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Old 09-23-2020, 01:52 PM   #1
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Your Used RV purchase 'surprises'

I'll start off - Just into RVing, and bought my first TT, so I knew next to NOTHING about presale reviewing.. But I found me an RV, price was good to great, and I snapped it up!

Got it home before I really noticed the soft spot in the floor and the peeling rear vinyl on the back wall...

So now 6 weeks into RVLife, I have learned how and completed rear framing repair, flooring, wall reframing and sheathing, countertops, skylight replacement, vinyl flooring install, and numerous and sundry 'little fixes' (Outdoor shower, sink washers, water pump leak, hot water anode replacement and flush, towing umbilical connector replacement.) and it's looking REAL good.

Wanted to get anyone else, especially N00bs like mine, experience in rediscovering your inner handyman after a purchase..
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:54 PM   #2
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I have done most of those items over the years but none of them just after a purchase. I suggest that you take a really hard look at your RV's roof for leaks to see why that back wall needed repairs? And find the cause of the soft floor too as it may also indicate a slow leak in either the plumbing or from outside. Remember that windows and doors should be removed and the caulking replaced after 5 to 10 years of service to prevent leaks.
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:36 AM   #3
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Been there, done that, but not right after buying. We bought a used TT from a deailer about 5-6 years ago with the understanding that it had had a "small leak" at the front corner. It had some slight staining on the ceiling inside one of the cabinets. Dealer said they had "fixed" the leak, and let a water hose run over it for most of a day with no evidence of any further leaking. What they really meant was we recaulked the front seam on the roof, but didn't fix any of the rotten wood underneath. After a few years, we noticed the metal trim on the front corner start to separate because the wood framing had rotted and wouldn't hold the screws any longer. We ended up replacing the roof and rebuilding the front end. You have to be handy and able to fix things yourself, or else have a LOT of money to be an RVer!
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:37 PM   #4
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I thought this would be a "I found a wallet under the bed with cash in it" situation. I did flush a bottle of tank treatment out of my black tank on my NEW TT. Very glad it came out and didn't cause a clog later.
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:13 AM   #5
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My surprise was on the 1994 Dutchmen 22RB 5th wheel purchased at a dealer in 2003. We checked pretty much everywhere except in the wheel wells. After noticing some water on the kitchen side of the floor upon driving through heavy rain I discovered the sheet metal was completely rotted out. The entire bottom surface was coated in a thick layer of silicone sealant (both sides). There had to be hundreds of dollars of silicone.
I did rip it all out and installed new wheel well liners made from 1/16” 5052 aluminum and the camper served us well until we outgrew it. It was definitely a learning curve.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:44 PM   #6
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My previous RV was a class c with very low miles. OP said he had the unit sealed for leaks.

After purchasing, it rained a couple of days before our the first trip then while driving to the campgrounds noticed rain water dripping from the overhead. Fortunately the rain stopped and after our trip, had the front clearance lights and seams resealed that fixed the leak with no interior damaged.
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Old 10-04-2020, 03:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Remember that windows and doors should be removed and the caulking replaced after 5 to 10 years of service to prevent leaks.
Kirk, you certainly HAVE been "around the block" a time or two ! Removing windows and doors and other wall penetration and removing/cleaning the old caulk off, is the ONLY WAY to guarantee a good seal.

If you are going to go that far, use butyl caulk tape when reinstalling. It stays flexible for years and does a good job sealing. Best of all, if you need to do the job again, it comes off easily and cleanly.
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Old 10-04-2020, 04:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by charliez View Post
I thought this would be a "I found a wallet under the bed with cash in it" situation. I did flush a bottle of tank treatment out of my black tank on my NEW TT. Very glad it came out and didn't cause a clog later.
I think you're supposed to pour the product out of the bottle to use it properly....
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:35 PM   #9
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Bought a 2001 Keystone Hornet for a nice price, but failed to notice damp carpeting in the forward storage compartment. Crawled underneath the front of the camper(after I got home with it) and it felt like someone had stored a spare waterbed mattress down there. Turns out the seal on the front cap leaked and was loaded with gobs of sealant that had separated over time. Water had entered through the open seal and drained down the front wall and into the bottom of the camper. I punched a hole in the liner and 15 to 20 gallons of water poured out. Had to replace the frame in the lower third of the front wall and all of the framing that supported the storage compartment. What a mess! Out of pocked expense wasn't that great but over 100 hours of labor was a real sacrifice. Buyer beware and all that good stuff.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:50 PM   #10
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Not as bad as you. But I had to replace both plumbing vents and seal a bunch of other screw heads on my roof. 04 trail lite. Replaced my propane pigtails. Probably the regulator at some point too. But it’ll do for now. Awning is shot. But that will keep till spring.

Haven’t found anything Big yet though.

Also broke the ac cover when I was up there. Oops. 180 fine for being a big oaf.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:15 PM   #11
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Similar Experience

Found a 2003 Sunnybrook that looked good when we bought it. Didn't see any evidence of water leaks except near the bathroom fan. No smell of mildew or mold. Thought it would be a simple reseal. Got on the roof and almost put my hand through the roof next to the skylight over the bathtub. The short version of a long story - replaced 3/4 of the roof deck that was completely rotted and new roofing rubber, the ceiling in the bathroom and part of the bedroom, and the storage area floor. Inside still smelled like mildew after a couple of months. Tore out all the carpet, spayed with mold killer - better. The water tank had a broken port and wouldn't hold water. Now laying a new floor. What's next?
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:09 PM   #12
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As a guy who learned way too much too fast on rebuild work, let me offer up... get it waterproof, outside-in then work a bit at a time. Like an insurance claim, keep an eye on if you are over-improving.. (I was going to do a new max-fan while I was on the roof, but an extra $300 wouldn't affect resale value)

In my personal opinion.. these are investments you spend through.. enjoy them, use them up, and look for the next investment.
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:26 PM   #13
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As a guy who learned way too much too fast on rebuild work, let me offer up... get it waterproof, outside-in then work a bit at a time. Like an insurance claim, keep an eye on if you are over-improving.. (I was going to do a new max-fan while I was on the roof, but an extra $300 wouldn't affect resale value)

In my personal opinion.. these are investments you spend through.. enjoy them, use them up, and look for the next investment.
You are exactly right on the idea of waterproofing from the outside in - and that is also how anyone should look at the purchase of a used unit. If it is in good shape outside, that's the stuff that is hard / impossible to fix and have it look good, so get it right. Then make it waterproof b/c EVERY manufacturer does dumb things and doesn't seal them properly.

The inside or the idea of "over improving" on it though... Maybe it is just a difference of usage style, but I'm rebuilding the interior of mine to be more functional and beautiful for ME. No plans or thoughts to the resale value, b/c that's not even on the radar. But I'm building it RIGHT so that even if I did want to sell, the quality of work would be obvious.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:21 PM   #14
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Discovered one of the bottom leafs in my spring pack is broken...
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