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Old 12-02-2012, 05:24 PM   #1
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Presale inspection

We are one step closer to buying a motorhome!! We are looking in the Phoenix area for an outfit that will come to the dealer and do the inspection.

1) Can anyone give us a recommendation for an outfit that makes "dealer" calls?

2) We've been through the coach many times so from a visual point of view we have our list of issues. Does anyone have items that they wish they had had checked before they made their purchase?

Hopefully I'll be making a post soon about our new coach!

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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I would want a sample taken of both the engine oil & transmission fluid to be tested by a lab like Blackstone.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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Try
Dave Mattson RV Insp
(480) 497-9747
(480) 510-6646

He does PDI in Phoenix and surrounding area. Ended up not buying in Phoenix area so no first hand experience.. Spoke with him several times. Seemed to know what he was doing. A little hard to get a hold of but does return calls.

Search this site for RV Pre-purchase delivery thread. It has useful links to PDI info etc.

Also this site - which is where I found Dave.

http://www.rvsurvey.com/affiliates.html

Good luck.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjackson
We are one step closer to buying a motorhome!! We are looking in the Phoenix area for an outfit that will come to the dealer and do the inspection.

1) Can anyone give us a recommendation for an outfit that makes "dealer" calls?

2) We've been through the coach many times so from a visual point of view we have our list of issues. Does anyone have items that they wish they had had checked before they made their purchase?

Hopefully I'll be making a post soon about our new coach!

Thanks!
I agree with Steve on the engine & transmission fluid analysis, but if you want to do it right, take it to a proper chassis shop and have them do a multi-point check. Have them plug their computer into the engine, inspect the generator, inspect the frame, the air system (brakes & suspension), the other suspension stuff ( alignment, hubs, etc.), inspect the jacks & hydraulics on the slides, the "works". Have you taken it for an extensive & proper "test drive?" ....have the chassis shop test drive it with you on board. If it passes this test....take it to a proper RV shop and have them inspect all the appliances, the furnace, the AC units, the plumbing, the roof, the slides, the seals, the awnings, the inverter, the batteries, the tires...the "works". Make a list of everything you can think of and have it inspected....if you want to do it right?

If you do it right, you can come "armed & dangerous" to the table for price negotiations. Once you know any/all the good and bad about the MH,you are educated enough to know if it is the right one for you. Every flaw/problem can be negotiated into the price and you can have it "fixed" by people you pay & trust ( not the Dealer). If you do a through enough job you won't need to buy an extended warranty! I'd also insist on a full service..fluids, filters, grease, rad clean, etc. (new batteries & tires if needed) as a part of any deal... This way you start with a new service "base-line".....heck a new "used" MH.

If the Dealer is awkward or unwilling to allow you to conduct a full & detailed inspection... Well there are other Dealers & other MH's out there. For me, buying a used MH is a business transaction much like buying a business. Would you spend +100K on a business deal if the Seller wouldn't allow you to look at the books, examine receivables. & payables, P&L, etc......in other words due diligence? The problem is that some Dealers don't like dealing with an educated consumer and are prepared to wait it out for the naive/uninformed buyer who falls on love with the paint job!

IMO....Don't fall in love with it until you own it....just some thoughts for consideration.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I agree with Steve on the engine & transmission fluid analysis, but if you want to do it right, take it to a proper chassis shop and have them do a multi-point check. Have them plug their computer into the engine, inspect the generator, inspect the frame, the air system (brakes & suspension), the other suspension stuff ( alignment, hubs, etc.), inspect the jacks & hydraulics on the slides, the "works". Have you taken it for an extensive & proper "test drive?" ....have the chassis shop test drive it with you on board. If it passes this test....take it to a proper RV shop and have them inspect all the appliances, the furnace, the AC units, the plumbing, the roof, the slides, the seals, the awnings, the inverter, the batteries, the tires...the "works". Make a list of everything you can think of and have it inspected....if you want to do it right?

