Buying Motorhomes from Private Sellers: Things to Avoid


Making a decision on buying a new vehicle can be an exciting one but it can also be a nerve wracking one. The process of looking for motorhomes for sale can be exhausting in itself but so can all the other details of purchasing a vehicle.


Many people like the idea of buying from a private seller instead of a dealership. There can be many reasons for this. Maybe a friend is selling theirs at a cheap price or you like doing business with individuals and not businesses. For some people, it’s the fact that motorhomes for sale at dealerships are more expensive or that there seem to be more loops to jump through and a lot of people like the ease of buying from a private seller—at least that’s what they think.


Unfortunately buying a motorhome from someone who is selling their own vehicle may be a bad idea if you don’t pay attention to some things to avoid. Here are some things that you’ll want to consider before making a purchase from a private seller:

Demand the title to be delivered upon purchase. Don’t be like me. A friend of a friend was selling her car and I went to buy it in full faith that the person was trustworthy and dependable. Instead of taking a friend’s word for it that you’ll get the title soon, write things down in a contract. I’m still waiting for the title to my car to this day—don’t be like me.

Don’t buy the motorhome without it getting inspected. Yes, it’s time-consuming and yes, it can be annoying. But, think of the alternative: you could end up with a piece of junk, even though it looks great on the outside. An experienced mechanic will be able to spot the things that you can’t see. If you’re spending big bucks, it pays to pay attention to the little things in your potential vehicle.

Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. An experienced salesman is going to know how exactly to hook you on a vehicle. If you’re not that experienced at buying motorhomes, you may easily fall into the trap. If you have a friend that is great at negotiation and you want to avoid buying something that you shouldn’t or paying big money for something that could cost way less, ask them to go “shopping” with you. It may be a tiring process but avoiding those skilled salespeople who only want your money is worth it. And, yes, a private seller may know just how to sell their vehicle, even if they aren’t a dealership.

Look for mold. Look as long as possible and as often as possible. Mold could be the detriment to your plan of road tripping all over the country. It can make it impossible for you to live in your new RV and it can wreak havoc on your health. Mold is sneaky. It’s not always evident, so pay as much attention as possible to this when shopping around.

Look for leaks. Leaks can be tricky. How do you know if there are leaks if it’s not raining when you’re shopping. First of all, if there’s mold present, there are probably leaks as well. If you don’t find mold, don’t think that there are no leaks. Look around for water damage and look closely.

Avoid buying a vehicle with rusty parts, whether interior or exterior. When you see rust. Run. Just do it. Don’t buy it. Trust us. It’s not worth it.

If you’re not sure what to look for or how to, ask an experienced person to help. You could either hire a dealer to help you check the one that you want to buy or ask a friend who is knowledgeable about vehicles.

Take a walk on top. Sure, that may sound like it’s unnecessary but it may be the thing that gives away any damage. You can’t see what is going on up there from down below and while there may not be any leaks as of yet on the inside, there could be the beginnings of them on the roof of the vehicle. Go ahead and check the roof out.

In Conclusion

Don’t just buy the first thing you see. That’s the first rule of thumb when shopping for an RV. Always make sure to check out what you’re going to buy so that you don’t spend a hefty amount of money for something that you’re not going to be able to use.


Ask around, do your research, take your time and don’t jump on buying anything without first doing an inspection. There are plenty of motorhomes for sale. If one doesn’t seem up to standard, be patient. You’re bound to find one for the price and quality that you deserve.

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