Purchasing an RV is a great investment; however, you should look for ways to conduct due diligence on your purchase. For instance, you can find information on the history of the RV on vehicle databases online, such as Carfax, depending on the model of motorhome you want. Whether there is a Carfax for RVs or not, I understand it is a matter of concern that requires your attention.
So, is there a Carfax for RVs? There is a Carfax for RVs, but the information you will get may be limited. To access this information, you will need to log in to their site at a fee. After subscribing to their services, you can check as many vehicles as you want on Carfax using the VIN. The report you will access will show you when the initial owner purchased the RV, mileage, mechanic reports, and details about its transfers to the previous owners. However, you should note that Carfax will only avail the information it has received from relevant parties, and, at times, the information may not suit all your needs.
When purchasing an old vehicle like a RV, it is worth understanding its history in detail as you may not get it from the immediate seller, especially if the vehicles has had two to three owners before you. For this reason, you will need a VIN to check your RV.
A VIN enables you to see all the technical specs of the vehicle you are interested in. This number is unique to each vehicle. With a VIN number, you will know your vehicle’s accident history and the damages it sustained in all of them, the vehicle ‘s odometer readings, and whether the reported data is true.
Using the VIN, you will also learn about the recalls and defects of the vehicle, whether the vehicle is on loan, damages on the vehicle caused by natural phenomena such as floods, fire or hailstorms, vehicle specifications, and theft and recovery records.
Given that almost all vehicles have a VIN, there is no standard place on your motorhome where you can look for this number. As such, it may be tricky to trace this number for an RV you are interested in. Therefore, you can start by checking the RV title in question, and you could find the VIN listed in this information.
If you cannot find this number on the title, check it on the body of your RV or under it, but, ideally, you will not have to undergo this hassle trying to find it. Once you find this number, note it down well without omitting any detail. All the letters in a VIN number should be capitalized, and you should not mistake numbers with letters. You will use this number to access the report of the RV you are interested in.
As an interested buyer, you may choose to access the RV’s VIN report for free or pay for a full report. Your seller may speed up this process by printing the report beforehand. Doing this portrays a seller as reliable and the vehicle to be seemingly safe and secure.
Paying for a full report is beneficial as you will learn all important information from the past life of your motorhome. However, it is advisable to order a free report of all the vehicles if you have an interest in more than one variant, after which you can pay for the one you settle for. The past details of a motorhome will affect its safety. Thus, upon learning this, you can either refuse the purchase or negotiate the price.
Lastly, when looking at the VIN report, you should be keen on whether the RV is suitable to be used within the US. A motorhome with a VIN number consisting of 17 characters, both letters, and numbers, is suitable for use in the US. Such a VIN number will not have letters I, O, and Z in the code. Thus, if an RV has a longer or shorter code or comprises any of the above letters, it is best to look for another alternative. Also, vehicles produced before 1980 will have a different code as manufacturers started using the 17 number single standard from 1980.
Is it Worth Buying an Old RV?
Generally, most buyers believe that an old RV could be better constructed than the new models and cost less. Others will go for old motorhomes for historical purposes or because they do not mind the cost of refurbishing. Whatever your reasons are, it is worth noting both the benefits and disadvantages of buying an old RV as a smart buyer.
Depending on your budget and preference, buying an old RV may be worth it. However, just like any other vehicle brand, buying an old RV can result in many things going wrong. This is especially the case for luxury coaches, which have many amenities in them.
Among the problems of buying an old RV include non-functional or poorly functioning airbags, worn-out tires, rust, engine problems, fogged windows, damaged mirrors, stained or worn upholstery, and faulty drawers and cabinet doors among other technicalities.
It is possible to fix the above problems, but the cost can be overwhelming and unworthy of investing. Furthermore, by the time you finish the refurbishing process, you might end up paying more than the cost of a new RV. Worse off, you will still drive an old RV, and you will likely have more ongoing problems. Thus, to be safe, it is worth investing in a new RV and cut down on the repair and maintenance costs.
Where Can You Look Up Your RV Travel History Using the Vin Number for Free?
Buying a used RV makes economic sense, but you should not dive into a purchase without full details. Unfortunately, some details may likely miss out on Carfax, requiring you to check with other sources. There are several databases you can use to access details about your RV for free using the VIN.
To find out your RV travel history for free, consider using online databases such as VehicleHistory.com, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and NICB VINCHECK.
