A functional RV should be the first concern of any owner. After all, what use is it if it won’t get you from point A to point B effectively? Once you’re in possession of a well-working RV, however, it might be time to shift your focus from substance to style.
With the right eye for decorating and a few choice pieces of furniture, you can turn a bland over-sized box into a stylish home on wheels — or simply replace parts of your vehicle that have seen better days.
The difficult part of the process is making the transition without going bankrupt. Obviously, those pieces of furniture are the items most likely to set you back a few hundred, or even thousand, dollars. Buying RV furniture direct from retailers and manufacturers will prove pricey almost without fail, so conservative RV owners on the hunt for cheap RV furniture would do better to buy used.
Here are a few tips and rules of thumb on how to and where to buy used RV furniture.
Places to Buy
Craigslist & eBay:
To find the best product, you need to know where to look. The first place most will think to look is on Craigslist, a popular site for private individuals to resell or even give away their unwanted possessions, like used RV furniture, for low prices. From their homepage, navigate to your local directory and search for relevant items for sale under the furniture and auto parts tabs for the best results. Similarly, it’s worth checking eBay for anything fitting your needs. The results, of course, might be extremely limited depending on the specificity of the discount RV furniture you’re looking for.
For a more extensive selection, you can call or visit local RV retailers. Often RV owners will upgrade their furniture when purchasing a new model, leaving the retailers with RV furniture for sale far below its normal asking price. They don’t want to hold onto all that RV furniture surplus, after all. Best of all, this surplus RV furniture may come with hardly any use.
If you’re looking to know the complete history of the furniture you purchase, you may be out of luck with most sellers. However, Love to Know’s article on the subject explains some of the likely origins of RV salvage furniture:
Upon purchasing a new RV, some customers opt to upgrade certain items in their purchased unit. These end up being classified as used even though they are not. Some owners decide to upgrade particular items in their motorhome even after only a year or two. The items pulled out of their mobile camper are considered used even though they still have plenty of life left. Some owners accidentally damage the upholstery, and often opt to replace the entire piece of furniture even though it had a very short life. Often, the repair is fairly easy, and afterwards the item is as good as new.
In the case of an accident or breakdown, when the RV owner walks away from the vehicle or sells it to a salvage dealer, the salvage dealer will go through and pull out all of the items that are in excellent condition and are still valuable. Many of these items are also fairly new.
Other Online Sellers:
The website Vehq.com has a list of retailers selling used RV furniture that might be worth a look. There are also many smaller websites as well that sell RV furniture used. They may require some sifting through search results, but they are out there. To name (and link) a few: Factory RV surplus, RV Parts Nation, Discount Van Truck, Visone RV and Bradd and Hall.
What to Consider Before Purchasing
It’s easy to get caught up in a good deal and forget about the tiny asterisks of your purchase. Here are a few things worth remembering before shelling out your hard-earned cash for that perfect piece of RV-used furniture.
Will the seller provide for installation of the new (used) furniture, and removal of the old? If not, figure out if you have the tools and the know-how to successfully install a new piece of furniture yourself. An apparently good deal might not seem so good once you have to pay outside help to put in the salvage RV furniture.
One of the more obvious considerations is shipping costs. If you’re buying from someone local, you can probably use your vehicle or camper to haul whatever RV discount furniture you need to. However, if you’re purchasing from an online service, or if you can’t haul the furniture from a local address, you’ll almost certainly pay a hefty price to have it all delivered to your door.
You’ll also want to ensure that chairs, recliners, and other articles of used RV furniture for sale will fit in the particular spaces allotted for them in your vehicle — they’ll be of no use to you when they take up a whole hallway! Camping World’s article on the subject provides a few tips for accurately measuring used chairs:
- Height: You should measure the height of the chair from the floor to the top of the chair, including the pedestal.
- Pedestal height: Measure from the floor to the TOP of the plate where the chair mounts to the pedestal.
- Width: Measure at the widest point, from the outside edge of one arm to the outside edge of the other arm.
- Depth: Measure from the front of the chair to the deepest part of the back of the chair (not the cushion, but the back edge of the chair). For recliners, the chair should be in the closed and upright position when you measure the depth.
If you don’t measure your RV chairs accurately, you may end up with replacement RV chairs that don’t fit in the space you have. Measuring accurately is critical for getting the right replacement RV chairs.
Dual Purpose Furniture:
That same article also helpfully notes that the most cost-effective RV salvage furniture will be diverse and convertible for several different uses. To make the best use of every penny, be on the lookout for such pieces as dining tables that fold into beds, or computer desks that transform into dining tables with extra seating. If you have the materials and elbow grease, you may be able to make such a multi-purpose piece of furniture yourself. But that’s a topic for another article.
With these guidelines hopefully you can save some of that hard-earned money by purchasing used RV furniture to spruce up your living space!