As RVers, it’s pretty much a given that at some point we’ll all need some RV parts, and we’ve certainly purchased our share over nearly two decades on the road.
As many of you know, maintaining our RV as meticulously as possible is something we’ve been committed to over the long haul – it’s how we became The RVgeeks in the first place. And we’ve got a 16+-year-old rig that looks and performs as close to brand new as possible as solid evidence of that commitment.
But with the explosion in the popularity of RVing in recent years, and the increased demand for both new and used RVs, getting parts isn’t always as easy as it once was. And of course “RV parts” also includes “RV supplies.”
In fact, we recently had a longer-than-usual wait for a part we needed ahead of some long-distance travel plans, so we thought this might be a good time to work up a post on RV parts for the benefit of our readers who may need parts now or in the future. So, let’s get to it!
New vs Used RV Parts
Recognizing that some RVers need or want new parts and others need or prefer to buy used parts in good condition, we thought we’d focus on both so that we’ve got everyone covered.
We’ll start with some of the best places to buy new RV parts, and then we’ll cover used parts and how to obtain those.
There are times when only a new part will do, but there are many used parts to be found that have a whole lot more life in them that can not only save you money but in certain cases might just be more available in this time when imports and shipping can involve extensive waiting times. Moreover, if you’ve got an older rig, some parts can only be found used. We’ve seen some awesome vintage rigs on the road in our travels, and it’s fairly likely that the owners of those rigs may have had to track down some used parts here and there.
When you want to get out there and travel, (or when you live full-time in your RV as we do), you’ve gotta find the parts wherever you can.
Best Places to Buy New RV Parts
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but the following six places to buy new RV parts are among the most reliable places we’ve found to get you on the road and journeying to new adventures.
It’s hard to shop for anything these days without Amazon coming to mind. Depending on the type of part we need, we’re quick to check out Amazon. In fact, we have an RVgeeks Amazon page that we’ve put together over years of shopping for our RV that we can go to quickly either to recommend reliable RV parts and supplies we’ve used over time or to grab something we need ourselves.
We like the ability to check out reviews on Amazon, but that does come with one note of caution. Because we’ve heard it’s not hard to buy positive reviews, we take time to check out complaints folks have. If you read the reviews, as opposed to simply looking at the star ratings, you can usually tell which ones are pretty genuine. They’re generally the ones that go into a bit more detail, and are the most informative, rather than just making quick, general statements like “Works great!”
You want to take the time to look into the details. For example, we don’t just see 9% one-star ratings and run. We’ll take a look at those single-star reviews to see if the complaints indicate something we want to avoid, or something minor that we really don’t care about, like “The description said ‘off-white’ and it’s really more of a beige color”. On the other hand, if we read a dozen reviews that all say something to the effect that “This is junk that stopped working after two months,” we’ll move along.
Anything that sits on our Amazon page, however, we’ve used in the past or are currently using with good results. We won’t put anything on our page that hasn’t checked the boxes for us, including reliability and durability. As always, though, your mileage and needs may vary, as does manufacturing.
Camping World is a retailer of RV parts and camping supplies among other items. We’ve purchased RV parts from Camping World and overall we’ve been satisfied.
Our RV tire covers are a good example of a product we bought through Camping World that we’ve been extremely happy with. So much so that we highly recommend them to fellow RVers. Here’s the story:
When we bought our 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire, we ordered a set of tire covers that worked well (and looked cool), but after years of good performance, they simply wore out.
We had a hard time finding replacements because the company that manufactured the covers we’d been using for years had stopped making them (we didn’t really want the same tire covers anyway for various reasons). So, not only did we not have a source for new covers for our rig, but we didn’t have tire covers that we could comfortably recommend to others when they’d ask… and lots of people were asking.
We had no choice but to go shopping which, for us, tends to involve some fairly serious vetting of products.
Ultimately we found our replacement set of tire covers. We chose SnapRing TireSavers. Although the size and color we needed weren’t available at Amazon at the time (and still aren’t as of this writing), Camping World carries them… at a great price, too! We like our covers so much that we made a video about them. If you’re in the market for RV tire covers, that video can be found embedded within this post.
This is just one hunt for RV parts that led us to Camping World, but it’s definitely one of our go-to stores when we’re shopping for certain RVing-related items, especially when we want to browse the aisles in person, which you obviously can’t do at Amazon! When comparing prices and availability, it’s always good to check out Camping World, because they’ll often have the same product you’re seeing on Amazon or elsewhere, possibly at an equal (and sometimes even better!) price. Better price for the same product = no-brainer.
