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Old 02-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
Solo Rvers Club
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mesa, AZ
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PDI and Safety Checklist

A few thoughts and questions on the PDI and safety.

Is the PDI on a used (2009) motorhome typically done by the dealer from whom you are buying the motorhome, or does the buyer have it done by an independent source?

If the PDI is done by the dealer, does the buyer typically pay for it, and if so, what is the "going rate"?

Here in Mesa at Camping World it appears that the PDI is different than the "walk through" prior to when you take possession. Is that how it works elsewhere?

I, the newbie who knows nothing, met with the salesperson twice, heard his spiel, asked my questions, and then returned the next day with two friends who would probably be any salesperson's nightmare. My friends happened to have bought three units from this location (I did not know that) and they are very knowledgeable. Outside of filling the tanks, they had anything that turned on, turned on. They looked under the hood (he is a mechanic), checked the tires, checked the batteries etc, etc. This unit passed their inspection.

Now, my two concerns are the PDI checklist posted here, and safety. I know that when I go for the "walk through" the dealer's PDI checklist will be explained to me and I will be shown how everything works. (I have made it clear, very clear, that I need the owner's manuals!) Supposedly everything will be working, but what happens in a week when I find something is not working?Any particular item on a PDI checklist that I should pay attention to?

And, the salesperson told me that I could reject? refuse? any item on the PDI that seems to be a safety issue to me. They will then repair/replace it. So, what would be the safety issues I should be aware of, outside of tires?

Ya know, you do your research on the class of rv you are interested in, narrow it down to a manufacturer, find a model, determine what you features you want, shop around for the mh, check the reviews on the mh and the dealers, and just when you find one that you want, that's when (for me) the REAL research began! Good grief! Insurance, service contracts, roadside assistance, storage, and, oh,--the "ins and outs" of the motorhome! But, I'm already booked for a short trip at a local county cg and I'm working on a May trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and Yellowstone. It's all good!

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:49 AM   #2
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PDI means pre-dedlivery inspection. The dealer charges you about $ 350 to have the service department go through the coach and verify that systems are functioning as per design and looking for anything that needs attention. They repair nothing, this is just an inspection; once authorization is given then repairs are made. Many times the most important issues are approved for repair by the dealership. The walk thru (Orientation) is at the time of delivery when you will be informed as to how things work and where they are at.
The most important safety items would be brakes, tires, steering, suspension, lights, LP gas system does not leak, appliances work properly in gas mode and all recalls have been taken care of and electrical system is properly grounded. Make sure all of these are working properly (have them prove it to you) and if they need maintenance, then have the dealership put this in writing, to take care of it before you close on the deal.
Once you buy the coach, it is yours and when something breaks down in the future .it will be your responsibility to make repairs. A service policy or extended warranty will only be good for the major items and be sure to read the fine print as to what is not covered so you understand that verb-age is crucial if & when it comes time to make a claim.

Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
Amy, Dr. Assistant - Roxie & Mei Ling, four legs each
2000 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser 450 hp & 1330# torque
06 Saturn Vue, 06 Chevy Z71 4x4 & 2014 Corvette Z51 M7
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:23 AM   #3
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RV Wizard--thanks! Your comments made sense out of some of the salesman's comments. So, while I haven't "closed" on the purchase (don't think I did--didn't sign any paperwork resembling the purchase of a car or truck) the PDI is being done (at the dealer's expense) and I am due to go in Friday and finalize the finances, go through the orientation, and drive the mh home. Excited!

The salesman mentioned refusing/rejecting due to safety issues. Is not having a spare tire or having a bad spare an example of this? What does he mean, "refusing"? When you say "take care of it" does that mean at their expense or mine?

I can't imagine that the PDI will show a laundry list of repairs, but if it does I really don't want to make that investment at this time. And, I now wonder if I should wait until after the walk thru to purchase/pay for insurance, service contracts, roadside assistance and the custom cargo carrier I am having made at a local fabrication shop.

