If your family has decided to invest in a camper for family trips, consider looking into repo campers. Repo campers are campers that have been taken back by the bank or lending institution due to the buyer’s inability to make adequate payments.
There are several places to find repo campers for sale. Perhaps the easiest place to find repo campers is at a dealership specializing in repossessed RVs. Buying a repo camper from a dealership has its advantages – dealers are extremely knowledgeable and can help you find the right camper for you. Dealers also often offer guarantees or warrantees, which are particularly important when buying a used vehicle. However, while repo campers are often sold at auctions for 20% of Blue Book value, the dealers have a 30-40% mark-up. While still a better deal than buying a used camper, you can get an even better deal by cutting out the middle man and searching out repos on your own.
Though more difficult to find, camper repo auctions will almost always provide the better deal. Repo auctions are generally held either by the bank or lending institution or by the county sheriff.
Finding these auctions can be challenging as they are almost never widely advertised, but they are worth the effort.
The first thing you can do is check Craigslist or the local classifieds to see if any auctions are listed. The next step is to contact some local lending institutions. You may have to speak to several people before you find someone who knows what you are talking about, but
once you do, ask if they have any upcoming auctions and where you can find them. If that doesn’t work, there are also several websites you can sign up on that will give you listings of local auctions.
Unlike buying from a dealer, camper repos from auctions are a little bit more risky. Although you usually have time to inspect the camper before bidding, you generally buy the camper as-is, meaning there are no guarantees and no warrantees. Depending on the condition of the camper when you purchase it, you may want to consider purchasing a warranty from an independent company; however, this is usually only possible if the camper is in good condition in the first place.
If you cannot inspect the camper properly before bidding, make sure that you can have some time to get it inspected after the auction, and that you will not be held responsible for the purchase if there are major defects.
Just because you are planning to purchase repo campers doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice extras. Many repo campers are in excellent condition and have such features as satellite TV and internet, air conditioning, additional slide-outs and awnings. Be sure to do your research ahead of time and make a list of your priorities. Determine which features you have to have and which would simply be nice to have. You will also want to decide which type of camper is right for you. This will depend largely on your family size and the primary use of the camper. If you will be camping with a small group, say two adults and two children, then a pop-up camper may be the right choice. However, if you plan to have more people, or more adults, then you may want to consider larger camper trailers with more beds and more amenities.
Once you know the features you want and the type of repo camper you are looking for, you need determine that camper’s value. The best way to do this is by checking RV magazines for the specific camper you want with all of the features included. Once you know the value, then you can determine your maximum bid ahead of time. Many people get caught up in the bidding process, become overly emotional, and end up bidding more than they can afford. If you don’t see the exact camper that you want, take your time, don’t settle. This is why it is important to begin the camper purchasing process long before you actually plan to use your camper – if you feel pressed for time, you may end up making an unwise purchase. If you give yourself several months, then you are more likely to find the camper you want at the price you want to pay.
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