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16 Things to Look for When Buying an RV

16 Things to Look for When Buying an RV

You may be excited to go everywhere with your RV, but before you hit the road, it is important to do your research and make sure you are getting a good deal on your investment. Here are some things to look for when buying an RV:

1. Know the RV’s history

The vehicle identifying number, or VIN, on an RV can be used to view its history, just like on a used car. This can tell you if the RV has been in any accidents or had any major repairs done. Know the RV’s history before you buy to avoid any future issues.

2. Inspect the RV Thoroughly

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to inspect the RV inside and out. Check for any signs of water damage, leaks, cracks, or other damage. Make sure all the appliances and features are in working order. And take it for a test drive to make sure everything is running smoothly.

3. Poor Maintenance

If an RV has not been properly maintained, it could have a number of serious problems. Be sure to ask the seller about the maintenance history of the RV and if there are any outstanding issues that need to be addressed. 

Also, be sure to inspect the RV for any signs of neglect, such as dirty surfaces, cobwebs, or flaking paint. If an RV has not been properly cared for, it could have hidden problems that will be expensive to fix down the road.

4. Plumbing problems

RVs can have plumbing problems just like any other type of vehicle. Be sure to check all of the faucets and make sure they are working properly. Also, be sure to flush all of the toilets to ensure they are working correctly.

5. Mold and Mildew

RVs easily grow mold and mildew, especially if they are not properly ventilated. When you are looking at an RV, make sure to check for any signs of mold or mildew, which can be black or green spots on the walls or ceiling. 

Also, be sure to smell the RV for musty odors, which can indicate the presence of mold or mildew. If you do find mold or mildew, be sure to ask the seller how it was remediated and if there are any lingering issues.

6. Leaks

Another common problem with RVs is leaks. Be sure to check for any water damage on the ceiling, walls, or floors. Also, look for any rusted areas on metal surfaces, as this could be a sign of a past leak. 

If you do find any evidence of leaks, be sure to ask the seller how the issue was addressed and if there are any potential problems that could arise in the future.

7. Wiring Issues

Another common issue with RVs is wiring problems. Be sure to inspect all of the wiring in the RV, as well as the fuse box, to make sure everything is in good working condition. If you see any exposed wires or frayed insulation, this could be a potential safety hazard. Also, be sure to test all of the outlets in the RV to make sure they are working properly.

8. Electrical problems

RVs can have electrical problems just like any other type of vehicle. Be sure to check all of the outlets and make sure they are working properly. Also, test all of the lights to ensure they are working correctly. Electrical problems can lead to serious safety issues, so be sure to ask the seller how any electrical problems were addressed.

9. Structural Damage

RVs can suffer from structural damage just like any other type of vehicle. Be sure to check for any cracks in the walls or ceiling, or any gaps between the panels. Also, look for any signs of sagging or unevenness, as this could indicate that the RV has been involved in an accident.  

If you notice any crumbling caulk around the windows or doors of an RV, this is a sure sign that water has been getting in. This can be a serious problem, as it can lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as wood rot.

10. Worn or Aged Tires

Another important safety consideration is the condition of the RV’s tires. Be sure to check the tread depth and look for any signs of cracks or other damage. Also, be sure to ask about the age of the tires and if they have ever been replaced. 

If the tires are more than a few years old or have not been replaced in a while, they may need to be replaced before you hit the road.

11. Exterior Warping or Delamination

Be sure to inspect the exterior of the RV for any signs of warping or delamination. Warping can occur due to extreme heat or cold and can cause major problems with the structure of the RV. Delamination occurs when the layers of the RV’s walls start to separate and can also lead to serious structural problems.

12. Internal Engine Problems

Make sure to have a mechanic inspect the engine to check for any internal problems. Even if the RV appears to be in good condition on the outside, there could be serious issues with the engine. When an RVer’s home is their RV full-time, engine issues can be quite stressful and troublesome.

13. Awning Damage

Another common issue with RVs is damage to the awning. Be sure to inspect the awning for any rips, holes, or other damage. Also, be sure to test the awning to make sure it opens and closes properly. Awning Damage can be caused by weather, age, or use and can be a major annoyance for RVers.

14. Old Batteries

If the RV has been sitting for a while, the batteries may need to be replaced. Old Batteries can cause starting and charging problems.

Be sure to ask the seller about the condition of the batteries and if they have been replaced recently. Also, be sure to test all of the RV’s electrical systems to make sure they are working properly.

15. Rust

RVs are susceptible to rust, especially if they are made of metal. The salts on the road in the winter can cause rust to form, so be sure to check for any signs of rust on the frame or undercarriage.

16. Get a Warranty

Warranties can cover major repairs and can give you peace of mind on the road. Be sure to ask the seller about any warranties that may be available. Also, be sure to read over the warranty carefully to understand what is and is not covered.

Final Thought

By taking the time to inspect an RV carefully before you buy it, you can avoid ending up with a lemon. Be sure to look for any signs of plumbing problems, wiring problems, electrical problems, structural damage, mold or mildew, water damage, poor maintenance, and more. 

If you do find any red flags, be sure to ask the seller about them and have a professional inspect the RV before you make a final decision. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your RV is safe and roadworthy before you hit the open road.

About Author

Lily Morgen

My name is Lily Morgen. As a writer and editor, I'd like to establish a space where I can interact with other writers to discuss a variety of subjects, including business, investment, health, careers, lifestyle, home improvement and more.

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