RV Lifestyle eZine
Helping to Make Your RV Life Run Smoothly
February 10, 2016
Choosing the Right Vehicle
first recreational vehicle we purchase has an important bearing on our
enjoyment of the RV lifestyle. This is even truer when it is to be our
retirement home for several years. If we bought a “lemon,” and certainly
if we got juiced twice when the dealer worked out a solution, the whole
dream melted away. If only we had hired someone to check it out first
(gosh, we did that when we bought our home).
pre-purchase inspections are not routine, we wind up searching for
someone to carry out this role. RV dealers, like auto dealers, generally
do not suggest or support this inspection process. Unfortunately, until
three years ago there was no organized training and review process in
place for RV inspectors.
RVReviews published this 8 point list. Check this list against the services quoted when you get that pre-purchase inspection.
“What to look for in a Pre-Purchase Inspection (or “PPI” as we industry
1. Fit and Finish:
Open and close all doors, drawers and windows. Check for proper
latching. Doors especially get “out of whack” during transport from the
manufacturer to the dealer and require re-adjustment.
2. Operate all heating and cooling systems.
Check that air flow is adequate from all vents. A kinked line can
greatly minimize air flow and should be corrected. Heating systems are
usually pretty reliable but air conditioners often have issues. Since
most camping is done in the summer months, make sure the A/C is blowing
strong and cold. Let it run for a minimum of ten minutes. The RV should
be noticeably cooler in that time.
Turn on the TV, the stereo, GPS, and test all buttons. We hear numerous
times a year that brand new TV’s don’t work. Just because it’s new
don’t assume everything is working -or even hooked up!
Most systems will be dry at the dealer and there’s not much you can do
to test it but leaks are not uncommon on first time trips. Once you get
set up for the first time with water, check under the sinks and under
the RV itself for any signs of leakage. You don’t want to discover a
leak a week after it starts.
5. Leveling systems:
More and more RVs are equipped with hydraulic jacks. The reliability of
these is excellent but make sure they extend and retract smoothly and
you thoroughly understand how to operate them. Now is the time to ask
ALWAYS open and close the slideouts several times. We can’t emphasize
this enough. Listen for bumps or grinding. Have someone operate the
slides while you watch them from underneath. They should travel freely
both ways without hesitation. Any “catching” or rough spots should be
addressed immediately by the dealer.
7. Roofing: Roofs
on RV’s today are pretty darn good but leaks are not unheard of -and if
the leak drains into interior walls, frequently don’t become obvious
for months. Climb up and give the roof a good visual inspection. Look
for gouges, cuts, and tears, anything that may enable rainwater to
access the interior. Check the trim around the perimeter of the roof. Is
8. Tire pressure:
Most RVs sit for weeks or months on a dealer’s lot. It’s expected that
tires will lose some tire pressure. Low tire pressure is not always
visually evident and dealers don’t always check this like they should.
Bring a tire pressure gauge and check the tires for proper pressure.
This is the simplest part of a PPI but may have the largest impact on
9. My addition to this list: Check and note the age and condition of the tires.
Make sure this is written into the inspector’s paperwork. This is an
expensive replacement. Use this to adjust the asking price, if
In 2014, an association formed to train and certify RV inspectors. The
RV National Recreational Vehicle Inspectors Association, Inc. tests and
certifies RV Inspectors in addition to connecting Inspectors with
clients that need inspections done. To find an inspector for your
pre-purchase check, visit NRVIA.org.
"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
- Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist
RV Inspection Results
just take a look at some findings from RV inspections conducted so far
during 2014 where oil and coolant analysis was included as part of the
shows that 35 percent of RV oil systems have problems. Many needed
either immediate service, engine diagnostics, or both.
Fluid testing ranged from engine oils to transmission fluids and generator oils. Problems detected included oil breakdown and contamination, internal part wear, plus coolants and fuel leaking into the oil.
Even more shocking, the data shows that 67 percent of all RVs tested
had cooling systems problems. Problems detected included improper
water/glycol mixture, incorrect freezing and boiling points, incorrect
pH, and insufficient amounts of coolant additives which left these
systems vulnerable to damage from within.
Read the rest of the story at the RV Daily Report.
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water heater works! How do you perform simple maintenance on the
generator, hydraulic levelers, and the roof. Learn the best way to
maintain the septic system, find out how an inverter or converter
works...and more! Click HERE for more info!
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Recent Recalls by RV Manufacturers
one of the vehicles listed below turns out to be your RV of choice,
make sure the RV inspector you hire is aware of these issues. They can
check to ensure the recall issues have been fixed.
new recreational vehicles need to be checked by a professional, saving
you days spent on the dealer’s lot. Quality control is poor at the
manufacturing level these days, so the proactive approach is wise.
RVBusiness.com brings these recalls to our attention:
Starcraft RV is recalling 247 model-year 2016 Travel Star travel
trailers, models G2JB5099-5101, JD5093-5094, JF5079, JG5067, and
JN5065-5066; and Launch Ultra Lite travel trailers, models
G2JM5112-5113, JR5187-5197, JS5179-5196, JT5533-5639, JU5121-5155, and
JZ5128-5160, manufactured from Aug. 7, 2015, through Oct. 6, 2015. In
the affected trailers, the water heater may be improperly wired such
that the warning light will not illuminate to let the operator know that
the gas is on but did not ignite.
Newmar Corp. is recalling 93 model-year 2016 Bay Star Sport, Bay Star,
and Canyon Star vehicles manufactured July 8, 2015, to Sept. 23, 2015.
Due to an incorrect shift cable bracket and an improper shift cable
adjustment, the affected vehicles can be shifted out of ‘PARK’ without
applying the brakes.
Forest River Inc. is recalling 78 model-year 2016 Salem recreational
trailers manufactured June 2, 2015, to Oct. 6, 2015, and 2015 Wildwood
recreational trailers manufactured June 3, 2015, to Oct. 1, 2015. The
tire and wheel placard incorrectly states the wheel rim and tire size.
As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR
Part 567, “Certification.”
Airstream Inc. is recalling 564 model-year 2015-2016 Interstate Grand
Tour Extended vehicles manufactured July 11, 2014, to Sept. 1, 2015, and
Interstate Lounge Extended vehicles manufactured November 21, 2014, to
Sept. 1, 2015. The vehicles may have electrical wiring connections that
were not properly tightened and an interior wiring harness grounding
wire that was installed incorrectly.
What is it About Road Names
Road names are pieces of history. They encode the culture and geography of America.
In Arizona, popular street names are Apache, Palo Verde, Mesquite.
In New Mexico, Cedar and Pinon top the list; in Colorado, it’s Aspen and Spruce.
Here are the top ten most popular street names in America as calculated from 2014 road data.
“Healthcare and the RV Lifestyle”
provides information on the important elements required to help you
deal with healthcare on the road. Find out what you need to know and how
to use this information. Click HERE to find out more.
Find out if the RV lifestyle is right for you. If you have questions, "The RV Lifestyle: A Dream Come True" is an eBook that contains the answers. Click HERE for more information about this eBook.