New RV Inspection – Don’t Leave the Dealership Without One!

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When purchasing an RV, whether new or used, it is wise to seek the counsel of a third party that is unbiased and that can provide an objective evaluation of the RV’s current condition.  Whether it is a new RV inspection or a used RV inspection, the information that this service provides will give the RV buyer peace of mind in the buying process!

As Pam and I have been operating our RV inspection business over the past four years we can say without reservation that without our help many people would have made a buying mistake without the additional information we provided during the RV purchasing negotiations.

Now, a certified RV inspection is not someone just verifying the VIN number and looking up the tailpipe like a state inspection!  This is a comprehensive investigation of all the major systems of the RV.  It is like a home inspection, but for a recreational vehicle!

Read on and we will share a story of a recent new RV inspection and what the outcome was.

New RV Inspection

Lately, we have found that new RV’s have been even more problematic then used RV’s.  Over the past four years we have found a long list of needed repairs on each used RV we have looked at, but lately, new RV’s are really starting to leave us feeling concerned!

A new RV arrives at an RV dealership directly from the manufacturer.  Once it arrives, the dealership gives it a pre-delivery inspection.  This means that before the RV is sold to a new owner it is supposed to undergo a thorough investigation to be sure there are no manufacturer defects.  Once this is done, and any issues that are uncovered are resolved, the new RV is ready to leave with its new owner once it is sold.

Do you think this always happens?  Do the dealerships have time to uncover all the manufacturer issues that exist?  Are the manufacturers doing their job of producing a high-quality product and verifying that before it leaves the plant?

Since RV sales and the RV industry as a whole have been growing at a rapid pace over the past few years, this has put a strain on the manufacturers to keep up with the demand.  It has been said of the industry that the last part of the RV building process happens at the dealership.  Well, when demand is up and quality falls, it can be hard to have the time uncover manufacturer issues and make everyone happy!

Well, we have a solution for this issue!  We know that with the given system it is impossible for RV dealers and manufacturers to catch every issue that will land on a new RV owner’s repair list.  These issues will create problems for the new owner that will send the RV back to the dealership for warranty work and possible travel delays.  The dealers don’t have time for this.  The new owner will be upset when they have to bring their new RV back to the RV dealership and wait weeks for issues to be repaired when they should have been addressed before it left the dealership the first time.

Our New RV Inspection Story

Let us share a recent story with you to show what happened when a new RV left the dealership without a new RV inspection and what could have been addressed and repaired if the RV had been inspected by an NRVIA certified RV inspector prior to the new owner taking possession of it.

The unit you will see below is manufactured by a well-known company of 5th wheel RVs.  It is a 2018 model year.

During the RV inspection, an NRVIA certified RV inspector can touch as many as 500 items.  These are part of the standards of practice for the kind of inspections that they provide.  It typically takes four to eight hours to accomplish the RV inspection depending on the type of RV being inspected and the level of inspection the client chooses.

The client for this new RV inspection ordered a higher level inspection to be done.   The inspection took six hours and produced an RV inspection report that was eighty-seven pages in length.  The problem was the RV inspection was done after the RV had already been bought and had left the dealership, but it was now back there due to serious problems with the RV.  

After the problems had set in, the RV inspection report was needed to properly document all the issues that the owner was claiming existed.  This report was to go to the manufacturer for a resolution of the documented deficiencies.

A better way to go is for the new RV inspection to be done before the paperwork is signed and the new owner has given the dealership money.  All problems should be resolved before money changes hands to be sure the RV is to the owner’s satisfaction.  This is important because most new RV owners don’t understand enough about the complexities of their new RV to be able to check the long list of items that need to be reviewed.

new rv inspection

Would you want to see this type of corrosion on the battery terminal of a brand new RV that you just picked up?  The new owner observed this after realizing they were not getting the needed battery voltage inside the RV to run its 12-volt electrical systems.