If you do it right, you can come "armed & dangerous" to the table for price negotiations. Once you know any/all the good and bad about the MH,you are educated enough to know if it is the right one for you. Every flaw/problem can be negotiated into the price and you can have it "fixed" by people you pay & trust ( not the Dealer). If you do a through enough job you won't need to buy an extended warranty! I'd also insist on a full service..fluids, filters, grease, rad clean, etc. (new batteries & tires if needed) as a part of any deal... This way you start with a new service "base-line".....heck a new "used" MH.

If the Dealer is awkward or unwilling to allow you to conduct a full & detailed inspection... Well there are other Dealers & other MH's out there. For me, buying a used MH is a business transaction much like buying a business. Would you spend +100K on a business deal if the Seller wouldn't allow you to look at the books, examine receivables. & payables, P&L, etc......in other words due diligence? The problem is that some Dealers don't like dealing with an educated consumer and are prepared to wait it out for the naive/uninformed buyer who falls on love with the paint job!

IMO....Don't fall in love with it until you own it....just some thoughts for consideration.
Um... thats going to cost upwards of $1000 or more and a few days. It would be much easier to have the seller agree to a 2 week fully refundable return or some kinda 30 day warranty and you wont have to come outta pocket on something you are negotiating to own.

Not sure where youre buying vehicles... but every dealer I know that has a customer like you "armed & dangerous & demanding the world" will pretty much show you the door because as the adage goes..."theres one born every minute and I get 30 minutes for lunch"
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Um... thats going to cost upwards of $1000 or more and a few days. It would be much easier to have the seller agree to a 2 week fully refundable return or some kinda 30 day warranty and you wont have to come outta pocket on something you are negotiating to own.

Not sure where youre buying vehicles... but every dealer I know that has a customer like you "armed & dangerous & demanding the world" will pretty much show you the door because as the adage goes..."theres one born every minute and I get 30 minutes for lunch"
Hey Todd...can't argue with ya. I am curious however...

Are you suggesting to forget a pre-purchase inspection altogether or that the OP should just inspect the things the Dealer wants him to look at? Which of the things I suggested would you suggest the OP ignore? The Chassis, the Brakes, the Suspension, the House (which appliances or systems do feel are irrelevant), how about the test drive...does it matter if it swerves to the right when you apply the brakes?

If the OP does discover certain problems are you suggesting these not be included in the price negotiations for fear of offending the Dealer?

How would you suggest the OP handle problems which crop-up down the road .....once the purchase has been made and money has changed hands...how would you suggest the OP handle differences of opinion about what constitutes "under warranty" ....should the OP insist on a comprehensive 30 day bumper to bumper warranty..an exclusionary warranty or are you suggesting .....a Dealer "just trust me warranty" would be sufficient and less demanding or offensive?

Anyway...you are totally correct ......a proper inspection will take time & money, but won't it take time & money, if problems that should have been caught in pre-inspection, rear their ugly head a couple of months down the road? At the end of the day, my thoughts were just some suggestions for things for the OP to consider.....I certainly wouldn't want him to offend the Dealer.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:11 PM   #7
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Anyway...you are totally correct ......a proper inspection will take time & money, but won't it take time & money, if problems that should have been caught in pre-inspection, rear their ugly head a couple of months down the road? At the end of the day, my thoughts were just some suggestions for things for the OP to consider.....I certainly wouldn't want him to offend the Dealer.
I could care less about "offending" a dealer but I dont know any sober dealer that will allow a buyer to perform "due diligence" by invasively inspecting a vehicle in order to negotiate a lower price.

Just like the doofus that showed up to purchase a vehicle I was selling and was adamant about "doing a compression test" and other inspection tasks before giving me any money. I told him goodbye... but with an F and a U.

