Fifth Wheel, Travel Trailer and Camper Points of Inspection

Points of Inspection for Towable Recreational Vehicles

Lots of people have asked what is covered in a full RV inspection and while there are many different variables, here is a list that we borrowed from the National RV Inspectors Association (NRVIA). This list is intended to be a guideline for thorough RV inspections and may be modified by the qualified RV inspector to include more or less Points of Inspection (POI).

Use this list as a great way to compare:

  • A dealership’s Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI) versus an NRVIA inspection
  • A complete RV inspection versus a “Safety” inspection for an RV
  • Different Levels of Inspection like Basic, Essential and Premier
  • A do-it-yourself or DIY RV inspection versus a professional RV inspection
  • One RV inspection company to another

This Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer inspection list is quite extensive so it’s no wonder that a complete RV inspection should take more than 3 hours. 

It’s also pretty easy to see why several hundred dollars is an affordable cost for an independent RV inspection and is a valid price to pay.

RV Roof

  • Inspect and rate the overall roof condition
  • Identify the Roof material type and the sealants that have been applied to the roof
  • Evaluate the condition of the various sealant and joints around the roofing components
  • Rate the condition of the roof vents, air conditioners, antenna and other components that are mounted on the roof
  • Identify areas of concern and potential water intrusion points

RV Sidewall and End Caps

  • Inspect and identify the material type of the front and rear caps
  • Evaluate the aging and general overall condition of the front and rear caps
  • Inspect and evaluate the appearance and functional condition of the end caps, sidewalls, entrance doors, windows and cargo access doors.
  • Inspect and evaluate any damage, discoloration and delamination of the side wall and end cap components

RV Slideout Rooms

  • Identify the types of slideout room drive systems
  • Identify the type of roof material for the slideout room
  • Inspect and rate the roof condition
  • Inspect and evaluate the condition of the seals, sweeps and gaskets for possible damage
  • Evaluate the attached wiring and utility harness that feed underneath the slideout room

RV Awnings and Slideout Toppers

  • Inspect and identify the operational type (manual vs electric) of the awnings , slideout toppers and window awnings
  • Operate and rate condition of the awning frames and latching mechanisms
  • Evaluate and rate the condition of fabric material of the awnings
  • Measure and document the fabric size of the awnings

RV Chassis Turn Signal and Running Lights (12 volt DC)

  • Inspect the condition of the 7 pin connector cord
  • Operate and evaluate the emergency break away switch
  • Activate and evaluate the operation of the DOT lights mounted on the RV

RV 120 Volt AC Electrical System (house type power)

  • Inspect and rate the condition of the power cord and its connection ends
  • Identify any damage or repair of the power cord
  • Remove cover panel of the 120 volt circuit breaker box to visually inspect the condition of the wiring, circuit breakers and grounding connections.
  • List any heat discoloration to the wiring and connections
  • Verify the separation of all the wiring types
  • Test and verify the output operation of the 120 VAC to 12 VDC converter for charging of the deep cycle batteries

RV Generator

if installed *strongly recommend performing oil analysis to determine internal combustion engine component condition*

  • Identify and note the model, serial number and run hours of the generator
  • Check oil level
  • Start and operate the onboard generator
  • Test the voltage output and frequency (60 cycles)
  • Put generator under a load to verify operation (typically operating 1 air conditioner will create the correct amount of load)

RV Inverter

if installed

  • Identify and note the model and serial number of the inverter
  • Visually inspect the wiring and electrical connections and fuses/circuit breakers
  • Place electrical load on inverter to verify proper operation

RV Coach Battery System – (12 volt DC deep cycle Battery Electrical System)

  • Locate and note the location of the battery stack
  • Evaluate the condition, age and matched sizing of the battery stack
  • Evaluate and determine if positive and negative cables are correctly matched for balanced load
  • Access and visually inspect the wiring, fuse panel and fuses of the 12 volt DC electrical system
  • Evaluate the operation of the fresh water /waste water monitor panel for incorrect tank readings

RV Fresh Water System

  • Verify the fresh water connections for the city water hookup are operational
  • Test and verify proper filling of the fresh water tank
  • Verify the onboard fresh water tank and pressure pump system will operate and maintain pressure
  • Operationally test all freshwater fixtures inside and outside of the RV
  • Visually inspect the water filtration system (if installed) for leaks and filter placement

