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Old 11-13-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
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Motorhome Inspection for Purchase

What should one expect to pay a dealer to inspect a used 38 foot class A diesel prior to purchase?
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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This is based upon the assumption that you are not buying the RV from the dealer.
- if possible take the RV to a service center that specializes in working on the specific engine, trans, and chassis.
- will the RV dealer
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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You should pay the RV tech rate. It is about $100/hour in our area. Well worth it.

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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[QUOTE="TGR"]This is based upon the assumption that you are not buying the RV from the dealer.
- if possible take the RV to a service center that specializes in working on the specific engine, trans, and chassis.
- will the RV dealer give you any warranty on their inspection?
- they should be able to test the systems, and inspect the seals. Cracks in the caulk can lead to water leaks. You can look at the ceiling to stains, and at the top edge inside of the cabinets. Stains indicate water leaks.

I suspect you will probably pay their hourly rate for as many hours that they spend inspecting the RV. If they find something major, it'll be money well spent. If there are no problems to find, you will likely buy the RV with peace of mind.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:26 PM   #5
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the dealer i am working with right now does a thurogh inspection and detail and makes sure every system is working and chassis is to specs and serviced...then when you take delilvery they do a walk around and show you how to use every system and winterizing ect... then you take delivery...i suppose its not the same as talking to a truck place to inspect but they do say so as they service the chassis as well as every aspect of coach...many people come here to get service in sourounding states from what i have heard..
i think if they sell the unit they should know about the unit...jeff
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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I paid recently ~$200 to a RV repair shop to do the house, appliances, systems. Then another, I think, ~$130 for a auto/truck shop who does MH to inspect the chassis - engine, trans, brakes, etc. Well worth the money spent.

First I sruck a deal and price, and remitted a deposit - contigent on the outcome of inspections. The seller had the option to fix or renegioate ate/discount - I had the option to cancel and get my deposit back if I did not like the outcome.

Treated it much like one would if buying a house where you have purchase contingent on a house inspector.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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Whatever you do, make sure the inspector is independent from the dealer. If the dealer recommends a specific inspector you should probably look elsewhere. Inspections usually run $350 to $500 and that is money well spent!
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
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I paid $600 to an RV Service Department to check a 2007 Allegro Bus last February. This inspection was the reason I bought the coach sight unseen. As has been said, it was money well spent! I'm very happy with the purchase I made! BTW, some times you can negotiate the cost with the seller. As in my case, the seller paid all. I found and arranged who will do the inspection. The seller dropped off the RV for the day. It took about 6 hours for the inspection. This definitely is the buyers' market.
Good luck with your search!
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere
the dealer i am working with right now does a thurogh inspection and detail and makes sure every system is working and chassis is to specs and serviced...then when you take delilvery they do a walk around and show you how to use every system and winterizing ect
My dealer did the same and yet - drove straight to RV park - hooked up to water and there was a leak at the outside water filter. The PDI walk through was done using the pump. Went to tighten the connection - saw it would be easier to by removing the canister. Unscrewed it and guess what - no filter in the canister. Tightened it up - went to CW - got a filter and no more problem. This was a little thing but little things add up. You can buy the PDI manual at RV books online but it is more useful as a checklist than a "how to for a novice". For instance the how to test a propane system is pretty detailed but I couldn't do it and and while the dealer should before delivery - they probably won't do while you're standing around. But since you will know how - you can ask what they did to test it etc and see what they say.

Independent inspectors aren't that easy to find. They aren't in every city. Google RV pre- deliver inspection and you'll find a service group but not very wide coverage area and they want $$ to travel - but inspection rate is about $350+/- . You can also check into local area mobil RV services. They may know someone or do them. Lots of times the independent or mobil guy at one point was working for a dealer and broke out on their own. Seems some dealers want to approve your choice of independent in case there were hard feelings. I'd say the best guy might even be the guy they don't want you to use...

When you do the walk through PDI - take a third person with you and DW to take notes - pics - video. You want to pay attention to what's being said - and have a list of items you want to be sure to ask about. Taking notes will be a distraction for you and you wont remember everything you hear. Whatever you do - don't let the dealer set the pace. Slow the ball down and don't let them hurry you. If they have scheduled someone behind you that's their problem. Once they let "ya go" - you're back to end of the line.

Also - don't take their world about the condition of the roof. If you don't want to climb up there take someone with that will - check all connection points - skylights, vents, seals and take pictures.

I'm sure others have better ideas but just what comes to mind. Bottom line - if you can find an independent - it's worth the $350 and up.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #10
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You need to discuss with the "inspector" what you wish to have done. They, of course, should have their own professional opinion of what to do, but you need to understand what it is and put your own spin on it. For example, do you want a fluid analysis done on engine oil and transmission fluid? Steering & alignment checked? Batteries load tested? Maybe a leak test done (if they have facilities for that)? If you don't know what the inspection team is going to do, you may be in for surprises later. Just having a tech walk through and look at things, turn the fridge on and crank the generator up won't prove much more than you can do on your own.

There are checklists for inspecting an RV - get some samples and think about what is important to you. A good inspection will take 2-3 hours minimum; a really thorough one might take 5-6 hours. Figure $80-$120 per hour, depending on the area and the shop.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:57 PM   #11
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I agree with Steve. I've seen several new and used RV's that have had a complete dealer inspection completed and as soon as the new owner took delivery their were dozens of issues. A good example is the Aqua Hot system. the system will run on electric or diesel and both need to be checked, even if it's 110 degrees outside.

To answer your question, I would pull up a Google list of the dealers in the area and start calling. If you can attend the inspection, it's an excellent learning opportunity.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a
I've seen several new and used RV's that have had a complete dealer inspection completed and as soon as the new owner took delivery their were dozens of issues.
And that is a crying shame - not sure which is worse - taking delivery of a new unit with issues - or having a dealer whip the previous owner in trade or purchase and then the new owner by letting it go out the door with issues. The buyer really must beware. And finding the best white gloved - greasy armed - knowledgeable inspector you can find is a great defense.
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