RV Inspections

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 042014

One of the most frequent questions I get from people who are new to the RV lifestyle and shopping for a used rig is, should they get a pre-purchase inspection, and if so, who does them?

I consider an independent inspection to be vital when purchasing something as expensive as an RV. In fact, as somebody pointed out just last night in John Huggins’ Living The RV Dream Facebook group, it would be wise to have two inspections done, one for the RV end of things and one for the chassis/drive train. There are many RV techs who understand the house systems and what to check for, but they may not have the knowledge and experience to do a mechanical inspection. And both systems have components that can cost you a lot of money if major repairs are needed. The few hundred dollars invested in a good inspection(s) is money well spent.

As for what to expect to pay for a professional inspection, I’ve seen them run from $200 up to close to $1,000, depending on who is doing the inspection and how deeply they go into it. It’s one thing to have a tech give something a look to make sure major appliances are working and that there’s no delamination; and something else entirely to have a compression check done on the engine, a transmission inspection done and things like the cooling system and air bags evaluated. Do you really need all of that done? Who’s to say? Do you have the ability to check things like that out on your own? How many miles are on the rig and is the drivetrain still under warranty? How much are you spending for the RV and how much do you want to protect that investment?

Who should do your inspection(s)? You have a lot of options, but who should not is anybody working for the dealer selling the RV. And that includes one of their employees who will do the inspection on his own time after hours. Just how objective do you really think he will be? Likewise anybody the dealer recommends. That’s like allowing your soon-to-be ex-spouse choose your divorce attorney!

You want an independent inspector who doesn’t have a dog in the fight. Check with local independent RV repair shops and ask if they do inspections, or contact nearby RV parks and ask them who they recommend. Other sources for finding an inspector are the local throwaway newspapers and shoppers. We also list many reliable RV repair facilities in our RV Good Guys guide.

Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

I have three good books to tell you about today. The first is Girl Takes The Oath, book five in Jacques Antoine’s excellent Emily Kane action adventure series. In this installment, Emily goes to the U.S. Naval Academy, where she makes new friends and new enemies, too.

The next book is Cleve Sylcox’s Nicboth: The Journey Begins. It’s a tale of demons fighting demons, fallen angels seeking to regain their former glory, and the human failings of curiosity, greed, and lust for power. It’s free through Monday, so check it out.

Another book that really caught my eye is Emails from Heaven, a new book by New York times bestselling author Sam Neumann that’s going to be a real winner. It begins with David Grasso getting an email with a blank “sender” field that claims to be from his brother, but David knows that can’t be true, because his brother is dead. Yeah, my curiosity was piqued too.

Thought For The Day – Procrastination is something that’s better to put off until tomorrow.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “RV Inspections”

  1. I agree completely on the value of inspections and had separate chassis and coach inspections done when I purchased my 30 year old Newell coach. My coach inspector checked over all appliances and electrical systems and did an excellent job. I took my Cummins powered coach to a Cummins/Onan shop for both drive train/chassis and genset inspections. They let me down on both measures. Things that were missed and/or caused during the chassis/genset inspection have ended up costing me in excess of $7,000 in the 5 years I have had the coach. Especially for vintage RV inspections, make sure the inspector knows what they are looking at and respects the vintage nature of things. When I returned with problems, the technician who did my inspection stated “well its old, you’re not going to use it that much anyway”.

  2. I worked for an RV consignment lot for two winters in AZ (yes I was one of THEM). All we did was display for sale by owner RVs, no sales ourselves, no repairs, all we did was open the rigs, give them a test drive and the price and then they and the owner came to an agreement. I was amazed that so many people had no interest in an inspection even when I suggested one and provided the names of the three independent techs we referred them to. Some of these RVs cost as much as a house and there is a reason a mortgage company demands an inspection when you buy an house. But people didn’t want to “waste” and more money.

  3. Excellent information we really needed at this point in our RV shopping Nick. We never thought about 2 separate inspections but that makes a lot of sense.

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