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What Year Did They Start Making Walk On Roofs On Travel Trailers?

by Michael

I am going to buy a 2001 Travel Trailer within the next week and it has waves on the roof. I noticed that the air conditioner is at the bottom of one of the waves where water can become like a small puddle.

I am concerned that water will become stagnant and create leaks. They told me that walk on roofs were not made back then, is that true? Should I be concerned about leaks? Your immediate answer will be appreciated.

ANSWER: Greetings Michael thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Let me start by answering your first question. Since you do not tell me the make or model of the Travel Trailer that you are looking at I cannot tell you if the roof is designed to be walked on or not. So I cannot confirm nor deny the statement that was made to you that walk-on roofs were not made back then. It would depend on the manufacturer of the Travel Trailer and the model.

Normally a walk-on roof is 3/8" thick and the Travel Trailer will have an access ladder installed on the back of it. Even with a walk-on roof there will be weight limitations that will vary with make and model.

As far as the waves on the roof; I do not have the advantage of actually seeing the roof. Depending on the construction of the trailer some minor imperfections on the roof can be normal.

If as you describe there are large dips or valleys in the roof where a large amount of water can puddle then that is not normal. If these dips or valleys are located near roof top air conditioners, skylights, vents, etc. then that should cause concern.

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The waves can be a sign of possible structural damage to the roof from previous leaks or exceeding the weight limitations of the roof, etc. The only way of finding out for sure is by having a Certified RV Technician or RV Inspector look at the roof and let you know what they think.

The first thing to remember about buying a used RV is that you are buying it AS-IS. Once you own that RV, the seller is not legally obligated to fix anything unless they have given you a written used RV Warranty. Once the Travel Trailer is off the lot you become responsible for all the cost of the repairs.

The phrase to remember when buying a Used RV is "BUYER BEWARE". Here is a different phrase I would like to throw in "BUYER BE PREPARED". You can alleviate much of the risk of buying a used RV by performing a pre-purchase inspection.

There are companies that you can hire that will actually come out and do a thorough inspection of the RV for you. Once they complete this inspection you will be provided with a report that will tell you what problems; if any there are with the RV.

Remember, you are the one that will be paying for this inspection. The money you spend on this inspection will be well worth it and could save you a lot more money in the future if the inspector finds a major problem on the RV you are considering buying.

If you feel comfortable performing the inspection or if you have a friend that is very knowledgeable about RVs, you can save money by performing the inspection yourself.

The bottom line is that you should not buy a used RV from anyone until a used RV Inspection is performed.

I feel so strongly about these inspections that I have dedicated a whole section of EARV to Used RV Inspections. I would suggest that you click on the links below and review the information I have provided.

Used RV Inspection, Is It Important?

Section 1
: is for motorized and non motorized RVs.  It covers the guidelines for reviewing important documents about the RV, the inspection of the interior and exterior of the RV.

Section 2: is for motorized RVs and covers the guidelines for inspection of the engine and the guidelines on what to look for during a road test of the RV.

Hopefully, this will help you better determine if the Travel Trailer you are looking at is a "Great Deal" or "Bad Deal".

I hope that this information was helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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