RV Lifestyle eZine

Helping to Make Your RV Life Run Smoothly


February 10, 2016

Issue #337




  • PrePurchase Inspection: Choosing the Right Vehicle
  • RV Inspection Results
  • Manufacturer Recalls
  • Geography Trivia

Choosing the Right Vehicle

The 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).

Since 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
insiders say):

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.

3. Electronics: 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!

4. Plumbing: 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 questions.

6. Slideouts: 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 it secure?

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 your safety.”

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 applicable.

  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

Well, 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 RV inspection.

Testing 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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Recent Recalls by RV Manufacturers

If 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.

Even 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.


Geography Trivia


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.

1. Park

2. 2nd/Second

3. Oak

4. 1st/First

5. 3rd/Third

6. Maple

7. Pine

8. 4th/Fourth

9. Cedar


10. Main







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