The Pros and Cons of Buying Repossessed RVs

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If you're looking for an RV bargain, then there are plenty of good reasons to consider repossessed RVs, as long as you're aware of the downsides.

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There are plenty of repossessed RVs out there. You may find a bargain.

In this article, we look at the pros and cons of buying repo'd RVs, as opposed to buying from well-know dealerships, like Airstream dealers, or RV wholesalers.

So read on, and find out whether repossessions are the option for you, where to find them, and how to finance them.

What's Great About Repossessed Vehicles?

Let's start with the benefits of buying repossessed RVs from RV auctions or RV wholesalers.

First, there's the cost. Repossessions can cost up to 50 percent less than their new or used counterparts bought from an ordinary RV dealer. That means more money in your pocket when you buy.

There are also no hidden costs – the amount you bid is the amount you pay (although there may be finance charges to take into account.)

Another major benefit of buying RVs after a repo is that they're usually relatively new, because they're still under a finance agreement. That means that there are some great used RVs on offer at RV auctions and RV wholesalers.

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What Are the Downsides to a Repo?

There are plenty of good reasons to buy repossessed RVs. But there are also drawbacks that you will need to be aware of before you start looking for your dream vehicle at the RV auctions.

First of all, you will need to make sure that the RV you're buying is in good condition. The vast majority of RVs sold at auction are, but they are usually sold 'as is.' That means that if anything goes wrong, even as you drive it off the auctioneer's lot, you won't be able to make any claims.

The other drawback to buying repossessions is that you will have to take what you can get – if you have your heart set on particular RV types or models, and there isn't one on auction when you visit RV auctions, you'll either have to make do, or go home without an RV.

Buying RVs on auction is usually a waiting game. Yes, you can get great deals, but you may have to visit several RV auctions before you get the vehicle you've been hoping for. RV Parts & Accessories

Used RV values are lower when you buy repossessed RVs. Image used under a Creative Commons license courtesy of at Flickr

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How to Find Repossessed RVs

If you have weighed the pros and cons of buying repossessed, and you've decided that the cost saving outweighs the fact that you may have to buy a second-hand RV, and possibly a model that you wouldn't ordinarily choose. The question is where to find repossessed RVs?

RV auctions are always a good place to look. These are held in most major cities and towns, and you can usually find notifications of when and where they are going to happen in local newspapers and on local websites.

Another great option to find repossessed RVs is to look for RVs that are in foreclosure, but that have not yet been handed over to auctioneers for sale. Talk to banks and finance companies that offer RV finance, and find out if you can be alerted when a RV is repossessed. This is particularly applicable if you plan to use that bank or finance company to finance your RV loan.

RV wholesalers are another good place to start looking for repossessed RVs. These companies are RV dealers on steroids – selling new and used RVs from a variety of manufacturers, in models and price ranges to suit just about everyone.

Pre-Approved RV Financing for Repossessed RVs

If you are going to be looking for the perfect repossessed RV at RV auctions or RV wholesalers, you're going to need to have finance organized before you start bidding – you'll have to pay on the day in most cases, after all.

That's why it's a good idea to shop pre-approved RV loans before you even start looking.

Approach banks and other lenders that offer RV finance, and provide them with the required financial information and your credit report. Ask them to calculate what size RV loan you qualify for, and to tell you what your repayments would be.

Once you have that information, you will know what size RV loan you qualify for, and you'll know upfront what you will be able to bid comfortably when you attend auctions and other events.

Good Advice for Buyers of Repossessed RVs

If you are planning to take advantage of the significant cost savings offered to people who buy repossessed RVs, then there are a few ways you can make sure you get the best deal possible:

  • Find out if there will be a viewing opportunity before the RV auction itself, where you can take a look at the vehicles on offer.
  • Consider taking an experienced and knowledgeable RV mechanic along when you go to view the vehicles on offer. Have them check to make sure that the vehicle you're considering buying is in good mechanical shape, and that you're not going to be saddled with costly repairs soon after you've purchased it.
  • Set a limit or budget that you're willing to bid, and don't let yourself be tempted to go over it. The whole point of buying RVs on auction is to get a great deal, and if you get carried away outbidding other bidders, that might not happen.
  • Don't think you need to buy a repossessed RV at the first auction you attend. If there aren't any models that you really like on offer, rather wait. There will be other repossessed RVs, at other RV auctions, and you'll only regret it if you settle for something that's not what you really want.
  • Spend some time visiting RV wholesalers, too. Often, they have repossessed RVs in their inventory, and you might get almost as good a deal as you would on auction – and you'll have someone to go back to if something goes wrong shortly after you make a purchase!

Buying an RV at auction is a balancing act. You need to balance the risk with the cost savings, and you need to make sure you've done a lot of research ahead of time.

Remember that when you buy at an auction, you're usually buying as is – so if you get a lemon, you might be stuck with it – and the loan repayments on it.

What Next?

Need finance? Apply for RV financing or loans. We'll connect you with our trusted lenders and get you the best deal for your dollar.


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