Buying a Used Camper

If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge into the world of buying a used camper, you might be feeling intimidated. The huge amount of different brands, styles, and prices can be overwhelming. At Modern Trailer Sales, we can help you navigate these stressful waters by easing your mind with expert advice. There’s no reason to break the bank with a new RV when you can get a great deal on a quality trailer that had a previous owner. Fear no more! Just give us a call, or stop by our dealership near Indianapolis and Noblesville, Indiana, in beautiful Anderson.

What to Inspect

Once you’ve found a travel trailer that fits your needs, at the right price, you’ll want to inspect some key things before purchasing:

Before going any further, make absolutely sure that your vehicle has the ability and power to support the weight of the trailer you’re looking at buying! Pulling a camper that is too heavy can cause serious damage to your vehicle’s engine or at the very least, shorten its lifespan.

Then, once you’ve made sure you’re good there, start with your inspection of the trailer itself. Begin with the outside first to check for potential threats to safety. Check the tires for cracking, bulging, and any indicators of misalignment. Make sure that both the brake lights and turning lights are operating correctly.

Next, take a good look at the interior of the camper to see what you might like to remodel, if anything, such as floors and upholstery. Be sure to check for water damage on the ceiling that might indicate leaking from outside, as well as the floors to make sure there are no soft spots, especially in areas like the bathroom and kitchen where water leaks can occur. Open up the storage compartments to check for signs of mold, mildew, or bug infestation.

Spend extra time in the bathroom, where there can be a lot of potential troubles. Make sure that you have a fully operational toilet, then check the shower. Does the frame shake? If so, it means that it might fall off easily when the trailer takes bumps on the road. Make sure any enclosures are water tight, and if there is a fan on the ceiling, check that it works and isn’t obnoxiously loud.

Before leaving the interior, check any other items, such as fans, appliances, the water heater, etc., and make sure that the doors and windows open, close, and lock correctly.

What equipment comes with the used camper? Make sure to check all of it for proper operation and safety. For instance, if there are propane bottles, sniff around for the odor of gas and check for leaks. Travel trailers will often come with power converters, but if they don’t, take note of it and add that to your list of items to purchase. Without a power converter, you will not be able to plug into a 110 volt campsite line without endangering your 12-volt devices and appliances.

General Tips for the First Time Buyer

If you are looking into purchasing your first pre-owned RV camper, there are some general items of advice that we think you should be aware of.

Check your credit score! It should be between good and excellent if you plan on financing.

Make sure to do research on all of the available options that seem interesting to you during your search. Specifications and reviews can be great ways of narrowing your search to only those campers that truly fit your needs.

If you decide to buy your trailer at a used dealer, make sure to go to multiple dealers before making your final decision, and feel free to (in fact, you SHOULD) make multiple counter offers before purchasing. In the case of dealers, shopping during the winter or before tax time will get you better deals, because dealers need to sell vehicles because they have to pay tax on those that remain on the lot in April.

Hopefully, after reading, you are feeling better about this process! Here at Modern Trailer Sales, we’re always happy to offer advice any time you need it. If you have further questions about anything at all, give us a call at (314) 266-6628, and we’ll be more than happy to help out. Also, feel free to stop by our dealership in Anderson, near Indianapolis, Noblesville, Fishers, Carmel, and Muncie, IN!

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