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Buying without seeing


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Are you an experienced RVer? Is the RV a motor home? What is the value of the RV? I would personally inspect it first and if I liked the RV and it passed my inspection then have it professionally inspected. If your knowledgeable on RVs you might not need further inspection. If it has a motor get professional drive line help after you determine the RV fits your needs. The more expensive the RV is the more I'd want professional help. Based only on your one sentence question and info provided I'd say bad idea. Greg

Greg & Judy Bahnmiller
Class of 2007
2014 F350
2007 HitchHiker Champagne

Both sold 2/19, settled in Foley, AL after 12 years on the road


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It really depends on your level of expertise. I have bought 2 from afar - one that I flew in to inspect and then came back later to pick up, and another that I wired money for sight unseen without any inspection. The latter was a "roll of the dice" that worked out for me - but something you definitely have to have the stomach for.


The only caveat I had in the bill of sale was "Seller represents that the condition of the vehicle had not materially changed since described on xxxxxxxxxxxx"


Both were private party purchases and exactly what I wanted at the right price.


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I have known a few people who have done a deal without having seen the RV purchased and more of them report a good experience than bad, but I do know one whose deal was a disaster and another who still regrets the purchase. It is rather a gamble and part of the issue is the amount of trust that you have in the people who do that inspection. If you have a professional RV inspector who makes their living from the business of inspections, then I'd give it a pretty good shot of being a good buy, in terms of value. But what about your ability to choose an RV that will satisfy your needs and comfort based upon pictures? You and your spouse (assuming you have one) need also to be happy with the RV for a long time and that can be just as important as the condition of the RV in question.


I would not be comfortable buying any RV before I ever saw it, but there are those who have done so and been happy. Only you can make the call.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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I bought my Safari Trek from PPL without seeing it.


I felt that as they are a consignment operator their descriptions were likely to accurate. They were very good about answering my questions and providing additional photographs.


I also had an independent mechanic check it over.


The only issue was the dash A/C which had been desribed as working and was not when the delivery co picked it up. PPL arranged for the repair on the sellers dime.

FT since September 2007

Safari Trek + M/C


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I hired a professional rv inspector in TX online before I flew there from NY to look for myself. Inspector missed major expensive issues that were very obvious if they knew what to look for. The inspection company refused refund. I disputed $300 I paid w PayPal and they sided with inspection company because it was a service and they showed up and performed that service.


I would not buy sight unseen unless you have it inspected by someone you know you can trust to do it right.


If you plan to do inspection yourself, make sure you know what to look for. Read, view YouTube videos, and try to find someone locally who can show you what to look for before you make the trip.


Unfortunately, there are both folks you can't trust selling rigs with issues, and I would have to give some folks the benifit of doubt that they did not know there was a problem, such as their mold smell was because the floor of a slide was rotted away to mush.





2001 Volvo 770, Detroit 60 Series, Gen 2 Autoshift

Passenger assist elevator to enter cab - for when we need it, or sell it?

'05 Travel Supreme Select 40 RLQSO 5th wheel

2016 smart car


We started full timing on December 1st 2014

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness - Mark Twain
Not all that wander are lost - J. R. R. Tolkien

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I would not do it but that has nothing to do with what others may choose t o do.

Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky

SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

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It just may be the old saying "that you get what you paid for." As an RV community we often think and believe that most folks are like us, honest and truthful. That may not be the case. But, in all my years I still want to believe that most folks are honest. Correction, unless they are an elected official. Just look at Washington.


That said I would never buy without seeing and an inspection by a pro..


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Never ever for us.

We just came from a trip across the country and looked at several motorhomes that we know we want. We saw one that was described as in excellent condition and it was pretty bad when we saw it (heavily overpriced too as owners are upside down), cabinets doors were falling off, ladder came off when touched, fridge did not work, one A/C did not work - to name a few. Now we know for sure not to trust anyone except for ourselves. We are very thorough and know what we are looking for. Inspector - who knows how good he is at his job? after all he is not looking at this RV for himself.

2009 Dynamax Isata 26ft

Honda Helix scooter

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I would not buy sight unseen. If I could not personally put my eyes and hands on it, or get a trusted and experienced friend to look it over, I would pass.


I am picky and want it right. When we have sold an RV ourselves, I was up front with the potential buyer and told them on any issues that we knew about. But I maintain my RVs and vehicles.



Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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Even at PPL, we have seen some listed as Excellent or VG Plus that were not. Obvious signs of a leak. The seller has some input into the rating and some sellers are not so honest.


Many are priced high because the seller is up-side down on the RV and does not have the cash to bail them out.



Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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Even at PPL, we have seen some listed as Excellent or VG Plus that were not. Obvious signs of a leak. The seller has some input into the rating and some sellers are not so honest.


When we sold through PPL one of their people went through our rig with a checklist to make the listing. When we reviewed her posted listing we discovered she wrote manual leveling because our automated system was not where she expected it to be. We are all human so mistakes are not uncommon.


Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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We've purchase one new and two use sight unseen. The new one gave us more heartaches than the used ones. Simply because we expected issues with the used ones.But if you haven't got a few dollars put aside and have high expectations then don't even think about it. It's a calculated gamble.


But there again I know folks who purchased new, after inspecting the unit, and still purchased a lemon!!! No guarantees in the RV world.



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We bought our present coach after seeing it described online, then talking to the seller, and finally driving 300 miles one-way to see it. I didn't pay anyone to inspect it, but since several Foretravel people had personal knowledge of the coach and shared with me, I felt that we could trust what we saw.


A couple of months ago we looked at a possible next coach. The description sounded good, and the seller said it was in great shape. We drove over to take a look, and it there was obvious damage in several places which hadn't been mentioned either in the ad or on the phone. The seller also stated that the (high) price was firm. As far as I know the coach never sold.


My suggestion is that if you find a coach that is a great distance from you AND you have reason to think that it will sell quickly, send the seller a non-refundable deposit of a couple hundred dollars to hold the coach for 10 days. Hire a reputable inspector to check it out for you and get you the report. If it still sounds good, send an additional REFUNDABLE deposit to hold it for you pending your personal inspection. If the coach matches the inspection report the deposits apply towards the purchase price. If it doesn't match, you get the refundable deposit back. You bring a bank's check for the purchase price (less the deposits) and the seller has the title and bill of sale ready for you. You drive the coach home.

David Lininger, kb0zke
1993 Foretravel U300 40' (sold)
2022 Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS

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The problem with selling to some one with a "Bank Check" or a Cashiers check, is these are easily counterfeited.


It is best to do a bank to bank wire transfer.



Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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I have personally bought two class A RVs in recent years via eBay, including my current one. What I did was contact the seller with a list of questions, everything from delam to the condition of the undercarriage. About 25 questions including mechanical and tire date codes. During the auction I placed an ad on Craigslist in that market for a mobile mechanic to do a spot inspection with photos. After I won the auction, I sent out the mechanic with the same list of questions I sent to the seller and he checked it and gave me a pictorial report. If the two verified, I made the deal -- both times they did. Best $75 I ever spent was on this mechanic insurance!


You never know what you're in for in the used market, but as a rule of thumb, if you find a coach that needs a lot of little things fixed, it probably wasn't maintained mechanically either! A well maintained coach is not hard to find. There are a lot of us out here that treat our coaches like our children. My only other suggestion is to buy from a private owner who knows the coach. They'll be happy to tell you about all the money they've spent on upgrades and maintenance, and you'll get an idea of how well cared for it was by the owner himself.

2004 Coachman, F-53, 36'

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