Don't talk yourself into purchasing one in poor condition due to scarcity. Pictures are not worth a thousand words and often misrepresent true condition.
After extensive traveling to see trailers that look really nice in pictures, we have found those same ones to be in neglected condition with owners minimizing major flaws such as water intrusion. Comments such as "all trailers leak a little don't they", 'we don't think it is a big deal because it is a good quality trailer" and you have to expect some issues when they re used, right?". One of my faves is "yeah, I didn't see that the linoleum was peeling back, must have been where the dog bowls were" (this at the entry of a Bigfoot that also had exposed wood across from that area that I could stick a fingernail into).
Everything we have looked at is advertised as very good condition yet we have found water stains on the ceiling, twelve year old tires
, leaking windows
? Caulking not checked in ten years.
While true that anything used will have issues, water intrusion means damage and if the RV owner did not semi annually inspect and maintain caulk joints, water more than likely has intruded.
it seems you cannot ask enough questions to ascertain if you should travel a thousand miles to see a used RV. Not because owners are liars but because they honestly do not view their RVs like an outsider would and what is maintenance to one person is not the same to another. Most RV owners do not maintain caulk lines.
We now ask when was the last time the caulk lines were redone. If the trailer is more than two- three years old and no one has inspected the caulk joints, we have found water intrusion so we are not traveling. We ask for close up pictures of caulk lines. At that point several owner have discovered, during the photo shot that they have missing caulking. The caulking one is now is our first question.
We checked out one stored in a magnificent garage. However what the owner did not mention before we drove extensively was that they were snowbirds and the trailer was not under cover for 8 months out of the year. Its condition reflected that. So now we ask about that as well..
When you start to ask about routine maintenance you get a pretty good idea of how well maintained something is. Trailer tires
generally need to be changed out every five - seven years whether you use them or not. Caulking inspections every six months whether the trailer is used or not. Recaulking usually every year due to all the variable that affect all caulked areas, including windows
and tail lights
We have seen failure after failure in RVs including floor damage in molded fiberglass due to lack of routine caulking maintenance. Adding questions about that to your arsenal of questions and hopefully save yourself a lot of time and expense. Don't want a trailer so badly that you overlook water intrusion unless you can afford to have the work done or are able to tackle it yourself.. That's all I can add. We are also actively searching and have turned down several now due to water intrusion from windows
and roof mounted items leaking. Also, if there have been professional repairs, ask for receipts so you can see what was done. Many owners who don't do routine maintenance may not know how to properly refit a window or repair a dry rot issue properly.