Welcome back to our RV inspection series, where we’ve been unraveling the intricacies of purchasing your dream RV. In our previous articles, we discussed the importance of inspecting an RV, selecting the right inspector, understanding RV documentation, and making the choice between DIY and professional RV inspections. Now, it’s time to prepare you for the actual RV inspection experience, so you know exactly what to expect.
Preparing for the Inspection Day
Before the big day arrives, there are a few key steps to ensure everything runs smoothly:
- Scheduling: Coordinate with your chosen inspector to set a date and time for the inspection that works for both parties. present during the inspection. This allows you to ask questions, gain insights, and witness the process firsthand. At RV P. I. we are happy to assist by ensuring we coordinate the inspection with your schedule and that of the seller or dealer.
- Logistics: Ensure the RV is accessible and ready for inspection. This includes having it parked at the agreed location with all systems accessible. Your inspector should have provided you with information on how to prepare the RV for inspection. At RV P. I. we provide a document and encourage you to provide it to the seller as well. Our inspection guide lists steps, such as ensuring there is sufficient fuel to operate the generator, ensuring there is sufficient LP, and the RV is connected to utilities.
- Presence: Being present at the inspection is a fantastic way to learn about the RV and its systems. This allows you to ask questions, gain insights, and witness the process firsthand. However, make sure you talk to the inspector about this first. Some inspectors discourage you from attending the inspection. At RV P. I., we highly encourage you to attend and or all the inspection, if possible. Attending the inspection is a terrific opportunity for us to show you what we are finding and gives us an opportunity to talk to you about the RV systems and how they operate together. Some of our happiest clients were able to attend at least some of the inspection. However, we understand you may not be able to attend the inspection. No problem, when you receive the report, we like to include 360-degree photos so you can move around the RV, envisioning yourself in the RV. Either way, you will receive a thoroughly documented and detailed report of the current condition of the RV.
The Inspector’s Role and Responsibilities
Understanding the role and responsibilities of your RV inspector is crucial:
- Comprehensive Assessment: The inspector will meticulously assess the RV’s condition, following a checklist that covers all vital components and systems. At RV P. I. we spend a minimum of five to six hours on-site with smaller travel trailers and fifth wheels. Large class A coaches and conversion coaches can take a minimum of ten or more hours on-site to thoroughly inspect. If the inspector, you are considering tells you they can do the same through inspection in less time ask them to see the points of inspection they are using. It is likely they are rushing through the inspection or not as comprehensive.
- Documentation: We will document any findings, including all issues or concerns we discover. The final report will be shared with you for review within twenty-four hours. Additionally, we provide a separate list of all findings and recommendations that you can share with the dealer or seller. This list is nice, so you do not have to forward the entire report.
- Communication: We want to ensure you know what to expect during every step of the inspection process. When you receive the inspection report we encourage you to read it and ask any questions that you may have. We will do our best to explain everything in the report, but we also know sometimes we just must explain our findings over the phone.
- Advocate: We want to be your advocate during the inspection. When you hire us, we will work for you, not the dealer or the seller. Many dealers will tell you hiring an independent inspector is a waste of time because they will inspect and repair anything wrong with the RV. But they don’t work for you, and most will even charge you for the inspection they do. However, none that we have ever heard of will give you a written inspection report.
The Hands-On Inspection
During the inspection, some of the areas you can expect RV P. I. to assess include:
- Exterior Assessment: The inspector will start by examining the RV’s exterior, looking for signs of damage, wear, and potential issues like water leaks or other defects.
- Interior Inspection: They will proceed to inspect the interior, testing appliances, checking plumbing systems, checking electrical systems, life safety devices and examining the condition of flooring, upholstery, and cabinets.
- System Tests: The inspector will test various systems, including electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and more to ensure they are in proper working order.
Documenting Inspection Findings
After the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a comprehensive report:
- Review: Take the time to review the inspection report thoroughly. It will contain details about the RV’s condition, including any identified issues.
- Discussion: Ask us questions about the report or anything in the report you might need some clarification about. We want to discuss the report and findings with you so that you have as thorough an understanding of the condition of hte RV as possible.
- Next Steps: Depending on the inspection results, you can decide on the next steps, which may involve negotiation, further assessment, or finalizing the purchase. You may even decide the RV is not the one for you and you may walk away from the purchase. It is okay if you do. No one wants to make such a large purchase and have instant regret.
Post-Inspection Discussions and Next Steps
The post-inspection phase involves crucial discussions and decisions:
- Negotiation: If issues are identified, you may enter negotiations with the seller to address these concerns, potentially resulting in price adjustments or repairs.
- Finalizing the Purchase: Once any negotiations are complete, you can move forward with finalizing the purchase, ensuring all necessary paperwork and agreements are in order.
- Walk away: It is okay if you decide the RV is not for you. This is why you hired an independent inspector. Perhaps the list of findings is too long or expensive to take on and the seller would not negotiate enough. Perhaps the list of repairs does not fit in with your lifestyle and timeline of using the RV. Whatever the reason, if the RV is not the right one it is okay to walk away.
Being prepared for the RV inspection experience ensures a smooth and informed process. Armed with knowledge and expectations, you can confidently navigate the inspection day, making well-informed decisions that bring you one step closer to your dream of RV ownership. Stay tuned, and remember, the journey to RV ownership is an adventure in itself!