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Question Of The Week

16 Best Used Camper Suggestions

Truck Camper Magazine readers give their best advice on how to properly inspect a used truck camper before making a purchase.

To follow up on 6 Tips For Buying Used Campers and How To Inspect A Used Truck Camper, we asked Truck Camper Magazine readers how they would inspect a used truck camper.  Of particular importance, check out Tip 7: Check the Title Status.

Tip 1: Ask For An Overnight

“When I bought our used Northstar, I asked the seller to set it up at a local campground and allow me to spend the night.  This gave me an opportunity to go over the unit at my leisure including preparing a meal, sleeping, etc.  During this experience, I was able to test the camper for most things.” – Gary Massie, 2016 Hilux SR, 2013 Northstar Offroada 7

Tip 2: Inspect The Pop-Up Canvas

“On a pop-up, with the top up, inspect the canvas inside and outside for tears.  Check for wear at wrinkle points which occur when the top is lowered.  Check seams for damaged thread.  Open and close all the canvas windows, and check for torn or damaged screens.  Also, check the raising hardware at the attachment points.

Tip 3: Smell the Water Heater’s Water

For all campers, pour a tall glass half full of water from the water heater.  Give it the sniff test.  If it smells of rotten eggs there’s an issue to be dealt with.

Editor’s Note: Great tip, Dietrich!  We have a great article on water heater maintenance.  It talks about how to get rid of the rotten egg smell from the water heater’s water.

Tip 4: Check the Water Heater Temperature and Pressure Valve

Check the water heater temperature and pressure relief valve.  Flip up the actuating lever.  Water should run out.  When released, water should stop.  If there is an anode rod in the outlet, it will need to be replaced.

Tip 5: Exercise The Cabinet Doors, Drawers and Glides

Open and close every cabinet door and drawer.  Pull drawers all the way out and inspect the tracks and glides.  Check the bottom of the drawers for attachment.” – Dietrich Kanzler, 2015 RAM 1500, 2000 Northstar TC800

Tip 6: Test Water Lines With Air Pressure

“I would add an air pressure test to the city water line to your list.  Add air, wait a few minutes or so, look at the inline pressure gauge to see if it drops.” – Jesse Taylor, 2006 Sierra 2500HD, In between campers right now

Tip 7: Check the Title Status

“I just read your articles on used truck campers.  They are very helpful.  I thought I might add one more thing you might want to let your readers know about.

Because truck campers are not titled in almost every state, there is no way to get a clear title to prove that a lien has been paid off and the legal transfer has been made. The lien is secured by filing a UCC in the state the person lives in.

If an individual is purchasing a truck camper from Craigslist, eBay, or from an individual, it is important to make sure that there is no outstanding UCC filing on the unit.  When the bank files the UCC, they do not take the original MCO from the manufacturer.  So, it’s very easy to look like the owner has a “clear title” when it’s the original MCO from the manufacturer and not a state issued title.

An example would be that a person has purchased a new truck camper for $30,000.  After two years he realizes that he can’t afford it.  The loan balance is probably $28,000.  He could sell the camper to an individual for $20,000 and then walk away and never pay the loan off.

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