Ryan, as Donna indicated the Buyers Check List
is a good place to start.
I picked up a gentle used 92 16' for under $6000. As you have noted though they do not tend to sit around for sale
for long so you need to be willing to move fast on your decision and in my case I had to make a long drive to get it.
Items I would be most concern with are much as the others have indicated. Fiberglass damage or a damaged floor - Take a flash light
and look inside all the hatches and inside cupboards - look on the underside to see if you can see any areas that look stained - if you see any go inside the trailer in that area to have a look. A damaged floor would be a deal breaker for me as I am not as handy as some others here.
Another expensive item is a new axle
. Look to see if the trailer seems to be riding low over the tires
. You should be able to fit a hand width between the top of the tire and the trailers wheel well. If you cant do that its a good indication it needs a new axle
. You can expect to pay about $600 to have it replaced - handy folks who can do it themselves can do it for less.
Also take a look at the trailers frame on the underside. If it has more than a bit of surface rust or shows any signs of cracks that would also be a deal breaker for me.
If its a 3 way fridge
have the owner start the fridge
up on propane
before you get there. It takes several hours for the fridges to cool down. Fridges are one of the pricier items abt $500/$700 to have to replace. Not a deal breaker but I would look for a price reduction.
Have them fill the water tanks before you arrive, so you can make sure they dont leak and light
the stove & light the hot water tank while you are there and start the furnace
. If it has an awning
have them pull it out for you. Depending on the awning
type you can expect to pay between $250/$500 to replace it.
Other items such as electrical
and water outlets and rivets and caps that may need replacing are all pretty easy items to fix and not expensive. So those would not be a deal breaker for me. Adding or replacing a ceiling fan is another pretty easy fix - even if you need to put one in from scratch.
Its also pretty common for most used trailers, especially if its been sitting unused for awhile, to need new tires
and batteries should be changed out every 4 years or so. Propane
tanks are normally only good for about 12 years? So none of those would be a deal breaker. Prior to seeing the trailer ask about the propane system - if they indicate they dont have a tank to show you how things work - take your own along with you.
Have fun looking!