Purchasing an RV: Inspection Checklist

If you’re new to RVing, you’re smart to wonder about how to drive and operate your RV safely.

It’s your home away from home, and should be treated as such.

And Vogel Talks RVing has you covered with answers, tips, ideas, and more, so you can hit the road with confidence.

A fifth wheel trailer camping at On-Ur-Wa-RV-Park near Onawa, Iowa, a 5-star park with long pulls in the 100-foot range. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A fifth wheel trailer camping at On-Ur-Wa-RV-Park near Onawa, Iowa, a 5-star park with long pulls in the 100-foot range. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Checklists Save the Day

From inspecting and maintaining your first RV to knowing what to take with you on trips, having a plan helps everything run more smoothly and ensures you’re informed and in control every step of the way. Below is a helpful checklists to get you started during the RV purchasing process.

RV Inspection Checklist

Whether you buy new or used, it’s important to inspect your RV during the purchase process. You can hire a professional inspector or perform an inspection yourself.

Here are some things to look for either way.

Exterior

Look underneath the RV for anything hanging or leaking

Look at the exterior for paint and fiberglass damage

Camping at Dakota Campground, Mitchell, South Dakota. Be sure to visit the world-famous Corn Palace. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping at Dakota Campground, Mitchell, South Dakota. Be sure to visit the world-famous Corn Palace. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check all windows and weather stripping for damage

Make sure all doors open, close, lock, and unlock

Check the roof for cracks or loosening components

Make sure all accessories are firmly attached to the RV

Make sure exterior storage doors open, close, and latch properly

Check tires, wheels, suspension, and brake pads for damage and wear

Check tire pressure in all tires including spares

Check all hookups and tanks (water, sewer, electricity)

Check that the generator isn’t leaking, smoking, or making extra noise

Check batteries for corrosion

Check the furnace and propane tank for exterior leaks

Make sure all exterior lights work properly

Make sure vents are clear of debris

If applicable, check motorhome engine or have a mechanic check it

If applicable, check all components of towing hitch (tongue/king pin, hitch receiver, ball mount, safety chains, breakaway switch, wiring for brake lights)

Camping at Jackson Rancheria RV Resort near Jackson, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping at Jackson Rancheria RV Resort near Jackson, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Interior

Check the floor and ceiling for water damage or mold

Check cabinets and storage compartments for leaks or damage

Make sure all interior lights work properly

Make sure both heating and air conditioning are working

Test all electrical outlets

Make sure seating/sleeping areas convert properly

Make sure all interior appliances are working and clean

Make sure all electronics are working (TV, satellite, DVD player, sound system)

Test all water sources (sinks, shower, toilet)

Test all alarms (smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, propane gas detector)

Check that your fire extinguisher is full and ready

Check all gauges (holding tank levels, propane, battery)

Camping at Portland Fairview RV Park near Portland. Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping at Portland Fairview RV Park near Portland. Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check all switches (power awning, water pump, slide-outs)

Make sure the leveling system works properly

Check window shades and screens for tears or damage

Worth Pondering…

As I read, and thought, and stared at my stuff around me, I slowly realized a simple truth. The amount of freedom in my life was inversely proportional to the amount of stuff I had.

—Emily Fagen’s blog, Road Less Traveled

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