Friday, June 2, 2023


The 7 most common problem areas with used RVs

By Cheri Sicard
If you are thinking of buying a used RV, be sure to check out this video from Josh the RV Nerd, one of our reader’s favorite RV YouTube channels. In the video, Josh covers the seven most common problems you will likely encounter in used RVs.

Yes, I know the video title says five things, but I watched the video and counted seven!

Knowledge is power, and this knowledge can potentially save you big bucks and avoid buying an RV that will need expensive repairs out of the door.

Following this list will go a long way towards ensuring you are buying a quality used RV and not a money pit.

In the video, Josh uses the steps he personally takes to evaluate the used RVs that come into the lot where he works. He is looking for areas that could potentially turn into bigger problems down the road.

7 things to look for when buying used RVs

#1 Roof seams: This is the very first thing Josh looks at. Get on the roof and check out the seams. Yes, even if you have to go and get a ladder. Why? Because water works with gravity. If there is a problem on the roof, you know there will be more problems down below. Watch the video as Josh shows you exactly what rooftop warning signals you are looking for.

#2 Interior four corners: Once you get inside, Josh says to check the four corners of the RV at the ceiling. Corners have more stress on them during transit, so if problems are going to occur this is usually where they show up first. Again, Josh shows you just what you are looking for and how to detect current or even past water damage.

#3 Braille bumps: This is Josh’s term for small bumps on an RV’s interior wall that strongly resemble braille writing. I am happy to say I have never seen any of these. What they are are mold spores that got trapped within the RV’s walls.

#4 Slides: If your potential RV has a slide it is important to thoroughly check all the way around it as this is another area where water can potentially cause damage. Josh shares several places in a slide out where damage clues might be visible.

#5 Open everything: Open every cabinet and interior and exterior door and look inside for potential signs of water damage. Josh says the inside of RV cabinets are good places for problems to hide in used RVs.

#6: Discoloration, peeling, fading, and/or delamination: Josh says that any of these clues must be looked at more closely when evaluating used RVs. Look around for anything that seems “out of the ordinary.”

#7 Does it work: When evaluating used RVs it is always important to make sure the RV’s major systems and appliances are in good working order. Josh’s top five things to check are the air conditioner, water pump, water heater, refrigerator, and furnace. Depending on the time of year and where the used RV is located, you may or may not be able to verify all of these, but do your best.

Josh shows actual examples of what to look for with all these points in the video, so be sure to give it a watch.

In the end, he stresses that seeing any of these problems should not automatically disqualify the RV from purchase. A lot of factors go into such a decision. But knowing what you might be getting into can help you make a wiser decision and negotiate a better deal.



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