Friday, April 03, 2009

Some Advice If You Want To Buy A Used Travel Trailer

This is a public service announcement.

If you are thinking about buying a used Travel Trailer, whether it be a traditional tow behind or a fifth wheel, you will want to pay attention to what I am going to say here.

First off,

If you are not a certified Jack Of All Trades, you want to reconsider this decision right now.

Some skills you will be using constantly are,

Electrical trouble shooting, 110 volt and 12 volt both, they are two distinct different systems.

Travel trailers and Motor homes use both types of electricity, at the same time, and have a converter built in where the circuit breakers and fuses are located.
A great deal of the lighting , the electric water pump and possibly the refrigerator are generally on the 12 volt system while things like microwaves and the usual 110 volt outlets for televisions and other things are on a completely different system.
This is a complex system and you had best get a good grip on it as problems can get quite frustrating if the actual wiring is involved, tearing out wall panels is a real possibility, tracking down problems involving wiring is a real life nightmare in a real sense, every one of these things are glued and stapled together.

Next, this is important, if you have to take something apart, SAVE EVERYTHING!
There are so many fixtures, couplers , plumbing parts and things like light fixtures that you are going to go match up at the hardware store that you would be astounded.

Beware, these are RV specialty items and you are going to have to get real creative in trying to find a replacement.
Take my word for this, I have been trying to fix quite a few things in my trailer and they are not readily available at your local hardware store.

I spent an hour and a half trying to make a traditional porcelain toilet adapt to the plastic water lines that they use in these trailers.
There is nothing in the plumbing system in an RV that is the same as a house, as far as I have seen. The toilets and sinks are completely different.
Speaking of plumbing, get ready to deal with tiny little sinks.
That is one of my pet peeves, the kitchens are an after thought and the sinks are a joke.

There is no counter space in one of these things and ya better get ready for that right now.

The other things that you need to be aware of are water leaks.
These can be a deal breaker in the first place if there is one disclosed while buying and are the number one killers of RV's.

Water leaks do not happen all at once, like bumping a curb tends to throw the alignment off for your car.
Water leaks are very difficult to find and repair and cause terminal damage in some cases, way too often.

Things like air vents that are a stop gap measure to let heat out in the summer are especially notorious.
They are cheap pieces of junk with hand cranks that seem to be designed to destroy the very same workings that operate the lifting mechanism they were designed to operate.

Most of these contraptions have an air conditioning unit mounted on the roof to keep the occupants from frying like an egg in mid Summer, the electric bill will reflect the amount of heat directly, as will the propane furnace and water heater will in the Winter.

Again, these are proprietary units and will have no resemblance to anything that a stick house on the grid will have.

I swapped out the hot water heater in mine today.
That is a unique experience.

Things like Trailer brakes, tires that rot off the rims while sitting for long periods of times, wheel bearings are a huge maintenance item.
Take the time and expense to take the tires and brake drums off, take the wheel bearings completely out, replace the wheel bearings ,bearing races and pack the new bearings with a graphite based grease.
This is one of the most important maintenance items you can do and it does not cost a fortune.
It ain't cheap but two hundred bucks compared to a wheel falling off at sixty miles an hour with pretty much every thing you own inside that long box? Coupled to the Truck hooked to it and your kids?
Just do it.

To make this post short enough to read, I am going to stop here but just for grins, consider the waste water systems and the cost of repair and maintenance of those...
Do the math.
Trailers do a lot of sitting and wheel bearings will put you on the side of the road with a gaping hole in the side of your trailer in a heart beat.


  1. I thank GOD I am not in the market for one now, thanks for the info.

  2. Surprise the shit out of me!
    Thanks fer stopping by dude!

  3. Dia bono madre mia BK, you need a woman, a house and you just GOT to get out of this trailer shit.

    Cuz hoss, as much as I lova ya man, you ain't gettng NOTHING out of our responses.

    Sure as shit, not enuff to live off of.

    Gat a woman, hoss. And a place.

    You'll feel better quickly, if ya can learn to shut yer yap and meet the woman half ways.

    Oh, and past 'speriences, they don't count 'cept as 'sperience.

    If you haven't learnt yet . . . yer doomed to trailer life. And yer smarter n this shit, hoss. Ya surely are.

    Git. A. Woman. A good one, and let her git, you.

    Once you lose, you win.

    Stubborn, ornery basterd ya . . . oh wait, there goes yer hook. *G*

  4. They are a lot of upkeep. I want to get a small one to keep at a campground and all I really want it for is the place to sleep at night. We will probably end up getting a pop up.

