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.
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:
The sealant around the TV antenna, although being new, is already showing signs of cracking.
These are supposed to be sealed joints on the roof between the rear cap and the TPO rubber roof material!
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.
The wiring harness appears to have been pinched, possibly in the operation of the slideout extending and retracting.
The underside of the streetside rear slideout has damage. It is recommended that this condition is evaluated by a qualified RV technician.
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.
The curbside basement storage cargo door is out of alignment and difficult to close.
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!
This 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.
The inspector observed that the electrical panel is missing a screw and that the entire electrical assembly at the bottom of the cabinet is sticking out.This 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 pin.
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.
There is some rippling in the ceiling on the curbside rear slideout.More rippling of the vinyl wall material at various locations.
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!
If you are interested in this service that is available nationwide, you may reach our office several ways:
- Please call 850-585-1811 for more information!
- Send an email to Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Request a copy of a sample report to show the level of detail we undertake to assist you in making your RV buying decision.
We look forward to serving you!
Howard & Pam Jaros – Owners, HMRVI Corporation, NRVIA Certified Inspector & Trainer