How hiring an RV Inspector helps you avoid a costly mistake

You’ve been dreaming of buying an RV. You’ve done all the research, asked a hundred questions, gone to an RV show, and you’ve finally found the one. Every buyer wants to be able to use and enjoy their RV with no buyer’s remorse. So how do you avoid a costly mistake? The best way to reduce your risk is to hire an independent, NRVIA certified RV Inspector……here’s why (and how!) from my perspective.

What’s the benefit to hiring an independent inspector?

Independent means I work for you, the client, and not the seller or dealer. As an owner-operator type service, I work directly for the people that hire me to do an inspection- you. My report will provide an unbiased, factual look at the current state of the RV, and is not motivated by the RV being sold. 

The report will give you the information you need and can act as a negotiation tool. You may decide to ask the seller to lower the price given any repairs to be made, or ask the dealer to make the repairs before the sale (saving you time and money!), or have the info reaffirm your decision to buy. You can even use your report down the road for future maintenance or emergency repairs, showing a snapshot of the history of the RV. 

An extra set of eyes/hands on the RV helps prevent minor issues from becoming major headaches. I occasionally post on my social media the things that an NRVIA inspection found that was previously missed.

When should you hire an inspector?

Experienced RV buyers know the value of an inspection whether buying new or used, from a dealership or a private sale like Facebook. Even if you don’t plan to live in it full time, and even if you think you’re getting a good price for it, getting an inspection helps to make you make an informed decision about buying. In other words, a pre-purchase inspection, or before you sign anything, is the best time to do an inspection. Just like getting a home inspection done before closing, getting a pre-purchase inspection is the most valuable time to get one.

To summarize, get a pre-purchase inspection on a:

  • New RV
  • Used RV
  • Dealership sale
  • Private sale

NRVIA Certified vs other RV Inspectors

There are several different options of RV inspections out there, and I understand how confusing the different options and pricings are. You may hear the dealership say “We do our own inspection” and they do! It’s called a PDI, and it’s focused on life safety issues. There are many great dealerships out there, but would you trust a house seller to do their own inspection before selling to you? Getting an independent RV inspection is just like getting a home inspection before purchase. 

There is a national company that does RV inspections (you’ll find them if you google RV inspection). Their pricing starts at $449….for an 8 page report with one picture generated from an hour or two on site. You can see my pricing and standards here.

The RVTI first level course also certifies an RV technician to “prepare an RV for customer delivery”, the PDI. It’s a 20 hour, online course designed for techs who are likely to work at a shop or service center. Having personal experience with this course, it’s valuable information, but in my professional opinion, can’t compare to the 3 weeks of in person training, continuing education, and the standards of practice NRVIA requires. We are also expected to adhere to a code of ethics in our assessments.

What to expect in hiring an NRVIA Certified RV Inspector

Go to and enter the zipcode of where the RV is. To learn more about an inspector, click on a pin within the map or click on the “View Profile” link to see their photo, business name, business website, phone number, email address, a brief description of their business, their credentials, and any vital information. To schedule an appointment, visit the inspector’s website for more information, email or call them directly. If you are still looking for someone near you, email [email protected] to have your contact information and details sent out to our inspectors. Provide your name, email, phone, unit details (year, make, and model), along with the city and state where the unit is located. The NRVIA staff will email your contact information to members who will then contact you. 

If you’re in my service areas in VA and MD, I’d love for you to reach out. Here are my steps to getting a pre-purchase inspection:

  1. Give me a call to ask any questions and to book your pre-purchase inspection. I will need the year, make, and model of the RV as well as the VIN. Please note that I do not hold available dates given without an actual appointment booking. 
  2. On your end, especially for a private sale, you’ll want to confirm that full hookups (water, electric, sewer) will be available and the date and start time work for the seller.
  3. When I book the appointment for you, the software will automatically send over the points of inspection, an agreement, and the invoice for you to review, sign, and pay. Again, feel free to ask any questions.
  4. I will perform the inspection of the RV. Upon arrival I will send you a time stamped picture. I take hundreds of pictures and videos, and spend 4-9 hours on site- depending on the type of RV and level of inspection. Every system is inspected, including water, propane, electrical, and the structure. I welcome sellers meeting me at the beginning and buyers meeting me at the end, though I appreciate time and space to do my best work during the inspection. 
  5. I provide a verbal report to you as I am wrapping up the inspection.
  6. I upload the written report by noon the following day. Essential inspections include around 40 pictures and are often around 50 pages in length. Premier level inspections include 80-100 pictures, including 360* images, and are often around 100 pages in length.
  7. I will be available for a follow up call within a few days of receiving the report.
  8. If you decide to buy- congrats! While I cannot work on your RV for a year following the inspection per the code of ethics, I’d love to stay updated on your adventures with your RV! If you do have any repair work needed, you can find an RV technician near you at
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How hiring an RV Inspector helps you avoid a costly mistake