5. Batteries are
often dead, or not too far from dead, in an older
Check and make sure it still works. If the bulbs inside burn bright, the
battery(s) may still be in decent condition.
6. Does the
converter still work? What's a converter? Well, it is a device that
recharges your battery and converts regular household electrical current
from AC to DC allowing your 12-Volt fixtures and appliances to operate.
Test this by plugging in the electrical cord and unhooking the battery
(unhook the battery before you plug in the
power cord to prevent electrocution). If the 12-Volt lights and water pump
still work, the converter is still working.
7. Do the
stabilizers beneath the trailer still let up and down? You'll be glad to
have stabilizers when you park in an area with constant wind gusts like
the south Texas coast.
8. Are the tires
still in good condition? Check for cracks and splits and look at tread
depth on all tires.
9. It is
absolutely mandatory that you understand the condition of the braking
system. Have the owner hook up the
and allow you to tow for a short distance and test the brakes. Brake
repairs are expensive. Your life and the safety of your vehicle and
depend on the
brakes functioning properly every time.
10. Does the
door step let up and down easily?
11. Can you open
and close all outside compartments easily? Do the gaskets need to be
replaced? Worn or missing gaskets permit air and moisture to penetrate the
12. Make sure
that all the windows open and close easily. latches can rust shut. Are the
screens on the windows and vents rusted or torn?
13. Open and
close roof vents and make sure that vent fans run properly.
14. Fire up the
hot water heater and make sure it works.
15. Test the
refrigerator on both the gas and electric settings. Repairs can be
expensive and you are going to want to use both the gas and electric
options. Watch for frost beginning to form in the freezer to confirm that
it is cooling properly. Make sure the door will latch and lock securely.
When you are on the road, you don't want the fridge contents strewn
16. Check the
furnace. Does it blow hot air? Don't wait until it's thirty degrees
outside to find out.
17. Crank up the
air conditioner. Does it blow cold air? If it has a heating element does
that work as well?
18. Turn on the
water tap without being hooked up to city water. Does the water pump work?
19. Check out
the toilet. Does it flush properly.
20. Hook up the
city water. Check for leaks inside and outside the
about the condition of the waste water valves. Better yet, if the
is hooked up to a sewer drain, open and close the valves to make sure they
22. Check the
cooking range and oven. Do all burners function? Does the oven burner
23. Do all
interior cabinets and drawers open and then latch securely? If not, you
may have your belongings scattered throughout your
when you are in transit.
24. Check for
soft spots on the floor, particularly in the bathroom area. The plywood
may be rotted through.
25. Is the
flooring in good condition? How about interior walls?
26. Make sure
curtains are not dry rotted. Can they be easily cleaned? Are the blinds
still in good condition?
lights - Test the external running lights. If you tow at night, and it is
very likely that you will, you'll want to make sure that the rear tail
lights are operable. Simply hook up to the tow vehicle and turn on the
headlights. You'll also want to make sure that the brake lights work, that
the right and left turn signal lights work, and that the backup lights
work. If there is a problem, it could be a faulty bulb, or the bulb
fixture simply needs cleaning. Otherwise, you may be faced with an
28. Test exhaust
vent fans to make sure they work. Typically you will find them in the
living area, over the cooking range, and in the bathroom.
29. Does the TV antenna crank up and down
easily? Better yet, find a hobby and skip TV.
Added July, 2005