New RV Inspection Photos

So here are some pictures of what the HMRVI Corporation found during the inspection including some of the comments from the RV inspection report:

new rv inspection

The sealant around the TV antenna, although being new, is already showing signs of cracking.

new rv inspection

new rv inspection

These are supposed to be sealed joints on the roof between the rear cap and the TPO rubber roof material!

new rv inspectionnew rv inspection

A piece of the bulb seal on the streetside center slideout roof has separated from the sidewall.  An investigation is recommended by a qualified RV technician to avoid possible water intrusion.
new rv inspection

The wiring harness appears to have been pinched, possibly in the operation of the slideout extending and retracting.
new rv inspection

new rv inspection

The underside of the streetside rear slideout has damage.  It is recommended that this condition is evaluated by a qualified RV technician.

new rv inspection

The inspector observed holes in the sidewall where it appears screws were inserted and removed.  It is recommended that the holes be filled with sealant by a qualified RV technician to avoid water intrusion.

new rv inspection
new rv inspectionThe curbside basement storage cargo door is out of alignment and difficult to rv inspectionnew rv inspection

This next picture is of a very serious issue and landed the owner on the side of the highway with no one that could assist him!
new rv inspectionThis condition occurred when in less than two hundred miles of towing by the owner, the rear curbside axle u-bolts broke loose and landed the axle up against the curbside rear leveling jack.  This happened while traveling down a busy highway.  The owner was able to get safely off the road and used the strapping method you see in the picture to get the RV to a nearby dealership.

new rv inspectionThe inspector observed that the electrical panel is missing a screw and that the entire electrical assembly at the bottom of the cabinet is sticking rv inspectionnew rv inspectionThis cooktop stove grate is supposed to have two pins at opposite corners that sit in the holes in the cooktop base.  The grate on the right side of the stove is missing its upper right holding rv inspectionnew rv inspectionnew rv inspectionnew rv inspection

At the time of the inspection, the fascia trim piece for the streetside rear slideout was missing and laying on the floor of the RV.
new rv inspectionnew rv inspectionThere is some rippling in the ceiling on the curbside rear rv inspectionMore rippling of the vinyl wall material at various rv inspectionnew rv inspectionnew rv inspectionnew rv inspectionnew rv inspection

These are just some of the issues that were identified in this new RV inspection.  There were a total of seventy-eight photos and two videos in the RV inspection report. 

The report also included a summary section of the highlights of the RV inspection.  It is broken down into life safety issues, major issues, minor issues, and things that are noteworthy of comment.  It was a total of 10 pages for this new RV inspection!

Here is a sample of a summary section from a report on a used motorhome.

At this time the owner is still waiting on a resolution for the needed repairs.  The RV is sitting at the dealership with no indication as to when the RV will be returned and be ready for travel.  We will update you on this story as things continue to unfold.

UPDATE:  It has been eight weeks since the RV arrived back at the dealership and the owner still does not have their RV back.  According to the dealership they are supposed to get it back soon.  Meanwhile, they have been living in a hotel waiting for their full time RV home to be repaired.

You Need a Certified RV Inspection!

Whether you are considering buying a new or used RV, in order to be sure you will enjoy worry-free travels after purchasing it from an RV dealership, or an RV owner, please reach out to us so we can assist you!

Find Out Where HMRVI is Available to do RV Inspections For You!

If you are interested in this service that is available nationwide, you may reach our office several ways:

 We look forward to serving you!

Howard & Pam Jaros – Owners, HMRVI Corporation,  NRVIA Certified Inspector & Trainer

rv inspection


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    • Bo on October 20, 2023 at 1:49 PM
    • Reply

    Thank you for this information, I am in the process of possibly purchasing a used RV from a dealership. they scheduled me to sign paperwork and take the unit home on Saturday but declined to let my private inspection to be done on the Friday before (stating they were doing their own inspection on that day) but told me i can still purchase and take the unit on Saturday. I mentioned that is not possible because my private inspection won’t be completed before signing documents etc. – I haven’t heard back from them yet. So this article was very helpful for me to make sure i have my private inspection prior to signing.

    • Sean Medeiros on March 29, 2022 at 10:52 PM
    • Reply

    Thinking of purchasing our first rv at an out of state dealership. When hiring an inspector should I make arrangements prior to traveling to the dealership? Does the inspector go to the dealership to perform the inspection?? Generally, how long will it take to get results??

    1. Hi Sean!

      You can save money on an out-of-state RV purchase by having an NRVIA inspector take a look at it first. Yes, they travel to the dealership. The inspection can take from four to eight hours to complete depending on what level of inspection you purchase. Inspectors work to get the results back to you within twenty-four hours of completing the onsite analysis.

      Best wishes on your RV search!

    • rv on January 1, 2022 at 2:36 PM
    • Reply

    I found your article very helpful, thank you so much for your content. 