RV Manufacturers and Component Manufacturers
Sometimes we find ourselves in the market for a particular RV part that takes us straight to the RV manufacturer, (in our case that’s Newmar), or the manufacturer of the component we’re seeking to purchase.
We’ve done this many times because we love our Newmar Mountain Aire, and the quality of the rig and its parts overall has been excellent. The same is true for certain manufacturers of products we’ve used and love. This clearly depends on the type of RV part we’re looking for, though.
RV manufacturers and component manufacturers are must-haves on your shopping list for several good reasons.
First, there may be times when you can’t find the part anywhere else.
In other cases, you can find a cheap aftermarket part, but you’re looking for quality and you want to go straight back to the source that gave you the original high-quality part. For instance, when shopping for parts for our Cummins engine and Onan generator, we go right to the Cummins Online Store. Not only are we guaranteed to get high-quality parts, but their prices are extremely competitive.
On the other hand, if we’re looking to replace something like our awnings or awning fabric, we’ll go straight to a third-party component supplier like Tough Top Awnings. No shopping, no messing around, straight to Tough Top. If we need replacement LED bulbs, we wouldn’t consider shopping anywhere else besides M4. Why? Quality. We’ve established over time that these are products we can trust, so we don’t waste our time looking elsewhere, ever.
The same is true for other manufacturers of particular products we know, love, and can recommend without reservation. So, never hesitate to keep the manufacturer of your RV and the manufacturers of high-quality components for your RV in mind whenever you’re shopping for RV parts.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of how we go about finding RV parts, along with some of our personal examples, we’ll move along to some additional sources of RV parts that you can keep on your resource list as we do.
Dyers Online (https://www.dyersonline.com)
Dyers Online is an internet retailer based in Phoenix, AZ. They claim to offer 10,000 discount RV and trailer parts and accessories.
They’ve got everything from service parts to decorations, and with a large warehouse and fulfillment centers in various areas, they pride themselves on fast shipping of anything they have in stock, with delivery in two to five days (whether current pandemic delays are impacting that shipping speed, we’re not sure.)
Dyers has been around in different forms since 1982 and hit the internet as an online retailer in 2000. So they’ve got some history behind them as a supplier and retailer.
As of this writing, they offer flat-fee shipping at a rate of $9.98 which, depending on what you’re buying, could be quite a bargain. With a 30-day return policy and a reputation for good customer service, shopping for RV parts at Dyers Online is another good option for your resource list.
RV Parts Nation (https://www.rvpartsnation.com)
RV Parts Nation has a substantial selection of RV parts, camping supplies, and related accessories from many top brand name manufacturers, including (but not limited to) RV furniture and appliances.
Established in 1990, RV Parts Nation has some history under its belt and claims to offer wholesale prices to its customers.
An advantage of RV Parts Nation is its wide variety of RV items. You could literally buy RV toilet paper, a water pump, blinds for your RV windows, scissor jacks, RV roofing supplies, and a new RV sofa all in one shopping trip, which is probably why RV Parts Nation bills their business as a one-stop shopping location. They now offer installations as well.
RV Parts nation offers free shipping on some items, and their return policy involves contacting them within 14 days with your intent to return. Just be aware that you may pay return shipping costs plus a 20% restocking fee or a 25% restocking fee for items that shipped free.
E-Trailer has been in business since 1946. That’s 75 years over which they’ve become a trusted name in shopping for parts and accessories for sports and recreation (including camping) and for vehicles, trailers, RVs, boats, and campers.
When we got our Rad Power Bikes, we needed to install a trailer hitch on our 2003 Honda CR-V to hold our 1-Up bike rack and RakAttach swing arm. We bought a Curt trailer hitch online at E-Trailer and the price and service were both great.
E-Trailer has a huge inventory of RV parts (and much more), and their substantial buying capacity tends to keep their prices among the lowest available. In fact, they make a serious commitment to their intent to offer the lowest prices in the industry by offering a “lowest price pledge.”
If you find a lower advertised price on the same item elsewhere, (exact product and model number), just let them know within 30 days of making your purchase. In return, they’ll refund 110% of the difference in the cost of the product plus shipping.
E-Trailer’s return policy allows 60 days to return new, unused items. Shipping charges are deducted from the credit unless the return is a result of an error on the part of E-Trailer.
E-Trailer carries nearly 500 brands of parts and accessories including a host of the top RV product brands many of us have come to rely on.
