The Curse of the "As Is" RV purchase

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Being forced to purchase an "As Is" RV due to a lack of credit and/or funds is jumping from one desperate situation into a never ending nightmare of frustration, physical danger and extreme stress. It is far worse for seniors and the disabled because they are not physically capable of doing any of the repairs themselves and have to hire expensive mobile repairmen to do the work.

There are no protections nor standards in place for people in this situation to assure them the "As Is" RV is safe. That the roof won't leak and fall in on you. That the electrical system won't electrocute you or burn the thing down with you in it. That the water system plumbing is not going to poison you with high levels of contaminates or the water pump won't spray water all over the converter box. That the sewage system dump tanks are in good shape and their gates actually work properly instead of leaking and spraying waste water everywhere underneath the RV because the gate won't properly close/open. That the water heater is not so caked with limescale as to cause the electric heating element to pop the breakers and the water heater to rupture sending water everywhere. That the furnace, if it works, isn't going to kill you with carbon monoxide emissions and there is no carbon monoxide detector to warn you of the danger. That the propane lines are not leaking and priming the place to explode.

The reason nothing is ever repaired on "As Is" RVs is because to bring them up to a functional level would cost more than the RV is worth and, most often, cost more than a new one. Still, I find it abhorrent that people are forced into these situations because they have no other choice and there is absolutely no one who is willing to help. No Christian groups, no die hard RVer's, none of the manufacturers, no politicians and certainly no insurance companies.

Everyone here loves the RV lifestyle, myself included, and to be forced to give it up would be a fate worse than death. It's long past time that RVer's stop thinking like vacationers. It's past time that the RV manufacturers started seeing the RV as a pernament home as so many of us have. It's past time that we fight for those in the RV community who are forced to live in an "As Is" get the help they need just to be able to live in it safety and the comfort that brings. There are lemon laws for automobiles, but they do little to protect the buyer. The few states that do have lemon laws for RV's are useless. This needs to change. If the RV community doesn't step up then what good are they? None at all.

As you might suspect, I am someone caught in this nightmare of "As Is" RVing. "As Is" RVing is about trying to survive. Making do. Micro-homesteading is how I describe it. Maybe the next time you go to an event or travel for a change of scenery you could remember that people like me and many others would just be happy if our RV wasn't falling apart around us.


I mean no disrespect with this comment as I do not know your situation but sometimes living within our means requires us to give up things we love, if you cannot afford to buy or do something than you do not do it. I am sorry but I am not for handouts for luxuries, things needed to survive life, sure but not luxuries.


I mean no disrespect with this comment as I do not know your situation but sometimes living within our means requires us to give up things we love, if you cannot afford to buy or do something than you do not do it. I am sorry but I am not for handouts for luxuries, things needed to survive life, sure but not luxuries.
This RV IS NOT a luxury by any stretch of the imagination. It was this or homelessness within days. I am 70 years old with life threatening health problems. I saw my income drop from a little over $6k to just what SS gives me when my (common law) husband died and his VA benefits were cut off. My state doesn't recognize common law marriage so I can't get spouse benefits from the VA. Even so, I AM living within my means as snobs always say. All I want is to be able to have the roof properly fixed and clean water to drink. I don't think that is asking too much. I pay all my bills every month. I am paying off the credit cards and not just making the minimum payment like a lot of people. I've cut out every extra expense I can. I don't run the AC in 98° heat to save $200 on the electric bill. I switched medical insurance companies which has saved me, at least, $500 a month.
I have kept my Amazon Prime Membership (paid monthly instead of annually now) because the critical parts I need for the RV are far cheaper there and shipping is mostly free. I'll only call the mobile repairman when I have enough of the parts to make it worth his $260 assessment fee to make the repairs.

If not for my sister and brother-in-law making the down payment for me (sold the truck to repay them) - the dealership bending over backwards to get financing approval so I can get the RV and Forest River who agreed to finance the purchase when no one else would, I would be on the street.

I am grateful beyond words to all of them. You know nothing. Worse yet, you don't care and are ignorant to the fact that these RV's are some people's last hope of having a place to call home (affordable housing and organizations like Habit for Humanity have a ten year waiting list).

Enjoy your pernament vacation lifestyle.


Well-known member
I don't understand the purpose of this post. Those of us participating here are Heartland owners. We don't have anything to do with how things are made, nor any power to change it. And it doesn't help your case to sneer at folks who are trying to respond in some helpful way the best they can.

