Nailing Your RV Walkthrough

FlashlightSo, you went out and got yourself a new RV. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part: the RV walkthrough. Apart from going through the process of choosing the right RV for you, visiting dealerships, and determining which floorplan would work best for your needs the RV walkthrough is the most important part of purchasing your RV. This is where you get to be as picky as you want when it comes to important things like the quality and build of your RV.

Knowing what to look for can help give you the critical eye you need to make your RV walkthrough a success. The first thing you’ll need is a flashlight with a strong beam, a small set of screwdrivers, a camera or video camera, and your delivery invoice. The invoice should include detailed information on both standard items and any upgrades you purchased. The flashlight will be used to look in corners, underneath tables, and in all the little nooks and crannies that are oftentimes forgotten, while screwdrivers can be used to make sure things like outlet plates are secured tightly. Bringing your camera with you is a great way to make sure you’re documenting any issues and have something to reference in the future should the need arise.

Before starting your interior inspection you’ll want to check out the exterior. Take your time as you’re inspecting the outside. This isn’t a 15 or 30 minutes job and should be taken slowly and seriously. Keep an eye out for anything that seems off – loose seals, cracks in fiberglass, rust. Using a ladder climb on the roof and ensure any gaskets, seals, or areas where the roof was cut are sealed. As you make your way around the RV keep an eye out for delamination, bubbling, or protruding nails. Look closely at the doors and windows to make sure they’re properly aligned (improper alignment can cause leaks in the future). Test all locks, keys, and baggage compartments to make sure they work smoothly and are flush against the doorjamb.

You’ve taken an hour to inspect the outside of your RV (if not get back out there!), now comes the fun part: the interior. Test each light switch, the radio and entertainment system (bring a DVD with you if you have a player that needs to be tested), and anything that is electric. Make sure your slide(s) move in and out smoothly and are aligned properly. Open and close your closet doors. They should easily close without having to be forced shut. Using your flashlight check the corners of your closet to make sure your flooring is secure and that the hanger rods are attached sturdily. Examine every piece of furniture to make sure the seams, filling, patterns, and cloths are all matching. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Ensure your counters are level, cabinets are secure and aligned, and any trim is fastened tightly.

The bottom line is if you’re unsure whether something is right or wrong, make a note of it. The dealer is expecting you to be as critical as possible. You’re spending your hard earned money on an item that will help you make memories for years to comes. A thorough inspection will save you the headache of having to pay for a repair in the future that would have been covered during the walk through and will give you the peace of mind knowing you did your best protecting your investment.

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