Camping and RV Articles > Used RV Buying Guide Checklist

Used RV Buying Guide Checklist

Buying a Used RV

Checklist for buying a used RV.

Here is the checklist to use when inspecting a used motorhome. You may want to take your video camera with you to film each one so that you have a visual reference when we make your decision.

Some of the items we have listed to check may not be applicable for all RVs.

Maintenance Records?
Gross Weight:
Asking Price:

Surfaces Dents, dings, scratches or stains - can we live with them?  
Leaks Warped or stained walls, especially in the corners. "Soft" spots around windows, vents and along the floor  
Generator Does it start smoothly? Voltage produces should be 110-125 volts  
Lighting Working? Fluorescent ones should come on at full brightness  
Fans Working? Do they need lubrication?  
Door Hinges Check for wear  
Side Mirrors Do they allow for good visibility?  
Engine Did it start on the first try? Unacceptable if not  
Road Test
Listen for bumping, grinding, creaking or clanging, any unusual sounds.
Did it have enough power to get up a steep hill easily?
Did it hesitate when the engine was hot?
Check the braking power
Check the spot where it was parked. Is anything leaking?
A/C Run the air conditioner for at least 15 minutes and make sure it stays cool  
Radio Check all the radio controls and make sure all speakers, front and back, work   
Cruise Control Working?   
Locks/Controls Are all the door locks and interior controls working?   
Steering Check the play in the steering. Is it too loose?  
Tires Check the tires for wear and cracking  
Belts/Hoses Check for cracks - anything with a crack will have to be replaced  
Exhaust In sunlight, the exhaust should be clear. If there is bluish smoke, the engine is in trouble. It should also be odorless from a few feet away.  
Refrigerator Takes about 3 hours, but should stay cold and freezer to be icy cold using both propane and electric.  
Stove/Oven Light the oven and stove top burners.  
Water Try all the water faucets and check for leaks around the pump, water heater and tanks. Does the water inlet have a filter before the water gets to the pump? Is there a pressure regulator?
Check under sinks for signs of previous leaks.
Holding Tanks Run water into them and check for leaks  
Bathroom Is it big enough?  
Interior Colors Can you live with the colors?  
Flooring Check the condition of all carpet and flooring.  
Windows Do they all work properly?  
Seating Condition of seating and/or foam cushions.  
Phone Is it wired for a phone line?  
Cable Is it wired for cable TV?  
Microwave Does it work?  
TV/Stereo Do they work?  
Front Dash Is it in good condition?
Is there room on the passenger side to build in a computer workstation?
Cigarette Lighter Does it work?  
Sleeping Is the sleeping area large enough?  
Exterior Compartments Are they dry and clean, with no rusty areas?  
Siding Check the screws for rust and streaking. Are there rusted areas in the body?  
Roof Check for cracking on rubber roof, rust and loose screws on metal.
Is there a roof rack?
Solar Are there solar panels? How many house batteries?  
Furnace Start the furnace and be sure that it is working smoothly. Flame should not be too blue.  
Awning Pull out the awning and check condition and ease of use.  
Interior Storage Is there enough? Check in cupboards for signs of previous leaks.  
Rear Ladder Check the condition of the ladder.  
Previous Owner Can you contact the previous owner?  
Vehicle Battery Check the condition.  
House Batteries How many? Condition?  
Manuals Do they have the manuals for all appliances and equipment?

This is the list we are currently working from. As we attend more RV shows and look at more used ones, we will probably be adding to it. But, this is enough to get us started!


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