Their customer service is reportedly excellent, and their focus on items such as custom trailer hitches and towing parts makes them unique among the retailers we’ve covered in this section.
Best Places to Buy Used RV Parts
Used RV parts are a hot commodity among RVers, especially used and vintage model RVs whose manufacturers no longer have new parts available for purchase. But don’t get us wrong here – even owners of new RVs and campers seek out certain used parts at times, with an eye toward saving money.
Scoring a good quality used part can be a real jackpot kind of experience. But you’ve got to know where to look. Here are six great options for used RV parts to keep in your pocket.
An online auction and e-commerce company that’s a go-to for used anything and new everything is eBay. You can find new AND used RV parts on the eBay site, and pretty much anything you’re looking for will show up there at one point or another, even if you’re trying to find an unusual part for a vintage Airstream.
Not only can you find used RV parts on eBay, but you can also find used RVs!
RV Salvage Yards
RV salvage yards are really for folks who are looking for parts for older model RVs and campers. Salvage yards don’t typically have many parts available for newer model rigs, though you can get lucky and find some.
Owners of RV salvage yards buy totaled RVs from insurance companies and older or damaged RVs from used dealers and the occasional individual. The motorhomes may be destroyed in terms of not being roadworthy, or they may have been involved in an accident that badly damaged one end and not the other. RVs that have been in floods or have simply been poorly cared for can end up in RV salvage yards as well.
These events, as unfortunate as they are, can bring a veritable goldmine of used parts to shoppers, so they’re worth contacting if you’ve got one or more in your area. It’s a great way to treasure hunt for a bargain or two, and salvage yards make great ecological sense as well.
To find an RV salvage yard near you, simply type “RV salvage yards near me” into your search engine, or substitute the words “near me” for the name of your city and state.
Disclaimer: We have no personal experience with any of these sites, but if you have, leave a comment below and let us know how you made out!
Facebook Marketplace is an online seller of anything and everything imaginable, including RV parts (and RVs).
No matter what you need, typing it into your Facebook search bar is worth a shot, because if anyone near you (or far away from you for that matter… as in planning ahead with an upcoming destination in mind) is selling what you’re searching for, you’ll be connected in this search. There’s even a way to ask the seller questions and request more photos, if you need.
As always, when you’re buying from an unknown source, it’s a good idea to do your homework and use caution when meeting anyone in a non-public area.
Craigslist is another resource where you can find just about anything for sale including RV products and RVs.
You’ll simply choose a search area, your home state for example, and type in the name of the part you’re seeking.
If you’re interested in doing a nationwide Craigslist search you can use http://www.onecraigs.com/
But, we’ll issue the same caution as we did with Facebook Marketplace: be discerning, attempt to get to know something about your seller (we prefer to talk on the phone before meeting), and connect in a public place if possible. Also, we always follow the top Craigslist scam-avoidance techniques: In-person local transactions (no shipping) and cash only! (The same goes for Facebook Marketplace deals.)
Online: Colaw RV Salvage https://colawrvsalvage.com/
Colaw RV Salvage is a subsidiary of a family-owned and operated RV dealer in Carthage, Missouri. In business since 1977, Colaw RV boasts the largest used RV inventory in the Midwest. They also sell new RVs, but their salvage business is what we’re interested in for the purpose of today’s post.
Colaw RV Salvage claims to be one of the largest RV salvage yards in the United States with parts available from all major RV brands. They have used RV parts as well as salvage RVs for sale, and their website is searchable by categories. You can search for used RV furniture, appliances, generators, furnaces, heaters, plumbing components, axles, radiators, electrical components, and much more. They even sell used engines and transmissions.
Online: RV Yard https://rvyard.com/
RV Yard, formerly known as Arizona RV Salvage, offers a searchable website where you can locate used parts for any type of RV.
It’s important to understand that RV Yard’s used parts are sold “as is”, meaning that they are not returnable, refundable, or otherwise guaranteed in any way. (The same is true of the used RVs purchased at RV Yard.) You get what you get.
RV Yard sells new and used RV furniture, appliances, electronics, wheels, brakes, air conditioners, engines – you name it, they just might have it.
Just keep that “as is” policy in mind when you’re shopping.
With parts getting harder to find and sometimes difficult to import, knowing where to look when the time comes to replace some part of your RV is important.
Now that you’ve got a fair number of resources for new and used RV parts handy, we hope you’ll be able to find what you need the next time you’re in the market for a particular part.
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