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Buying an RV: What you need to know

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Essential inspections and checks before you buy

By Jean-Luc Théberge, author of the Guide du petit campeur québécois


Whether you’re buying a used RV or a new one, there are a number of inspections you should make before plunking your money down. Adjustments are often necessary in the first year, so make sure you take advantage of the guarantee if there is one.

 

Watch for water leaks!

Closely inspect all the seals and every little corner of the RV, especially if it is a used one. If you see that the wood is damp or uneven, it probably means there have been leaks in the past. Replacing the floor in an RV is expensive!


It’s important to properly check the stove, heating, three-way fridge (120V AC, propane, 12V DC) and all the cupboards, the toilet, shower, beds, sink, seats, etc. Propane equipment costs a fortune to repair, and skilled repair workers are hard to find.

Uneven tire wear often points to a problem with the RV’s alignment or suspension. For a tent trailer, it is essential that you raise it while the vendor is there, to check the gears and pulleys and make sure you understand how it works.

Pay particular attention to stains and mould and the condition of the fabric.
 

A mechanical inspection is also a good idea

If possible, take the RV to an expert or a small garage to have its structure, brakes, propane line and electrical system inspected. For motorhomes, a mechanical inspection by a qualified garage is indispensable.


Don’t buy on an impulse! Take someone impartial along to advise you.

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