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Old 01-23-2022, 12:16 AM   #1
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RV inspector on new RV purchase?

We are purchasing our first brand new Class A this week at National Indoor RV Center down in Nashville and are wondering if itís worth it to hire an inspector to go over the RV with us?

Iím a pretty meticulous person and weíll be spending 2.5 days there at NIRVC to work everything through the paces and get immediate issues resolved. However, Iím not a certified inspector and am wondering if there are things I could miss that an inspector could find.

Opinions appreciated!
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Old 01-23-2022, 02:29 AM   #2
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Certified RVIA Inspector

Congratulations on your new purchase through NIRVC Nashville.
I took delivery of a 2021 Entegra Emblem (Class A, gas) on September 1st, 2021 at General RV in Draper UT, and this was delayed by at least two months because of things found by my NRVIA certified inspector on June 15th... such as:
1. a front shock absorber was not attached to the frame!
2. one of the doors on the refrigerator was scratched and misaligned
3. the top sealing material on of one of the slideouts was puckered!
4. one window shade would not retract
5. the co-pilot seat had an incorrect base that made the seat too low
6. the cockpit air conditioning was not cooling as it should - this required the vehicle be sent to an authorized Ford truck service center
7. the add-on accessories had not been installed (satellite dome, 50A surge protector, stacked washer and dryer, 50A power cord reel)
etc.
The inspector's report was well-organized, easy to read, and included photos of tires, weight stickers, electrical, fuel, water services and any problems noted. I provided the full 85-page inspection report, complete with photos and findings) to the dealer and went over the expectations I had to complete the deal.

You may have discovered some of these yourself but think of your RVIA certified inspector like a home inspector that you hire to ensure what is being promised is in fact what you are buying. Ideally you involve the dealer in the inspection planning to schedule a date that ensures the inspector has access to the dealer lot, and that the motorhome will be plugged into power. I flew into Salt Lake City to be there on the day of the inspection and to liaise with the dealer, parts and service managers.

Use the inspection as leverage in completing the deal whether a house or motorhome. No money other than refundable earnest money should be paid BEFORE the inspection and UNTIL all items in the inspection are addressed satisfactorily. Once you hand over the full payment you are like yesterday's news to a dealer... vaguely remembered.

In my case I paid $750 for the inspection and thought it wise to have the inspector come back for another look on the delivery date (one more hour of his time at $75) to ensure all problems were corrected or at least planned to be corrected. He discovered that the add-on accessories all had problems! I used this as leverage to have the dealer pay for the fixes after delivery.
So, I am a believer that a professional inspection should be done as soon as possible before delivery, just like a home inspection, and used to ensure the seller delivers what they say they are delivering.

If you haven't done so check the NRVIA Inspector link to find one in the Nashville TN area: https://nrvia.org/locate/
Check out the NRVIA inspection standards at: https://nrvia.org/standards-of-practice/
I can provide the inspection report for anyone interested.
Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2022, 04:32 AM   #3
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We have a new rig on order that we are hoping to take delivery of in the next few months and we would be most grateful to see what your report was like; I have a strong feeling that we will do as you have suggested and enlist the services of a pro inspector also.

Many, many thanks!!
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:20 AM   #4
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If you want some added peace of mind, sure. We've found inspectors are hit or miss. Sometimes they catch things that we didn't see, and sometimes they don't. I've pointed out things to inspectors before and it didn't make it into their report. Other times they were off the mark because they weren't familiar with how a particular feature is supposed to work or with what is supposed to come on a particular unit. They're just human after all.

What we've found to be way more useful is to just use the rig. In a handful of camping outings you'll find way more than an inspector will in a couple of hours. Keep a log with you of things you notice while you're camping, even the minor, seemingly harmless things. Use that for your warranty appointment. There are inspector checklists you can download and use yourself also. And spend some time with your manuals. We always catch things that either aren't working or are missing when we go through the manual and put everything through its paces. We've never seen an inspector pick up a manual. Inspectors can be really helpful, but they only take a snapshot of your rig at the time of inspection. Things that appear to be working can and do break shortly thereafter and they'll miss or misinterpret a bunch of features that you'll find yourself later on. It doesn't hurt at all to get an inspector, but expect that you'll still need to be diligent about the state of your rig afterward.
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:47 AM   #5
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NIRVC will do an excellent job in delivering you a great coach. They have their own approx 238 checklist, and you will be asked to go thru the entire list and confirm everything works. Then you can spend a few nites there and use it to confirm everything works.

