Purchasing a Used RV and Inspection

After looking at a couple Winnebago's, a Jayco, a Tiffin, a Forest River, and a Fleetwood over the past year, we decided on a Fleetwood Bounder 34J.  We fell in love with quite a few of the features that Fleetwood had to offer and the previous owner had seemed to take pretty good care of it (being he was a mechanic).

Of course that's what we had hoped for as anyone else would.  However, we knew better than to take someone's word for it.  We quickly hired a Michigan local company - Bob's RV Service and Repair to conduct a thorough RV inspection before purchasing.  After doing some research on local inspection companies, we felt most comfortable hiring the Father/Son team.

Being the end of December, the RV was in storage and winterized so part of inspection required it be pulled from storage and de-winterized.  Thankfully the Bounders have heated storage bays, so even in the freezing temperatures here in Michigan, the pipes and tanks were ok being temporarily filled with water regardless of the temperature outside.  PLEASE keep in mind though, if you live where the temps get below 45 degrees it is recommended winterizing a camper before the temp drops.

I highly recommend having your potential new RV inspected from top to bottom, inside and out.  Most importantly before buying, you want to check the following key items:


  • No water damage anywhere in the RV - Roof and walls are solid with no leaks AND no soft spots.
  • Bathroom is free from signs of water damage/leaking.
  • Furnace and air conditioners in working condition.
  • There are no leaks in the tanks (clean, grey, black water) and all pipes/lines.  Always run water through everything AND check drainage.
  • Make sure the toilet holds water without leaking it into the tank (even slow leaking/draining is an issue).
  • All appliances are in clean, working order.
  • Windows all slide open/close with locks, no leaking.
  • Leveling system in working condition.


  • Roof and walls are solid with no leaks AND no soft spots
  • Awning pulls out smoothly, locks into place, free from tears or mold and mildew.
  • Take note of the condition of seals and caulking all over exterior.
  • Age AND condition of tires. Make sure they have been covered for long sitting periods.
  • The generator starts and runs smoothly as well as the hours and overall condition.
  • Check filters, batteries, and exhaust.

*Even if you don't know much about vehicles, listen to the sound of everything when starting or running.  If it doesn't sound right, it probably isn't.  Below is an example of a good RV Checklist from RV Consumer Group.

I cannot begin to tell you how grateful we are for the guys over at Bob's RV.  They thoroughly went through the entire camper and treated us like family.  Even the seller was impressed with the professionalism and attention to detail.  He asked me for their information and said he hoped to hire them for both his shop and future RV needs.  I highly recommend them if you are in the Southeast Michigan area!!

Our NEW used RV...

*Read my Disclosure

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