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RT49: What You Need to Know Before Buying a Used RV

| Updated Aug 19, 2015

Next to our homes, an RV is probably the most expensive purchase we will ever make. Even used RVs come with a steep pricetag.

This week, we offer some very practical advice about shopping for a used RV.

Our guest is Terry Cooper, President of the National RV Inspectors Association. Just as we hire a home inspector before purchasing a house, we can hire RV inspectors to make sure we don't get ripped off or stuck with a used unit with major problems.


Show Notes for Episode #49 Aug. 19, 2015 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

First Things First:

This week's show kicks off with Jennifer joining Mike to talk about their recent Motorsports and Music NASCAR gathering with a bunch of other RVers at the Michigan International Speedway.[spp-timestamp time=”2:20″]

Jennifer's Tip of the Week:

In this edition of Jennifer's Tip of the Week, she brings you her list of five things NOT to take on an RV trip. Listen up, she can make your travel much easier, efficient and less cluttered. [spp-timestamp time=”4:30″]

Listener Feedback: More Tips

A listener named Jeanette asks about driving an RV off pavement, down gravel and dirt roads.[spp-timestamp time=”8:56″]

Don asks about how long batteries can operate air conditioning in hot ans steamy south florida[spp-timestamp time=”12:10″]

And by email, Kathi asks us to share the so-called Tape measure illustration that she can use to convince her husband that now is the time to buy an RV [spp-timestamp time=”14:38″]

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Mo.
Van City RV only sells Class B. RVs. Owner Ray Dwyer has been in the RV business for 44 years and is considered the dean of Class B RVs. Nobody knows more about small motorhomes that Ray and his crew. They have new and used Class B motorhomes in stock from the major manufacturers. When you fly in to buy your RV from Van City, they'll arrange to have you picked up from the airport and will reimburse you $500 toward your airfare. Then, your RV will be fully prepared for travel, complete with full tanks of fuel and propane. After a complete orientation with their staff on your new RV, you can take delivery and set out for home. Dan the Van Man gives the week's specials on the podcast.


RV News of the Week:

Man killed when Kansas storm flips his RV : It was caused by 100 mph straight line winds [spp-timestamp time=”18:45″]

There’s a shortage of Michelin RV tires : It will most likely last for several weeks [spp-timestamp time=”20:25″]

Why it’s important to keep a clean campsite: Bears can smell food up at your campsite to three miles away [spp-timestamp time=”21:45″]

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde, the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV.

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat – providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40% over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

Traveling Tech with Paul Ulreich, Verizon's Uber User

Paul Ulreich, Verizon's Uber User, talks about new smartphones from Samnsung.[spp-timestamp time=”27:26″]

This podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. 

Shopping for a data plan shouldn’t be complicated. Thanks to Verizon, choosing a wireless plan is now easier than ever. Simply choose the size that fits your needs—small, medium, large or extra large. It’s just that easy.

That’s right, Verizon’s newest data plan comes in four sizes and was created with customers in mind:

  • The small plan is $30/month for 1GB of shareable data
  • The medium plan is $45/month for 3GB of shareable data
  • The large plan is $60/month for 6GB of shareable data
  • The extra large plan is $80/month for 12GB of shareable data

Each size comes with unlimited talk and text, with extra data for just $15 per GB.

On the new plan, every smartphone line is only $20 per month. Tablet and Jetpack lines are $10 per month, and connected device lines for devices like smart watches are just $5 per month.

Getting a new phone is easy, too. All new and existing customers who want to move to the new plan can use Verizon’s device payment option (formerly known as Verizon Edge), or pay the full retail price to buy or upgrade to a new smartphone.

And, for a limited time, existing two-year contract Verizon customers can trade up to a new device six months early. Not a Verizon customer? Switch today and get $300 when you activate a new smartphone. Get the latest technology in your hands and now 12GB of data for only $80/month. Some restrictions apply – visit your local Verizon store today for more details.

Visit for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

RV Calendar: Our annual Winter Campout – Jan 22-24 Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan

Last January we had fun snowshoeing, taking pics of the waterfalls, generally fooling around in the snow, and most importantly disproving the adage that you can't camp in the winter.  We had 14 Roadtrekkers and one car dweller.  I wrote up our weekend on my blog. [spp-timestamp time=”32:27″]

The Michigan DNR rangers plowed sites for us.  They even plowed a big space where we could have a community fire.
This coming January, we want to do it again.  There's no real agenda and no plan.  Just show up with your winter gear and have fun.

How it works:

Go to the Michigan DNR website and reserve a spot at Taquamenon SP for the weekend of January 22 – January 24.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Leisure Time RV, serving central Florida and the Internet from Winter Garden, Fla..

Leisure Time RV, a family-owned dealership in Winter Garden, Florida,  near Orlando has been in business for 45 year and is consistently among the top Roadtrek dealers in North America. They have a full line of the Roadtrek inventory as well as travel trailers and used RVs. Jennifer and I have visited Leisure Time RV and we know the staff and we are very impressed by the honesty, integrity and first rate service we found there. They sell to customers all across the country, wich tells you that they know how to deal. They also offer unparalled RV service and if you are looking for Roadtrek parts, call Leisure Time RV because they also carry a full line of parts which they ship out nationwide.

Interview: Terry Cooper, National RV Inspectors Association

Terry shares lots of tips about buying a used RV as well as the advantages of using a certified inspector from the National RV Inspectors Association, such as: [spp-timestamp time=”40:25″]

  • Why low mileage in a used RV is NOT necessarily good news
  • What your nose can tell you
  • What unseen problems are most often missed by shoppers for a used RV
  • How shady people try to take advantage of shoppers
  • What parts of an RV most need to be inspected

Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review!

Many listeners are asking how they can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your review.

Here’s how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
> From there (see photo above), you can…

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments about RV topics by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your words.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2015-08-19

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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