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Old 10-13-2017, 10:48 AM   #1
zzz
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Need good mechanic in Houston and DFW Texas areas (for inspection)

The basic questions are:

  • Is it weird to hire a mechanic to inspect an RV that's very far away from me (so I don't make the full day drive unnecessarily)?
  • Can anyone here recommend specific mechanics in Houston and/or Dallas area (Alvarado)?
  • If no specific recommendations, how do I choose someone?
  • Should I expect the mechanic to go check it out on the lot, or do I arrange for him/her to take the RV back to their own shop?
  • Even more of a long shot: is there any kind of...club, or arrangement on this or other forums where experienced members go and view an RV for other members? Obviously this wouldn't take the place of an actual mechanic's inspection, but it would be really helpful to get an expert's opinion on the rest of the RV.

Some context:

Hi. I'm soon going to be a first time RV owner. Long story short is that my husband is disabled, I'm his full time caretaker, some generous donors are funding an RV purchase because that's really the only way we'll be able to get him to travel after years as a shut-in, and the RVs we're looking at are many, many hours away in Texas.

There are two units we're most interested in. One is in Houston, and one is just south of Dallas.

Obviously I'm planning to inspect the units in person. However, given the loooong drive, the cost of hiring someone to care for my husband and kids, etc., I want to have the RVs inspected by an independent mechanic before I drive down.

So, how to I pick a mechanic? Are there any specific recommendations from folks here? Will mechanics think this is a bizarre request? Should I ask them to inspect it at the dealership or take it back to their own shop?

Also, I feel like I've read about forum members going and doing a non-mechanical walkthrough of RVs on behalf of other members who are really far away, less experienced, etc. I can't find the exact reference now, so I don't know if it was this site, another one, a hallucination, etc. Still, if there's anyone who would be willing to do something like that, I would be forever indebted to them.

Thank you so much for any and all help!
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:47 AM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Hope you find the perfect rig for your needs! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:34 PM   #3
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There is an organization called National RV Inspectors Association (NRVIA) who train and certify RV inspectors. Their web address is www.nrvia.org. They usually go to where the coach is located to do the inspection and they can pull fluid samples for analyses also. I looked at a coach in Alvarado and had an inspector look at it, but we ended up not buying the coach based on findings by the inspector. Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:11 PM   #4
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I can't speak for the Houston area, but in the Dallas area, Blue Moon RV repair in Carrollton is a reputable mobile service company that I have used in the past. They offer an inspection service covering 70 items on a coach.
Blue Moon RV Mobile RV Repair Dallas TX Texas
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:58 PM   #5
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Be careful with the one in Houston, make sure it wasn't flooded. Or for that matter, both of them.

Heard some good things about those inspectors, almost as thero as me,,,lol. Everybody looks at the bling, while I am crawling around underneath.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:12 PM   #6
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When it comes to inspecting a motorhome many experienced owners can do a once over in 15-20 minutes to rule out most of the worst examples out there on the market. However a detailed coach inspection, of the type that should be done before purchasing will take several hours of time much of it doing hard work crawling around under the coach. So perhaps if you can share what brand and models of coaches you are considering someone nearby that owns one of these models might be able to drop in and take a look.

I would offer to help as I may be in the Houston area on Thursday and Friday, unfortunately my scheduled is rather rushed already.

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Old 10-13-2017, 07:13 PM   #7
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I know I've inspected a local (to me) MH for another member. That would be a good place to start.
On another note; after you purchase the MH do you have room in your budget for repairs. You will need repairs. Good luck. If you find a serious contender in my area just let me know and I'll go check it out.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
When it comes to inspecting a motorhome many experienced owners can do a once over in 15-20 minutes to rule out most of the worst examples out there on the market. However a detailed coach inspection, of the type that should be done before purchasing will take several hours of time much of it doing hard work crawling around under the coach. So perhaps if you can share what brand and models of coaches you are considering someone nearby that owns one of these models might be able to drop in and take a look.

I would offer to help as I may be in the Houston area on Thursday and Friday, unfortunately my scheduled is rather rushed already.

Ike
Thank you. I definitely wouldn't expect a volunteer member inspector to spend more than a few minutes, and I would not expect them to do the same type of work as a paid mechanic. I was thinking more that the member volunteer would be a good "gut feeling," high level walk through.

If I can figure out how to edit my original post I'll put in what I'm interested in. For now, here it is:

In really only interested in Class A Thor Outlaws. The one I need inspected is a 37LS.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
I know I've inspected a local (to me) MH for another member. That would be a good place to start.
On another note; after you purchase the MH do you have room in your budget for repairs. You will need repairs. Good luck. If you find a serious contender in my area just let me know and I'll go check it out.
When you say "that would be a good place to start," where are you referring to? Yourself?
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:36 PM   #10
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Since it's a THOR it will have Schwintec Slide systems. Check those out very carefully and A LOT. Meaning.....make sure the engine is running, then open and close all slides several times to be sure they work ok. Even then, I'm very leary of Schwintec Slide systems. Especially full wall slides. No sure how big or how many slides the Outlaw has.

You may want to go to this section of the forum and start searching around what others are saying about your year & model Outlaw.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f121/

Yes, in Houston, look carefully for any past flooding. We had a lot of flooding here awhile go as you probably know 35 + inches in most areas. Nearly 1/2 million vehicles lost alone.

Run generator for at least an hour with a both A/C's running.

Check out Inspection Connection. They have inspectors all over the country. I hired an inspector from them when we bought our MH from MHSRV in Alvarado. It was a husband & wife team and they were great. When they do an inspection, they have pages and pages of things they check. He went over everything outside and under the chassis and she performed her tasks inside. Took them 5 hrs. It would be nice too if you could be there for the inspection so at the end, they can go over the entire coach with you and point out things they saw and you'd be able to ask questions.

Lastly, be sure to have the inspector pull engine, transmission & coolant samples and send off to the lab as part of your inspection.

https://rvinspection.com

Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:39 PM   #11
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Check out: http://rvservicereviews.com/

These are listing made by fellow RVer's who (hopefully) have no bias, but tell about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I've had good luck with them.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by StenosisWife View Post
When you say "that would be a good place to start," where are you referring to? Yourself?
I'm saying to ask anyone in the area of a serious contender to PM you if they're interested in doing a walk through for you. As I said in my post; If you find one in the OKC area I'd be glad to do a walk through and give you my general opinion.
Good luck
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
I'm saying to ask anyone in the area of a serious contender to PM you if they're interested in doing a walk through for you. As I said in my post; If you find one in the OKC area I'd be glad to do a walk through and give you my general opinion.
Good luck
Thanks. How do I figure out who on here is in the area? I tried looking for geo-based sub forums, but I didn't see any. I'm new here, so forgive me if the answer is obvious.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by StenosisWife View Post
Thanks. How do I figure out who on here is in the area? I tried looking for geo-based sub forums, but I didn't see any. I'm new here, so forgive me if the answer is obvious.
Oh come on...I know you've already had your coffee. LOL

okcnewbie already said he would if it's in his area.

Just post the question when you think you've found THE one:
Is there anyone here that lives in the XYZ area that would be willing to do a walk through with me on a XYZ coach I'm interested in buying. If so please PM me. Then work out the details with them privately.

That's it.
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