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M&M Smith

Buying sight unseen

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I've recently accepted a position as a traveling Medical Technologist. My wife and I have decided that full time rving is the way to go. It will save us money in the long run, and provide stability for the kids. We cant travel to see all the rv's we've look at and I'm wondering how common is it to buy an RV without actually walking through the unit.

Michael and Mariah

 

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I’m sure that it has been done. Are you looking at buying from a dealer or individual? A dealer would be safer in my book. Lots of pictures or even a live stream walk around inside and out, plus having you pay for an inspection by a reputable RV mechanic. Best of luck and welcome to the lifestyle.

Edited by rynosback

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We will help you all that you are able.

There is really no way to remove the large risk of buying an RV without ever having seen it completely, but it can be mitigated to a degree. Many people do buy from places like RV Trader or others but most do not actually close the deal until they have actually seen the RV. One way to remove much of the risk is to hire a professional to inspect the RV. If you can't find an inspector, most mobile RV techs will also do an inspection for you. There are dealers who sell used RVs to people from outside of the USA but in most cases there is some sort of contingency for approval after arrival. In such cases the dealer may provide a period of warranty or they may sell or enclude an extended warranty contract in the purchase price. I have no way to know how often someone does buy an RV without first seeing it, but my best guess is that it would be very rare. One thing that you also need to know is that there have been many cases of someone advertising an RV that does not exist and then dissappear with the money if someone does send money without seeing the RV. 

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We did that one time and one time only and it wasn't a good outcome. It was a new rig and we thought the floor plan was workable but as it turned out it wasn't for us so we ended up ordering a new trailer after 11 momths, that was a very very expensive mistake. There is nothing like bring in a unit to get the feel of it, before we ordered we found a unit that we wanted but the dealer didn't want to deal and we wanted some added options, 16 years latter we still have the rig we ordered 😁

Denny 

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9 hours ago, M&M Smith said:

I've recently accepted a position as a traveling Medical Technologist. My wife and I have decided that full time rving is the way to go. It will save us money in the long run, and provide stability for the kids. We cant travel to see all the rv's we've look at and I'm wondering how common is it to buy an RV without actually walking through the unit.

Michael and Mariah

 

I've bought two RV's sight unseen and both turned out to be great buys that I made money on when I sold.  However, I think it depends on the amount of risk you're comfortable with.  Both of my buys were relatively small investments, a truck camper and a small travel trailer.  I was willing to take the chance and absorb the loss if it came to that. 

On one of them I actually asked a fellow forum member to go look at it and take some photos for me.  It was in his neighborhood.  He did, and I sent him a token sum in appreciation.  It was understood that I would in no way hold him responsible for my decision.  He was happy to do it.

There's no way I would buy a $200,000 motorhome without going to see it first.  The cost of an airline ticket is fairly cheap compared to how much loss you could take on a bad purchase.  I guess common sense and good instincts helps a lot too.  If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

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Consider reading ads for RVs that are near you, and choosing a handful that sound fantastic. Then go see them in person. The way they appear in an ad and the way they appear in real life are very different things. I would not buy an item that expensive and that notorious for having 'hidden issues' without spending time in it first, with a checklist in hand. Then, I'd have the one I was most sure about inspected by a professional. I suspect it could save a LOT of financial pain.

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There is no way I'd buy sight unseen and I'm not even talking the condition. Don't know if you have RVed before but if you are going to fulltime in it, remember floor plan, floor plan, floor plan. Could look like the best thing since sliced bread. You will be it 24-7, any glitch in the floor plan will raise it's ugly head and only gets worse over time!

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More so with a family than a couple, I think you really need to get everyone inside.  You'll want to figure out where everyone and their things will go.  Storage is a real issue, and you need to see the width and depth, and make sure that when you open it, there isn't already one of the RV systems taking up substantial room.   I don't think you said whether you were going to buy new or used, but used might be more challenging than new at a distance.  So many RVs are about the same anyway, and "unique" floor plans.......I'd stick to traditional that have worked.   I worked in the office of a factory direct manufacturer and they allowed for a lot of customizing, which met the person didn't really know what it would be like, other than from a drawing and see "close" examples of others units until they arrived to pick up the finished product.  Once inside they really got a feel for what they had bought, and some were not delighted with their expensive decision.  Also, since maybe you would be working the night shift with family in tow, make sure you choose with that mine putting distance between the bedroom and family noise as no matter how quiet one tries to be in an RV, it is a small space even with larger units.

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1 hour ago, M&M Smith said:

All this feed back has been amazing!  I feel like we are going into this better prepared thanks to all of you. 

The motto of this organization is "caring and sharing" so that's what we try to do here. I hope everything works out well for you. I think your family will love it once you get on the road.

Linda

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8 hours ago, M&M Smith said:

I feel like we are going into this better prepared thanks to all of you. 

Please feel free to post here with questions of comments at any time and on any RVing related subject. We are happy to help and truly enjoy doing so. And do let us know how your RV search is going.

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