Q:

What problems should you watch for when buying a used RV or camper?

A:

Quick Answer

Individuals shopping for a used recreational vehicle should ensure the vehicle has at least 10,000 miles clocked on the odometer, and they should check the state of the fuel pump, various belts, batteries and water pipes, according to AARP. The individual should also make sure the roof does not leak.

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Full Answer

An RV in acceptable working condition should have between 10,000 and 35,000 miles on the odometer to ensure it's been used enough to know it's not problematic but not so much to where it may begin having mechanical issues. Parked RVs may develop mechanical failures due to their dormant states, especially in areas where temperatures fall fairly low in the winter, so shoppers are advised to look for problems with the tires, brakes and generator. These common mechanical issues most often need to be repaired before the vehicle can be driven.

The buyer should check underneath the RV to ensure the bottom has not rusted too severely. When the buyer starts the vehicle for the first time, he should watch for an emission of blue smoke. If this occurs, the rubber gaskets on the RV have most likely hardened, causing valve guides to leak and the vehicle to consume too much oil. Transmission leaks may also be an issue, so the individual is advised to check the seam that exists in the middle of the engine and the transmission for any indication of the red fluid leaking.

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