Pre-owned motorhomes are often priced substantially lower than new ones, and there are many solid pre-owned ones for sale. When purchasing a pre-owned motorhome, however, you should make sure that it's entirely leak-free. Here's a step-by-step process to make sure a pre-owned motorhome you're looking at is leak-free so that you can buy it with confidence.
Step 1: Inspect the Exterior Screws
Start your inspection on the outside of the pre-owned motorhome, and begin by checking the screws. You'll want to look over all of the screws, which you'll mostly find near the trim on the edges, around the door, and around the windows. There also will be a few screws where the ladder to the roof is secured.
All of these screws should be in like-new condition, and they shouldn't show any signs of corrosion. Corroded screws are usually one of the first signs of a developing leak because water that seeps in collects on them before it permeates the interior surfaces. Thus, a corroded screw is a sign of a potential leak.
If none of the screws are corroded, the pre-owned motorhome is likely in excellent shape. You're unlikely to find water-related issues anywhere in it, but you should continue your inspection nonetheless.
Step 2: Press on the Exterior Surfaces
As you walk around the exterior, also check the strength of the side panels and roof. Give the side panels a firm push in a few different places, and crawl around on top of the roof (which you'll have to do to see the specific features up there, anyway).
The panels and roof should be strong and unforgiving. If any give way, there may be water deterioration within the wall. If everything is sold, though, you probably have a motorhome that contains no substantial water damage — but your inspection isn't done.
Step 3: Check for Discoloration and Mold Inside
When you step inside the motorhome, check for signs of discoloration or mold anywhere in the cabin. Discoloration is most likely to occur on the ceiling or walls, and it's a sign of a water leak if you see any brown discoloring of these surfaces. Unless the outside gave way, though, you likely won't find any discoloration.
Mold can grow anywhere, but it usually collects in the corners of the bathroom and the cabinets of the kitchenette. Stick your nose right in these areas and see if there's any mold.
If you don't see any of these two issues inside and you've performed the outside checks, you can be confident that the pre-owned motorhome you're looking at is leak-free.
To find a motorhome, contact a dealer, such as Kitsap RV, near you.