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Old 08-08-2018, 10:25 AM   #1
JustinChase
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what to look for during inspection?

I'm about to do a thorough inspection of the Carri Lite I agreed to purchase, and I want to be sure there are no huge issues with either the plumbing or electrical.


I can obviously turn everything on and run everything, but being unfamiliar with RV plumbing and wiring, I'm not sure I know everything to watch out for, or where the common problems might lie.


The blackwater system is the most concerning, mostly due to unfamiliarity.


I'm thinking I'll probably end up re-plumbing with PEX at some point, just to know everything is good and more freeze proof, but that may not happen soon, or ever.


As for electrical, if it turns on, good, but as for hidden issues, I have no idea what or where to check.



I'm looking for any suggestions on areas or things I should pay close attention to or test thoroughly before taking possession.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:46 AM   #2
wingnut60
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An RV usually has 2 holding tanks--black water (toilet) and grey water (sinks and showers). If you can visually see down the toilet throat/pipe into the tank (some toilets are directly above, others have piping going off to side and you can't see tank bottom), look for any buildup on the tank bottom. Outside of that inspection, be sure if you run toilet water into the tank, it will drain out. Also, be sure the black tank valve will operate to open/shut correctly. Close tank valve and run water into black tank--if flow stops from drain/sewer connection, valve is working. Then open valve and see if flow resumes. You can only check this if there is a sewer hookup and a clear section off the drain connection.
Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.
^^Agreed.
Vintage?

As long as the gate valves operate smoothly, a pyramid(s) of doom would be the biggest concern of a holding tank short of leaks.

On electrical, loose connections (wire nuts) merit checks. (If equipped) the generator transfer switch should be inspected periodically.
You should actually be more concerned of water intrusion anywhere, due to mold & wood deterioration issues. Those problems can get more costly in my experience.
A modest fee for an experienced survey could even be a sound investment.
Best wishes.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:04 PM   #4
JustinChase
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pyramid of doom!?! Sounds terrible.


How best to check for leaks. Obvious signs are easy, but any tricks with trailers, things to pull back, or look behind to really see what's going on?
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:58 AM   #5
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Any stains on the white ceiling material? Sure sign of leaks. Any rust where you wouldn't expect it? Any marks on carpet/lineoleum? Move couch and look at areas where the legs were--if water got in, there will be rust marks from the couch leg pegs. Ditto for recliners/chairs.
Pyramid of Doom--simply a buildup of 'stuff' that hasn't been properly flushed out. Big problem if tank hasn't been maintained regularly/properly.
Looking at a used RV as a first-time buyer is a tough situation--even a seasoned vet can miss problems. Be slow and thorough--ask questions, take pics.
Use RVTrader.com to look for comparables, or PPLMotorhomes.com. Both these sites may have a comparable unit for sale.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:36 AM   #6
JustinChase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
Any stains on the white ceiling material? Sure sign of leaks. Any rust where you wouldn't expect it? Any marks on carpet/lineoleum? Move couch and look at areas where the legs were--if water got in, there will be rust marks from the couch leg pegs. Ditto for recliners/chairs.
Pyramid of Doom--simply a buildup of 'stuff' that hasn't been properly flushed out. Big problem if tank hasn't been maintained regularly/properly.
Looking at a used RV as a first-time buyer is a tough situation--even a seasoned vet can miss problems. Be slow and thorough--ask questions, take pics.
Use RVTrader.com to look for comparables, or PPLMotorhomes.com. Both these sites may have a comparable unit for sale.

thanks for the tips. All good stuff.


I'd looked quite a lot before settling on this RV. I think I'm getting a good enough price that a few things can be overlooked. But I still need to do my best to understand what I'm getting.



How can I find out the condition of the interior of the black tank? I don't necessarily want to remove the tank. If I can't see past the toilet, any other ways?


I'm pretty handy, just terribly ignorant about RV's still.



I appreciate all the help.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:43 AM   #7
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May have made too much of a deal on the black tank--considerations are mainly HOW has it been used in the past? Was it hooked up to sewer/septic tank? Was it used seasonally or full time?
If water can be introduced down the toilet and it comes out the drain line; the valve works to open/shut off flow, then you are probably ok.
There are flusher gadgets to insert into the toilet throat and use water pressure inside the tank if necessary.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JustinChase View Post
thanks for the tips.
How can I find out the condition of the interior of the black tank? I don't necessarily want to remove the tank. If I can't see past the toilet, any other ways?
I'm pretty handy, just terribly ignorant about RV's still.
I appreciate all the help.
We all had to learn someplace, Hard knocks U.
Yeah, pulling damaged holding tanks might be a chore indeed.

There are services that will:
1) Run a water-proof lighted fiber optic camera in creepy places to inspect.
2) Clean the tank inside with a Rube Goldberg contraption, that has a clear fitting with a bellows around a steerable hydro-jet (pressure washer) that uses different nozzles depending on situation(s). It's hooked up to a honey wagon vacuum trailer. Around these parts he gets $225> for most of the wonderful services. The Jack Hammer is extra.
He does this almost routinely on / for units that have been parked in resorts idle, for extended periods and not maintained properly. Seems owners get lazy, or loose interest, poor health. Dooky happens.
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Old Yesterday, 10:35 PM   #9
adbkwhitley
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USB Inspection Camera

If you're really concerned about the condition of the tanks, get a USB inspection camera that will allow you to connect to a smart phone or tablet. That will give you the capability of looking into the tank and doing a visual on the state of the tank. This may be particularly useful if the bottom of the unit is insulated or covered and you can't do a visual of the underside utilities.


You can also use it to check the internal state of the fresh water tank and hot water heater. And, uh . . . not to overstate the obvious, here, but check the FRESH water tank and heater BEFORE you check the grey and black.


Good luck
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