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Old 03-15-2014, 05:53 PM   #1
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Location: Milwaukee'ish, WI
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New guy going from popup to buying first -used- Travel Trailer, what to look for?

Years ago when looking at new Jayco pop-ups we saw the outback loft for sale at the local dealer and fell in love with it, but it was WAY out of our price range at the time.
Now we finally have the opportunity to buy a nice used 2009 Outback Loft and I'm wondering what we should look for when looking at used travel trailers.
I know my young kids are going to absolutely LOVE the "tree fort" and mom & dad are going to love not having to tear down in the rain only to get home and set it all back up to dry, not to mention the convenience of throwing dirty bikes, chairs, grills etc. in the toy hauler area.
Any general suggestions on what areas to watch out for on used TT's or general thoughts on our beloved 27L model would be much appreciated!
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:08 PM   #2
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Assuming you have a towing vehicle that can safely tow the Outback Loft and all the toys, there are several online sources with different points of view and a decent list of items to look for in a used travel trailer.

Below are a few links with good check lists but it comes down to:

Price: Pay for what you get, get what you pay for. Know what is/not included in the price. Know its utility value v emotional value. Negotiate. Be willing to walk away.

Condition: Know what's working and what is not. Look for damage (Structural/Mechanical/Fire/Water/Electrical/Electronics/Plumbing/Corrosion, etc.)

Location: The closest deal is not always the best deal. When it makes economic sense, travel to buy.

Warranty/Guarantees: Buying from an individual? Consider paying for a dealer/professional inspection before buying. Buying from a dealer? Find out if they stand behind their product and what warranty and guarantees they offer/promise in written as part of the deal.

Internet Search: "buying a used travel trailer what to look for"

Hope it helps! Safe travels & happy camping!

In search of my next RV
SOLD! - 2013 Terrain 299TBH
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:31 AM   #3
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You might start right here. Look for sticky New RV owners checklist.

Welcome to the Forum, lots of great folks here and a lot of useful information.

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Old 03-16-2014, 07:07 AM   #4
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The checklists will help you out, but two big items I would look at immediately, check the exterior walls for any delamination (assuming fiberglass exterior). If they have ripples, waves, bubbles, that is an indicator. Delamination typically starts from water damage. Check the tires, the RV is 5 years old and probably rolling on original rubber. Trailer tires typically don't get enough miles to wear down the tread, but they still break down in strength, it's recommended that they be changed every 3-5 years. If the date stamp on them is more than a couple years old, use it to work a better price. You can probably get a better deal at a tire store than the dealer will try to charge for new tires, so get them to drop their price off of the RV and buy new tires out of pocket.

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Old 03-16-2014, 02:52 PM   #5
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Check for signs of water leaks, dry rot, and the roof for damage/rot. This kind of damage can be expensive to repair.

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Old 03-20-2014, 07:08 PM   #6
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There should be a website where you can check used prices (like Kelly blue book for cars/trucks).
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:02 PM   #7
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Thank you to everyone, all the replies have been helpful.
We have a diesel Excursion and a diesel F-250 so no problems towing one.
NADA said Low book was $21,000 & High book was $25,000 which blows me away since you could buy them in 2010 brand new for under $20,000!
Doesn't matter because the bank says $16,500 and I offered $17,000 for the one we have our eye on. I'll be going to look / pick it up after the first of the month.
First trip to FL already planned either way on the 16th of April, pop-up or Loft I'll be in PCB / Destin area with the family
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