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Old 10-24-2012, 08:15 AM   #1
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Traveling Pre Buy inspection company?

Hi All Was wondering if anyone new of a traveling inspection company that goes to the RV your interested in and checks it out for you.
I am investor in one of these companies and new to the RV world my self.
I get great help on this site and was noticing all the important questions and concerns that come up before buying a used Rv.
With the cost involved of some of these especially class A,s I'm surprised I don't hear of more companies doing these inspections.
Was wondering if I'm missing something or if there out there and I'm just unaware of them?
Sure buying from dealer in some cases is helpful because they answer all your questions but they want to make a sale so there opinions may be different than an independent company looking out for your interest. And then buying from a private owner is a whole different situation.
Looking for input
The company I am investor in is looking to expand and advertise so I'm looking for honest advise on this topic
Thanks to all in advance
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
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With vehicle costs, fuel, tools required and a good knowledge base you would probably have to charge a minimum of 3-400 for the service. A sur-charge for miles out of a service area would also be appropriate. If you want to know more, I would call a local mobile RV service company and see if they provide the service, and what they charge.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:45 AM   #3
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Earlier this year, I was looking at a used coach at a HUGE dealer in the Indiana/Ohio area. I couldn't find ANYONE to inspect this coach. I even contacted Good Sams Samaritans asking for recommendations. I wanted someone independent but, frankly, none were found. Most answers referred me to the Dealer. Yeah, right. I ended up having the Dealer take it to the Freightliner shop in the next town over to, at least, inspect the chassis and it didn't pass inspection there so the deal was dead.

I would have paid for the service as well as the airfare. Good luck with your endeavor. If you put it together, advertise the heck out of it so we know it's available.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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There are a few mobile RV service companies that will provide inspections. Camping World and some fixed service comanies will provide inspections. I bought a coach at a distance and had the owner take the coach to a fixed service provider for the house inspection ($250) and a differing auto repair shop for the chassis inspection (about $100). After a few issues were resolved I flew to see the coach myself, did my final acceptance, and bought the coach.

I had to do a lot of calling around to find folks to do the house inspection, and they did not so good a job. I would have loved to find a company that specialized in doing inspections.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:13 AM   #5
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Mobile RV repair technicians can generally do inspections for buyers, but it would be an improvement if they used a standard checklist for an inspection and gave a more comprehensive report than "look's ok to me".
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:24 AM   #6
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That's good to know. Let me be clear I'm not trying to advertise or do anything I'm not supposed to do I these forums. I'm just looking for the people's opinions on if there is a big need for this service. As I mentioned I am investor in an operation now that does it and the inspectors are knowledgable in all aspects of the RVs. Engines, transmissions, drive terrain and house systems. Currently it's done by word of mouth and our guys are busy in a couple hundred mile radius. The proposition was brought to me that we should turn it into to a country wide inspection service so I'm just looking for opinions on the need for it, is there enough people needing this service to justify the expense in doing so. I was always just investor not getting involved and never setting foot in an Rv until the recent Rv show in Hershey Pa. My wife says your involved in this you should see the consumers end of things. So we went and I was fascinated at how nice the class A RVs were, and other classes as well, and all the comforts of home they had to offer. So 2 weeks later I bought my first used Class A DP. Only got to use it a few times since then but the people I've met are wonderful and when I mention this service they all seem to wish it was available when they were purchasing there's.
so that's my story any input would be great.
Thanks to all
Ken
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:39 AM   #7
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You really have to be cautious with any sort of a franchise program. You might get good and then again you might get bad people buying into your franchise. On the other hand, having a bunch of people you are paying gets very expensive in a hurry. And remote operations do not IMHO tend to work very well. People get disconnected and forgotten by the home office. In a franchise system, you would have to ensure basic training was good and that ongoing training was done on a regular basis. That costs franchisees a lot of money in lost revenue and travel. It seems to me to be a catch 22. You want to expand the business, but you also want to maintain your reputation.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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It would seem that the RV inspection and the chassis drive train inspection would be done by different "experts" for the buyer.

I would have a higher degree of confidence in a Manufacturer's dealer shop inspection than a generalist's inspection on the very expensive chassis components that I was about to buy, whether local or remote.

The "house" inspection could be done by a RV Technician who specialized in the process.

Neither inspection would provide a guarantee of no existing problems with appropriate remedies for failure, so cannot command much of a fee for the work in my opinion.

Travel costs to do the inspection would likely not be justified unless the remedy issue for failed inspection is resolved.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Home inspectors get 3-4 hundred with no guarantees. A good technician can spot most problems, but it should be a two person inspection. One would have to be a certified mechanic. If they are good, they are always working. They would have no time for inspections. Only retired ones would want to do it.

