If you have your RV long enough, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to need to fix or replace something. As far as vehicles go, motorhomes work very hard! They move from place to place, and even when they’re stopped, they’re still running and providing you with electricity and heat and running water. At some point, one of those RV parts will very likely stop working and you’ll have to find another. But where should you get them?
Buying camper and RV parts from the dealer
You can certainly contact the RV dealer where you purchased your rig. If they don’t carry the RV parts there, they can recommend somewhere to take your RV to get the proper parts and have them installed. There are some advantages to this – assuming you picked a reputable dealer, their replacement parts should be of good quality and you can trust they’ll hold up. Also, a good dealer should be able to talk with you about how to install your part if you’re unsure, and they should have a generous return policy. On the other hand, this is most likely not your cheapest option.
If you do want to purchase affordable RV parts & accessories from a dealer, and you’re not pressed for time, watch for sales. Nationwide dealers especially, will have sales on various RV aftermarket parts and other supplies. Sign up for their email newsletter (and actually read it!) for alerts on sales and other possible discounts – often, companies will give you a discount just for signing up for the email in the first place.
Buying RV parts & supplies from an RV store
Stores like Camping World do sell RVs, but they also sell parts for RVs that you can purchase even if you didn’t buy your rig there. Again, they have people in-store who should be able to help you, and they have sales on various items – sign up for their newsletter to get emails about good deals.
Buying camper RV parts from other big stores
Stores like Walmart and Home Depot also carry some parts for RV as well. Do some online research, or call the store to make sure they have what you’re looking for before you head there. You likely won’t get people in-store with as much knowledge of camper RV parts, but you may get a better price. Home Depot and Walmart’s return policies are also pretty generous if you discover you have the wrong part.
Buying cheap RV parts at a salvage yard
You can also look for old RV parts at salvage yards. Motorhomes in salvage yards have likely been in accidents or are broken to the point that they’re undrivable, but there are still plenty of working parts in them, available to be used by someone else. Find everything from furniture to air conditioners to awnings and a lot more replacement RV parts at a very cheap price. You can also negotiate with the yard manager and possibly bring the price down even further. The disadvantage to purchasing at a salvage yard is that the return policy may not be as generous…but you haven’t spent as much money, either! You can read more tips here on visiting salvage yards for discount RV parts.
Buying RV parts cheap online
There are several categories of online purchasing. One method is to locate your RV parts online, but pick them up in person via sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. If you’re very knowledgeable about the RV accessories and parts you’re purchasing, and you feel comfortable buying them after looking them over, this might be a good, inexpensive option for you. Just be aware, there is no way of knowing exactly how credible your seller is, or what happened to your part before you got it. There are also obviously no return policies. If you do go to pick up your part and discover it isn’t in good shape, or isn’t what you wanted, don’t be afraid to turn down the sale.
You can also purchase RV accessories and parts from online stores and have them shipped to you. This may be a good way to source hard to find RV parts, RV discount parts, and vintage RV parts. Sites like Amazon may offer a generous return policy, especially if you’re an Amazon prime member. Online stores like eBay also offer return policies, and they have a peer rating system so you can see if other people have had good experiences with that seller. You can also look at RV blogs and websites to see if they have RV dealers or online retailers that they recommend.
Even if you do purchase from a brick and mortar store, it’s a good idea to do some research online to see what people say about the RV parts and accessories retailer you’ve chosen. With a little work beforehand, you can be sure you have a good part at a great price!
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