Things to Inspect When Checking Over a Used Motor Home Before Buying It
RV’s, Motor Homes, Campers and the all famous “Motor Coaches” like those of the big movie stars cost big bucks… Not only do they cost big bucks but those bucks can easily be spent elsewhere such as into your home or business. Today’s modern Motor Homes & Recreational Vehicles tout more features that are truly built in to the rig than what your house may have in it. It’s important to understand that this is not just another used car purchase. You are buying a complete house on wheels. To help you prepare here is a short list of some of the major areas you need to check out fully before committing to the purchase.
Cosmetic Stuff – The Exterior & Interior needs to be the way you want to live with it. Repairs on the insides of these rigs take special skill, to remove each piece in the order it needs to be removed. Not to mention the proper fasteners and sealant must be used at all times. Think of how mobile homes where built 30 years ago… It’s all build motor home specific so it is not just an easy fix as the owner might think it really is.
Electrical – You might think that a wiring in one home is the same as another? Not quite, many of these newer model motor homes have duel electrical systems. I’ve been working on heavy equipment, cars, boats and RV’s all my life and I still get stumped on how the wiring really works in these campers these days. You may have 3 different circuits running to a single outlet and not know it. Rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t work – Don’t buy it. Make sure all the repairs that you feel need to be fixed prior to purchase are completed by a professional such as the dealership – Don’t expect to be able to repair it on your own.
Plumbing – Imagine for a second how much plumbing is in your current home.. Now take all that plumbing and stuff it in a bus. That is what you have. It is very important that you know that all of the sewer, gray water and fresh water systems work perfectly. Also check for ANY leaks and NEVER purchase a motor home while it is still winterized. Always check it when it is fully operational. If a seller or dealer won’t “de-winterize” the system then they are not serious about selling it.
Suspension – What lies under the carriage is what is most important. If you did not know it what you have is basically a bus that has sleeping quarters. Under your bus is likely a Freightliner frame, suspension and driveline just like the semi trucks use. You probably have an air ride suspension with air bags, leveling valves and control valves which keep your rig riding smooth, they are also used to help level out the rig while it is parked – One single leak and you can be spending $1000′s in repair bills quickly trying to fix it. Just like the suspension the steering system is much the same as a big rig. It has kingpins instead of balljoints which if they have not been lubed in the past properly they can get severely worn – First you might feel a slight shake in the wheel then you will see that you are wearing out front tires quickly… When you take it in for an alignment you will get the $3000 bill for installing a new kingpin set. As you can see the repair bills on motor homes are much more than what you may expect. So it is most important that you know what really lies under your carriage.
Driveline – The driveline on these big boys is no different than that of a bus. most of the have a inline 6 cylinder Caterpillar, Detroit or Cummins diesel engine in them backed by an Allison 6 speed automatic transmission and a very short driveshaft with monster sized u-joints that must be lubricated often to avoid premature wear.
There are many other areas such as the generator, heater, air conditioning units, appliances such as the stove, microwave, refrigerator, power awnings, self leveling system, entertainment system and still much more.
We offer you this quick guide to checking the most important things before you buy so you can save money in the future and avoid the costly mistake and heartache of having an issue while on vacation with your family. If you would like us to perform one of our 14+ page Pre-Purchase Motor Home Inspection Reports please give us a call or send us a message. Don’t be fooled by some of the national auto inspection companies that say the check these things.. Here we can show you proof of what we actually inspect.