IMO, this is not going to be easy to coordinate. The OP should contact all classifieds for RVs. Oodles, and others could give you a better direction than the members here I feel. After all, that is where the buyers are. We already have our RVs
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:16 PM   #10
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davdeb1, just purchased a 2002 endeavor, any problems with yours that I might need to know? First time MH owner. Retire fire Capt outside of NYC in NJ. Any Intel would be helpful. Thanks Jersey Dave.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdidonato
davdeb1, just purchased a 2002 endeavor, any problems with yours that I might need to know? First time MH owner. Retire fire Capt outside of NYC in NJ. Any Intel would be helpful. Thanks Jersey Dave.
We have had it a year and no problems. Your may have a different chassis, we have a freightliner chassis. If you have the Roadmaster chassis, there may be a problem with the trailing arms being bad. You can do a search for that on here.

Only two areas I can see..1.) get a Amish cooling unit for your refrigerator, it will prevent a fire hazard. Mine has already been done.
2.) Make sure the radiator is clean, and see if someone has rerouted the slobber tube from your crankcase breather tube. You can also do a search on here for that.

Other than that, if the Coach was well maintained you will be a "Happy Camper"
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken326 View Post
That's good to know. Let me be clear I'm not trying to advertise or do anything I'm not supposed to do I these forums. I'm just looking for the people's opinions on if there is a big need for this service. As I mentioned I am investor in an operation now that does it and the inspectors are knowledgable in all aspects of the RVs. Engines, transmissions, drive terrain and house systems. Currently it's done by word of mouth and our guys are busy in a couple hundred mile radius. The proposition was brought to me that we should turn it into to a country wide inspection service so I'm just looking for opinions on the need for it, is there enough people needing this service to justify the expense in doing so. I was always just investor not getting involved and never setting foot in an Rv until the recent Rv show in Hershey Pa. My wife says your involved in this you should see the consumers end of things. So we went and I was fascinated at how nice the class A RVs were, and other classes as well, and all the comforts of home they had to offer. So 2 weeks later I bought my first used Class A DP. Only got to use it a few times since then but the people I've met are wonderful and when I mention this service they all seem to wish it was available when they were purchasing there's.
so that's my story any input would be great.
Thanks to all
Ken
Yeah, as I said above, there simply aren't mobile RV services in some parts of the country so that wasn't an option for me. And... I'm not talking about out in the middle of nowhere... this was in what some would call the middle of RV manufacturing country (Indiana, Ohio).

If you're thinking about franchising, be careful with that. As someone said above, getting too big means you lose control of quality. That would kill it quick.

What I would suggest (and what I would pay for) is a very qualified inspector catching a plane and going where ever inspections are required. Figuring you can get just about anywhere on short notice for $800 to $1,000 round trip (often cheaper if you have someone sitting at a computer working that angle) and figuring $5, 6, 700 for the qualified inspector, $1500 to $1800 range is what I would have paid earlier this year. Yes, I realize there needs to be profit for the boss man and I think there is already some room in the above numbers but, worst case, keep the service under $2,000. The biggest hurdles I see are lack of a ladder (to get on the roof of a rig without a ladder attached) and what to do about re-inspections (as with sticks & bricks inspections, there is usually a re-inspection after some required work is completed, pre-purchase). Personally, I would want to over-see the repair work being completed on my new-to-me coach so maybe your service would just specify estimated repair costs per item and the Buyer and Seller would negotiate their own resolution (negating any re-inspection need).

Edit added: I think it goes without saying that the Buyer will receive a written (could just be check boxes with some added wording as needed and pictures) report within 24 hours. If you're not familiar, adapt most any sticks & bricks "Home Inspector" software already in use in real estate transactions.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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Thanks for the reply. Yes I do have a Roadmaster chassis. I thought that was a quality unit. I guess I'll have to research that. Any Idea as to where to look besides a search engine. The fridge has just been serviced by a qualified Rep from NorCold or whatever the original brand name is. He gave a certified receipt. I'll research that also, but I'm going to have to go slow as the $$ is getting tight. Thanks again
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:30 PM   #14
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An endeavor will be the 8 air bag roadmaster, and it is in fact a quality unit.

I like the idea, enough to be a part of it even. I would love to pitch what I do now, and use my mechanical and electrical skills in the RV world.

Unfortunately, I am upside down in 3 real properties, and cannot afford to get out of what I do....

I do think it is a good idea though. The demand is there. I would favor a high end market, and charge accordingly. Do everything very. Professionally, but guarantee nothing (like a s&b home inspector). Existing mobile rv service companies would be the logical source of labor.
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