RV Waste Water Systems – (RV Gray Water and RV Black Water)

  • Operationally test and inspect both waste (gray and black) plumbing systems for leaks under the sinks, shower, around the toilet and discharge lines
  • Identify the type drain valve controls
  • Verify the drain valves for both systems will maintain water in their tanks
  • Operate both drain valves and test for ease of operation
  • Verify the drain cap is in place and will hold waste water

RV Life Safety Items

  • Perform and document LP gas timed leak test at cooktop burner spud for 5 minutes at 8 inches of water column gas pressure
  • Test the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) circuits in the 6 foot range of the water areas of the bathroom, kitchen and exterior receptacles
  • Test all wall receptacles for correct polarity and ground fault
  • Test the exterior skin for hot skin that would cause electrical shock
  • Emergency Exit Windows – Verify all safety windows are operational
  • Fire Extinguisher – Verify unit is secure in bracket and dial indicates extinguisher is fully charged
  • Smoke/Fire Detector –Test and verify operation of unit and document expiration date of detector
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector (if applicable) – Test and verify operation of unit and document expiration date of detector
  • LP Gas Detector – Verify gas detection and audio alarm and document expiration date of detector
  • Verify the rubber grommet is properly sealed around LP gas line of water heater

RV Propane (LP) Gas System

  • Visually inspect all hoses and pressure regulators for damage and age deterioration
  • On split tank system verify the red colored single stage regulator is installed
  • Verify the plastic cover has been installed over the regulator

RV Propane (LP) DOT Cylinders

– if equipped

  • Document the manufacture date of DOT cylinders
  • List the location(s) of the DOT cylinders
  • List the tank sizes that have been installed
  • Conduct visual inspection of exterior of cylinder for rust and other damage

RV Propane (LP) ASME tank

if equipped

  • If tank is visible, conduct a visual inspection of tank for rust or physical damage
  • List the location of the tank
  • Document the manufacture date of the ASME tank if accessible
  • List the gallon capacity of the tank

RV Refrigerator

  • Identify the brand, model and type of refrigerator
  • Note the location of the vent panels used by refrigerator
  • Operate on all heat sources – 120 volt AC, LP gas and for 3 way refrigerators, 12 volt DC
  • Collect serial and model number and verify with manufacturer if recall notice has been issued and completed for this unit
  • Visually verify if baffle system on back of refrigerator area is correct and directing heat away from gas coils
  • Test for interior temperature of upper and lower refrigerator compartments and ice maker (if installed) *if refrigerator has been operating for minimum of 12 hours
  • Check condition of door frame, shelving, crisper drawers, door shelves and interior light
  • Evaluate and rate the door gasket seals of freezer and refrigerator box areas

RV Water Heater

  • Identify the brand, model and type of water heater
  • Visually inspect burner assembly and gas exhaust system for blockages and insect infestation
  • Fill tank with water (if necessary) and verify operation on all heat sources – LP gas and 120 volt AC if equipped with heating element
  • If installed, operate and verify positioning of bypass valves on back of water heater
  • Determine if proper drain plug has been installed in water heater tank
  • If installed, inspect and evaluate if the correct type of dauber screen has been is being used

RV Furnace

  • If accessible, identify the brand, model and type of furnace(s) that have been installed
  • Identify the type of thermostat controls being used to operate furnace(s)
  • Visually inspect air intake and exhaust assemblies for blockages and insect infestation
  • Operate and verify warm air discharge out of vents and proper return air flow to unit
  • Monitor for unusual noise or vibration of blower motor
  • If installed, inspect and evaluate if the correct type of dauber screen is being used

RV Cooktop / Stove

  • Evaluate and rate the condition of the cooktop or stove
  • List presence and condition of stove top covers
  • Verify the ignition and operation of all top burners and the oven flame (if equipped)
  • Inspect and rate the condition of the metal grill top and rubber grommets of top burner area
  • Evaluate the presence of the control knobs, door handles and oven racks of the unit

RV Air Conditioner(s)

  • Identify and list the type of cooling unit/heat pump
  • Perform cooling efficiency test (Delta T) on each unit
  • Visually inspect the plenum box and ductwork sealing
  • Inspect the air filter, cooling and the heat exhaust coils for debris and cleanliness

