16 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Fifth Wheel
1. Is the seller the actual owner?
Now that you have spotted the ideal used fifth wheel for you, it is essential you ascertain that the seller is indeed the actual owner.
Why? Besides avoiding scams, only the real owner can answer all your questions about the rig appropriately. And since they are the person you will wire the money to; you need to ensure you are ONLY dealing with the legit owner.
Buying a used Fifth wheel can save you significant resources while still offering you an excellent alternative to a new one. However, even with the convenience, you don’t want to spend your money on an old camper or motorhome, do you?
So what do you do?
Professional or novices alike, there are various fundamental factors you need to consider when buying a used fifth wheel. To guide your purchase decision, here are 16 questions you need to ask before you buy any used fifth wheel RV:
2. Does the owner have all the legal documents?
If a potential RV seller is unable to deliver the title for the used fifth wheel, this should sound a warning not to go on with the transaction. For all you know, the RV may well be a stolen one. Only buy your used RV if it is accompanied by all the legal registration documents to prove ownership.
3. What is the history behind it?
For starters, you can start by inquiring about the number of individuals who have owned the RV, how often it is driven, and its age among others. It may have been stationary somewhere which could potentially mean a lot of issues.
If it has been used multiple times, it is most likely serviced on a regular and is in good and functional condition.
4. Does the owner have maintenance records?
Maintenance records are of vital importance. In fact, they are Holy Grail of any used RV purchase.
These records outline how well and often it has been serviced and any problems it may have, and if they need resolving. Maintenance records give you the confidence that the owner has kept up the RV.
5. What is the state of the tires?
Road safety is essential when buying a used RV and the condition of the tires is among the primary factors that ascertain such. Depending on how long they have been used, they may need repair-which may be relatively expensive.
If you are unsure about how to check the actual age of the tires, check the numbers on the tires, it will tell you what year they are, also check the tire tread. How do they look? Are they visibly worn out? If so, the tires perhaps don’t have much left in them.
Also, the last time the wheel bearings were packed or inspected should also be part of the things you examine before buying the rig. While wheel bearings are made to last a long while, their lubricity, nonetheless, reduces due to the accumulation of debris or excess heat.
As such, if these wheel bearings are not cleaned and subsequently repacked, they end up wearing out and needing replacements. Generally, you should check, clean, repack your wheel bearings between every 25000 to 30000 miles.
6. What is the weight of the RV?
Knowing the weight of the used fifth-wheel trailer is important primarily because it allows you to determine whether or not your towing vehicle can handle the load.
Nonetheless, this does not mean that you can reject a good offer. You can always buy the appropriate (towing) vehicle or hire it to be towed until you purchase a towing vehicle.
I recommend you purchase your towing vehicle prior to buying a fifth wheel if at all possible.
Usually, large trucks are the best option particular those with a long bed (1 tons or ? tons) to tow your 5th wheel RV. Larger options mean you escape the need for a slider hitch which is of course added costs.
It also means that you will not need to manually slide it (slider hitch) back for the RV to make otherwise tight maneuvers.
Also, go for tow trucks with higher towing capacities. Diesel engines are an excellent option since they have much torque and towing power.
7. Does this RV have (name your preferred feature)?
What standout feature are you looking for in your fifth wheel? Is it a properly-insulated four season cabin or perhaps some fancy additions like inbuilt USB ports, connectivity, or a whether it is pre-wired for solar?
Or want the undercarriage enclosed? Whatever feature you need to be included, take some time to identify what precisely you want and ensure the RV has them.
8. Does it come with any warranty?
Warranties reinforce the fact that a rig is genuine and of good quality. Determine if it is under any warranties and whether they are transferable. Also, jump for RVs with such policies since it may come in handy in case anything goes wrong.
9. Is a service package included in this purchase?
Sometimes, your Fifth wheel trailer may come with an inbuilt maintenance and service package especially if you buy it from large franchises. This means you score discounted or free tune-ups and repairs provided you check into an accredited vendor.
And while this only applies if you purchase a new RV off the lot, you may as well enjoy the extras.
10. Are there any signs of water damage?
Water damage is among the most prominent reasons why you need not purchase used RVs. Why? Usually, it is difficult to identify the gravity of the damage until you dig into the rig’s wall. A small soft spot could well be costly or significantly irreparable damage.
Carefully inspect the rig’s roof as well as around the windows. Also, press on its wall and look out for soft spots. Soft spots may indicate continuous, if not previous water damage.
11. Are all the systems operational?
Do the slide-outs extend to their full travel range? Or do the tank sensors work? Inspect all the coach systems of the rig including batteries, generators, inverters, converters, solar panels, refrigerators, water systems, heaters and air conditioners, among other appliances.
Otherwise, you may end up spending much more than the RV’s worth repairing and fixing them.
12. Are there any structural damages? How significant are they?
The structural condition of your RV is essential as it guarantees road safety and the overall state of your rig. The structural condition represents both the state of the inside as well as outside.
Be ready to crawl underneath the RV trailer to determine the condition of the frame. Also, check on impact damage, cracks, and broken welds, and state of the outlets, among other factors.
13. Has it housed any animals? For what duration?
If you have allergies, it is crucial you establish who or what has been housed in the RV. Simple things such as smells of individual animals, for instance, can trigger allergies, hence the necessity.
14. How many A/C Units?
Depending on what type of weather you plan on spending most of your time, if it’s primarily warmer climates, I would highly recommend getting a fifth wheel with 2 A/C units. Be sure to have them inspected also.
15. Ask for a professional inspection
Before you buy the RV, ask the seller if it can undergo professional inspection. If he/she is genuine, they will likely agree. If it is your first time buying a Fifth Wheel, especially, it solidifies your confidence and informs your ultimate decision.16.
16. Ask to stay in the Fifth wheel before buying
Finally, most fifth wheel owners recommend that you spend some time in the RV even if just for a night. This is the most effective way of testing out the rig since you can pick out any problems with it during this time. It allows you to be thorough before your decision.
Ultimately, if you want more space for a lower cost, then purchasing a used fifth wheel trailer would be a great decision.
With a little due diligence, considerable effort, and planning, you can benefit from saving quite a lot, by buying a used fifth wheel while acquiring a remarkable vehicle.
Please Subscribe and Share!
Check Out These Posts!
RV Groovin Life