Welcome back to our RV inspection series, where we’ve been guiding you through the journey of buying your dream RV. In our previous articles, we discussed the importance of inspecting an RV, selecting the right inspector, understanding RV documentation, and creating a comprehensive RV inspection checklist. Now, it’s time to explore a pivotal decision you’ll need to make: DIY vs. Professional RV inspections. In other words, should you and can you inspect the RV yourself, or should you go ahead and hire a professional independent RV inspector.
The DIY Inspection Advantage
Let’s begin by discussing the advantages of a DIY RV inspection:
- Cost-Effective: DIY inspections can be budget-friendly, saving you the expense of hiring a professional.
- Empowerment: Conducting your inspection can provide a deeper understanding of your RV’s systems and components, empowering you as an owner.
- Convenience: You can perform DIY inspections on your schedule, without waiting for a professional’s availability.
When DIY May Not Be Enough
While doing the inspection yourself and saving some money might seem like a good idea, here are some drawbacks to potentially doing the inspection yourself:
- Complex Systems: Modern RVs come equipped with intricate systems that may require specialized knowledge and tools.
- Hidden Issues: A DIY inspection might not uncover hidden problems that a professional can identify through training and experience.
- Limited Expertise: If you lack experience or knowledge in RV mechanics, you might overlook critical issues.
- Emotional Attachment: When looking at any potential Rv or Motorhome it is easy to get caught up in emotions and become attached to the RV before you actually purchase. Becoming attached to the RV makes it easy to overlook things that we might not otherwise.
- What’s Your Time Worth: Saving money by not hiring an inspector can end up costing you more than the price of the inspection fee. Consider what your time is worth if you have to take time off work and travel to where the RV is located. How much are you spending in travel and other expenses, when a highly trained inspector is closer?
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Inspector
Now, let’s delve into the benefits of enlisting a professional RV inspector:
- Expertise and Experience: Professional inspectors have the knowledge and experience to identify issues that might elude an untrained eye. At RV P. I. we have inspected approximately three hundred different RVs in over three years as full-time certified RV inspectors and certified RV technicians. Additionally, we have further certifications from various manufacturers of RV systems and chassis.
- Thoroughness: They come equipped with comprehensive checklists and tools, ensuring no detail goes unnoticed. Our checklist is a comprehensive checklist that takes a minimum of five to six hours to complete for a small travel trailer and can take upwards of ten or twelve hours for a large class A motorhome. The tools we use during your inspection include many specialized tools such as thermal cameras and robotic cameras to access and inspect difficult to reach areas. The use of these specialized tools allows us to thoroughly inspect areas of the RV that might otherwise be inaccessible.
- Peace of Mind: A professional inspection provides peace of mind, knowing your RV has been thoroughly assessed by an expert.
- Free From Emotional Attachment: A professional independent inspector should be free from all emotional attachment to the RV. This means they will accurately report all findings and not be willing to “overlook” things. Once you are armed with the inspection report you can then truly consider all of the findings and recommendations.
- Written Report: Any inspector you decide to work with should, at a minimum, give you a written report after the conclusion of the on-site inspection. Length of the report and what is included will vary. However, at RV P. I., our reports commonly exceed two hundred and fifty pages and three hundred pictures. After all, you hired us to inspect an RV, so we inspect everything we can physically access and see.
Making Your Decision
In the end, choosing between a DIY and professional RV inspection boils down to your unique circumstances:
- Assess Your Skills: Evaluate your mechanical knowledge, experience, and comfort level with RV systems.
- Budget: Consider your budget and how much you’re willing to allocate for an inspection.
- Time and Availability: Reflect on your schedule and availability. Do you have the time required to throughly inspect a RV?
- Thoroughness: Hiring a professional independent RV inspector should guarantee a thorough and comprehensive inspection. Remember we have already talked about what questions to ask an RV inspector before hiring them?
Whether you opt for a DIY or professional RV inspection, the key is to make an informed decision aligned with your needs and circumstances. In the next article, we’ll guide you through the RV inspection experience, helping you understand what to expect when the inspection day arrives. Stay tuned, and remember, the path to RV ownership is a journey filled with choices that lead to memorable adventures!