Pre-purchase RV Inspection Checklist

Next to buying a new home, a new RV may be one of the largest purchases you ever make.  The emotions involved with bringing home a new, or ‘new to you’ RV are overwhelming and run the gamut from the excitement you feel when you find the perfect model, to the disappointment and regret you may experience when you get home and discover problems with your RV.  Whether buying used or new, it pays to do a thorough inspection before taking delivery of your RV.  In case you are not able to perform a detailed inspection before taking delivery, you should inspect the RV as soon after as possible, while you are still near the dealer to request warranty repairs.  To make the inspection process a little easier, here is a checklist of items to inspect before taking delivery of your RV.  Most items on this list can be inspected by an average person who isn’t afraid to get a little dirty, but for more specialized items such as brakes, engines, etc…, you may want to consider having a qualified technician do the inspection for you.

RV Details:

Year: Owner:
Make: Address:
Model: City:
RV Type: Phone:
VIN: Asking $:
License Plate: Mileage:


Ratings from manuf. (lbs) Actual Weights from scale (lbs)
GAWR 1: GAW 1:
GAWR 2: GAW 2:
GAWR 3: GAW 3:
GCWR: Left side:
Tire rating: Right side:
 Estimates (lbs)
Curb Weight (GVW – fluids already in GVW + all tanks full):
Expected personal cargo weight (items you will add to RV):
Persons weight (avg. 150 lbs × # persons):
Adjusted GVW (add above 3 items):
Maximum tongue weight (lesser of [GVWR – Adj. GVW] or rating):
For towing a trailer behind this RV.
Maximum tow capacity (lesser of [GCWR – Adj. GVW] or rating):
For towing a trailer behind this RV.

Dimensions & Capacities:

External length (in): Fresh water tank 1 (gal):
Motor home wheelbase (in): Fresh water tank 2 (gal):
Motor home wheelbase ratio (%): Gray water tank 1 (gal):
External width, body (in): Gray water tank 2 (gal):
External width, total (in): Black water tank 1 (gal):
Top clearance (ft & in): Black water tank 2 (gal):
Length when towing (ft): Propane bottle size (gal):
Engine fuel tanks (gal): Number of propane bottles:

Outside – Walls:

Right Back Left Front
Awning canvas
Awning mechanisms
Awning wind sensor operation
Connector covers & sockets
Doors & screens
Fuel doors, locks, and caps
Fold-outs & expansions
Hand rails
Seals and caulking
Signs of leaks
Slide external seals
Slide operation, motorized
Slide operation, manual crank
Slide locking mechanism
Slide covers (toppers)
Surface condition
Windows & screens

Outside – Roof:

Air conditioners
Antennas and satellite dishes
Corners and edges where walls attach
Ladder condition and caulking where it attaches to   RV
Seals and caulking
Signs of leaks
Slide covers (toppers)
Solar panels
Surface condition
Vents and vent hoods

Outside – Underside:

Boots (enclosing various joints)
Drive shaft
Electric brake wiring
Fluid leaks
Frame condition, signs of damage or repair
Holding tanks (water, waste)
Leveling jacks (landing legs)
Rear differential
Stabilizing jacks
Straps holding pipes, hoses, wires
Underside enclosure and insulation

Outside – Storage Compartments:

Doors and seals
In lower compartments, look up to inspect floor   condition
Overall condition
Shine flashlight into all openings, inspecting all   visible components
Signs of leaks
Sliding tray and locking mechanism

Outside – Wheels:

Brake function of each wheel
Brake pads
Brake rotor surface
Lug nut torque
Spare tire
Tire date of manufacture:
Tire pressure
Tire tread
Tire walls
Wheel rims

Outside – Utilities:

Black tank dump valve
Black tank pressure wash connector and valve
Cable TV connector
Fresh water hose and connectors
Fresh water tank fill valve
Fresh water tank drain valve
Generator exhaust location
Generator fluid levels
Generator hours:
Generator noise level
Generator operation
Gray tank dump valve
Outside faucet
Outside shower
Power cable and connectors
RV batteries (house batteries)
RV battery disconnect switch
RV battery sliding tray secure
Satellite dish connector
Sewer hose and connectors
Sewer hose storage tube or compartment
Telephone connector
Winterizing connector and valve (antifreeze)
Water heater tank drain valve

Outside – Propane:

Automatic tank selector device
Connections, pipes, and hoses
Level or empty indicators
Propane bottle condition
Propane bottles and sliding tray secure
Regulator output pressure
Tanks have OPD valves (triangular shape)

Outside – Motor Home Engine Compartment:

Air filter
Brake fluid
Engine coolant
Engine coolant analysis, use test strip
Engine oil
Engine oil analysis, take sample (ignore if oil was recently changed)
Engine idle
Engine start
Power steering fluid
Exhaust color at start
Exhaust color after 5 minutes of idling
Fuel filter
Leaks, fluid
Leaks, exhaust
Transmission fluid
Windshield washer fluid

Outside – Trailer Coupling Components:

