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Buying an RV through a dealer or private seller?

Is there a preference among you guys? I have noticed Rv's are definately cheaper from a private seller, but then you wonder if everything has been checked and if they're being honest about stuff. But dealers have WAY less of a selection of used RV's (which is what I want). But some dealers appear to give you a discount on Good Sam insurance so that's a plus.

And if you prefer private sellers, what is the best way to find them? I know Craigslist has a ton, I also have checked RvTrader. Are there any other good sites to check? What about newspaper ads, good or bad?

If there's a newer or larger RV in the driveway, go for it. If there's a moving van in the driveway, Pass. 🙂
Retired and visiting as much of this beautiful country as I can.

Once you sign the papers you will be on your own, either buying private or from a dealer. The dealer will have some sort of warranty, but only for 60 to 90 days. Why pay retail when in the end all you get is the higher cost.
The dealer will recommend an extended warranty, but you can purchase one if buying privately. We search privately and couldn't find what we wanted, but a dealer who we really regret doing business with; had the one we wanted.
Like I said, once you sign the papers, your on your own.
Make sure all that was agreed to is completed to your satisfaction.
Going private sale means "as is" with limited recourse, but if you make a inspection requirement part of the offer; then you would have an opportunity to make a good deal. Just remember, that you will end up needing to invest more after purchase. How much depends on how good you did your homework before sale.
Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.
Our great American RV hunt lasted 7 mos. and 6 states, lots of fun looking, but even more in enjoying our coach.
"You never fail until you stop trying!!"
My advice is free but I do consider donations

If my 1998 Four Winds 5000 were up for sale it would be in excellent condition with all the upgrades talked about on this forum, including all engine systems, but that's me. I bought it last September from a private party and knew it was a diamond in the rough, and invested another 5k into it. Unless you are really lucky, plan on investing more money after purchase, even if it is top shape. Trust no one, check everything out no mater where you purchase the unit.

I thought this was funny. I had my MH into and RV dealer for the installation of a new Domeitc 320 toilet. While it was there, the service manager told me three people asked if it was for sale. I found this one on Craigslist, eight miles down the road.

1998 Four Winds 5000 Rigby, ID

Check state laws where you live - in my state, purchasing from a private party = no sales tax when registering any vehicle, a huge savings. I always try to buy from private parties if I can find what I want.

I'm not so sure how much dealers check out their used units, jus sayin ...

I have best luck with Craigslist. What's a newspaper? 🙂

I would appreciate seeing a buyer's checklist for us newbees when buying used from you "old heads" who know the ropes, especially when buying from a private seller.