    • Deb on October 29, 2021 at 9:33 PM
    • Reply

    If I find an RV I am interested in, how do I arrange for it to be inspected and not sold to another customer in the meantime?

    1. Hi Deb!

      Contact an NRVIA inspector once you locate an RV and have approval from the owner to have it hooked to water, sewer, and electricity so the inspector can check all systems. A contract between the owner (whether a private sale or dealership) and you should take care of the concern of being sold before you are able to do your due diligence.

      Best wishes on your RV search!

  1. Hi. We just bought our first Coach 2021 with less than 5000 miles. We bought it at a RV Show. They ate fixing a few things they pointed out to us. We will pick up on the 13th of October. Is it too late for an inspection?

    1. If you are looking to have an inspection done you can go to and possibly locate an inspector in that area. Best wishes with your RV purchase!

    • Christina W on February 21, 2020 at 7:00 PM
    • Reply

    291RL FOREST River 2020 I am looking at getting. I am supposed to pick it up on Feb 24th in Liberty MO. I did not know that I even should get it inspected until watching you tubers. How much is it and is anyone in the area?

    1. Hi Christina!

      Thanks for stopping by! I responded to your inquiry via email a few days ago. I am sorry that I am several states away and unavailable to assist you. Best wishes on your RV search.

    • Michael Wilson on December 13, 2019 at 9:02 AM
    • Reply

    Good Morning, I am looking to have a 5th wheel I am interested in purchasing, inspected. It is located in Elk City OK. Do you service this area. Please call me at 1-403-618-3575.
    Thank you….Michael

    1. Hi Michael!

      I responded to the text that you sent me! We are unavailable for the next week and a half, and we are currently in the Dallas area. That is 350 miles northwest of our current location. I gave you a link to use to find another inspector.

      Thanks for visiting our website! Best wishes on your RV search!!

    • Randy Chorvack on August 13, 2019 at 12:23 PM
    • Reply

    I can’t believe that an inspection can last up to 8 hours! It must be a very thorough inspection if ti’ts that long. Do you have to get any type of certifications to be an RV inspector?

    1. Hi Randy!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Yes, these RV inspections are like a home inspection on steroids! When the subject property is a diesel pusher, with fluid analysis (oil and coolant samples drawn), they take that long!

      To be certified as an RV inspector, the NRVIA is involved. You can visit and for more information on the process!

    • Abiel martinez on May 29, 2019 at 6:12 PM
    • Reply

    I just bought a new travel trailer at camping world of houston. Bought it in april 2019. Paper plates expire may 12 2019. When it was time for permanent plates dealer told me travel trailer was not supposed to leave dealer because it never got an inspection done. Now the title clerk keeps getting denied at the dmv because no inspection exists on the travel trailer. So I got another extension for paper plates done. What can I do to get this resolved?

    1. Hi Abiel!

      What you need is a state inspection done on your RV. You have to take it to a location that is designated by the Texas Department of Transportation. Look up that entity and search on their website for a location near you, or just give them a call to ask for assistance in getting your vehicle plated.

    • Kevin Zarth on October 12, 2018 at 9:19 AM
    • Reply


    Reviewed your website and like the information provided. Lots of good information. I am looking to get an inspection performed on a 2013 Fleetwood Revolution 38S in Nacogdoches, TX on the 26th of October. Can you assist in performing that for me? I can provide the VIN, dealership and any other information you may need. Please let me know. Thanks

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kevin and leaving a request. I have responded to you via your email.

    • Samuel barone on July 31, 2018 at 12:44 AM
    • Reply

    We are buying a one year old drv dbrs39 at rolling retreats RV center in elk city ok in mid September. Could you be out there to do an inspection?
    Sam Barone

    1. Hi Sam!

      Thanks for stopping by our website and leaving a comment.

      As you get close to closing on the RV, please reach out to me and we’ll see what our schedule is like.

      Thank you!

    • Ric Levit on May 18, 2018 at 8:14 PM
    • Reply

    I need an Internet nspector for a 2007 Fleetwood Revolution 42N in Nacadoches Texas. Any ideas. It is 3 hours from Dallas in East Texas

    1. Greetings Ric!

      Thank you for stopping by our website!

      Coincidently enough we just inspected a 2006 Country Coach Magna in Nacogdoches, TX a few days ago. We are a bit of a distance away but we can get to it if you need us to.

      Is that the one at Motorhomes of Texas?

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