Nothing wrong with being informed or doing your own research or even having a list of things to look at. I just dont see a dealer letting you take a coach off the lot to do the kind of inspection you suggested.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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I had a dealer drive a DP coach 30 miles to an inspection facility for a chassis inspection. They didn't have a problem with that at all? We negotiated a price pending the outcome of that inspection ahead of time? If the inspection didn't turn out as expected, the deal was off or would have to be renegotiated. I even used a credit card to make the deposit in case things got sideways.

The deal did go sideways actually - won't bore with the details, but I got my deposit back with no argument at all - in exchange for a copy of the report. It cost me the price of the inspection. That was it - and was money (200.) WELL spent.

That same facility checked out the coach I did end up buying, and gave me half off the second inspection fee!
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
Try
Dave Mattson RV Insp
(480) 497-9747
(480) 510-6646

He does PDI in Phoenix and surrounding area. Ended up not buying in Phoenix area so no first hand experience.. Spoke with him several times. Seemed to know what he was doing. A little hard to get a hold of but does return calls.

Search this site for RV Pre-purchase delivery thread. It has useful links to PDI info etc.

Also this site - which is where I found Dave.

http://www.rvsurvey.com/affiliates.html

Good luck.
Thanks! Dave came out today to do the inspection. We were very pleased with work!
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjackson

Thanks! Dave came out today to do the inspection. We were very pleased with work!
So glad to hear that! I usually don't recommend without first hand experience - but after doing my research and speaking with him I was ready to hire him.

So what was the outcome? You didn't say exactly what you were looking at. Any pictures? Keep us in the loop.
Steve and Annie
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #11
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I had a dealer drive a DP coach 30 miles to an inspection facility for a chassis inspection. They didn't have a problem with that at all? We negotiated a price pending the outcome of that inspection ahead of time? If the inspection didn't turn out as expected, the deal was off or would have to be renegotiated. I even used a credit card to make the deposit in case things got sideways.

The deal did go sideways actually - won't bore with the details, but I got my deposit back with no argument at all - in exchange for a copy of the report. It cost me the price of the inspection. That was it - and was money (200.) WELL spent.

That same facility checked out the coach I did end up buying, and gave me half off the second inspection fee!
What he said = +1. You're about to drop a hell of a lot of $$$$$$$ (my guess). Would you consider buying a used car with out an independent go through? Prior to purchasing my 'current' had a local (independent) shop go through the thing 'head to toe.' Cost was $60/hr (at the time) and said 'Have your Guy do two hours and take his time.'

Didn't take "2 hours" but fellow came up with a 'who knew???' punch list INCLUDING a break recall that hadn't been done!! 'Give me 20 minutes and I'll fix that.' Told him it wasn't my coach and couldn't authorize any repairs.

'Not a problem, this will take just a few minutes and we'll get paid $300.00 for the job.' They called the Dealer, authorized (didn't cost them a cent and should have caught it themselves it appears). Had another cup of coffee.

'Punch list' was not all that long, some 'niggly' items. Handed over the list, fix and we've got a deal.'

'We'll take care of all that here Mr. Evans.'

'Nope, I want them to do the job.' Did it 'cost them?' Probably, but I didn't care.

Needed anything else from that point on, to today, just hand over my credit card. Dear God oil changes cost a lot of money on one of these things .....
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #12
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Our dealer was 250 miles from our home. They gave us a 90 day warranty that was through a 3rd party company. After taking it home, we found that the fridge would not reliably start. I took it to an RV repair shop locally and got it fixed with no charge under the warranty.

Seems your dealer could offer the same thing.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:23 AM   #13
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'Not a problem, this will take just a few minutes and we'll get paid $300.00 for the job.' They called the Dealer, authorized (didn't cost them a cent and should have caught it themselves it appears). Had another cup of coffee.
That right there would have sent me running! Obviously they were looking for money, maybe not from you but I would certainly question their findings!!
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:24 AM   #14
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Folks - the OP had their inspection today - we're waiting to hear if they took the plunge and for pics if they did - if not why not.
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