calgary rv trailer repair
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Buying a Used RV

Are You Buying a Used RV?

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FOR SALE BY OWNER. For more information, contact us.

So you want to buy a used RV ...

Are you a first time buyer or are you moving up to a bigger unit? 
Most buyers looking for a used RV want it to be as new as possible for the most affordable price. 
That would be great, but is it realistic?
There is a full series of questions you need to ask yourself before you can even start looking at what is out there.
Let’s start with, who will you be camping with? Is it just you, you and a friend, or your entire family? 
For how many people will you need to have beds to comfortably sleep?
There are endless floor plans and layouts to choose from and you can consider units with beds that fold down or pull out, couches that convert to beds and dinettes that also collapse into beds. 
Or you may like to go with a unit that has a bedroom and also a bunk area for the kids so the beds are permanently available when required. 
You may also want to consider where everybody will be situated if the weather turns bad and you have to spend extended time inside at close quarters.
Where do you plan on going with the unit and what type of camping will you be doing? 
Will you be off roading and going into the bush, which also involves towing on gravel and dirt roads, or do you prefer established campgrounds with full hook up and services? 
If you're boondocking or dry camping, you have to consider filling up your fresh water supply tank before you leave, thereby also adding additional weight to your unit. 
Will you be taking toys like dirt bikes, or a regular, or side by side quad with you?
Will you need a generator or a solar system to charge your batteries? 
What time of year will you be using the unit? 
Are you a fair weather camper or do you plan on going rain or shine or snow?
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Some very important questions to answer are: 

What type of tow vehicle do you have, and what are the towing capabilities of your vehicle? 
This is a major factor in what type and size of RV unit you can get. 
What kind of a hitch set up do you currently have? 
Do you want a tow behind travel trailer (bumper pull), or do you want a 5th wheel set up? 
There are benefits and issues with both, so it really comes down to your preference and ultimately your tow vehicle.
If you are wanting a motorhome then you have to consider having it first mechanically inspected at an automotive repair shop, before bringing it to our shop for an inspection of all RV related components. 
The next thing to consider is the price range you are willing to spend on a unit. 
If you are patient and you do your homework, you’ll find that there are some really good deals out there. However, as the old adage says, if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is. It’s really a ‘buyer beware’ thing. A (sincere) seller of a unit you’re interested in may not be aware of a certain issue with the unit and have no idea of the costs of repair. 
It is always a good idea to do a visual inspection of the unit you're thinking of buying. Take a ladder with you so you can look at the roof, its condition as far as cleanliness, look for any signs of tear and wear and look for any loose sealant, caulking or separated seams between roof panels or where the roof meets the side walls.
Next, have a look at the walls, look for obvious signs like drip marks or bulging of the siding or Filon coat around the windows and doors. This may indicate that water has gotten in behind the paneling and damaged the insulation and framing in the wall. This damage can be a major expense to repair, as you are not really sure what you are dealing with (i.e. mold) until you open it up and see the extent of the damage. 
Inside the unit you can look for stains or discolouration of the wall and ceiling panels. Especially around the edges where the walls and ceiling meet. Also, if there is a musty odor this may indicate a water damage issue. Look for water stains around the plumbing fixtures and even soft or squishy flooring. This may indicate leaky pipes or taps or previous water damage. 
Check the configuration of the bath area, especially if you have small children that you may want to bathe. Is the room big enough to do so? Is the tub in a space that you can do what you need to do?
Ask the seller if there are any maintenance records available to see if there have been any repairs done.
Find out what kind of regular maintenance has been done as far as tires, brakes, bearing inspection and repacks. 
Inquire as to what kind of camping the current owner does and how often they use the unit and how far they generally travel. 
Ask where the unit was stored, inside or outside, or if rodents were ever an issue. 
Was it covered with a manufacturer suggested cover, or tarp, or left out in the weather? 
Wind, sun, snow, and rain all can do damage to a unit.
Check your lights inside and out, check your plumbing, holding tanks and your towing components to make sure your unit is in good shape and ready for your next adventure. 
One thing that people tend to overlook, even though it is right in front of them, is the awning.
Regardless if it is manual or powered, roll it out and make sure it retracts properly
Look at the condition of the fabric. Check for pin hole burns from campfire, sun damage or extreme wear and tear. Replacing the awning could be fairly costly, depending on length and type.
If you are not comfortable or feel you need assistance in making an informed decision, take a knowledgeable friend or family member with you, or ... ask us, WE can help!
Swift RV Repairs can do a full (pre-purchase) Safe ‘n Sound inspection for you. 
We will test your equipment and appliances to ensure that they are in good working order. 
We can also inspect your tires, axles, brakes and bearings, to have you safely back on the road again, in no time. 
You may think paying the fee is a waste of money if you don't buy the unit, but consider what it will cost if you buy a unit with a major problem and you're on the hook for thousands of dollars to fix it even before you get out on the road. Imagine when it breaks down during a trip. It can cause road hazards, put your family in danger, add towing charges, and will result in lost time with family and additional expenses to get the repairs done. 
Call us 403-919-4911, or book an appointment.
We Get You on the Road Again!

We believe that RV Repairs should be clear, simple, fast, and affordable.




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Swift RV Repairs serves the communities of Airdrie, Crossfield, Beiseker, Irricana, Keoma, Delacour, Dalroy, Conrich, Chestermere, Langdon, Indus, Dalemead, Strathmore, Carseland, Mossleigh, Blackie, High River, Aldersyde, Okotoks, Black Diamond, DeWinton, Turner Valley, Priddis, Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows, Cochrane, Dogpound, Madden.
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