  5. Gotta agree with Larue, dude.

    You need a woman, and a real house! A woman that can cook, and can all the vegies outta your garden....and believe me, not all of them can cook.

    And it don't need to be a big house, the smaller the better....less maintenance. Less brain strain tryin' to keep it up.

    A good woman is the key here, and can make life a hell of a lot easier.

  6. Screw the woman, and the house. Those bastards just want you to be as miserable as they are. Trailers might be a pain in the ass, but you OWN it man! A house is nothing more than a brick and lumber prison cell, with a pair of shackles called "property taxes" and "homeowner's insurance" that NEVER go away. As a matter of fact, they tend to go UP faster than yer paycheck!!! And 200 bucks for wheel bearings? Sheeee-it, I'll take that any day over 10,000 bucks to repair a fucked up foundation, 8000 bucks for a new fucking roof, etc... And you think your utilities are high? Try my 300 dollar fucking electric bill on for size...... Kiss that trailer Busted. Hug it and squeeze it and name it fuckin' George. And to hell with the woman. All she'll do is nag your ass, and come up with "honey do" lists around that goddamn prison house. Fuckin' wimmin..... "Busted, you drink too much. Watch your mouth! When are you gonna fix the garbage disposal? You're going fishin' AGAIN??!!! You NEVER spend any time with me! (Gee honey, I can't fuckin' imagine why!!!) I don't have ANY clothes (in the TWO bulging closets!!!). You bought ANOTHER tool? You're SO SELFISH".......

  7. Anonymous8:07 AM

    ha ha , I would probably have paid money to watch you fuckin that football lol

  8. Well, I can see someone has had nothing but bad relationships.

    That could be because that someone was/is very arrogant and self centered, or just keeps hooking up with someone who is.

    A marriage/relationship is a two way street. There has to be give and take from both parties.

  9. Mayberry;
    God bless you-you said it all.I was lucky, I had a good woman for 43 years until kidney failure took her out. Sold the dollar eating house,and bought a 2004 Roadtrek. I am now free as a bird-come and go as I please-don't like the neighbors this week-fuck it drive away. FREEDOM pure and simple.

  10. Git you some leg if you want it, but right now I see us getting close to the shortest straw. Get your shit together, my friend. It is getting to be time to make your move. Society is down to seeds and stems. Not much left that is worth a fuck. Get seriously ready, Busted.


  11. Mayberry,
    been there done that, I used two have two houses.
    Been there done that, with the girlfriend shit too.
    Fuck that.
    I have been thrown out of my own house before.
    Not going to happen again.

    I own this mother fucker outright, you can tell me to move it but ya ain't throwing me out of the sonofabitch, it's mine.

    Michael, I am three months off of schedule but take my word for it, shit is happening already. God bless ya and the Handmaiden, ya got a good woman there even if ya only have Hallway Sex, walk by each other in the hallway and say Fuck You.

    A good woman is apparently out of my future for now.
    I ain't fit for female company anymore and I am eyeballing these fucking cats to be getting some flying lessons outside here shortly.

    Smooches honey.
    Yer a sweetie.

    Dang it, I guess I can't help myself for being a nice guy sometimes.

    yer a good man, take me to the woodshed if ya think I need it.

    Thank ya all for stopping by.

  12. And don't forget the wheel bearings!!

  13. Damn, I'm almost outta harumphs.

    Tween GrandpaEddie and that other guy who can't get laid OR keep a woman in a rightful manner, I'm not sure I got anything else left to offer.

    But I LOVE this thread. *G*

    Busted, ah hell, you need to get laid.

    N that's that.

    Kats don't count.

    Git a woman. That's another part of survival.

    N stop listenin to yer pals who are spreading deer urine on their clothes to hunt for their food.

    You can hunt and bag food without that unpleasant scent or feeling, ya know.

    And in the norm, it don't prove attractive to the opposite sex. And if ya don't know why, I'll hafta charge ya large sums to 'splain.

    And frankly, um . . . never mind, I was headed into yer personal sex life . . . I shouldn't go there.

    You leave them kats alone, though, ya heah? *G*

    Geebuz, Busted . . . . . get a woman, will ya?

    Hell, I suspect that even Drifty has one . . . ;-)

    N hell, there's a few good wimmen's out there, that might find ya attractive, if ya only shaved and brushed yer toofs oncit a while . . . .

    Fuckin worked for me . . . *G*

    I was a chef, she was a waitress.

    Find the love, Busted . . . it makes life MUCH easier.