You say "There are no protections nor standards in place for people in this situation to assure them the "As Is" RV is safe" but why do you bother to say this? "You are saying "camper I was told might not be safe might not be safe." It's literally 5 paragraphs of truisms posted to a group of people that has nothing to do with the quality issues you're referencing. Straight out of WexLaw:

“As is” refers to a term used in sales contracts where the buyer agrees to buy a product in its current condition, without legal recourse should the buyer discover a defect in the product after purchase.

Who in their right mind would put this label on something without issues? The label automatically drives the item's market value down. A seller who knew the thing was pristine would never label it this way - it's common knowledge that this label is a warning that there almost certainly ARE issues. You can't take advantage of this lower pricing then later act surprised when that turned out to be true. Also:

1. You're not going to convince anybody that you were forced to buy an as-is camper and had no other choice. There are campers for free on Craigslist all the time. They're terrible, true. But it's still a CHOICE. Camping in a tent is a choice. Sleeping in a car is a choice. Section 8 housing is a choice. You may not like the choice, but you have one.

2. Being "forced to give it up would be a fate worse than death"? Come on. It would be a fate worse than ice cream, sure, or maybe not having cell service anymore. If you couldn't use your camper you would still be alive. Death is objectively worse than that, putting fates WORSE than death even further down the list.

3. You would really be on the street... if your sister and brother in law didn't help you with the down payment? Within days. You couldn't have stayed with them for a week or two until you had time to work out housing assistance. Most states have specific programs designed to help people in your situation. Colorado even has a 211 hotline, they've made it so easy.
4. If you're worried about your carbon monoxide detector, you can replace it. Cheap ones are $25 on Amazon, nice ones designed for RVs are $70. If you can't afford to replace it, I see one for $14 on eBay. If you can't afford THAT, how are you affording propane at $20-$25/tank? Even then you still have a choice - you could just not run your furnace. It's not a fun choice. But it's still a choice.

5. If you want clean water to drink they sell 2.5 gal water jugs in the grocery store for like $4, complete with a dispenser that makes it easy to place on a counter and fill a cup. They last a long time for one person. It doesn't matter how clean your water lines are - campground water supplies are notoriously dirty and even with filters we've never trusted them, so we've always used them even when our water systems were fine. I'm literally sitting in my camper two feet from one right now, drinking from a cup I just filled from it. It tastes good and isn't making me sick.

I'm guessing if you reply it will be in a similar dismissive tone that you used with scayne62. But if you'd like a better response, maybe take 2 minutes and think through why "die hard RVer's" should have an obligation to help you, per your original post. Do you feel other owners here owe you something? That seems to be what you're implying.


Spoken like the true self-absorbed snob that you are.

My paperwork said it would be safe. It wasn't. I expected there would be problems. I didn't expect to have to re-build the whole thing.

1) I had days to get something; not weeks or months. Living with my sister and brother-in-law was not possible.

2) This RV was at a dealership just 3 miles down the road. Had to find someone to haul the old one away which cost $2600 and you want me to buy something sight unseen off of Craigslist from halfway across the country? Then there was the POD rental and the movers (x2). Plus the motel room for 10 days because the people cancled the tow truck 4 days in without telling me.

3) Housing assistance has a waiting list of ten years. The same is true of Habit for Humanity. Both give preference and priority to women with children. I have tried grants. There are none I would qualify for unless I lied on the applications. For example, house repairs and not RV repairs which also requires an inspection of the house needing the repairs. House purchase would mean they pick out the house.

4) There has never been a carbon monoxide detector in this RV. I planed to purchase a set of 3 fire/carbon monoxide detectors along with a new converter box. I have been without propane for over a year. So not having heat or hot water is something I'm use to so the fire/carbon monoxide detectors can wait.

5) The park's water actually comes from the city. It's only after it enters the park that the water quality takes a severe drop. Calcium and lime cause the water to often look like milk with some water in it. All those commonly used water filters can not filter it out. Will purchase an APEC reverse osmosis filtreation system to deal with the immediate water problem. It'll only be hooked up to the kitchen sink and the rest of the plumbing problem will have to wait. Until it's installed I'll keep using the water and bagged ice from the store. They rarely have the 2.5 gallon jugs, but buy those when available.

6) I am not asking anyone here for help and don't expect it. I am asking that you speak out for those in this position to help us get the legal protections everyone else enjoys.

7) The property owner of the park (not a campground) has twice been told by the county to update the parks plumbing system and he has yet to do anything. He has thrown two people out for making a stink about this very issue. I won't be the third. It took 5 years and the entire park writing him letters about the dangerous trees before he finally had them cut down. The park managers are good people and do what they can for the residents while trying not to run afoul of the property owner and lose their jobs.

8) Besides some of your time what will it cost you to advocate for the "As Is" RVing community? I am calling my local, state and federal representatives why won't you?
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