As with any vehicle, though, it is something that you have to maintain, and since it is much larger than your day-to-day passenger or commuter vehicle, it is more complex with more parts that could break or require replacement.
When you need to repair your RV, you have the option to either buy new parts or find used RV parts. Going with the former option means contacting the original manufacturer or the dealer and purchasing the parts that you need at retail price, which can get expensive. Instead, you can often find surplus RV parts that you need used, and save a significant amount of money on the repair job. The key is knowing where to look, and how to determine whether it&'s a good part or something you should pass up.
Types of Used RV Parts to Look For
There are many different parts to your RV—some of them are vehicle parts, or the stuff that you find “under the hood”, while others are more like the things you would find in your home. Some of the most common parts you might need to search for include:
- RV refrigerator parts – since this is your “home away from home” you want to have a working refrigerator that will keep all your food from spoiling.
- RV water heater parts – while you might be in the great outdoors or out on the open road, that doesn&'t mean you want to suffer through cold showers and cold water for other tasks like washing dishes. When the water heater breaks, you need to repair it with used RV parts.
- RV upholstery or interior décor – you will probably spend quite a bit of time on the interior of your RV, so keeping the upholstery, cabinets, and other interior features intact is important.
- RV awning parts – when you park the RV, one of the great features to take advantage of is the awning, which allows you to get some shade for relaxing, reading, eating, and other activities.
Where to Search for RV Parts
There are several different options for RV owners who are looking to purchase surplus RV parts. One of the best places to start is in the local newspaper in your area. This is a place that RV owners, dealers, and surplus lots can use to advertise the parts that they have and want to sell. It&'s also a great option because if you&'re checking local newspapers, chances are you will find something that is near your home, which means you won&'t have to travel far to pick up the parts.
Another great option available today is to search online. There are a myriad of sites where people post their used RV parts for sale that are easily searchable and can help you find just what you need. The down side to this option is that you might find something that is located across the country, or even around the world. For larger parts this might not be an option to have it shipped without a significant cost, but for smaller surplus RV parts this can be a great option. The benefit to this is that you can get the part shipped directly to your door, and you won&'t have to travel at all to pick it up.
If the local paper and online listings don&'t have what you need, another place you can try is local consignment lots, or junkyards in your area. This option requires a little bit more patience than the previous methods because you can&'t simply perform a quick search with a few keystrokes and get the exact part you are looking for. Instead, you&'ll have to put in some time and effort by going to these places frequently and poking through the inventory. Owners of older RVs, or ones that have significant damage and are unlikely to sell as a whole unit might be willing to sell you the parts so they can make some money on their unit.
You can also choose to be proactive about it, and run your own ad in the local paper, or in an online posting. This is a great option if you are unable to find the part you need, or if you have a very specialized part that you are looking for. A person who has this part may not be actively trying to sell it, but may be willing to part with it if they know someone else needs it. You can put up “want to buy” ads in the local paper or online to seek out these parts.
Inspecting Used Parts
Whenever you are going to purchase used RV parts, it&'s important that you be able to inspect the in advance so you know you&'re getting a quality part that will work in your vehicle. If you are purchasing locally, go check out the part before you buy so you can make sure it&'s in working order, it&'s not rusted or damaged, and it will fit your vehicle. If you&'re purchasing online, you won&'t have this option, so you should make sure the seller has a good return policy in case you get something that won&'t work for your RV.
You want your RV to take you places in comfort and style, and when you&'re missing pieces or have broken items on the RV it can be less and less comfortable. Instead of sinking a lot of money into it, you can often find great savings by purchasing surplus RV parts. While it might take a little bit of extra effort to find these items, the savings can be worth it in the end.