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Old 02-20-2012, 05:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RV Wizard View Post
PDI means pre-dedlivery inspection. The dealer charges you about $ 350 to have the service department...
Okay, I'm confused. Color me new to the RV business, but I have been around planes for awhile.

Careful aircraft buyers always pick a mechanic not known to the dealer, dispatch them to perform the pre-purchase inspection. The two keys are, (a) independent eg not know by the dealer; and, (b) someone who is intimate with the make and model involved.

The notion of a dealer doing this fails two ways. First, I can't ask a dealer to spot a pending failure, even if they can be trusted to identify outright failures. An independently-selected technician could give a buyer that level of assurance, within limits.

Also, the notion of a dealer charging for this is odd. 'Seems to me that it is nearly a taunt: to me, it is the dealer saying they want you to know they're capturing the revenue you should be spending on an independent RV technician...

Does that make sense?

On a brighter note: DW was lounging in bed -- we're at a CG -- sipping tea I'd brought, weighed in as a lawyer. She says the written inspection report is actually a great consumer protection tool. Until each of those inspected items is successfully utilized, the dealer remains liable for failure of each. She points out that a car dealer, new or used, attempting to charge a fee to inspect their own offerings would go out of business.

I want to hear specifically how the Mesa Camping World purchase goes, after the fact. Months ago, I was on the verge of executing a trade (2009 model also) with them and had to halt the transaction because my airline employer decided it would exploit a narrow window of opportunity in today's Wild West business environment and declare bankruptcy as a means of cheating employees and vendors out of their existing contracts. Once the company is taken to task by the law, I hope to resume my career and upgrade my DP. iRV2 members themselves took Camping World to task, pretty much saying as one not to buy an RV from CW. Of course, I'm wondering if Mesa and other dealerships could possibly be exceptions to the Never from Camping World rule. (So far, this thread underscores that rule, to be honest.) Do tell!
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:18 AM   #5
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The customer doesn't usually pay for the PDI - it is the responsibility of the sales department and they either have their own staff do it or they "hire" the service department to do it, but the cost is buried in the sales price either way. Depending on the dealer, it may be a pro forma check list done by the lot boy or a salesman, or a real inspection done by a reasonably skilled technician. If something is found to be not working prior to the sale, it is either fixed (at the sales department's expense) or the dealer negotiates the situation with you. A shady dealer may just not tell you of the problems if he thinks it isn't visible.

I would not expect the typical dealer to be giving high priority to your safety or the value received for your money. You would be well advised to have your own inspection done for that purpose.

As for who fixes things found after you take delivery, that is a matter of the warranty you receive with the purchase. Sometimes with a used Rv it is none, or sometimes it is 30 days. Rarely longer for a used rig.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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Question here
So who pays for the PDI if your dealing with a private party ... Who pays for that then .... And then if a small laundry list appears ... Who pays for that ? Do you say to the seller fix it to finalize the sale... Then if it's being sold as is ... Then all of that is then figured into the purchasing price .
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #7
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So who pays for the PDI if your dealing with a private party ... Who pays for that then .... And then if a small laundry list appears ... Who pays for that ?
All things are negotiable. I certainly would not buy with unrepaired items unless I was compensated for the price to fix.

As far as a dealer purchase, when we bought our last motorhome (Lazy Days) it was set up on delivery day with power in their ready lot. A copy of their PDI checklist was inside on the counter. We were dropped off there and left by ourselves for about two hours, after a brief "here's how things work" tour. At the end of the two hours dealer's agreement to repair any items we found that needed fixed (dented molding, a wallpaper border, loose cabinet knob, etc) became part of the purchase contract. Money did not change hands until after our PDI was done.

After we closed, we stayed in the unit overnight in the ready lot. The next morning the service manager stopped by and created a short list of minor items we had found overnight. Most were repaired before noon.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:05 AM   #8
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There is no formal PDI when you buy privately, unless you stipulate one as part of the sale contract. And you would also stipulate who pays for it and what happens if problems are detected. As jzick says, it's all negotiable. A motivated seller might pay for inspection and repairs, or maybe not. Especially if the selling price had already been negotiated downwards.

Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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