A False Start in Buying Our RV

A False Start in Buying Our RV

00a0a_7ubCMXMe7GU_600x450Alan has been busy finishing up his last physics class. For the last three weeks, he’s been doing 12-16 hours of studying a day (it’s a five week class!). Well, he desperately needed a break last night.

We took the time to look at RVs and had a great laugh. Where else but in an RV can one shower, poop, wash their hands and play fetch with the dogs (sometimes even do laundry!) all at the same time? Okay, I exaggerate….a little. But in addition to the laughs we had over our anticipated future, we found an RV for sale that seemed to meet our requirements.

Just so you know, we understand that “buyer beware”, especially when it comes to buying a used RV. We’ve spent weeks learning how to go about checking out an RV, even figuring out how to get a professional to look one over for us.  We were prepared to demand they hook up the RV and let us pretend for a couple of hours, play with faucets and appliances, crawl under, over and through the vehicle as we checked for leaks and other damage. Alan had his grungy coveralls and gloves. I had my list of questions, notepad, pen, and measuring tape. We were armed and ready to go see this RV.  If it was all that it said it was, we were ready to start the involved process of examining and purchasing our first RV.

“High end luxury,” “you’ll sleep like a king in a king bed which is a rare option,” and “we run across a handful of <used> motor homes that fit our criteria and this is one of them” sounds promising doesn’t it?  The king bed is a rarity (but they exist) and the ultimate reason we decided to take action.

We realize that with a used RV, (well, with any RV) that we’d have to make repairs and upgrades.  We weren’t expecting perfect.  We were expecting used, something to get our feet wet.  Something worth the cost and bother of repair in order to determine if this is the lifestyle we want before we pay for something that depreciates by half the moment we drive it off the lot. If it had been even remotely workable, this was it!

What we found after our almost two hour trip there was a complete rust bucket. Everything was rusted, inside and out, including the generator and diesel engine.  All the chrome inside and out was corroded.  The floor was unsound and warped. The exterior was cracked.  It was a full size bed, not even a queen which is typical.  The guy showing us the RV had the gall to say, “Are you sure it isn’t a king?” Needless to say, we left without doing any more than a cursory once over. We’d already been to one local lot, and for 10k more, could get the same year, use and mileage in unbelievably better condition (and even with a few upgrades)!

We decided that if we learn something from our experience today, then we won’t feel like we wasted four hours of our life. So, this is what we’ve learned.

  1. It’s amazing how they can make something that bad look so good in photographs. Yikes!
  2. This is going to be a process. Yikes, again.
  3. Alan needs to buckle down and stop getting distracted with RV shopping (his words, not my judgement!)
  4. We are going to scour close to home for our RV.  We had originally planned on traveling up to 250 miles to find our newest member of the family. After today, we’ve decided to not waste our time chasing phantoms. The right RV will come along, and be nearby, when the time is right! Even if we have to make it so.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *