Buying a used RV requires a great deal more due diligence than if you were purchasing a used automobile. Many people wind up making a mistake because they are unsure what to look for. Here are some of the
RV parts that should be carefully inspected before you make an offer.
Wheel bearings: Check to make sure they are not worn and have an adequate amount of grease. You should also ask whether or not wheel bearings have been greased on a regular basis, as failing to do this can result in wheel and axle damage as well as a potential blown tire.
Ceiling: Look for water stains and screws that appear to have different patterns than others in the ceiling. This indicates the roof has leaked or is leaking and we recommend eliminating the camper from your purchase list.
Roof & Exterior: Inspect for indentations, sagging, cracks and rubber roof tears. You should also check the caulking to make sure it is intact, and ensure there is an adequate amount of sealant on top of the roof. Lap sealant many times will appear to be in good condition, but upon closer inspection can be lifted to reveal moisture beneath it. On fiberglass sided RV's look for sidewall delamination (bubble looking protrusion) usually near the roof, windows and front or rear cap.
Frame: While under the RV, look to see if the frame is basically solid or if there appear to be any additional welds. Check the holding tanks to see if the connectors are in good shape and check for obvious leaks. You should also make sure there are no large openings that would allow mice or other pests to enter.
Tires: Make sure there is the right amount of tread depth, and that tires are not cracked or have checking from sitting in storage too long. Check the date code on older camper to ensure they are not over 6 years old which indicates that it is time to replace them.
Cabinets and Appliances: Open every door and drawer and inspect thoroughly for signs of rodents or water damage. Make sure there is no rotting wood on cabinets, and that all the appliances are working properly. Check drains and water lines for signs of repair or leaking.
Batteries & Electrical: Check the water level in the batteries, low levels will indicate poor maintenance and most likely the need for replacement. If the RV batteries where recently replaced, check the size to ensure they are not undersized to save money. Ensure the converter is properly charging the batteries and the fuse panel is in good order.
RV's develop rot, mold and delamination very quickly and repairs can be very extensive leading from the roof to walls and floor. By checking these things out carefully, you can avoid having to make major repairs to your RV in only a short while. Whenever you do need parts or upgrades,
contact us for the best selection available.
By Bill Rowell