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Old 10-01-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
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Any pay-by-the-hour "RV buyer consultants" among the RV inspectors or/et al?

I was wondering if anyone has found the various professional RV inspectors available for by-the-hour consultation. [In some parts of the country such "buyer's agents" are available in the realty markets.] My own time is money also, so I've thought about checking to see if any of the professional inspectors would be available to help me cut-out the wasted time of non-viable prospective units just from their knowledge of brands and models and what I tell them are my priorities.

With buying a used car, I found my professional mobile-diagnostics auto inspector to a great source of information on what cars I should focus on for my needs---such as buying a used car that can stay on the road another 15 years. (I followed his advice and hired him to do the inspections on the vehicles I ended up buying and he was dead-on accurate in every case. I've been immensely pleased with my purchases and those vehicles continue to serve me well.) So I would LOVE to have the same experience in buying a huge fifth-wheel.

Or do RV inspectors not necessarily know the brand/model-features and long-term performance of RVs like a lifelong RV dealer would? (And I think of potential parallels with computer hardware reviews. The professional reviewers who focus only on NEW equipment sent straight from the factory may give one kind of view but the end-user reviews written by people who used that same model of equipment for a year or two can have a VERY different experience and perspective when evaluating the brand/model. Likewise, an excellent RV inspector may not have ANY full-timer RV experience, let alone that kind of daily familiarity with various models.)

So what do you think? Shopping for a used 32' to 40' fifth-wheel in Houston/Austin/SanAntonio areas of Texas, am I likely to find anyone to hire as a consultant to help me know which brands/models to focus on for long-term satisfaction full-time living in a stationary unit on my own rural site on-grid? (I don't want to waste time on a unit which comes from a manufacturer with a good reputation among snowbirds but later discover that that particular model was part of their low-end economy line and not a good idea for Texas winters. Sure, I can figure out that information with some work online and looking at RV guides at the library but I don't want to waste that time if I can avoid it.)

I've even wondered if I could even just give an expert my general specs and get from him a list of brands & product-lines with them (or perhaps some general recommendations from him for what features typically listed in product descriptions would correlate well with what I'm looking for.) Perhaps on a slow day of the week an RV inspector might be fine with being paid $50/hour to sit down with me at a restaurant going over my must-have and wish lists and then have him check mark an on-line print out of used models for sale which would generally fit. (Frankly, even if I could just know how to distinguish readily full-timer vs. snowbird vs. weekender RV units, that could go a long way in saving me time.)

So obviously, my main OP question here implies several closely related ones which may address my needs just as well.

FT'er,38' 5W/ToyHauler but no toys; rural eastern Texas 140mi.from Houston coastline.[On-grid gray/black-water code-compliant.] Interested in feedback re: climate/mold issues, vermin/pests/coyotes, energy-conservation tech & experiments, passive solar, RV security.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:21 PM   #2
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You will have a difficult time finding someone who fits the needs you are searching for--don't exist, or at least in 35 years of RVing, never seen or heard of an "RV Inspector/Consultant"
You might get by with a reputable Mobile RV Tech who has a good reputation locally--might find those by asking at various RV parks in the area about who they recommend to come on their property and work on tenants RVs.

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Old 10-02-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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They are few and far between. There is a small RV repair shop a few miles from me, the owner charges a very nominal fee to check out an RV for a potential buyer, you may find someone near you in that same situation. His entire business is repair, no sales, so he has nothing to sell but service. He charged me $150 for an inspection but waived the fee when I decided to have him do some warranty work for me instead of the dealer.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
You will have a difficult time finding someone who fits the needs you are searching for--don't exist, or at least in 35 years of RVing, never seen or heard of an "RV Inspector/Consultant"
You might get by with a reputable Mobile RV Tech who has a good reputation locally--might find those by asking at various RV parks in the area about who they recommend to come on their property and work on tenants RVs.
We will definitely use the RVSurvey affiliates for our inspections so I hope to contact him soon to see if he is available for consults. I don't know how many hours their $300 inspections take but I'm hoping that for general consultation it will perhaps be prorated from that.

With the certified auto inspector I've used in my home state, he's given me a lot of invaluable 20 to 30 minutes consultations for free, but I would have gladly have paid $50 on a time-fee basis. He really knew his field. So I'm hoping that the same will be true of the RVSurvey inspectors.
Helping my disabled father and my care-giver sister in getting their fifth-wheels for a long-term, rural Texas site. I hope to do likewise within a year or two so...just trying to learn all that I can. Any & all advice is appreciated!
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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Since I have never heard of an RV Inspector, the only inspection type people that I have dealt with are those who inspect permanent homes. I would go along with the others who have suggested that you find an RV repair center or mobile person who had the knowledge with RV parts and systems. Look on You Tube for videos on inspecting a unit before buying it. I think your best beat would be to hire an RV repair tech with a lot of years and have he/she look at what you are thinking about. Don't overkill yourself with every little detail. Nothing in this world is pertect, never will be.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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if you think you can nickel and dime a professional, good luck
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ernie Ekberg View Post
if you think you can nickel and dime a professional, good luck
If someone tries to nickel and dime me, I don't give them a break. If someone doesn't even mention being cheap, they usually get off cheaper.

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