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We are saddened to announce the passing of Gary Bunzer on April 17, 2020. We hope the RV Doctor website will continue to provide helpful information for you. Thank you for your interest and support for the RV Doctor - Debbie, Heather and Gretchen

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pre-Sale RV Inspections Are Crucial!

I'm moving back to USA soon and I'm looking to purchase a used travel trailer, but don't wish to get taken for a ride. We live on social security income so we must watch every dollar. Prior to the VA approving a home loan on a house, it must meet certain standards before a loan is approved. Is there specialists I could hire to do an assessment on an RV prior to purchase? We need a unit that is in top condition and isn't a safety risk. Jake C., (Chiang Rai, Thailand) 

Indeed Jake, any certified  RV service technician could perform a set of procedures called a pre-delivery inspection (PDI), prior to consummating the sale. Look for a professional shop or dealership in your area once you settle back here and before you commit. A PDI checklist is used by the pros for inspecting and testing all the systems and components on any RV prior to the sale. Even if you must pay for this service yourself, at least you’ll know the true condition of that RV. But I contend the cost should be shared by both the seller and the buyer if the deal is between two individuals. If you buy from an established dealer, typically they will perform this service as part of the deal anyway. Or at least they should. Always retain copies of the PDI form.

All RVs should meet the standards of the NFPA 1192 and the National Electrical Code (NEC). Be sure your inspecting technician or shop is familiar with these documents. PDI check-off lists can be quite comprehensive (as they should be!). You'll find some online if you do a search. Any discrepancies found during the PDI can then become bargaining chips for price negotiation or could outright negate the sale in some cases. Use it to your advantage!


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If you are in doubt or do not feel comfortable about a procedure, do not continue. Simply call your local RV service facility and make an appointment with them. The advice, recommendations and procedures offered by the RV Doctor are solely those of Gary. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions, procedures and recommendations of our sponsors or advertisers.