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Old 10-09-2014, 06:45 PM   #1
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Inspecting a used unit, what to check?

We are new to this and have decided to buy an X18d, also we would like to buy used, there are a few around here on Craigslist and at dealers.

As this will be our first camper I'm afraid of what I don't know, what should we check out when looking at a second hand unit?

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Old 10-09-2014, 06:49 PM   #2
Lost in the Woods
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I would personally prefer buying private so you can look at the person who owns it.

Ask them straight up and get them to show you what maintenance they have done.

My trailer is only 3 months old and I am sure I have done more maintenance already than some have on a 4 year old unit

There should be no visible cracks in the roof seams and caulk surrounding vents and antennas.

Hopefully you will see where they added some dicor(caulk) to the roof in places....shows good maintenance

Look at tires and the axle and make sure it isn't bent from overloading

what age,price range are you hoping to be in?

That unit may only sell for 15000-16000 new
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips

Yes, the RV Direct price seems to be 16.5 for a 2015. We've been looking at 2011, 12 and 13s.

We are thinking of used as this is our first unit and we're not sure how much use we will really get out it yet and if we decide to upgrade or just sell it in a couple of years we won't have to eat as much depreciation.

Which brings up another question does the value of trailers drop off after a certain number of years or do they depreciate along the same lines as a car?
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:51 PM   #4
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I tend to believe they start depreciating at a slower rate after 6-7 years but they start to become highly undesirable.

I have found used pricing to be too high on anything 2011 and up. It may pay to buy new.

I didn't have much luck when I was looking at some used. My expectations are high. One unit we traveled quite far to look at and was sure we would buy it and couldn't believe how dusty the trailer was. I think they just camp and bring it back and forget it. My new one is detailed in and out after each trip.

Good Luck
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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The first thing to look for is water damage on the inside and outside. On the inside check for discoloration or sagging bulging wall covering or ceiling materials. Check inside cabinets and corners and look for any oddball or random non-factory screw heads.

Also check the flooring for soft spots and in compartments under dinette seating and storage areas. Be aware that sometimes a new unit without problems may appear to have a soft floor spot which may change depending on the parking spot and leveling or lack thereof.

On the exterior look for delamination spots. This occurs when water has gotten between the exterior covering and inner panel. It will look like a bubble or wavy area. When present it will typically be under a window or other cutout openings, corners our upper leading edges of the side panels.

Make sure the roof looks good with no irregularities. Factory sealing is usually sloppy so that is to be expected. Look for areas that may have been torn or patched.

Chances are in a thorough inspection, an honest seller will tell you about things before you find them because he will figure you know what you are looking at.

Take you time going over the exterior and interior inspection and do not be distracted by anything else such as discussing features, appliances or other items.

Have the seller demonstrate the awning. It will most likely drop some water when it is unrolled and that is almost a given.

Let the seller demonstrate all appliances. Have them lite the water heater, furnace and start the refrigerator in all modes. Be wary of the saying "We never used this or that" or "You won't need to use this".

Also have the seller demonstrate all plumbing fixtures and expect the water pump to be noisy.

Visually check underneath the unit for possible damage to the freshwater tank, and the black and gray holding tanks. Make sure there are no signs of patching or leaks. Also check to make sure the wiring is "sanitary". Expect the tank monitor wiring to look sloppy.

Check all the tires. Make sure the sidewalls are free of any cracking and check the four digit date code for manufacture; example 1210 would indicate the tie tire was manufactured the 12th week of 2010. Check to make sure all of the tires match in brand and size and check for a good spare tire as well.

If you have a friend or friend of a friend who owns a camper ask them to go along with you for the inspection. Most camper owners are extremely helpful and would be willing to help out.

It may seem over whelming considering all the things to check but the key is to do it systematically and thoroughly without flitting about from one thing to another.

Good luck in your quest!
2010 Jayco 17Z
99 Ford E-350 Chateau Super Duty V-10

"Roughing it Cheaply"
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:22 AM   #6
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X2. Boss Wagon is spot-on.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:17 AM   #7
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Thanks Boss Wagon, really appreciate the list, that's exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:06 PM   #8
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Make sure to check the roof. Any scuffs or tears are something that needs repair immediately.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:08 AM   #9
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Check the tent ends on a sunny day. Lay in them with the windows all up and look for obvious holes/weak spots and obvious mildew mold areas. Check the seals on the tent end hatches closed and opened (they should not leak).

We bought our x18d new and absolutely love it!
"Never take life to seriously, no one gets out alive any way!"

Alicia and Glenn
Hartford (area), CT
2012 Nissan Pathfinder (V6)
2014 X18D
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:26 AM   #10
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Boss Wagon is right but I would add two words to his, swelling and rust. Look closely for swollen areas and excess rust. Tire ware can also be a sign of problems. Most of the other issues you can deal with.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:36 PM   #11
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Thanks guys, in the end we went ahead and ordered new.
Our unit is due to roll out of Jayco next week!

Looking forward to our Spring camping trip
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