On these websites, you will access details including who built the RV, where and when it was manufactured, and the trim code, among other details. With Carfax, you may need to pay close to 40 dollars for a single report. While this seems like a good investment, it is even better if you can access similar or more detailed information at zero cost.
VehicleHistory.com is a free site that compiles its VIN report from researches from several public databases. This makes it more reliable as it details the car specifications better than other sites. On the other hand, the NHTSA Recall Database focuses more on RVs with VINs and certified to drive in North America.
Vehicle manufacturers in America supply their recall data to NHTSA VIN Database, and their reports will show all unrepaired open recalls. Compared to VehicleHistory.com, NHTSA Recall Database offers fewer details. On the positive, their reports show whether the vehicles were repaired or not, enabling you to make a wiser purchase decision.
If you are worried about insurance claims before purchasing a motorhome, then NICB VINCHECK has got your back. This database tracks stolen, salvaged, or RVs considered and reported as a total loss by an Insurance Company. The insurance company, in this case, should be a member of NICB.
Water damage, for instance, can be disastrous in an RV in the future, yet you may not always see it. However, the good news is that NICB VINCHECK will alert you if there is any significant insurance claim payment. One disadvantage with the NICB VINCHECK is that it provides a list of all the vendors below their results. These vendors charge a fee for researching the VINs, yet most will provide the information you would get at VehicleHistory.com.
Vincheck.info offers similar services like VehicleHistory.com, but their site is slow; hence, frustrating to navigate. Despite this, their data is accurate; hence, worth your time. This site also acts as an alternative when VehicleHistory.com is unavailable. In addition, the site uses graphs, enabling users to make future estimations before making their purchase decision.
In addition to the above free databases, you can also check with your DMV, car dealerships, and other online VIN databases. Your local DMV can access more databases and legal records with vehicle information than you can. Thus, you can visit them or call them regarding the motorhome you are interested in, and they will give you the details. Your DMV might ask for your identification details and a small fee before relaying the information. However, this may vary depending on your State.
If your DMV cannot get the history report, consider a local dealership specializing in the type of motorhome you are looking for. While doing this, ensure that such dealerships have ties with the manufacturers of your specific brand.
Otherwise, you may not get relevant help from them. A good dealership will look into the report or contact the manufacturer to find the details for you. This may take a little longer, and you should be patient to avoid purchasing a motorhome that will cause a financial disaster in the long run.
Finally, databases such as faxvin.com are also suitable sources of information regarding your motorhome’s history. While these sources are good and convenient, the DMV and related dealerships remain the most reliable paid options for getting an accurate history of your RV. RVs are challenging to track down, but with patience, you will find the ideal historical report.
How Can I Safely Buy an RV?
Buying a used RV saves you a great financial deal if you do it the right way. By scrolling through several databases online, you will get information about the RV you are interested in using the VIN. However, you should be careful during purchases to avoid future financial losses.
To safely buy a used RV, you will need to inspect it before purchase, paying close attention to some details. These details include the ceiling, floors, screws, and exterior panels. When checking the ceiling and roof, you should look for the growth of mold, visible leaks, and brown spots. These are usually signs of water damage. While such problems are repairable, you risk exposure to costlier problems in the long run, and it is not worth the expense.
Also, during purchase, you should inspect where the floors meet the walls and, just like with a ceiling, check for water damage signs. You should also check the screws for visible rust or corrosion. Clean screws are a sign of a well-maintained RV. The exterior panels should equally be clean with no corrosion or rotting. Lastly, the walls and roof should be stable, and you can test this stability by pushing them using a fair amount of force.
Inspecting an RV you want to buy is vital, and if your seller denies you this opportunity, it is best to stick to your reservations. Your seller’s reputation is also an important consideration. Buying your RV or motorhome from a trusted seller will give you peace of mind, especially if you suspect your inspection abilities.
Buying a used RV requires you to be diligent and collect relevant information beforehand to guide your purchase decision. With more information, you will make a financially prudent decision when choosing a second-hand motorhome.
Generally, you may end up getting little information on Carfax about RVs, given the nature of data collection. While this holds, you are not limited to how much data you can access online as long as you have the VIN of the motorhome you want to purchase.
With the VIN, you will get both first-hand and third-party information about the car you are purchasing. Thus, as a wise buyer, you should utilize the free resources and paid databases online to get as much information as you can about the RV you are interested in. Before initializing your purchase transactions, you should also inspect the RV to ensure it is in good shape. Transacting with a reputable seller is a bonus in your RV purchase.