After posting in another thread, it was suggested that this might be helpful to others
I'd like to start a thread about your own tips and tricks when looking at a used camper, what you look for, what you wished you would have looked for.
My perspective is from a purchase of well cared for 15 year old Bigfoot
truck camper that I've now owned for 5 years. After having spent a year looking for the right rig.
I'm a former Product Designer who worked in transportation design and I managed an R&D lab working in transportation research. I have been accused of being persnickety about things.
Here's my list:
The biggest things to look out for but in no order;
, check very carefully around all windows
, doors, hatches, vents, lights
(especially the position lights) and any other opening also check the bondline where the top and bottom halves meet. Check to make sure the roof penetrations have been sealed, you will need to get on the roof for this and check around all the edges of each thing on the roof.
Look for past or present indications or witness lines of water intrusion.
Delamination, where the outer layer of fiberglass un-bonds from the layers below.
Condition of the holding tanks.
There can be some funky stuff growing in the fresh water tank and the black and grey tanks may have been parked partially full and then the liquid evaporated out leaving you with a mess.
Condition of all of the mechanicals and appliances.
Especially the water heater and fridge
, those two are very expensive items to replace.
Often the anode rod has never been replaced and the hot water tank has never been flushed. It's challenging to check the fridge
because they take so long to cool down but they should at least power up and fire on Propane
if it's a three way fridge
Check the battery
water level, if it's a flooded lead acid battery
and there is acid above the plates then it's a positive sign the owner takes care of their stuff.
Speaking about batteries
The charge converters are also suspect on older units. Look for burn marks or signs of overheating.
I bring a good flash light
, a camera, a mirror and now a Bluetooth inspection camera.
Look under, in, behind, below and around everything. Pull out every drawer, every panel, anything that opens, slides, swings, flips or pivots... Should be.
Don't forget to look under the mattress.
And the outside compartments including the fridge, and water heater.
Check the wiring that you can see inside of cabinets, you are looking to make sure it's in good shape, hasn't been chewed by critters, hasn't been hacked by well meaning PO and doesn't show signs of overheating or is otherwise discolored
Then check dates;
(there's a DOT date code on the sidewall)
Coach batteries (there might be a date on top or side)
Smoke detector (there's a date of manufacture on the back)
Carbon monoxide and propane
monitors (there's a date of manufacture on the back)
tanks. (It's stamped into the ring on the top)
These all have a limited lifespan, some are easy to replace some more costly.
But if you have to replace them all that gets expensive very quickly.
What are your tips and suggestions?