When shopping for a used RV, its important to thoroughly inspect each one to make sure there aren’t problems or possible repairs needed that aren’t noticeable by just walking through them. And even after looking at only a couple of different RV’s, it gets harder and harder to remember which one had features you liked the best, or which one had potential issues.
When we have shopped for a “new to us” RV, I like to take along a checklist to make sure we consistently check out each rig, and document what we liked or didn’t like with each different unit. Its also a good idea to take a couple of pictures, or even some video, to help refresh your memory as you compare the different units you have looked at. Thoroughly testing all the different components of an RV and documenting the results is also helpful when it comes time to negotiate price. If repairs are needed, you can include in the negotiations that the seller complete the repairs, or reduce the sale price accordingly.
Here is a checklist that I found that you might find helpful if you are shopping for a used RV. (Note: some of the items we have listed to check may not be applicable for all RVs.
|ITEM||THINGS TO LOOK FOR||RATING|
|Surfaces||Dents, dings, scratches or stains – can we live with them?|
|Leaks||Warped or stained walls, especially in the corners. “Soft” spots around windows, vents and along the floor|
|Generator||Does it start smoothly? Voltage produces should be 110-125 volts|
|Lighting||Working? Fluorescent ones should come on at full brightness|
|Fans||Working? Do they need lubrication?|
|Door Hinges||Check for wear. Do all doors open and close easily?|
|Side Mirrors||Do they allow for good visibility?|
|Engine||Did it start on the first try? Unacceptable if not|
|Listen for bumping, grinding, creaking or clanging, any unusual sounds.
Did it have enough power to get up a steep hill easily?
Did it hesitate when the engine was hot?
Check the braking power
Check the spot where it was parked. Is anything leaking?
|A/C||Run the air conditioner for at least 15 minutes and make sure it stays cool|
|Steering||Check the play in the steering. Is it too loose?|
|Tires||Check the tires for wear and cracking|
|Belts/Hoses||Check for cracks – anything with a crack will have to be replaced|
|Exhaust||In sunlight, the exhaust should be clear. If there is bluish smoke, the engine is in trouble. It should also be odorless from a few feet away.|
|Locks/Controls||Are all the door locks and interior controls working?|
|Refrigerator||Takes about 3 hours, but should stay cold and freezer to be icy cold using both propane and electric.|
|Stove/Oven||Light the oven and stove top burners.|
|Water||Try all the water faucets and check for leaks around the pump, water heater and tanks. Does the water inlet have a filter before the water gets to the pump? Is there a pressure regulator?
Check under sinks for signs of previous leaks.
|Holding Tanks||Run water into them and check for leaks|
|Bathroom||Is it big enough?|
|Interior Colors||Can you live with the colors?|
|Flooring||Check the condition of all carpet and flooring.|
|Slide outs||Open and close all slide outs. Make sure they operate smoothly and close tightly. When in the out position, check the condition of any slide out awnings as well as all the seals.|
|Windows||Do they all work properly?|
|Seating||Condition of seating and/or foam cushions.|
|Cable||Is it wired for cable TV?|
|Microwave||Does it work?|
|TV/Stereo||Do they work? Make sure all speakers, front and back, work|
|Front Dash||Is it in good condition?
Is there room on the passenger side to build in a computer workstation?
|Sleeping||Is the sleeping area large enough?|
|Exterior Compartments||Are they dry and clean, with no rusty areas?|
|Siding||Check the screws for rust and streaking. Are there rusted areas in the body?|
|Roof||Check for cracking on rubber roof, rust and loose screws on metal.
Is there a roof rack?
|Solar||Are there solar panels?|
|Converter/Inverter||Make sure lights and internal fans run without being plugged into external power.|
|Furnace||Start the furnace and be sure that it is working smoothly. Flame should not be too blue.|
|Awning||Pull out the awning and check condition and ease of use.|
|Interior Storage||Is there enough? Check in cupboards for signs of previous leaks.|
|Rear Ladder||Check the condition of the ladder.|
|Vehicle Battery||Check the condition.|
|House Batteries||How many? Condition?|
|Manuals||Do they have the manuals for all appliances and equipment?|
|Maintenance records||Are there copies of any maintenance records?|
Once you have found the perfect RV for both your budget and your liftstyle and are ready to get down to the business of purchasing it, here are some useful checklists from TaxFree RV to help you reduce or even eliminate sales taxes and registration fees.