I. Purchasing an RV
A. Classes of RVs (This is just a general overview of the types of RVs so you know what you are talking about when you go in to look at them)
1. Drivable RVs.
* There are 2 “main” types of drivable RVs. A class and C class. A class are sometimes referred to as “diesel pushers.” A class RVs have the flat front.
* C classes have the over the cab bed. These tend to be a little lower to the ground. They also generally use big truck engines.
* Other drivables include busses, B class (Vans that are equipped with kitchens and other living areas), and others.
2. Pull behind/travel trailers
* These are campers that hitch on to the back of your vehicle via a hitch.
3. 5th wheels
* 5th wheels require a truck and a hitch that goes into the bed of a truck. Part of their body extends over the truck bed.
- Pop Ups, hybrids, truck campers.
B. What to look at/for
*When looking at your RV, you MUST get on that roof and inspect the roof. You are looking for cracks, tears, bubbling, patches if used, seals around screws, AC units, and vents. Bubbling can indicate water damage and evidence of patches on the roof can indicate past tears. Patches most often mean a well cared for RV, but they can tell you that you need to investigate further.
*Most pipes in RVs are visible. Yes, you may need to open up the cabinets under sinks, open access panels, etc, but you can see most of them. The water pipes will start at water sources (sinks, tubs) and go under the camper and connect to the tanks. Check all pipes for cracks. Tighten all pipes. Some may come loose in travel. Make sure you know the location of all pipes and which tank they lead to.
3. Spend time
*This, I find, is where most people just go wrong. SPEND TIME in any RV you’d like to purchase. I read so many posts where people buy an RV and on their first trip, realize they can’t be in it due to off gassing or other issues. Why spend that much money on something you can’t be in? When I say spend time, I do not mean walk in and look at things. I mean pack a lunch, bring some games, plan on spending HOURS in the RV before you buy it. If the dealer does not allow this, find another dealer. You should be spending at least 2-3 hours at a time for about 4 days you potential RV before buying. This much time will give your body enough exposure time to start reacting if something is amiss.
4. My opinion on quality versus price
C. Care and maintenance of your RV
II. Maintaining RVs
A. Main areas of potential water damage
B. Other tips
- City water
- Fridge water line
- Access panels
III. Trouble! What to do