Breakaway switch and cable
Hitch receiver (on or under rear bumper)
Safety chains
Supplemental hitching equipment (sway bars, weight-distributing hitch, etc.)
Tongue or King Pin overall condition
Trailer wiring harness and plug (for pulling toad or trailer behind RV)
Umbilical cord and connector

Inside – General:

Kitchen Living & Dining Bedroom Bath
Cabinetry finish
Cabinetry hinges, slides, latches
Cabinetry interior
Floor plan (layout)
Ceiling exhaust vents and fans
Necessities are accessible with slides in
Door locks or latches
Drapes and shades
Look under and behind movable furniture
Stomp on floor to detect weak areas
Press up on ceiling to detect sagging
Pull out and fold down beds
Remove drawers, inspect behind them
Rodent and pest presence or damage
Slide internal seals
Windows and screens

Inside – Kitchen:

Coffee maker
Counter top extensions
Drinking water filter
Ice maker
Oven and pilot light
Refrigerator works on all power sources (A/C,   propane)
Seals and caulking around sink
Stove hood exhaust fan and vent cover
Stove top, burners, igniters

Inside – Bathroom:

Dryer vent
Look into black tank through toilet for hardened solid waste
Signs of leaks around toilet base
Sink and fixtures
Shower and tub walls
Shower door and latch
Shower fixtures
Shower skylight
Toilet flushes
Unscrew panels around and behind shower, inspect for leaks
Washer and dryer
Washer and dryer connections (but no washer or dryer)
Washer hoses, indication of leaks

Inside – Fresh Water Systems:

Faucets work
Fresh water tank level indicator
Water heater works on A/C and propane
Water pump on/off switch
Water pump shuts off automatically soon after all faucets are closed
Water pump turns on occasionally when all faucets are closed and ice maker is turned off (if yes, then there may be a leak)
Water pump works

Inside – Waste Systems:

Black tank level indicator
Gray tank level indicator
No foul odor inside RV when toilet not in use (unless toilet flush valve has been open for extended periods for inspection)
Sink and shower drains work

Inside – Heating & Cooling:

Air conditioner controls
Air conditioner filters
Air conditioners put out cool air through all ducted ceiling vents
Ceiling fans
Electric heater or fireplace
Furnace controls
Furnace puts out hot air through all floor vents
Thermostat controlled vent fans (Fan Tastic Vent)

Inside – Entertainment Electronics:

Antenna signal amplifier
Audio equipment
TV antenna controls for raising, lowering, and rotating
TV security straps
TV sliding tray locking mechanism
Video equipment (VCR, DVD)
Satellite dish controls for raising, lowering, and   rotating
Video source switch box (antenna, VCR, DVD, satellite, etc.)

Inside – Electrical:

12Volt DC ports have power
A/C outlets have power
A/C supply to RV when connected to shore power
A/C supply to RV when generator is running
A/C supply to RV when inverter is running off batteries
Automatic power switching between available systems (shore power, generator, inverter)
Battery charging   from tow vehicle via umbilical cord
Battery charging from solar panels
Battery charging when connected to shore power
Battery charging when generator is running
DC supply to RV from batteries
DC supply to RV from tow vehicle via umbilical cord
DC supply to RV when connected to shore power
DC supply to RV when generator is running
GFCI breakers function
Lights, 120 Volt A/C
Lights, 12 Volt DC
Location of fuse and breaker boxes

Inside – Safety Devices:

Carbon Monoxide detector
Emergency exit windows
Fire extinguisher
Propane gas detector
Smoke detector

Inside – Motor Home Cockpit:

Air suspension controls
Beverage and snack holders
Cabinetry finish
Cabinetry hinges, slides, latches
Cabinetry interior
CB radio and antenna
Door locks or latches
Drapes, shades, visors
Driver and passenger seat belts in cockpit
Entertainment system (radio, CD, tape, DVD, etc.)
Exhaust brake controls
Instrument panel
Items above cockpit secure (TV, etc.)
Leveling system controls
Navigation system (GPS)
Passenger seat belts in living area (sofas, chairs)
Rear view camera and monitor
Rear view mirrors and mirror adjustment controls
Seat adjustments
Secondary fuel tank switch-over controls
Security system arm, disarm, and documentation
Steering wheel adjustments
Step well cover
Storage compartments and keys
Trailer or toad brake controls and documentation
Vehicle controls
Windows and screens
Windshield cracks and chips
Windshield wipers and washer


MSRP sheet
RV manuals
Engine manuals
Appliance manuals
Maintenance records
Warranty documentation for all major components and appliances
Extended warranty documentation

Items to Take to Inspection:

Engine coolant test strip
Fifty foot tape measure
Flashlight with fresh batteries
Notebook and pen
Rags (for checking fluid levels, wiping hands)
Rubber soled shoes (for better traction while walking on roof)
Screwdriver with Phillips and flathead tips
Small mirror (for looking into hard-to-see areas)
Tarp or creeper (for inspecting underside)
Tire pressure gauge with 100 psi range
Wet towels (for cleaning hands)
Work gloves

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