14 Things to Examine When Purchasing a Used RV

So, are you ready to live a homely life on wheels while enjoying the beauty of new explored places? However, before buying an RV for such purpose, professional’s guidelines would be required on your part if you have no pre-experience in this matter. 

To avoid mistakes while purchasing a recreation vehicle, keep in mind the following things suggested by experts:

First of all, the roof

Before purchasing a specific model of RV, start checking it from its roof. Sometimes, leakage in this area is concealed which causes massive damage to the whole structure. The tiny molds and fungus spots can create serious health risks without your knowledge. Apart from this, other things that need to check are:

1.​Cracks, tears, rips, worn spots, and related damages on the roofing material.

2.          Seams underneath the vent covers for any spoils.

3.​Old caulking or sealants on the areas where water pools.   

4.​Vents of fridge and waste tank for any sort of blockage such as dead insects, birds’ nests,  etc.


After the roof, examine the sealants of all windows such as bug screens and gasket seals. They should be in perfect shape. Through high water pressure verify any internal leakage there. Also, look for fogging on double-paned windows and fractures on films.    


Look at the entrance doors with drawers and cabinets, closely. There should not be any loose screws or missing hardware. Touch the surface texture to find out any scratches on the body. Make sure there are no damages to the locks, and latches are also in good working condition.   


To inspect walls, move around the vehicle and look for bents, marks, or peels on it. Make sure there are no loose screws and bolts also. The appearance of the structure should be straight and square. If there is any sign of cracks or bents, it means the automobile has met with some accident before.     

Kitchen Appliances

In an RV kitchen, many high-valued devices and apparatus are installed of which improper working conditions can prove heavy in your pocket. As per the experts at Nelson RV, appliances like ovens and refrigerators are some of the major causes of costly repairs in a pre-owned RV. So, It is crucial to go for a close inspection of such components to establish they are in good working order.   

To test the required heating capacity of the oven, use an oven thermometer, and to measure the cooling efficiency of the freezer, use an IR thermometer. 

Air Conditioner

Separate the covering of AC and check the signs of water leakage (if any). If you find the filters gummed up, it means AC had never undergone even for a basic repair before. The evaporator fins and condensers should also be free from clogs, debris, and other harms. Finally, to know the working condition and cooling effects of AC, use an IR thermometer gun.


Test all the batteries of the vehicle whether they are in a good condition or not. Make sure there is no trace of overheating near wires and connections. They should be without corrosion and in perfect condition. Its voltage can be measured through a multimeter and lead-acid type batteries can be tested through a hydrometer. Read the date code on their labels, if they are five to seven years old, they would not live long.  

Gas system

It is the basic rule and law of the state that the LP gas system of a recreational vehicle should be certified after proper inspection. Look at the condition of propane cylinders’ regulators, valves, and rubber hoses. Are they working properly or not? Additionally, verify the age of cylinders, they may not have refilled for many years. There should not be any leakage space on them for propane gas to come out.      

Water Pump

Inspect the installed water pump with its wiring and hoses. After switching-on, test its working condition. It should supply water to all plumbing systems without any leakage.     


Pull out the covers of exterior and interior lights. Make sure the bulbs with fixtures are in proper working order. There should not be any sign of excessive heat to the metal and holders. With the help of a circuit tester, inspect all the main power cords and ac outlets for any defects.


The toilet should have a perfect plumbing and drainage system. There should be a good flow of water that can be confirmed by turning on/off the taps and other faucets. Inspect the toilet bowl for any leakage on its seal. Also, test the shower system for the proper flow of water.         

Some of the RVs doesn’t have built-in toilet one of the best options is to have portable waste tanks for rvit is used to increase the capacity of the RV’s waste tanks which is necessary when you find yourself staying in a campsite without a sewer connection.


The undercarriage is one of the most important components of any vehicle that helps in difficult times. Test any excessive cracks and corrosion on the parts like axles, suspension, underbelly covering, etc. Test the tires for defects. If they are older than 6 to 7 years, they may need replacement. The operation of the bumper and entrance stairs should also be at an optimum level. 

Electronic equipment

Test the operation of electronic gadgets like DVD, audio systems, satellite, etc. The sound of speakers should also be clear. To confirm their functionality attach them with the outside cable. In case you don’t want these facilities, ask the seller to remove them from the RV and reduce their cost from the final price.         

Hidden areas and corners

Finally, take a round of the RV to look into every nook or corner of the vehicle. Open all the access panels, cabinets, and storage places to examine the defects. The serious issues will be indicated through water leakages, molds, corrosion, and broken apparatus, etc.     

For proper safety of the vehicle, check the functionality of safety equipment that detects the LP gas, carbon monoxide, smoke, etc. during an emergency.   

Carefully doing inspection work saves your time and money on repairs afterward. Moreover, the discovered defects can provide you with the opportunity of negotiation of the prices at the time of purchase. In case you find any difficulty during the process, hire the services of professionals for this job.



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