The key to getting a good bargin, instead of a lemon, when buying your used RV is knowing what to look for. Here is a useful checklist to help with your search.
1. Does trailer jack work?
2. Do propane bottles need updating and inspection? This can be costly if bottles need to be replaced. Generally, if an RV propane tank is older than twelve years, it will have to be reinspected every five years. Also, it is mandatory that propane tank have an OPD valve. If you don't know what an OPD valve is, official description is "Overfilling Protection Device".
3. Check hoses leading away from propane bottle for cracks and splits. You do not want a leaking propane connection. Check nut that screws into propane tank. Is it worn? If so, it may need to be replaced.
4. The LP Gas regulator is usually located just a few inches away from propane tanks. You'll see hoses leading from propane tanks into a device with one pipe at bottom of it that runs beneath RV. Regulators begin to leak when they are approximately ten years old. For your information, leaking propane is not a good thing. Don't hesitate to replace regulator if it is leaking.
5. Batteries are often dead, or not too far from dead, in an older RV. Check and make sure it still works. If bulbs inside burn bright, battery(s) may still be in decent condition.
6. Does converter still work? What's a converter? Well, it is a device that recharges your battery and converts regular household electrical current from AC to DC allowing your 12-Volt fixtures and appliances to operate. Test this by plugging in electrical cord and unhooking battery (unhook battery before you plug in RV power cord to prevent electrocution). If 12-Volt lights and water pump still work, converter is still working.
7. Do stabilizers beneath trailer still let up and down? You'll be glad to have stabilizers when you park in an area with constant wind gusts like south Texas coast.
8. Are tires still in good condition? Check for cracks and splits and look at tread depth on all tires.
9. It is absolutely mandatory that you understand condition of braking system. Have owner hook up RV and allow you to tow for a short distance and test test brakes. Brake repairs are expensive. Your life and safety of your vehicle and RV depend on RV brakes functioning properly every time.
10. Does door step let up and down easily?
11. Can you open and close all outside compartments easily? Do gaskets need to be replaced? Worn or missing gaskets permit air and moisture to penetrate RV.