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Buying your first RV? If yes, then you should pay a lot of attention while inspecting the vehicle, especially when you want something ready-to-go.
Often, after buying these vehicles, RV owners tend to make some adjustments according to their requirements. But this can only happen when you have a keen eye on details.
One way or the other, you have to inspect the vehicle. To do that, you should hire an inspector who would not only check whether all the necessary items are in place, but also see whether they comply with all the laws.
RV inspection can save you from a lot of future troubles, such as unnecessary water leakage, system malfunction, connectivity failures, and more. Even if you own one, having a periodic inspection of the vehicle will save you from any such issues.
So, what is the RV inspection cost? How much money should you set aside while purchasing your RV? And more importantly, why do you need RV inspection in the first place? I am going to answer these questions in this post.
Why Do You Need to Inspect Your RV?
See, RV is not just a vehicle, it has many different utilities for the people using it – kitchen, bathroom, air conditioner, Wi-Fi, Internet, GPS, and whatnot.
To bring all these cool features inside a motorized vehicle, it sure needs some inspection and maintenance. Purchasing an RV and keeping it requires maintenance. Purchasing an RV is just like buying your home.
You don’t want to spend loads of money on an RV, and later find out that it’s just a box with lots of useless stuff. And even if it doest look OK from a naked eye, there could be some potential issues that you might miss during inspection.
A simple gas leak can go unnoticed. You might think that your electrical ports are working fine, but there might be a possibility of a short circuit due to a naked wire that’s getting in contact with the body of the vehicle.
The ceiling might look new, but what about the rust and all the mess it might be hiding behind it?
If you’re on the same page, let’s dive into details and find out how much a pre-purchase RV inspection cost and how it is done.
As mentioned earlier, if you’re buying a used RV, you might need to get it checked just to be sure that it meets all the required standards.
Elements of Pre-purchase Inspection
An inspection can highlight potential issues that might cause problems for you later. There are different things to look for while inspecting.
You might not know about any possible electrical problems or leakage from a water system inside the vehicle. There are a lot of small parts inside that can cause problems for you if they’re not checked.
Inspection before the purchase is done on the mechanical parts and the exterior of the Recreational Vehicle. These are the essential parts that help run the vehicle and can include a piece as small as a screw on the tire.
These types of inspections usually start from $150 for examination to more than $500 on full inspection, based on the type of RV you’re getting inspected.
Small Vs. Large RV Inspection
Smaller RVs are easier to check and can be inspected by small workshops. They can easily be put on a lift so that the mechanic can have a good look at it. Larger vehicles are harder to examine and would cost you way more than the usual price.
Larger RVs or simply Class A recreational vehicles have a much larger chassis, and they work on diesel. Not every mechanic deals with diesel-run motors. You would have to look for a specialized inspector, hence adding on some extra bills.
A proper inspection lasts about three to six hours, depending on the examination. The inspection of the RV’s interior generally costs more than the cost of inspection on its motorized parts. There are certain safety marks the inspector has to check and make sure that everything works properly.
Now, do you need routine inspections of your RV? Simple answer is Yes! And here’s why you need it.
Necessary / Routine Inspections
Routine inspection is needed when you own the vehicle, and you have to keep it functional at a certain mark to meet all the required standards. This includes safety checks and the emissions from your vehicle.
Emission testing is needed when your vehicle has been driven for over 8000 Kms. Safety check ensures that all your lights, braking systems, suspension, and tires are in the right condition.
If anyone of these is malfunctioning, it can cause you problems that can add to future costs. This might be more than the cost of repairing that certain part. You might have to replace it altogether.
An in-depth mandatory examination can take somewhere from eight hours to a full day. This is done to check each and everything very carefully, and not even miss the slightest of details.
This can cost you somewhere from $300 to more than $1500, depending on what your mechanic charges and his goodwill.
Things You Need to Get Checked
Here are a couple of things that you need to inspect in your RV. Inevitably with each of them comes their individual costs.
The first thing you should notice while buying an RV is the ambiance or aesthetics inside. It’s just the feeling you get when you step inside the RV for the very first time. It can be the smell inside, the color, structure, or anything.
Washroom / Toilet
It is one of the basic features an RV should offer. You need to get it checked if the toilet is working fine, the drainage system is in proper condition if the showers and all the taps are working fine.
A check on the heating system in the washroom is necessary if you live in a cold climate.
The most common problems on an RV is the seepage problem and the rust due to moisture or rainfalls. The roof can get severely damaged if it’s not cared for, and you need to get it inspected very often and care for it yourself too.
There can be signs of rust, or just simply bubble-like formations on the paint of your vehicle that tell that there is water damage. Any cracks or leakage from any sort of pipe can lead to this problem.
The basement or the interior ceiling of the RV can easily get damaged, which might not be easy to notice. This is due to numerous water pipes that might be going over or beneath the surface as a part of the water system on the RV. An inspector can look thoroughly for such issues and brief you about them.
Kitchen and bathroom sinks need maintenance, get them checked if they’re leaking from somewhere or not.
You would need a port to charge our phone or your laptop, or simply use any electrical appliance. A power backup is also necessary, for that you need to check if your generator is working fine and all the things related to it.
A solar panel can come in handy in situations, so if your RV has a solar panel, you need to get it checked if the battery backup is perfect and the solar panel does not have any issues.
Recreational vehicles do have different entertainment options to keep you engaged. Some come with just radio sets; others do have an option for a Television screen too, such as in Class A RVs. Some class
RVs also have an option to attach a customized stereo system that lets you enjoy the music as well. A check on these things would add to your luxuries and provide the best experience.
Lights help you see in the dark. They are the most important feature, yet some people do not pay much attention to it. All the headlights in the RV, indicators, interior lighting such as bulbs and LEDs should all work fine.
Tires, Suspensions and Body Parts
A check on these parts is necessary. Even if one of these is malfunctioning, it can prove to be fatal.
Tires should have the best grip, as RVs are generally used on highways and areas far off from any settlements. Replace them if they have any signs of wear and tear.
Suspensions are just as necessary as the tires. All the suspensions should be working fine and strong enough to bear the shocks they might get on the journey.
Body parts, including the bumper and fenders, windows, or any other parts, should be in their best condition.
Many RVs offer decent furniture options, if not the best. Class A vehicles would even have couches or recliners featured inside.
Sleeping place is one of the main reasons why you bought the RV. A check on the mattresses or the cushions on the sofa can guarantee you an excellent place to rest while outing.
Along with the water-related issues, what most people complain about an RV is its air conditioning system.
A problem in the cooling system can either be because the condenser is not functioning well, the fan is damaged or even something as little as the seal on your windows or doors.
Everything needs a check after some time, to ensure it works properly. A recreational vehicle is very different from the conventional vehicles that we use every day. It is more complex, and cannot be understood without having experience.
To save you from all of these complications, the inspectors charge you some amount of money for their exceptional services that can save you that same or even more amount of money later. Be it a mere $100 or something as hefty as $1500 or $2500; an inspection can save you costs later on that you couldn’t have imagined.