"How to buy used motorhomes and the best places to find them"
I regularly get asked for advice on which is the best place to go to get a good deal on a used camper or motorhome. I find it very difficult to answer this because though there are several different ways to buy, through private sellers, auctions dealerships etc each has its pros and cons and in my opinion there is not one method any better than another. In the end, all we need is a good reliable motorhome in good condition at a good price.
Here are the main places you can get used motorhomes
You can often find pretty good deals buying from private sellers. You can normally find adverts in your local press or better still in the specialized motorhome magazines. You need to take care when looking over the motorhome with a mind to buying it. Try and take a mechanic with you and an experienced motorhome owner too will help you to see things that perhaps you might have missed if alone. Take notes and list any repairs or modifications that will need to be undertaken, (there will always be something). You should use these notes later when it comes to negotiating a final price.
These are normally government run auctions where seized vehicles are sold off to the public. Most of the vehicles on sale been seized repossessed for non payment reasons or through bankruptcy proceedings. More often than not you will find vehicles hardly used, in extremely good condition and with very low mileage. Bidding will typically starts at around $100 and at times you will get absolutely amazing bargains with vehicles going for a fraction of their worth. At other times however the bidding becomes intense and the prices get elevated going up to and over the recommended market price for the vehicles. You need to be very careful when buying from auctions and should know exactly what you are doing to make sure you don't end up with a vehicle that is worth less that the amount you paid for it. For more information on this see my article 'motorhomes for sale' which outlines some of the major points to look out for.
If you are interested in attending some of these special auctions then there are a couple of websites that maintain a databases of all of the seized auctions across the country. Regularly updated they contain information on the location and dates of the auctions as well as details of the vehicles that will be available. These sites are U.S. Department of Treasury IRS Auctions and U.S. Marshals Service Auctions.
This is by far the best option for the inexperienced buyer. If this will be your first motorhome then I strongly suggest you consider this option. You will get a great choice of used motorhomes to choose from and will get to look at motorhomes and campers of all sizes an shapes. Buying from a reputable dealership will give you a little more security too. Most offer a guarantee and for a little extra peace of mind you will be able to get an extended guarantee. You should also be able get some sort of financing or payment plan worked out with the dealership too, something that is impossible when buying privately or from an auction. In general the prices at a used motorhome dealership are more elevated than vehicles in a private sales or auctions but this is compensated by the certain amount of security offered. You will still need to take great care that you don't get landed with a vehicle that is nothing but trouble. You need to be just as diligent as you would buying from an auction or a private buyer.
Barry Bushnell covers all aspects of finding and purchasing used motorhomes and campers at http://motorhome.weebly.com/used-motorhomes.html