buying from individual-what to look for??

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iceee

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Jul 22, 2005
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7
Like I said in earlier posts we are probably going to buy a fifth wheel, from a private individual and was wondering what we should look for whe we inspect on Monday.
Marissa
 

Tom

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Marissa

We have a couple of checklists in our library that might help. To view them, click the Library button in the toolbar above, then click Checklists. The two that might be useful are:

  • Pre-delivery checklist for trailers. Although written for a new trailer, can still be a good checklist for a used trailer.
  • Buying a used motorhome. In this case, you just need to ignore the engine and some of the chassis parts.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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If the trailer is more than 5 years old, check the DOT date codes on the tires. If the tires are as old as the trailer, you should plan on replacing them within 6 months and adjust your offering price accrodingly. Do not assume that good looking tires are OK - they are NOT if they are more than 5.5-6.0 year old.

Check ALL the appliance for proper operation. In particular, turn on the refrigerator and then come back later [a couple times] to check its inside temperature. Ideally it should get cold (40 degrees or less) within several hours (depending on outside temps) but no later than overnight.  Make sure it cools on both propane and electric, but it is not necessary to repeat the overnight test in both modes.

If you have the means to do so, take it for a ride and make sure the brakes do their thing without grabbing.  Best technique is to find a dirt area and hit the brakes fairly hard while someone watches. See if all wheels brake and then skid as brake pressure increases. None should lock up prematurely. With electirc brakes, it is not unusual to find a wheel that either does not brake at all or locks up immediately with the slightest brake pressure. That needs to be fixed!
 

Jim Dick

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Marissa,

Gary has a good point about brakes. One way to check, though a little more work, is to jack up each side and apply 12V to the brake lead on the electrical connector. Then spin the wheel and make sure it locks up. Do this for both sides. That's how we check them for PDIs. You just have to find the pin on the connector that activates the brakes. Unfortunately I don't know which one as we use a prewired test connector. :)

 

iceee

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Jul 22, 2005
Posts
7
Thank you Gary, Tom and Jim,
We did turn things on and my hubby checked out the outside and underneath.  It is an 2004 so tires shouldn't be a problem, the owners only used it twice. Everthing inside looked great.  We are going to buy today and my husband wants to disenfect the holding tanks, is there a trick to this?  Is this an annual maintenance thing?  I don't recall doing this with our other trailer.  He read about it on the Camping world website.  Thanks again  Marissa
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
iceee said:
Thank you Gary, Tom and Jim,
....my husband wants to disenfect the holding tanks, is there a trick to this?? Is this an annual maintenance thing?? I don't recall doing this with our other trailer.? He read about it on the Camping world website.? Thanks again? Marissa

Sanitation is never a bad idea, maybe overdone, but never bad.  Annual maintenance.  No.  However, a good cleaning with a back flush and a spray wand is a good idea at intervals to prevent crud buildup.
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
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It's probably a good idea to disenfect the fresh water tank - you don't know what quality of water has been in there or how long it's been sitting there.? ?You can add a small amount of household bleach to superchlorinate the water and disinfect the tank, then drain and flush it with clean water.

There's no reason to disinfect the waste tanks.? ?If you want to clean out the toilet waste tank, fill it about halfway with water by pouring it through the toilet.? ?Then add a cup or so of low-sudsing laundry detergent.? ?Now find a bumpy and/or twisty road and drive around for a half hour.? The soapy water will slosh around and should make everything nice and clean.

Or you can buy one of the spray wands and play around with it...
 

Carl L

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Lou said:
It's probably a good idea to disenfect the fresh water tank - you don't know what quality of water has been in there or how long it's been sitting there.? ?You can add a small amount of household bleach to superchlorinate the water and disinfect the tank, then drain and flush it with clean water.

Good point Lou.  Actually sanitizing the fresh water tank should be regular annual maintenance, or done after long storage.  To sanitize, use plain chlorine bleach (5-6% sodium hypochlorite, no other additives) in the proportions of 3/4 cup to 40 gallons of tank capacity.

1.  Drain the tank, and the accumulator tank and heater tank.  Dilute the bleach with a gallon of plain water and pour in the water tank. 

2.  Dilute the bleach in a gallon of water and pour it into the tank.

3.  Fill the main tank with water.  Run the water pump and open a cold water faucet in the RV to fill the accumlator tank.  Then run a hot water faucet to fill the water heater tank.  Run all the other faucets in the RV.  Top off the main tank.

4.  Allow the whole thing to sit for two hours or more then drain the main tank, accumulator tank, and heater tank.

5.  Repeat step 3. 

And now you should be ready to travel.  Some folks add a bit of baking soda to the tank to kill the residual chlorine.  I have never found this necessary.  Thoroughly draining all tanks seem to do the job.
 

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