Q:

What should you look for when purchasing a used travel trailer?

A:

Quick Answer

Things to look for when purchasing a used travel trailer include its mechanical condition, structural condition and interior appliances and accessories. A used travel trailer is usually often a good alternative to a new one, but the purchaser's pleasure could be spoiled if the condition is worse than realized.

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Full Answer

Buyers should inspect the underside of the travel trailer and look for impact damage, broken welds, cracks and extensive rust on the frame. These are signs that the foundation of the vehicle is compromised and could collapse in the future. The axles, tires and wheels should all be inspected by a certified mechanic. Tires that are more than five years old need to be replaced. The electric brake system should be checked, and the wheel bearings inspected and repacked.

Next, the buyer should check for leak stains on the ceilings, that the entry door is working properly and look for soft spots on the floor. These are good indicators of the structural soundness of the vehicle. The exterior aluminum siding should be inspected for physical damage and loose panels. Fiberglass side walls should not be peeling or separating, and the windows should be in good operating condition.

Finally, buyers should go through the interior appliances and accessories. The refrigerator in particular should be in good working order, because it is an expensive appliance to repair or replace. The interior should be up to date, the floors in good condition and the curtains and windows in good working order.

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