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Pay for inspection?


MilesAndSmiles

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I'm looking at a 2015 Winnebago class A for sale by owner with only 7000 miles on it. They are selling because of a job change. I've received over 70 photos and it looks like it's in pristine condition. It also comes with a Cornerstone extended warranty good through 2021 with $100 deductible.

 

The motorhome is about 1500 miles from our home, so we'd need to fly down to purchase, and then drive it back.

 

I'm debating whether it's worthwhile to spend an additional $500 or so for a pre-purchase inspection by an outside firm? I can do a thorough inspection of the house, and the engine is virtually brand new.

 

Any feedback?

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I've only purchased one RV, but my impression is that inspectors can vary widely in how thorough they are. If you're comfortable inspecting the house, and know all the things to look for, it's probably good enough. Getting an oil analysis and inspecting for leaks and fluids is about all you can do for the chassis, and you can do that yourself.

 

Budget has a lot to do with it. When I shopped, my budget was small enough that I could easily have spent 10% of it inspecting coaches that I didn't buy. If you're shopping a 2015 Class A, then an inspection is a small part of the budget.

When I purchased, the inspection was done by the warranty company, they built the inspection into the price, and any problems he didn't find were covered. I wasn't impressed by the inspection, it was very cursory, but the terms of the contract meant that I didn't care how thorough his inspection was. So far, it's worked out; I've had two covered repairs, and I suspect both conditions were at least developing at the time I bought it. I did my own inspection of the structure and roof and all that... those items aren't covered by extended warranties anyway.

 

Since the coach you're looking at comes with an extended warranty, I'd research the warranty company first. Make sure the previous owner has done all the required maintenance, you don't want coverage refused because he didn't do an oil change (check the generator service, too... that's a big $$ item for warranty coverage). Then supplement that coverage with a whatever inspection you can do yourself.... do an oil analysis, look for rust and leaks, do the house inspection.

 

You know it's not going to be perfect, what you want to do is avoid the high-cost repairs, or at least make sure they're covered.

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  • 2 weeks later...

During our recent quest to find and purchase the right late model Class A motor coach, we hired RV Inspection Connection (www.rvinspection.com) to perform in-depth and detailed inspections of 2-two pre-owned coaches we were considering. These (each) inspections took no less than 1+1/2 days for the inspector to complete and included laboratory fluid analysis of both lubricates (eng, gen-set) and cooling systems fluids and were performed by NRVIA certified inspectors who must adhere to a non-conflict agreement as they work for the consumer only. Using them avoids any "conflict of interest" with the selling parties or dealers.

 

The results of these inspections included 35-40 page reports with over 100 photos and rating/raking of testing results of all systems (electrical/electronic, hydraulic, cooling/heating, refrigeration) as well as reports of functional and cosmetic conditions from the roof to the wheels, i.e. all inclusive bumper to bumper. The results of these inspections also led us to lose interest in both coaches we had inspected which some would say ended up as a waste of money but for us, helped make our final decision on our purchasing a new coach given the deal we were able to make that put us in a brand new coach for very close to the same monies we were looking at for a late model (i.e. '14-'15) used coach.

 

With all this, we are certain there are many great pre-owned coaches out there that are great deals only advocating that paying for a detailed and professional inspection is money well spent.

 

RV Inspection Connection's reach is nation-wide in terms of their availability to perform an inspection, many of which (inspectors) are fellow full-timers that supplement their incomes by performing the inspections.

 

We are not affiliated or in any other means associated with RVIC, we just wanted to share our experience.

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I'm debating whether it's worthwhile to spend an additional $500 or so for a pre-purchase inspection by an outside firm? I can do a thorough inspection of the house, and the engine is virtually brand new.

These inspections are rather like buying insurance. They are never a good buy unless there proves to be a major problem. The first thing that I would ask for is a copy of that extended warranty and I would read every word of it to make sure that it is solid coverage and that it is transferable. I would even call the warranty management and ask for instructions on the transfer of it and for confirmation that it can be transferred. The rest of the issue is what degree of risk are you willing to accept? My guess is that the odds of a major problem that would cost you a great deal of money are low, but compare the cost of purchase to the cost of inspection... Is the $500 really significant to the total expense of the RV?

 

If you have it inspected and the report is good, then the inspection is a bad value but if the inspector discovers some major structural issue, which extended warranties do not cover, then it will have been a wonderful value! I have only 35+ years of RV experience and 6 RVs owned so for me the $500 cost would be well worth it as long as that is less than 10% of the price of the RV. My suggestion is that you take what you will have to pay for this RV and determine how large a percentage the price increase will be to get it inspected, then make the decision.

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  • 1 month later...

If you use a reputable inspector, someone who is a member of the National RV Inspection Association (NRVIA) then Yes. We write our reports in simple layperson's language. If there is anything you would not understand, then give the inspector a call for an explanation. If you are new to RVing, I would highly recommend the Escapees Boot Camp. It's a great way to start learning about your RV. Or, you can sign up for Terry Cooper's RV Technicians course, for the layperson to learn about their RV. 85% of problems are usually simple to fix.

 

Geoff

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