If you are on a tight budget and can't afford a new model RV you might consider buying a used RV. Here are a few suggestions for finding a used, affordable RV:
1. Check newspaper listings. Look in the listings of your local or state daily paper's classifieds. Most towns and cities have a free shoppers circular that is mostly classified listings.
2. Check for any consignment lots in your area. RV owners who aren't interested in having strangers to their home often will park their RV at a consignment lot.
3. Run a "want to buy" listing in the classified section of your local paper.
4. Watch for campers parked curbside, in driveways, or front yards with "For Sale" signs posted on them.
5. Drive through local RV and Mobile Home Parks and watch for RV's with for sale signs posted on them.
When you find an RV you are interested in purchasing, don't fall in love with it and be too eager to buy. You could regret a hasty decision for a long time. If you aren't familiar with the functioning of an RV, bring a friend along who is. The chances are excellent that there will be one or more (usually more) components not working that will have to be repaired.
Keep a notebook with you when you do an inspection and make note of every fault. You'll find problems, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. RV's can be repaired and you'll use your inspection checklist to negotiate a price on your terms.
It is a good idea to have the owner with you while you inspect the RV so that he or she can observe your inspection notes. When you have completed your inspection you'll likely have a lengthy list of repairs needed. This will be your leverage to make a low-ball offer on the trailer. After all, you will either have to pay for the repairs or live with them as is.
If the RV owner doesn't accept your low offer, don't worry too much about it and go on to the next RV. Give them your name and telephone number and tell them to call you if they change their mind.
Let two or three weeks pass and call them back to see if they have sold the RV yet. They may be very happy to hear from you and accept the offer you made. If you are really interested in the RV, offer a slightly higher price this time. If they don't accept your offer, don't worry about it and call them back in another three or four weeks.
Sooner or later, you're going to pick up a genuine bargain on an RV. You'll have possibly saved quite a bit of money and in the process learned some negotiating skills.
In part 2 of this article, we'll explore the things you should be looking for when you inspect a used RV you're considering buying.
William Smith lived, and traveled fulltime in an RV travel trailer for over 12 years, and maintains a website dedicated to educating people about the RV lifestyle.
Visit http://www.happyvagabonds.com to learn more about RV living.