The Used RV: Avoiding Water Damage

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Used RVs can be wonderful investments. Many of them were only used once or twice before their owners realized they didn’t have time, energy, or opportunities to use their RV. Other families run into financial trouble, an all too common problem in this economy, and recreational vehicles are often the first thing sold.

Because of this, a used or ‘consignment’ RV is often still in very good condition by the time it ends up at an RV lot. At Kirkland RV, we always meticulously inspect our used RVs to ensure that we know if there are any potential problems with the vehicle so we can give our customers the best RV for their budget.

Look for these problems:

Check For Water Damage:

One of the first things we look for is water damage. The most common areas of an RV to experience water damage are those that open up to the elements, such as under windows, around door frames, and inside cabinets or compartments that are near water lines. When water migrates into these areas, the result is the separation of plys in the plywood that lies just below the surface of the fiberglass walls.

Ceiling: The ceiling is usually the first place to see water damage. Stains around the corners of the RV, or around light fixtures are usually the first places you will see signs of water damage. Look for delamination of fiberglass, wood that is stained more darkly than surrounding wood, or bumps and bubbles in the paneling—these are sure indications of a water problem.

Flooring: One of the first ways you’ll discover damage in your flooring is by bubbling or bunching of your laminate. Stains or muddled color of the flooring, or flooring peeling away from the walls are good indications of water damage. Also, pay attention to the solidity of the floor. Any areas that seem spongy are probably water damage of the undercarriage.

Walls: Take a close look at the walls around the windows and doors. If there is any squish when you press with your thumb against the walls or any staining, beware! If your RV has wall paper, bubbling in the paper may indicate a water problem. These bubbles can be a sign of other problems as well, however, so investigate carefully before taking action.

Rust: RVs that are stored in back yards, or above dirt and grass frequently wick moisture from the ground into the undercarriage. Rust can cause brakes to become inoperative, corrosion of the frame and sometimes may cause plumbing fixtures to leak.

Remember, these tips don’t only apply to those considering buying a used RV. These are good things to look for in your current RV. Catching these clues before the situation becomes dire can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs.

For more information on gently used RV’s, view our RV listings today!

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