Inspecting a travel trailer is not an easy task but you have come a long way already because you chose the type of travel trailer you would like to buy. You know the size, the type of layout and the amount of money you would like to spend.
When it comes to inspecting a trailer, do not let your emotions get in the way of your needs. Have a checklist of the things that are important to you when looking at a potential travel trailer buy. Just because a trailer looks sparkly clean and smells great from the inside, doesnt mean it will be your best choice. The following are top ten plus one things you should look for when inspecting a travel trailer (not necessarily in this order):
1. Roof – the roof should be designed to keep water from leaking to the interior. Look for signs of water pooling. If you see lots of sealant applied be sure to check around the ceiling inside for signs of water damage.
2. Bathroom – inspect the shower frame by grabbing a hold of it and seeing if its possible to rattle the frame? Some showers look great but dont hold up to the rigors of bouncing when trailer is on the road. If there is a shower tub make sure it has water tight enclosures. For your health and comfort you need a small power fan for venting the roof.
Make sure it is in working condition.
3. Overall cleanliness of the inside of trailer – are you satisfied with the upholstery and floors or will you have to spend money to update? You may have to spend a considerable amount of money if updating, keep that in mind when negotiating for a price.
4. Appliances, including the water heater – If you can, turn the appliances on and make sure they are in good working condition. Look and listen for anything that seems suspicious. Listen for strange noises while the appliance is running, does it have a funny smell, or does it appear to be damaged?
5. Batteries – make sure they can hold a full charge and look for corrosion and leakage.
6. Inside – walls, fans, windows, storage compartments: Look for signs of leakage, in many cases this comes in a form of stains on the ceiling, walls, inside drawers and the floor. Are the ceiling fans in good working condition? Do the windows and doors open and close properly. You know there may be a problem if it is hard to close the door. Possible water leakage.
7. Converter – Most of equipment in a travel trailer are designed for 12-volt operation (except; microwave, air conditioner and anything plugged into 110 volt outlet). Converter is necessary when plugged into 110 volt campsite line to convert the 110 volts to 12 volt to avoid burning out wiring on 12 volt appliances.
8. Lights/brake lights: Are all the turning lights and brake lights working properly?
9. Tires: Make sure they are highway safe. Look for cracking, signs of misalignment and excessive wear.
10. Propane; Look for signs of leaks and funny odors omitting from propane bottles.
+1. Towing vehicle make sure your towing vehicle is able to support the weight of the trailer. Confirm that you are within the capacities of the trailer being towed. This can not be stressed enough. There are many trailers on the road that should not be towed by the vehicles that are towing them. This is very dangerous to you and vehicles around you and also the lifespan of your tow vehicle will be shortened.
Buying a used travel trailer is riskier than a new travel trailer, but the savings can be very significant. Consider your choice carefully and be prepared to do a little fixing up, because as we all know nothing is perfect. Happy traveling.