for being cheap to repair and maintain. There's a place in Altoona (or at least there used to be one) that worked on MB vehicles. If it's local, I would take it there and have them look at it. In fact, I highly suggest someone who knows RVs to examine it. I don't know that much about them or I would offer. I've only had one (30 foot travel trailer) and we did ok on it because I fixed a lot of things (YouTube is good like that) that we didn't spot because we didn't know what to look for.

Dumb things like the evap water hose for the fridge likely needs to be replaced (maybe for the second or third time if they didn't replace it with a good one)

That said, I looked at pictures of that model and it does look sharp and about the right size for you two. It was my bride's idea to buy ours, and I wouldn't have on my own, but I'm glad we did. It was a lot of fun (even if I didn't know it at the time).  OHHHH almost forgot. Tires need to be changed about every three or four years (four is pushing it) even if not driven because of the sun (unless parked out of the sun). We blew tires twice on I94 before I learned that lesson. I can promise you that you NEVER want to blow a tire on the interstate. Don't go too cheap with tires or push them further than four years.

Hopefully this is helpful. Doesn't feel like I actually said that much, but if I think of things I email again.


That's my three minute right off the top of my head thoughts that I want everyone to know. Some things may not appy for any given RV. For example, if yours or the one you're looking at doesn't have wood for framing, the rot and dryrot may not be as large of a concern. Differences in types of hot water heaters can make a huge difference though. Some have metal rods that are "sacrificed" to keep the rest of the tank from corroding as quickly, and some don't. 




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