Tip of the Day…Test Drive. If the unit you are looking at is a Class A, B or C, you will want to go on a test drive. Before starting the engine, check the oil, transmission, brake and other fluids. You should have already checked the tires as part of the inspection process.
Note how easily or difficult it is to start the engine.
Do the wipers and washers work properly?
Do all lights work as required?
Does the horn work?
Is the radio functional?
Do all gauges work?
Are there any warnings lights lit?
Is the engine running smoothly?
Does the transmission shift properly?
Do the brakes work smoothly?
Is there any excessive play in the steering?
Are the windshield and windows in good shape?
When you return from the test drive get out and place your hand or use a laser thermometer to check for hot tires and rims.
Check for any leaks under the rig.
Tip of the Day…Inverter. The inverter provides 120 VAC from your coach batteries to power some of the appliances such as TV and Microwave. This is a very easy test. Disconnect or trip the circuit breakers on the shore power pole. Make sure the generator is also off. Then turn on a TV, if it works the inverter works.
Tip of the Day…Running Gear, Part 2 – Towables. No engine, transmission, drive shaft or coolant to worry about here. But you will have a brake away switch, wheels, axles, shocks and frame to inspect. As with the motorhome, you will want to check the wheels for signs of oil/grease leaks. Check the frame for any signs of damage, excessive rust or bent components. Make sure all jacks operate properly.
Tip of the Day…Running Gear. Part 1 – Motorhome. I have already talked about oil and transmission fluid analysis. I have also talked about the test drive. So this section will be covering the rest of the RV Running Gear. Starting with the engine compartment. Is it clean? Signs of oil leaks? Any exhaust leaks? Coolant condition? As a note, it is not a bad idea to have the antifreeze coolant sample taken and analyzed. This will often tell you if there are any problems with the heads as well as if the fluid should be changed.
Check the belts, fan blades and coolant leaks. Check the wheels for signs of oil/grease leaks. Get under the rig, if it can be done safely, and check the frame for signs of damage, excessive rust or bent components.
Tip of the Day… TV and Antennas. Start with the antenna. Note the type and any controls. Some RV will have a crank up antenna and some will have Omni-directional antennas. If it is a crank type, crank it up. Does it operate smoothly? Once extended, turn the antenna left and right. Go outside and verify that is turns.
Once the antenna has been checked out, now it is time for the TV(s). If the RV has multiple TV there will probably be a controller somewhere that controls what inputs go to what TV. In our MH it is above the drivers seat. If you can’t find it, ask the seller. Make sure that the antenna is connected to the TV(s). Turn on each TV and set it up to find the local channels. This will take a few minutes. Once the programming is done, the TV should automatically go to one of the local channels.
There may be a booster somewhere in the RV. Ask the seller for its location. When the RV is set up for Cable/Satellite the booster is off. When using the TV Antenna you will need for the booster to be on (usually a red light will be on). Verify its operation.
Tip of the Day… Lights. You will find a lot of lights in the RV. Inside, outside, basement areas, mood, floor, exit and cabinet lights. Note each location and type of lighting. Verify that each light works.
Tip of the Day… Curtains. There are different kinds of curtains you will find in most RV. Day/Night Shades, Windshield Curtains, Blinds, Shades etc. Check each for operation, stains, discoloration and broken strings.
Tip of the Day…Trailer Hitch Assembly. Regardless of the type of RV you will probably have a trailer hitch. It will either be for towing the RV or for towing a vehicle or dolly behind the RV.
There are several things you want to note regardless. First is the hitch or receiver in good shape. Does the hitch safety latch work? What size ball does it require? Is the wiring in good shape? Note the weight capacity (5,000, 10,000 or other). Does the RV have a brake Controller? Does the RV have air brakes?
Depending on the RV you may have one or more storage compartments. You will want to check each one for the following:
Keys available for each door? These will most likely be common keys. Check that each door locks securely and unlocks.
Check the seals around the door are they in good shape?
Do the lights in each compartment work?
You will need a screw driver for this. Could be Phillips or Flat Head. Find the main electrical panel, ours are in the bedroom. Turn off power to the rig for safety. Unscrew the cover to the electrical panel and check for loose, burned, discolored wires. The electrical panel will have 120 VAC and 12 VDC section. Check the fuses and circuit breakers.