Why a new RV needs an independent RV inspection is an easy question to answer. I will use some recent inspections of brand new RV’s to answer that question. My RV Inspection has inspected many brand new RV’s. It never fails that after the dealerships do their PDI(Pre-Delivery Inspection), we find dozens of issues with brand new RV’s. Some of these RV’s that we find issues with cost well over $300,000.00.
I have seen many people on Facebook tell others not to get an inspection. Just educate yourself and do your own inspection. RV inspectors who get certified spend thousands of dollars on equipment and tools the average person does not have in order to test an RV’s systems properly. Why would you want to leave inspecting an investment this big up to what you learned about RV’s online. Not everyone that claims to be an expert is. Just because you have owned an RV for 5 or even 30 years does not mean you know what you are doing. I have inspected many RV’s that were owned by seasoned full-timers and found things that should be very scary to anyone.
I am going to start with a 2021 fifth wheel inspection. The MSRP for this particular unit is $120,225.00. That’s more money than many people pay for a house. This RV had been through the dealerships PDI process before the inspection. This is the same PDI that the salesperson will tell you they do and is the reason they recommend you do not get an independent RV inspection by a nationally certified RV inspection company. That would have been a huge mistake for the buyer of this unit.
Water can destroy an RV and it can do it quickly. The lap sealant on an RV roof is used around most of the RV roof penetrations to prevent water from entering the RV. This sealant should be checked every 3-6 months to ensure it has not deteriorated to the point where water could enter the RV. This RV inspection revealed that the lap sealant applied to the entire roof needed to be replaced. This particular RV had more roof sealant issues than most of our inspections do. The photos below are just 2 of the 38 photos taken of lap sealant that is not sealing the roof properly and could cause water intrusion. Remember this is after the PDI that the dealership had performed and the salesperson had told the buyer the RV was ready for purchase.
When a consumer buys anything brand new they expect that the product has not been damaged. When it is you have to take it back and get a refund or get the item repaired. This is a brand new awning topper on this new RV. It has a rip about 10 inches long buy the awning trim rail. Imagine being blinded by the beauty of this brand new RV and not seeing this before you sign the paperwork and drive off the lot. When you bring the RV back to get it fixed the service department may be backed up and that particular awning topper fabric may not be in stock. Now the dealership has your RV for a month. What a headache that would be. Remember this RV was inspected already by the dealership and deemed ready for sale.
Those are just a couple of items that were found on this RV before the buyer made their purchase. There were many other items, but I want to be sure to show multiple new RV’s that we have inspected, so you can see it wasn’t just one time this happened.
Let’s look at a little different level of RV. This 2020 RV has an MSRP of $575,645.00. That is a very large number and for that amount of money, a consumer should expect a high-quality RV that had the very best PDI a dealership can supply. This buyer paid $940.00 to our company to ensure that he was getting what he paid for and he was glad he did after we sent him the report.
One of the first things we saw as we entered the RV was the passenger’s armrest was damaged. The buyer had been there to look at the RV and was blinded by all the bells and whistles. This RV had a lot of bells and whistles like 6 touchscreens throughout the RV to control almost every aspect of the RV. You may think when you are buying an RV you will see things like this, but that is not always the case. Do you think the tech that performed the PDI saw it? Did he just not say anything in order to get the RV out the door quicker for the salesperson? Either way, it would have been a headache to get it replaced after the purchase.
When we buy a $30,000 car we expect the paint to be perfect. What if you are buying a half of a million-dollar RV? The paint on the sidewall of this RV looked like it had been burnt while buffing the paint. This might seem like something that is easy to spot. Rest assured that you had to look at the paint from the correct angle to see this defect. Imagine spending that much money only to have to fight to get the paint fixed after you purchased it. How long would it take to have it done right? What is the payment you are making on this RV while you are without it?
We took 32 photos of the cabinetry that should poor craftsmanship on this RV. If you were to have a new kitchen installed in your home would you expect the cabinetry to look new? I for one can not imagine buy a high end diesel pusher to get cabinetry like this. The buyer made plans to take this RV to the factory after purchase and have many of the cabinet doors replaced. The advantage here for him was that he had a list of cabinets that needed repair so he wouldn’t miss any of the cabinets while he was at the factory.
The furniture in an RV like this should be top of the line. While it looked nice it had issues. The buttons for the seat on the left did not reline the sofa or bring up the foot rest every time like it should. It worked intermittently. Nobody wants to sit on the sofa an extra 10 minutes trying to get up do they?
Part of performing a PDI at a dealership involves removing the packing materials that some of the RV components are packed in. Was the tech that completed this inspection even ever on the roof. The cardboard on the corners of the solar panels on the roof had not been removed. This may not be a huge issue, but I am sure if someone were boon docking and had 6 solar panels on the roof of their RV, they would want to get the maximum efficiency out of those solar panels. While we are looking at the roof the photos below show dried glue on the paint on the rear cap. Instead of a high quality product this, what I see is laziness. You may never see it from the road but rest assured when you go to trade it in the dealership will ask why you put that glue there.
Once again this is just a snapshot of what was found. There were dozens of other issues with this RV that the buyer was happy to have repaired prior to purchase. Don’t be bullied by salespeople who don’t have your best interest at heart. Make sure your RV inspector has been certified to perform the type of inspection you are having performed. We have sample reports on our website so you can compare what we do with what others do. Our reviews on Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, and HomeGauge show that our company is a legitimate RV inspection company. Testimonials on websites can be manipulated, so make sure you look for real reviews from real people.
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