A Used RV Inspection – Here’s the Rest of the Story!

NRVIA Certified Used RV Inspection

When purchasing a used RV there are so many things to consider!  For the potential RV owner, this is a huge task and one that should not be rushed into.  Most RV purchasers really have no idea of what to look for, and if they are first time purchasers, this task can be even more of a challenge!

Up until recent years, there was really no credible source for someone to go to for assistance.  When someone is going to purchase a home, one of the first things that get scheduled is a home inspection.  From that comes the information the potential homeowner can use to determine if the home is really worth purchasing.  And this is for someone spending $75,000, and up, for a home.

So, when an RV costs as much if not more than most homes people buy, why would someone not also get an inspection on it?  Would that not make sense?  In fact, an RV has systems that are far more complicated than a home, and an RV inspection takes at least twice as long as a good size home does to inspect.  What about the motorized components of the RV?

So, it makes sense that a new or used RV inspection would be something that any potential RV owner would want to have.  After all, the chances of buying a money pit are greatly reduced when the would-be owner relies on the expertise of an RV professional who has experience with them and is an RVer themselves.  Many RV inspectors are also full time RVers as are Howard and Pam of HMRVI Corporation.

They are in their tenth year of full time RV living, which means they have no home other than the RV that they live in 365, 24/7!  So it would make sense that they are able to assist their clients quite easily because with that level of experience with RV’s, they have over 100,000 miles of travel in RV’s, and they have been trained with the skills to understand an RV’s complicated systems.

They shared a recent story about one of their clients that you will enjoy!  It is a perfect example as to why someone would want a used RV inspection.

Please Read on!

They received a call from a client who was out of state from where the RV was located.  Their potential client had the presence of mind to realize that before spending a lot of money on a five-year-old class A motorhome, it would be best to let a professional put some eyes on it.

Now sometimes these folks that are buying RV’s at a distance, from where they are located, are finding them on websites like RV Trader.  Private sellers, as well as RV dealerships, list their units for sale on websites like RV Trader.  Howard and Pam are happy to assist these folks because in their past experiences they have discovered that the photos and claims that people share on the website don’t always match the current condition of the RV.

Such was the case in this story that is being shared here.  The photos of this RV were from when it was new.  How did Howard know that?  Well, while talking to his client on the first phone consultation, he was also looking at the website and noticed that the unit had no license plates, the furniture and appliances had tags on them, and there was a window sticker in the windshield like you see at an RV dealership.

So Howard and Pam secured the RV inspection contract and scheduled time to go spend the day with the RV.  It was located about an hour and a half from their location.  The seller provided them with an RV site that had water, sewer, and electric service as requested by their client.  In order to do a thorough inspection, the RV needs to have all services provided so everything can be tested.

The inspection began at 9 AM and was completed by 4 PM.  The RV was a larger Class A gasoline powered unit.  At the suggestion of Howard and Pam, the client also asked that all the fluids in the RV be tested to see what was going on inside these components: the engine oil, the transmission oil, the engine coolant, and the generator oil.  Those samples were mailed off to the lab for analysis the next day.

From the outside, and at a first glance the RV did not look too bad.  But once Howard and Pam started taking a closer look, the issues with the RV started to make themselves known.  Howard says he is not interested in how the owner feels about the RV but what the RV tells him the day of the inspection.  And that telling comes from a systematic evaluation of the RV’s exterior, interior, chassis, frame, electrical systems, water systems, propane system, and appliances, just to name a few.

In this particular case, the roof had sealant cracking issues, there were sealant issues on the sidewalls, the slideouts had issues with alignment and water intrusion, there were several life safety issues, tire issues, weak batteries, and general wear and tear from a unit that had been lived and traveled in full time for three years.

Here are just a few of the total of one hundred photos and videos that appeared in the RV inspection report:

Sealant Issues on the roof joints

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Something was sprayed on the rear cap roof joint – this is not the appropriate repair method!

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Sealant joints on vents and skylights were in need of repair

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A gap between the blade seal and the roof of a slideout – light could be seen from the inside.  That means water can also make its way into the RV from this area.

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The slideout sidewall blade seals were not making proper contact with the slideout walls.  This can allow water to penetrate the interior of the RV.

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One of the tires had a gouge in it and sidewall cracking

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The power cord plug end casing had separated from the plug head!

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The RV was hooked to water at the time of the inspection and leaking was observed coming from behind the Anderson services panel.

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Inside wall surfaces showed signs of wrinkling and staining.

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There was a piece of the flooring that had been cut away at one point as can be observed by the photo.  The owner disclosed other things but nothing as to why the one-piece floor was previously cut.

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Water damage at a corner in the bedroom near the slideout with the blade seal issues.

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There were many more issues like this throughout the RV.  Mechanically, the fluid samples of the engine oil, transmission oil, engine coolant, and generator oil came back okay.  There was nothing of concern there.

Now, there was nothing grossly wrong with the RV.  Certainly, there had been a little water intrusion and further investigation would have to be done to assure that would not be a recurring problem.  But, for the price being asked, that became the issue for Howard and Pam’s Client.  For twenty-five percent less of the asking price, the RV would be inline if all the issues were not repaired.

The Rest of the Story!

So what did HMRVI Corporation’s client decide to do?  The owner of the RV was pestering Howard and Pam for the results of the inspection and what the client was thinking.  To answer those requests violates the company’s code of ethics, so the owner’s requests were ignored.

However, discussions with their client went on for a week and a half after the inspection was completed.  Their client decided to request that the RV be brought up to standards and then the purchase would be made.  The owner of the RV did not want to do that and suggested the potential buyer make their best offer.

Since the owner was unwilling to do what the potential buyer was asking, Howard and Pam’s client walked away from the RV purchase.  Also, the interesting thing that happened was the RV listing was pulled from RV Trader.  That was a good thing because that saved another potential RV buyer from buying a possible money pit!

After deciding to not buy the RV, Howard and Pam’s client was still looking for an RV and found one in another state.  The funny thing was that they were asked if HMRVI Corporation could help out again, knowing that they are full time RVers, perhaps they were traveling through the next potential RV’s location.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  But they did help their client secure another inspector to help out.

Howard and Pam know this process works!  They have been involved with the NRVIA four years as inspectors, and trainers, to help grow an industry that is in dire need of assistance to help assure that buyers for new and used RV’s get the help they so desperately need.  Just like a home inspection that is usually required by the lending institution, an RV inspection should also be done by a third party, unbiased individual, that can provide the critical information that is needed in the RV buying process!

As you can see by this story, the process worked: the buyer was saved and the story had a happy ending.  Another suitable RV was found that met Howard and Pam’s client’s needs.

If you would like to reach out to Howard and Pam of HMRVI Corporation, please use the Contact Us link and they will promptly get back to you!  If you are interested in helping other RV buyers out by becoming an RV inspector and owning your own small business, please use the Contact Us link to reach us.

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Howard and Pam Jaros – HMRVI Corporation Owners