A lot of things have changed in the past few years, from the way we travel to the types of vacations we plan. Perhaps one of the biggest changes is the skyrocketing popularity of RV living and exploring.
In the fall of 2020, roughly 61 million Americans reported to the RV Industry Association that they planned to take an RV trip within the next year. A quarter of these respondents stated that they were likely or very likely to purchase an RV within the next year.
Now, in 2021, RV ownership is at a record high of 11.2 million households. People want the option to travel safely, without the hassle of booking hotels, sacrificing comfort, or worrying about cancellations. Buying a used RV (or a new one) is a great way to do just that.
Are you thinking of making your own family memories in a motorhome? Here are six checklist items that will help you learn what to look for when buying a used RV and if it’s a good purchase.
✓ Obtain the Previous Owner’s Information
Any time you’re shopping for a used product, including an RV, you need to learn about the current owner and the item’s history. If you’ve found a previously owned RV you like, ask the seller:
– Are you the current owner? If not, who is?
– Where did this RV come from before this? A dealership?
– What is the RV’s VIN number?
Don’t take the seller’s word at face value. If possible, use the VIN number and any other available information to do a little research. You can usually contact the DMV for ownership details or use an online database to obtain a vehicle history report.
✓ Ask About the Mileage and Tires
Because RVs are often driven across the country, or on long trips, there’s a good chance the RV’s current tires have covered a lot of land. That’s why our second tip for buying a used RV is to ask about the vehicle’s mileage and tires. Even better is asking to see tire mounting and rotating records. Some Class B and C motorhomes tires have a mileage warranty so you need to understand how many miles the tires are into that warranty.
It is imperative to inspect the tire’s physical appearance. Is the tread worn down below near 2/3? Check for cracks, bubbles, dent or any physical damage to the tire sidewalls Answering these questions will give you an indication of how well the current owner has maintained both the RV and its tires.
If the tires are in poor shape, you will want to take that into account when negotiating the price or request that the current owner replace them before you buy. Always verify the tires on the RV are rated properly for the load rating of the RV. Sometimes people replace tires with less expensive tires when selling and a tire that does not have the proper load index and ply rating can be dangerous for all those in the vehicle and potentially others on the road.
Tires Easy Trucks Recommendations for RV Tires
Should you decide to buy a used RV that needs a tire replacement, we’ve got a couple of suggestions for you. Here are seven options from the top RV tire brands on the market. You need tires you can trust, and these are all highly reliable and durable.
Our first recommendation is the Cooper Discoverer HT3, a premium light truck commercial highway that’s a perfect fit for Class B and C motorhomes. It gives drivers an excellent amount of traction in both wet and dry conditions. The tire also features:
– Lateral grooves for improved handling
– Interlocking tread elements for stability
– Construction elements that resist irregular wear
If you’re looking for an RV tire that will last for years to come and get you to your final destination safely, this is a good choice. The Cooper Discoverer HT3 starts at $155 per tire.
– A new tread rubber formulation for longer tread-wear
– Re-designed casing with three belts for strength
– Improved rigidity for excellent handling
The Toyo Open Country H/T is a versatile tire for both RVs and high-torque diesel trucks towing trailers. It starts at $127 per tire.
– A solid center rib for even tread wear
– Circumferential grooves that help prevent hydroplaning
– Elements that contribute to a smooth, comfortable ride
When you own an RV, you want to know that its tires can handle a bit of rain and some slippery road. Check out the Goodyear Tires Wrangler HT, which starts at $183 per tire.
– Aramid Sidewall technology that protects the RV from potholes and obstacles
– Durable, cut-resistant sidewalls with stone ejectors
– Environmentally safe materials to minimize waste and emissions
If you’re looking for an RV tire that can provide stability on dry, wet, and slick roads alike, the Nokian One HT might be the right tire for you. It starts at $113 per tire.
– Advanced 4D design and 3D Canyon sipes for strong traction
– Rigid tread blocks and touch upper sidewalls
– An HD badge for heavy-duty construction/hauling capabilities
The Falken Wildpeak H/T02 is one tire you can really trust when pulling heavy loads or driving a large motorhome. It starts at $137 per tire.
– An optimized tire profile to resist uneven wear
– Full-depth lateral slots to reduce the risk of hydroplaning
– Circumferential grooves for effective water evacuation
The Firestone Transforce HT2 is well-known for its rigidity and ability to maintain a biting grip on snowy or slick roads. It starts at $148 per tire.
– Extra thick tread rubber and robust under belt materials
– A tread pattern that stays soft in cold weather
– Durable sidewalls for heavy-duty strength
When you purchase the Bridgestone Dueler H/T 685, you can rest assured that you’re choosing a tire that will last for many years to come. It starts at $160 per tire.
Now, let’s get back to the checklist for buying a used RV.
✓ Look High and Low for Damage
Don’t just assess the tires for signs of wear and tear. Look for signs of water damage, rust, dents, cracks, and other problems throughout the motorhome. Although many of these issues are repairable, some are not, such as extensive water damage or major undercarriage issues.
✓ Test All the Electric Amenities
Electrical problems are all too common in motorhomes, especially older ones. You’ll need to check all of the various appliances and connections to understand what you’re working with.
We recommend testing light switches, kitchen appliances, the air conditioning, and any power buttons – including the ones that trigger exterior lights, levelers, and water heaters and pumps.
✓ Climb Up on the Roof
Next up on our used RV inspection checklist is a step many shoppers don’t take – and that’s a mistake. A damaged roof on a used RV can cause you a lot of pain later on down the road.
Ask the seller’s permission, then climb up on the RV’s roof to look for dents, possible leaks, and any areas where water is pooling. If you spot any of these issues, you may want to look for a motorhome that’s in better shape.
✓ Ask for Warranty and Maintenance Reports
This is a big one – especially if you don’t fully know how to inspect an RV on your own, as most of us don’t. You need to understand what problems will be covered by warranty and which ones have already been addressed via maintenance and repairs in the past.
If the seller does not have any maintenance records on hand, or if the warranty is already passed, you should request a professional RV inspection. You may also want to consider purchasing your own extended warranty to protect your finances, should problems manifest in the coming years.
✓ Take It for a Test Drive
Finally, our last tip for buying a used RV: don’t forget to take it on a test drive before making any commitments. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying from a used motorhome dealership or an individual – you need to see how it rides, parks, turns, and more.
There you have it – a simple but effective checklist to use when you want to buy a used RV. These tips will help you assess the state of the motorhome and determine what expenses it might incur in the future.
If you wind up needing new RV tires for your motorhome, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tires Easy. We’re here to help drivers of all vehicles, including RVs, find the right tires for their needs.
Call 1-855-978-6789 or send us a message online to get started. Our tire team is happy to help you make the most of your motorhome buying and driving experience.