As mentioned above, inspectors can be hit or miss, and unless your guy is associated with your brand they may not be that familiar with it's operation. Save your money, and trust NIRVC to do what they do best.
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Old 01-23-2022, 07:52 AM   #6
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You didnít post what brand or model you have purchased but I think you will be impressed by the delivery experience at NIRVC. Before you even get there, they will have done a through PDI and fixed any defects that may have escaped the factory QC process. You will have the opportunity to remain on their site and put all the systems through an actual use trial for several days. I recommend you go to a nearby CG after that so you can be close by in case you find anything else that may require their attention. Speaking from experience, you wonít regret trusting NIRVC to deliver your new coach. Enjoy !
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:00 AM   #7
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Had you mentioned any other dealer at all except NIRVC I probably would recommend hiring a third-party inspector. We looked closely at doing so for our first Class A (we upgraded from a 10' pop-up) but fortunately the service departments of two large dealers self-eliminated the dealer from consideration. (We ended up buying from our pop-up dealer, a single-family location in business from the '60s so we knew their reputation.)

The NRVIA Level II inspector quoted $700 almost 3 years ago and that included his travel time from the next state, about six hours each way.

NIRVC not only has a better-than-stellar reputation among their customers, Brett (the owner or close to that) hangs around iRV2 and I've read personal responses to him when customers complained. He was forthright in who screwed up and why and how it would be fixed. Someone named "Angie" from NIRVC also gets a lot of accolades from customers on posts here.

For disclosure, my closest personal experience to being an NIRVC customer is driving past their new Nashville location. I know no one who works there and have never been in one of their facilities. But NIRVC is right at the top of the list when we go to upgrade due to their online reputation and their closest dealership is about a ten-hour drive away.

All of that being said, what is your RV'ing experience? These can be very complex pieces of machinery that require care somewhat different than a house.

Since you mentioned this is your first Class A, you definitely will learn a lot from the people on iRV2. Many, many RV problems are self-inflicted by inexperienced owners.

Have you ever driven a Class A before? Even though my wife and I are retired firefighter/paramedics, she and I hired a professional driving company, RV Driving School, to teach us a 2-day class because these are different beasts than a fire engine or ladder truck. It's not just about the size. https://www.rvschool.com/

Two and a half years ago their "couples" class was $700 and two days. The first two hours of each day was "classroom" in our living room and driveway. The other four hours each day was driving. Their instructors focus on the driving activities you do not do often: backing, parking, turns, fueling, etc., rather than driving down the highway.

While $700 is not cheap, we figure that what we learned should keep us from having that first insurance deductible cost.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:07 PM   #8
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I cannot emphasize enough the importance of hiring a "qualified" RV inspector for your purchase. Whether it's brand new or used, the issues that WILL be found are surprising. I purchased new from NIRVC Las Vegas and being a certified RV Inspector myself, I was actually impressed with the few issues I found. No life-threatening issues, just mostly cosmetic.

I was not my salespersons favorite customer since I demanded certain items be taken care of prior to payment and delivery, but I got it taken care of and have more to get done during my first appointment next month in Phoenix.

You cannot go wrong with hiring someone to do your inspection. The training received from NRVIA is top notch and highly recommended. Good luck and have fun, but most important,,, stay safe.
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:48 PM   #9
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I would not hire an inspector. Get a checklist from here and spend as many days as needed to test everything- a few times. Drive it every day for the week you are there. Get all the manuals now and start reading. By the time you get there you may know more than the sales person - for your specific make, model.

I climbed up on our roof (several times), crawled thru the basement, crawled under it (following appropriate safeguards). Took pictures of everything. Every evening we reviewed what we saw, looked at what we hadn't seen/tested, and planned out the next day.

Ultimately, it got me very comfortable with the MH and I've only had a few surprises. I think there was one real miss - checking the dash AC in the winter is really hard. But an AC person, with the tools, could have caught it. An inspector would not have caught it.

If you have a strong attention to detail, and like to get your hands dirty, go for it. If not, hire the inspector.
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Old 01-25-2022, 10:02 PM   #10
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We used to get new boats surveyed. But NIRVC is top notch and well respected. Test every system multiple times. Congrats
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Old 01-25-2022, 10:24 PM   #11
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I tried to get an NRVIA to do my last motorhome inspection but he was unavailableÖ I should have waited.
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