What to Look for When Buying a Used Fifth Wheel

We know buying a new RV isn’t always an option for those in Georgia or Tennessee. That’s why we here at Northgate RV are ready to help you find the best used fifth wheel for your needs. It can save you money, but there are so many things that can go wrong when purchasing any kind of used trailer. It’s also quite a bit different than buying new.

First, we’ll talk about some general things to do before you begin your search. Then, we’ll lay out a more specific guide to finding the right used the fifth wheel for you. Here are our best tips for buying a used fifth wheel!

Choose the right RV dealer to buy a used Fifth Wheel

You already know you’re on the hunt for a great fifth wheel. The next step is to find a dealership you can trust. This is the perfect time to reach out to the RVing and trailer communities on the best and honest dealerships in your area or beyond. Their experiences will often help you find a dealer you can be upfront with. Dealers are always receiving RVs from either trade or consignment, so you know you’ll always have lots of options when it comes to used rigs. Here at Northgate RV, our friendly staff if always ready to help you choose the right used RV for your needs.

Now, you’ve got your eye on a few RVs that you like. Read our list of things to look for when you go to the dealer for a walkthrough!

  1. Don’t buy it unless you’ve seen it in person. This is probably the most important advice we can give you! Buying a new travel trailer or RV online is fine, but it’s so easy to hide any major imperfections a used RV has by not uploading photos of it. It’s also a good idea to walk away if the dealer doesn’t want to do a thorough walkthrough with you. The price might seem too good to be true, but if you take a closer look, it may end up costing you more in the long run due to maintenance.
  2. Check carefully for any signs of mold. Even if there aren’t any visible signs of water damage on the ceilings or floors, mold on the interior of the RV usually means there’s some sort of water leak. So, look in all corners – especially in the bathroom. Take a flashlight and look under all cabinets and closets to check for any mold growing. You’ll probably be able to smell it first, but if the closets or cabinets are significantly warmer than the rest of the RV, there’s a chance you’ll find mold growing.
  3. Look at every inch of the ceiling. As you’re checking for mold in the cabinets and closets, don’t forget to look up at the ceiling. Any brown spots or bows in the ceiling are signs of a leak. While a ceiling can be repaired, it can be expensive, and you risk unveiling more damage once you begin tearing it out. It’s not normally worth the expense, so if you see these signs, it’s probably better to move on to the next RV.
  4. Inspect all floors. You’re checking for two things here – mold and sturdiness. Like the ceiling, check for any brown spots where the wall meets the floor. To survey sturdiness, jump up and down (seriously) in a few spots, mostly in the kitchen and bathroom where most of the water is. Everything should feel stable secure. If you feel too much give, it could be a sign of rotting.
  5. Inspecting the exterior – Check the walls. Press with a reasonable amount of force on the outside of the walls to feel for any give. While you’re inspecting the outside of the RV, look at any panels, too. They should all be dry and free of dirt and debris.
  6. Inspect the roof. Once you’ve checked the outside walls of the RV, it’s time to hop up on the roof and make sure it’s stable. If you feel a bit too much give, it’s probably beginning to rot or already rotted.
  7. Take your time and shop around. We know it’s incredibly exciting once you’ve decided to start searching for a fifth wheel. However, try not to rush into a decision because you’re ready to get out on the open road. There are so many great used RVs out there, and you might end up with a dud if you don’t extend your search.

When searching for a used fifth wheel, you’re really looking for any signs of mold, and you’re making sure the rig is still sturdy and stable. Water damage isn’t always obvious or apparent, so knowing exactly where to look for these signs will help you get the best bang for your buck. It could look like a great deal at face value, but if there’s water damage, you might just be wasting your money.

If you’re in the market for a used fifth wheel, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look through our available fifth wheels available right now. You can contact us and one of our staff members will be your trusted guide in choosing the RV that you’ll fall in love with over and over.

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