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Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
View Poll Results: I purchased a used motorhome and employed the following inspection method:
Coach inspected by professional RV inspector. 7 8.86%
Chassis inspected by a qualified mechanic. 2 2.53%
Coach and chassis inspected by professional RV inspector and mechanic. 9 11.39%
Inspection performed by dealer selling the motorhome. 7 8.86%
Thorough inspection by myself and/or friend. 43 54.43%
Only a cursory inspection or no inspection was performed. 11 13.92%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-15-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
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MH Purchase Due Diligence Poll

To help maintain the integrity of this poll, please do not vote unless you actually purchased a used motorhome.

During my ongoing efforts to find the right coach for my DW and I I have found that many people talk about having a motorhome inspected. I have found that doing so is more difficult to actually accomplish than one might think.

I think it would be interesting to see how many used motorhome buyers actually pay for a professional inspection or simply do it themselves.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:36 AM   #2
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I'll qualify my response; if you don't mind.
Being a retired auto mechanic , with RV system training and 14 years of diesel repair . I inspected my own , figured , if I missed something that I couldn't repair myself , I deserved any financial trouble I got myself into.
Dealer offered an extended warranty 4 years $13,000 , I passed. That was 20% of the purchase price. Repairs that would have been covered by the policy, have cost about $2,000, in 3 1/2 years of ownership.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:13 AM   #3
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I did my own inspection and bought an extended service plan from Good Sam just to feel good for a year
NOTE; I am not responsible for typos, poor grammer or misspelled word !
04 Itasca, Meridian 34H, 330 Cat/2003 CR V Toad
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:35 AM   #4
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My experience level is simalar to Skip's so I voted inspection by self or friend.
Dave and Laura & two cats
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retired auto rv tech and teacher, wife rt nurse
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:00 AM   #5
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Our current coach was purchased from a small independent dealer lot that handles new and used RV's. Their mechanic gave me a thorough report of what he found on the coach; we went over that carefully and discussed what I found from going over it myself. From there, we determined what had to be done before it left the lot versus what I was content to do myself after the sale, and presented the before-it-leaves-the-lot list to the owner/sales manager for the final deal. For instance, the house batteries were on their last legs, but I planned on installing larger, better ones that I could get for less. The generator ran, but needed a tune-up and I could do that and know it was right the first time. It needed brake work and an exhaust gasket to pass my standards as well as safety inspection in my state, so that had to be done before the sale. It worked out well; we agreed to a fair price all around and the coach left the lot in solid mechanical shape and all systems in good order or with a checklist of updates and preventive maintenance to do.

Now, for the sake of "full disclosure" as they say, I probably came out better than a lot of deals made there, but I'm virtually local, being from just one state over in northern New England. A lot of his business comes from several states away where used RV prices are higher, on coaches in poorer condition. They're happy to pay full price on an as-is RV. Strictly speaking, that's not a bad deal, but, well, I'm a Yankee -- and nobody's fool -- and locals know never to push another local too far. So I paid "full price" (which wasn't bad, actually) so he could quote it as such in his sales figures, but with all the requested mechanical work done at no extra cost, on the "back end" of the deal. Front brakes, a master cylinder, and an exhaust gasket, with labor, carry a non-trivial price and I knew it. But since I was paying cash, it was too attractive to pass up, and we both went away satisfied. I'd also done some thorough research on the coach before I saw it, and had already found out that the lot had purchased it at wholesale when it sat too long at another lot because it had been overpriced. But, the old advertisement was still searchable, and included the tidbit that the engine had been professionally replaced several years prior, and it seems that the dealer I bought from didn't know or didn't realize it. So I knew going in that the engine had fewer miles than the stated milage of the coach. The rest of the driveline proved to be in excellent shape, so it was a plus for me and another reason not to quibble as long as the total price was fair and the work requested was done before it left the lot.

The only significant thing that happened after the sale was the water heater control board failed and took the gas valve solenoid out with it after a few weeks of use, which wasn't shocking given it was 20 years old. I wound up replacing the board, the gas valve and the pressure relief for good measure and it has been working like a champ.

About a month after the sale, we took off and full-timed for the whole summer and into early fall without any surprises.

Professional RV inspections are good, but as some have noted, not always easy to get. I rely on my own skills, and I can have a good, knowledgeable conversation with the dealer's mechanic. To be honest, I'd do that anyway even with an additional inspection, just because there's no substitute for my own due diligence. If something goes wrong, I've got nobody to blame but myself!
Eric & Holly + 2 kitties from New Hampshire
1992 Winnebago Adventurer 32'
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:10 AM   #6
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The bank that financed my rig sent a professional inspector to check it out before they approved my loan.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chuck 1935 View Post
I did my own inspection and bought an extended service plan from Good Sam just to feel good for a year
Same for me, been doing this for a couple of decades.
If you don't know much about RV or Automotive systems then have someone else check it out.
Jerry & Patsy Potter, Taz & Jake Jr.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:22 AM   #8
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,,, and we had the oil analyzed.
Story here
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:33 AM   #9
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I did my own. No surprises
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Tim, Joe and Lilly too. Mpls Minn.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:52 AM   #10
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I did my own inspections on the three used motorhomes we've bought. I missed a few things on the first one (gasser) due to my inexperience with motorhome and I had to fix a few things.

On the second and third (DP's), we established criteria of:

1. One prior owner only
2. If buying from a dealer, dealer must agree to put us in touch with prior owner
3. Must have service records.

In both cases, my inspection revealed no glaring issues. DP #1 gave us excellent service for 8 years. DP#2 seems solid but I have had to fix a few things.... nothing major on my dime. I did get a 4 yr. ESP on the second coach and it has nearly paid for itself fixing three things that no inspector would have found since they broke after purchase.
2007 Country Coach Allure Siskiyou Summit, sold/traded Nov. 2018.
2019 Grand Designs 384GK-R 5th wheel. Glen Allen, VA
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:55 AM   #11
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I did my own inspection and pulled oil and transmission fluid for analysis. However the dealer did come behind and fixed some small things I missed and then changed the inverter and installed a trickle charger on their own and also gave me 30 days to bring it back for anything coach related, which I did and they fixed a few more things without question. So I guess I will admit that the dealer did a better inspection than I did.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:25 AM   #12
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Looked at it, wife loved it that's all it takes for me
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:20 AM   #13
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Bought first coach from a dealer and me having no experience. Dealer claimed to do full inspection and remedied any issues. The dealer lied...

Next coach I bought from private party and at a distance. Negotiation price and made deposit pending positive inspections. Had local pros do house and chassis inspections. Further Negotiations then on some fixes and price. Traveled to where the coach was and made my final acceptance inspection and finalized the deal. Purchased one year service agreement to mitigate latent issues. After having experience and confidence at the one year point did not renew.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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Did my own. Sent my PDI checklist to the dealer before I scheduled the inspection and test drive. Dealer had coach parked in an accessible location, with ladders available (to access the roof) and a creeper to get underneath. I checked everything on my list, and did a thorough test drive, then I bought it. Haven't been sorry!
USAF, Retired (1962 - 1983)
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