Pre Purchase RV Inspection Checklist
Inside the RV:
· Look for signs of water leaks. Usually you’ll see stains where the walls meet the ceiling, around window frames, and inside cabinets. Take a flashlight and look under sinks and behind any access panels near a water source. Under the shower, for example.
· Check all appliances for condition and missing parts. Check each appliance by operating it.
· Run the Frig (Run it in propane mode as well as in electric mode)
· Run the air conditioner long enough to make sure it blows cold.
· Run the furnace.
· Run the water pump. (It’s best to run with water in the tank so you can see if it has good pressure/flow.
· Check all faucets for leaks.
· Check for plumbing leaks by turning on pump (make sure there is water in the tank) and all faucets off. Wait for a few minutes. The pump should not cycle on. If it does, there is a leak somewhere.
· Check vent fans
· Check that vents open and close properly
· Check water heater.
· Check the stove and oven for condition. Make sure all burners and oven operate properly.
· Check lights.
· Check condition of upholstery. Look for general condition, sun damage, and stains. Especially pet related stains.
· Check condition of carpet. Look for water stains—may indicate water damaged floor. Check for pet stains.
· Check windows for screens and condition of screens.
· Check windows for proper operation. Do they open and close smoothly?
· Check windows for cracks.
· Check bed for condition of mattress. RV mattresses are often very thin and uncomfortable. A popular upgrade with RVers is to replace the stock mattress with a good quality one.
Outside the RV:
· Look for “bubbles” in the sidewalls. Push on them to see if they give. If so, it’s probably delamination caused by water getting in and causing rot.
· Check slide-outs for proper operation.
· Make sure storage doors and access doors work properly. If they lock make sure there are keys.
· Check batteries for age and condition.
· In motorhomes, check windshield for cracks.
· Check all exterior lights including tail/brake lights.
· Check condition of roof. It should not be soft and spongy.
· Check rubber sealant to make sure it’s not peeling away from vents, the AC, or around corners and mounting hardware for awnings, etc.
· Check for white streaks on windows and sides of RV. White streaks usually mean that it’s time to have the roof recoated.
· Check grey and black water plumbing. Pour water into sink and toilet. Flush toilet. There should not be water getting past the slide valves.
· Check the slide valves. (First, make sure tanks are empty.) They should slide smoothly and be water tight.
· If the RV has airbag suspension, check for leaks.
· Check tires for condition and abnormal wear. There should be no cracks in the sidewalls. Check for tread depth to make sure tires still have a few miles left in them. If the tires have unusual wear it may mean an alignment problem, bent axle, or frame. Check for proper inflation. Low air pressure may indicate a slow leak.
· Run the generator. Put an electrical load on it to ensure proper operation.
If the RV is a motorhome:
· If the RV is a motorhome you will need to inspect the drivetrain as well.
· Engine should start easily and run smoothly. Look for oil leaks, smoke, and unusual sounds. If it’s a California vehicle, make sure it passes smog before buying.
· Check all fluids for level and condition. If the oil is low and dirty the unit was probably not well kept and could be a sign of problems later.
· Check condition of belts and hoses.
· Have a compression and leak down test done. This is a good way to get an idea engine’s condition. A failed test can mean problems with piston rings and/or valves. A costly repair.
· Check exhaust system for leaks and excessive rust.
· Check all the engine gauges in the dash to make sure they are working.
· Inspect the brakes. Look at pads and shoes to see how much life they have left. Check brake rotors for grooves. Check for leaks along brake lines and components.
· Check hydraulic leveling system for proper operation. Inspect system for leaks.