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Old 08-18-2016, 08:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gfarmcafe View Post
One other item - have them remove and replace the anode rod in the water heater if it has one. Make sure the new one can be screwed in properly - threads tend to wear out over time.
Great point in a used camper with unknown maintenance. If that anode is frozen in place you will be looking at a new water heater soon even if it currently "works".


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Old 08-18-2016, 09:48 PM   #12
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Great suggestions from others. I would add 2 things: 1) get on the roof and inspect carefully all seams, around all vents, the a/c, pipes, etc. As someone else said, look for new sealants on the roof as well as the body. New sealant in spots on the roof can indicate a previous leak may have occurred if the roof issue was left unaddressed; and 2) look for discoloration on the linoleum inside. If there is water damage on the underside of the camper it will often present itself as darkening from the bottom up on the linoleum. I learned the hard way when I did not question the discolored linoleum in the TT I bought and it was black mold from a previous leak so my insurance company totaled the camper out. Best of luck and happy trails to you!

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Old 08-18-2016, 10:36 PM   #13
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I have two friends that brought a pre-owned RV and found out later that the black tank had not been emptied before trade in. One of them had black tank issues and had to have it serviced so it would drain which wasn't cheap.
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

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Old 08-19-2016, 06:23 AM   #14
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Another great tip.

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Old 08-19-2016, 07:13 AM   #15
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Great tip about the anode rod and the roof and dumping the tanks are also good.

Are you keeping a list?

Don't let them intimidate you into not looking at and testing everything.
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a 2500 Mega-Cab CTD!
Gotta go campin!
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:27 AM   #16
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Everyone has given advice on so many things to look for, it might seem overwhelming - take your time so you can understand how everything is supposed to work and don't let the salesman rush you - they are making plenty of profit on this trailer. Allow at least 2 hours for the walk-though, several on this site encourage much more time for it. Use your phone to take videos as the employee demonstrates the operation of everything. As long as all you've paid on it so far is a deposit, don't be afraid to walk away from the deal if anything seems wrong. Have you looked at a site like rvtrader to see what the asking price is for your unit?

What dealer are you buying from? If you have an experienced camping friend, perhaps he could come along, although 1000 miles might be a lot of time to ask of him; maybe someone here would offer to help you, they likely wouldn't ask anything of you except maybe lunch!
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:32 AM   #17
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This forum also has PDI (Pre-delivery Inspection) list or two that you can use; here's another one that I like.


We are supposed to take delivery of a used fifth this weekend and we're using this list - keeping in mind that it is a used trailer. We also chose to hire an RV mobile repair company to inspect the RV along with us during the PDI - we want to avoid major issues as much as possible.

Hope everything goes well for you!
Michelle Evans
Katy, TX
2011 Carriage Cabo 341
2014 Wildwood 231RBXL - Traded Her In
2016 Days Camped = 5; Reserved = 14 so far
2015 Days Camped = 24 / 2014 Days Camped = 23
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:08 AM   #18
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IMO 1,000 miles is a LONG way to travel to check-out a used 2012 Wolf Pup 17rr when new ones sell for less than $12K... You'll likely spend over $400 in gas (3% of new price) & you need to be willing to walk-away if there are any serious issues.

I looked closely at over 20 used TTs from both private sellers & dealers before I found one good-enough to drive home... In 2014 we bought our used 2011 PT Tracer from a dealer 10 minutes from work for 25% less than the best (new) wholesaler prices. I purposefully stopped after work to view it during heavy rains & it was bone dry. I spent about 2 hours checking every cubby with a flashlight, underneath, roof, etc. BEFORE making an offer. Key points were to check for signs of prior water penetration - stained wood, soft spots in floor, water paths through the left-over sawdust in cubbies, etc. I actually viewed a new one that was leaking water badly, which lead me to this used one... If you see ANY signs of prior water leaks RUN away. What you can see will be small compared to the hidden damage...

The dealer was asking the same/less as private sellers on Craigslist, RV Trader, etc. With some negotiating the dealer included a FREE pressurized leak test & re-caulking, Equalizer 4 1200 WDH & installation, and enough store credit to get all new essentials like leveling blocks, sewer hose, 30A extension, black tank deodorizer, etc.

While we were in financing they did the pressure test & re-caulking & installed the WDH. We then spent 2.5 hours doing a full PDI with everything connected & they allowed me to videotape the PDI for future reference & to hold them to their word... They adjusted all slide-out cables, awning tracking, replaced the CO2 detector, 12V battery, and filled the propane tanks.

We spent the next 2 seasons camping without any serious issues. In the 3rd year I replaced our RV fridge with a larger residential Whirlpool ($300) that runs off of a 2000W inverter ($100) combined with an extra 12V battery ($75). Everything else is still working great, but again, I looked at over 20 TTs before finding one I was willing to drive home...

You HAVE to be willing to walk-away from a bad one & IMO driving 1000 miles makes it harder to do so... BTW, the salesperson saw how picky I was & just walked me past the known bad ones - knowing it would be a waste of time... IMO those are the ones they sell sight unseen... I saw an out-of-state fella picking one of them up on the day I came back to get mine... IMO it had about $2000 of water damage around the slide-out seal - rotted wood under the seal...
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:56 PM   #19
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Wow, you guys are great. It's from camping world, and the price is right, which is why I put the deposit sight unseen.

taking a video is a GREAT ideal. I would not have thought of that. Thanks for the inspection sheet link.
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Old 08-27-2016, 11:31 PM   #20
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Well, it's mine. Thanks for the tips, especially to take notes. Took everything apart during the walk thru and it all tested out. Some minor wear and tear issues i found on the road trip home but all easily fixed. Again, thanks for the help. I assume this is step one on my way to a Pusher! 🙂

Suggestions for the next guy: take notes. Bring tools. DONT BE RUSHED.

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