Pre-Purchase Inspections are the most thorough and most common of RV inspections. These are all-day inspections. Such inspections are referred to as a Pre-Purchase Inspection, simply because they are most often ordered by someone who is about to purchase an RV. However, a shrewd seller may occasionally order a complete inspection. This way, he can either proactively make any repairs that he deems necessary, ahead of listing the RV for sale or set the price of the RV at a level to compensate for any issues that he doesn’t want to address before the sale. Also, there are times when an RV owner will order a complete inspection, for an RV that has been sitting up for an extended period of time.
But in any case, this type of inspection is a very extensive visual inspection of things that can be accessed, without major disassembly. If a problem is found, it will be documented and if possible, photographed for the report. But due to insurance issues, no action will be taken to resolve any problems found. The inspector’s job is to observe and report.
An RV inspection by RV Inspector Pro typically results in a 40 to 50 page report that includes in the neighborhood of 50 photos. Of course, those numbers can vary, depending on what is found, that the inspector thinks will be of interest to the client, as either a negative point, a positive point, or just a matter of interest. During the RV inspection, more than 300 photos are typically taken. But most of them are just for our archives, in the event that questions arise, at a later date.
A pre-purchase inspection serves two purposes for the purchaser. We hope that an inspection will reveal that the RV, be it new or used (Yes. Brand new RVs have issues of concern, too.), is in excellent condition and has few, if any issues and all of them minor. If that happens to be the case, then the RV inspection gives the purchaser a heightened sense of confidence in his prospective purchase.
But as is often the case, an inspection will find issues that may be of concern to the purchaser. Sometimes these issues will be minor. But other times, an RV inspection may uncover something serious.
Keep in mind that an RV Inspection Report does not evaluate the issues uncovered in the inspection. We only point out what we observe and document it. This gives the purchaser the information to evaluate the importance of the issue(s), from his own point of view.
The purchaser may see specific issues as minor, but choose to use them to haggle the seller down in price. He may decide to ask the seller to repair certain things, before consummating the purchase. On the other hand, the buyer may consider enough of the issues uncovered in the RV inspection to be so critical that he decides to walk away from the purchase. But such decisions should be solely that of the purchaser, without taint of the opinion of the inspector, who may have different priorities.
It is not the inspector’s job to make such determinations. The inspector’s only job is to give the client the information to make his own objective determinations, based on his own values and priorities.
Here are just a few of the tools we use to perform these inspections:
- Thermal camera (to search for air leaks, excess moisture, overheating wires, etc.)
- Pin type and pinless moisture meters (to confirm or eliminate suspected moisture)
- Dual ODB2/HD-ODB computer code reader (to read engine/chassis error codes on motorized RVs)
- Volt/ohm/clamp-on meter (for electrical tests)
- Polarity and GFCI tester (for testing all AC outlets)
- Manometer (for propane leak test)
- Large inspection mirror (for examining underside of RV)
- Small inspection mirror (for looking behind obstructions)
- Borescope (for viewing areas where even a mirror won’t work)
- Thermometers (for air conditioning delta-T test, refrigerators, etc.)
- Frequency meter (for testing generator output frequency)
- Lock-out box (to protect inspector, when working inside AC panel)
- Fluid pumps (for fluid sampling)
Of course, there are many more tools required. The above list comprises just the things that most individuals may not have in their tool box. The point is that, while no inspection can guarantee to identify every potential problem, an RV inspection by RV Inspector Pro is very extensive, which means that the chances that something serious will go un-noticed is diminishingly small.
Like a “bricks and sticks” home inspector, an RV inspector does not offer opinions on the inspected property (in this case, the RV in question). The job of the RV inspector is to observe and report facts. RV Inspector Pro will provide a detailed report on the condition of the RV, so the client will have enough information to reasonably determine what is best for his own interests.
An RV inspection is not a warranty. No warranty is given nor implied. An RV inspection is simply a visual inspection of those parts of an RV that may affect safety or livability. The RV Inspection Report is based on what the RV inspector observes, at the time of the inspection.
Concerning disassembly, we will remove the cover to the breaker panel(s), to view the inside, for signs of heat or loose connections. On propane units, we will remove one of the stove burners, to conduct a propane leak test. However, please note that some recent gas stove tops make this impossible, without major disassembly, which we are not allowed to do. We will also remove, whenever possible, the smoke, propane, and CO2 detectors, so as to record the manufacture date of those detectors. No other removal or disassembly is performed in the course of an RV inspection.
If a Life Safety issue is found, that issue will be reported to the owner. Other than that exclusion, RV Inspector Pro will not share the report or its findings with anyone, other than the client, unless specifically directed to do so, by the client.