RV Dealership Denies Access to Buyer’s Inspector

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Purchasing an RV is one of the biggest investments you can make. Some RVs are more expensive than a house and depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot.

So making a sound decision during the purchasing process is crucial to avoiding a bad investment and potential heartache down the road.

But when an RV dealership doesn’t allow you to hire an RV inspector, that’s a red flag.

No matter how much you love that RV or how good of a deal it seems you’re getting, it’s time to walk away. Let’s take a closer look at what happened to one potential buyer when he was looking to make an RV purchase.

What Is an RV Inspector? 

An RV inspector is similar to a home inspector in that their job is to thoroughly go through an RV and notify the potential buyers of any problems.

Especially for first-time RV owners or for buyers purchasing sight unseen, hiring an RV inspector is highly recommended.

They look for specific things like checking the wiring of outlets, checking the propane system for leaks, examining the seals on the roof, and reviewing hundreds of other items on a checklist.

Close up of someone doing an RV inspection

Dealer Denies Independent RV Inspector for Buyer 

A recent Facebook user posted in an RV living group that he was shopping for an RV at a dealership and it wouldn’t allow an independent RV inspector on the property.

The reasoning given was “insurance reasons.” The buyer wanted a pre-sale inspection and sought advice from the Facebook group about whether or not he should do business with this dealership.

Almost everyone told him to run. There are no insurance issues when an RV inspector comes to a dealership. These inspectors are insured, so this is a moot point.

Clearly, the dealership just didn’t want an independent RV inspector to do the pre-delivery inspection (PDI).

What Other RVers Had to Say About This 

By and large, most people who commented on this issue were very supportive of the prospective buyer.

They told the buyer to do business elsewhere because there are plenty of other dealerships with the same makes and models that will allow an inspection. They also weighed in about their own regrets.

One RV owner responded, “If they won’t let you inspect it, something’s wrong. Wish we would have. If there was a lemon law for RVs ours would qualify! Inspect before you buy.” 

Another owner explained, “My biggest regret is I didn’t have an inspection. I didn’t know the places to look for water damage. Had to replace entire walls, framing and floors in my slide. It was hidden by built in furniture.

The water damage on the other side of my RV in the closet area was hidden by the closet. If you don’t know what to look for, most likely you won’t find it. You need an inspector. If they won’t let you, keep it moving.”

Can an RV Dealership Deny an Inspection?

An RV dealership has the right to deny a third-party inspection. This certainly doesn’t look good on their end, however.

If you request to bring an RV inspector on-site before signing the final paperwork, and the dealership says no, then that’s a bad sign.

Don’t move forward with any other negotiations or paperwork. If a dealership doesn’t let an RV inspector thoroughly check an RV from their lot, then they have to be hiding something.

Or they don’t want to have to deal with potential repairs. Either way, this isn’t the dealership you want to be doing business with.

An RV lot with multiple RVs that are in need of an RV inspection

Benefits of Hiring an RV Inspector

Whether you’re a first-time RV buyer or looking to purchase your tenth RV, it’s always a good idea to hire an RV inspector.

These trained professionals have an eye for catching certain issues that even the most seasoned RVers might not see.

They also have a thorough checklist of over 500 items. It’s unlikely that you’ll be going through such a checklist in your mind as you look over an RV.

Keep in Mind: Finding an RV loan rates and financing can be overwhelming! That’s why we put together a list of RV Loan Rates and Reliable Financing

Catch Potential Repairs and Damage

One of the biggest advantages of hiring an RV inspector is knowing potential repairs ahead of time.

You may still decide the RV is worth purchasing, but you clearly understand exactly what you’re getting.

You can also use this to your advantage when negotiating the price. If substantial repairs are needed, use that information to get a better deal.

You can also decide on certain repairs before purchasing. This conversation can happen with the salesperson at the dealership once the RV inspection is over.

If the dealership wants to sell the unit, they will have to make some repairs before you sign the bottom line.

An RV being worked on after finding damage in an RV inspection

Confirm Value of Unit

As mentioned above, if there are repairs or damage to the unit, you can use that to negotiate a fair price. An RV inspector can tell you how much money you’ll need to put into repairs, which lowers the unit’s value.

An RV inspector can also tell you if the RV is in great condition and if you’re getting a great deal. This reassurance helps you make the final decision on whether or not to purchase the RV.

Help Avoid Bad Investment

Finally, RV inspectors will flat-out tell you if you’re making a bad investment. Many certified inspectors have seen hundreds of RVs. They know when potential problems can turn into disasters.

They also know when the delamination isn’t just a simple fix. If an RV inspector comes back with a laundry list of things that need fixing, it’s time to walk away.

Keep in Mind: So how exactly do you get an RV Inspection? Click the link to find out!

Should You Hire an RV Inspector?

Most RV buyers should hire an RV inspector. There are plenty of owners who didn’t hire a third-party inspector before and never had any serious problems with their rigs.

However, spending a few hundred dollars on an RV inspector can potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs. You have to decide if the upfront cost is worth it. If you’ve never owned an RV before, you should absolutely hire an RV inspector.

How Do You Find an RV Inspector?

The best way to find a certified RV inspector is by visiting NRVIA.org. The National RV Inspectors Association provides training and certification for RV inspectors throughout North America.

This is one of the most reputable organizations in the RV industry, so you can rest assured that when you hire an NRVIA-certified RV inspector. You’re going to get a professional, quality, thorough inspection completed.

If you’re purchasing an RV sight unseen, this is a great resource to find an RV inspector near the location of the RV dealership. You can search for a location and contact someone in the area who will go to the dealership to perform the inspection.

An RV inspection checklist

Find a Dealer Who Allows You to Hire an Inspector

If you run into a dealership that won’t allow you to bring in an RV inspector, end the conversation and move on.

You can find the same RV elsewhere and negotiate with a dealership that will allow you to get a thorough inspection before the final purchase.

Shady business practices lead to shady repairs and customer service. This isn’t the type of dealership you want to be doing business with.

Have you ever had a dealership tell you that you couldn’t bring in a third-party RV inspector?

  1. Hi, nice article. We had an inspection and the dealership let it happen. I feel we had a very honest inspector. However, reality is the dealer was lukewarm about it, the inspector was limited by where he had to work, and the biggest thing is the inspector wants future business at the dealer and it makes you wonder about the incentive they have to not get on the bad side of the dealer. The RV dealership industry is fraught with intregrity problems the have a lot to do with manufacturing quality. Right now I am sitting in a dealership hoping that the slide out misalignment problem can be fixed on my rather new and expensive fifth wheel – it took nearly 3 months to even get an appointment to have it looked at! I wish that could have been noticed by the $1000 independent inspection and/or PDI – but no, the walk-through inspection I had barely explained how the slides work and we left the dealership in 35F degree weather unaware that the propane tanks were empty! If you think I am irritated about my experience you are right! But that is just the tip of the iceberg!

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