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Old 08-12-2009, 10:11 PM   #1
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Half Dimes's Avatar

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Help a newbie

Our daughter and SIL are looking at popups. She asked me for some advice and the following is what I gave her late yesterday:

1. Check the condition of the canvas very carefully, looking for cuts and tears. Do the smell test. If it smells mildewy or musty, it means the rig got put away wet. The smell will never go away.

2. Check the tires. If they're original, they are close to the end of their life. Though tread may be good, tires will age and weaken. General rule of thumb is about six years before they need to be replaced. If you're looking at an '04, the tires are right on the edge. If everything else is nice, figure what a new set of tires would cost. Check wheel bearings and brakes. Unless the axles are very new (like nev-r-lube), they should be serviced every year or 12,000 miles (pulled, inspected, and repacked). You might want to have that checked on anything you get serious about.

3. Test everything before you buy. Raise and lower the roof. Put out the canvas. Make sure everything attaches where it should. Make sure the door telescopes up and locks. Take it back down. Make sure everything packs away like it should. Make sure the gas stove and hot water heater works (if equipped).

4. Know the actual loaded weight of the rig and make sure that your tow vehicle is specified to tow that weight.

5. Be sure you know how to winterize it, draining water, putting in antifreeze (not the car type!!!).

6. Fit and finish. A rig that age should look good. All seams and screws should be where they belong. Look carefully for rot along cabinet edges or soft spots in the floor. Anything like that could be signs of water damage.

7. Do your research on prices. RVs in general are still in a slump. You may have already found this site which talks about this model: http://www.rvweb.com/guides/manufact...-1085093770693

8. Here's a link to the pop-up portion of the iRV2.com web-site. Lots of good info there. You can become a member for free and post any questions to folks that actually own that style RV. http://www.irv2.com/forums/f6/

9. Get in it. All of you. All five of you. Stay in there for a while. Pretend it's a rainy day. Will you survive? Just asking.

I would appreciate any other help from folks that actually have a pop-up. Though we looked at pop-ups many years ago, we made the jump from tent straight to fifth wheel so don't have any first hand experience.


Dave & Jo Ann
'08 HitchHiker Champagne 35LKRSB | '11 F350 Lariat 6.7PSD
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:31 PM   #2
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Dave and Jo Ann
Great suggestions for your daughter, and anyone else looking at a used pop up. the only other things i can think of is look real close at the windows or flaps that go over the screens if it might rain, they could be cracked or not seal tight and let rain in, any seals should be checked for spaces or cracks, check all storage areas and outside compartments see if the flooring is curled, this may indicate moisture has gotten in them. fill the holding take to be sure it dose not leak, check the water pump if it has one, check city water hook up with pressure to be sure there are no leaks, and lastly lay under the camper checking for rotten wood or any leaks from the above tests.
Jim (SSG US Army Ret.) and Cheri (TSG Phx ANG Ret.) Mesa, AZ
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 HD Mega Cab Diesel | 2005 Honda Goldwing | 2006 35' Dune Chaser 5th Wheel
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