RV Washer / Dryer

  • Visually inspect and verify a wash and rinse cycle of the washer and dryer
  • Visually inspect for leaks or damaged hoses.
  • Evaluate and rate the exterior condition of the dryer exhaust vent

RV Microwave / Convection Oven

  • Identify and list the brand, model, type and output wattage of the unit
  • Verify the rack and turntables are installed
  • Operate unit for 60 seconds utilizing cup of water and then list water temperature

RV Dishwasher

if installed

  • Identify and list the brand and model of unit
  • Verify operation of unit and inspect for leaks and non- functioning rotating racks and wash bars

RV In-House Vacuum System

– if installed

  • Identify and list the brand and model of unit
  • Verify the operation and visually inspect the various components of the hose assembly, access doors and dirt bag

RV Electric Fireplace

if installed

  • Identify and list the brand and model of unit
  • Operate and verify the various heat settings, fan speed levels and the backlighting

RV Cooktop Exhaust Fan

  • Operate and verify condition of the exhaust function and fan speeds
  • Visually inspect the filter and lighting
  • Evaluate and rate the exterior condition of the exhaust vent

RV Ceiling Mounted Fans and RV Ceiling Exhaust Vents

  • Visually inspect the condition of the blades and motor
  • Operate and verify condition of the blade direction and fan speeds
  • Verify lighting if equipped

RV Interior Conditions and Appearance

  • Visually inspect all ceilings, walls, interior doors and flooring for signs of water intrusion, surface damage and/or staining
  • Operate all windows and doors noting any deficiencies or missing components
  • Evaluate the window coverings
  • Operate all interior, exterior and décor lighting  – 12 volt and 120 volt

RV Cabinets and Closet Condition

  • Inspect and evaluate all cabinet doors, drawers and pull out operation
  • Visually inspect all counter tops and flat surface areas of the kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom and storage areas for scratches and damage
  • Identify and list all broken and loose cabinet and closet hardware
  • Note if appearance of previous damage repairs have been performed

RV Furniture

  • Visually inspect the condition of the dinette table/booth, chairs, recliners and sofa
  • Inspect and note furniture fabric tears, discoloration and signs of excessive wear
  • Visually inspect and note signs of mattress damage or staining

RV Entertainment System

  • Visually inspect and operate all TV and stereo equipment
  • Verify DVD/disc players and radios are operational
  • Verify local channels antenna and 12 volt DC power signal booster is operational
  • Raise and lower roof mounted antenna if equipped
  • Verify remotes are operational

RV Shower / Tub Enclosure

  • Visually inspect the glass panels, curtains and soap dish areas
  • Evaluate and rate the seals around the framework and doors for water leaks
  • Operate the door and latch system to verify its operation
  • Inspect and evaluate the stains and chemical/mineral build up

RV Running Gear (Towables)

  • Type and number of axles
  • Inspect the frame, axles, springs, rims and other components for rust, oil stains and visible damage
  • Document the information on the tires as to their age and weight capacities
  • Check tire pressure
  • Inspect and rate tire tread condition
  • Note any valve extensions and pressure monitors

RV Hitch System / Hook Up

  • Inspect and identify the type of system used to tow vehicle
  • Evaluate and list modifications to hitch system

RV Leveling System / RV Stabilizer System

  • Identify and note the brand and type of system
  • Verify the system operates properly by extending and retracting leveling system
  • Note visual indications of hydraulic leaks or mechanic issues

RV Weight Labels and RV Data Plates

  • Identify and document the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Document the license plate info
  • List the inspection sticker information – if applicable
  • List the RVIA inspection seal number
  • List the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
  • List date of manufacture

It’s easy to find a reputable RV inspection company by typing the RV location into the search bar on the My RV Resource homepage.

Lisa Carletti

Lisa Carletti

Lisa and Jason are NRVIA certified Level 2 inspectors and RVDA/RVIA registered technicians who run My RV Inspection based in Tampa, FL. They also built My RV Resource which is a map based directory as a resource to help consumers find RV related services like RV inspections, RV repair shops and mobile technicians, RV towing and transport companies as well as RV storage lots.
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