I recently conducted a little mini poll on the Queen Bee RV Facebook page along with my personal page asking this question: What was something you did not discover until AFTER you made your RV purchase? What did you do with that discovery once it was made? Would it have been a dealbreaker? Or, simply nice to know? Or, no biggie?
-We did not unroll the awning and should have before purchasing. It tore off the frame the first time we did. May have been a dea-lbreaker for sure.
-We never opened the awning on our ’98 Coleman Bayside Pup because the bag was torn and figured we would just replace the bag. We didn’t realize it was all one piece with the awning along with the discovery that the awning guide is an integrated piece. This will all cost upwards of $400 in materials just to do it ourselves. We also didn’t check the water heater and had to replace it along with the gas connection points and gas meters to update them and make sure it’s all safe.
-Something had been dropped in the black tank during construction. The owner only discovered it after using all of the facilities and was unable to dump the tank.
-That we had ground effect lighting. Would have been nice to know.
-After doors leaked during driving rain, I found out that they were installed upside down. I had no idea, but doubt it would have changed my mind.
-The fridge was not working in my new Rpod so I took it back to the dealership. Turns out it takes several hours to cool, so it had not been checked before delivery.
-I did not know what “four seasons” really means. I also did not know how and why to winterize.
-Purchased a TT at a federal auction, 3-4 years old and super clean, still had plastic on the carpet. Got home and discovered both black and grey tanks were missing.
-Was having issues with my breakers tripping and discovered someone had filed down the screws which could have caused a fire.
-Our first 40′ motorhome had an International Engine (semi type). We did not know that the only people that would work on it was the International Truck Dealer in our town. An oil change was $1000 and everything we had done was extremely expensive and a long wait.
-Wish we could’ve test driven what it feels like to tow it with our vehicle before purchase. We were meticulous on researching weight ratings vs what our vehicles could tow, but doesn’t feel like it was enough.
What can you do to avoid some of these costly, aggravating, and sometimes scary discoveries when purchasing an RV?
- Ask the owner to have all utilities available to test before driving away – whether it’s at the dealership or a private sale. This is standard practice–insist upon it! Water, electric, sewer.
- Operate all of the mechanical items like the awnings and slides.
- Operate all of the appliances like kitchen, AC, furnace, water heater and generator.
- Check the electrical panel connections and water/plumbing systems.
- Take a test drive.
- Check manufacture dates and tread/sidewall condition of all tires.
- Check all of the life safety systems like detectors, LP tanks, running gear, etc.
- Request and observe the maintenance records from the seller or dealership.
- If all of this sounds overwhelming, hire a certified RV Inspector from the National RV Inspectors Association! There are literally hundreds of items we inspect in a very detailed report along with dozens of photos. This allows you to have peace of mind about your purchase or give you the insight to walk away!
Brenda Pucket, Certified RV Inspector, Queen Bee RV Inspections: https://queenbeesrv.com/
Brenda is also the Chapter Guide for Eastern Oklahoma! Follow her page on fb: