How much does an RV inspection cost – why it is a good idea to get one performed?

Is it too good to be true?

We have all heard the phrase “If it is too good to be true? The price of an RV you are looking to purchase is advertised so much below market average that you must ask yourself, “is this too good to be true”? What is wrong with this RV for it to be priced so low? A light bulb goes off and you wonder how much does an RV inspection cost?

Why is it important to get an RV Inspection?

Purchasing an RV is a very serious undertaking. It can be just as expensive as purchasing a house. It really doesn’t matter if you are thinking about getting a small Pop-up for a family vacation or a Class A Diesel Pusher to live in full-time.

Just as if you were purchasing a house, you would want it done by a certified home inspector – not a local handyman. Same goes for an RV.

You fell in love with the layout and the features that the RV has and the seller indicates that all the maintenance has been performed on a regular basis. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Do you have the knowledge to test the RV systems?

Ask yourself, do you know how to test for LP gas leaks? Do you know how to test that the AC units are cooling properly? Do you know if the RV Refrigerator has a pending recall? Do you know what a “Hot Skin” condition is and how to detect it?

Is it a good idea to get an RV inspection?

If you answered no to these few questions above, you need an RV inspection. Why spend your hard-earned money on a RV you love only to find out later that it is a lemon? Maybe the purchase price is at your maximum spend and if a RV item quits working, you won’t have the money to repair it.

All RVs, new and old, can have issues with their systems that a qualified inspector can uncover.

RV Finance companies and Extended Warranty companies require an inspection

More and more RV finance companies are asking the buyer to provide an “inspection report” to protect their investment. Buyers that pay cash should have an inspection to protect their investment as well.

Many Extended Warranty companies are requiring an inspection to verify the RV systems are in working order and well as the condition of the tires.

RV Inspection Cost

RV Inspection cost can be as little as $250 and as high as $1200. The pricing depends on the level of inspection that is being performed. It is also based on the type of RV inspected. It would not make sense to spend $1200 on a $5000 travel trailer but to spend $1200 on a $300K Diesel Pusher Motorhome, that would be a wise investment.

Please post your comments or questions near the top of this article and we will answer them as soon as possible.

19 thoughts on “How much does an RV inspection cost – why it is a good idea to get one performed?

  1. Good afternoon Al,

    I’m looking at an 36′ 2004 Holiday Rambler Neptune with 60,000 miles in San Tan Valley, on ebay. What does a good inspection for this model run?
    thanks,
    George

    1. Thanks George for reaching out to us. Since RV inspectors are independant owners,the pricing will vary but you are looking somewhere between $550-800.00. You can search our inspectors association website to find an inspector in your area. http://www.nrvia.org.

  2. My wife and I are thinking about purchasing a brand new 2019 “Little Guy Max” from a dealer in Mesa Arizona, question one (1), do you recommend an inspection on a new trailer, two (2), how would the dealer react seeing an NRVIA level two (2), inspector, inspecting the trailer and three (3), how much would it approximately cost for the inspection. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
    Respectfully: Harald and Amy

    1. Good morning. Thanks for reaching out to us. Here are my answers to your questions.

      1. We have inspected approx 45 – 2018 model RVs this year (some are with FEMA for hurricane vicitims and others for private buyers). I would say at least 50% have some issue. Some life safety issues and others are quality issues. Answer is: Yes I recommend.
      2. Good question. Most dealers welcome an inspector but some are not keen on the idea. Make your best deal with a dealer, give them a small deposit, subject to a 3rd party inspection and your approval of the inspection. If they don’t accept your offer, ask why and you might need to walk away from them?
      3. Since all of us certified inspectors are independant business owners, I can only give you a range, not knowing what each inspector charges. Range is: $300.00 to $400.00.

      I know a few inspectors in the Phoenix area I can refer you too if you decide to move ahead and get an inspection.

      Thanks
      AL

  3. What if you paid $750 to get a even inspected and the first time it rains you find out the slide out leaks and you look and there is rot damage on the floor from prior leaks. Also, is now leaking in the cabinets from the roof in the same slide out. Dealer took the $750 for the inspection and now want $550 to fix what they missed. Any recourse? 2013 Keystone

    1. Hello Pam,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. Wow, sorry to hear this happened to you. We always encourge folks to get a 3rd party independent inspection versus relying on a dealers inspection because the dealer has a vested interest in the sale as an independent inspector does not. I don’t know what recourse you have. It might be best to seek an attorney’s advice, although, I suspect the dollar amount involved is too small for them to get involved. FYI – Just so happens that “The RV Show USA” radio show has a “RV Lemon Law” attorney on the show tonight. You can listen in via YouTube or Facebook live. Just search “The RV Show USA”. Thanks Al

  4. Good evening,
    We’re looking at purchasing a 2008 Airstream. It’s located in Melbourne Fl.
    Could you confirm whether this would be done and what fees would be.
    Regards,
    Guy M.

    1. Good morning sir. Can you provide more details about the Airstream in order for us to provide you with accurate pricing? Is it a motorhome or travel trailer?

      As far as scheduling the inspection, you didn’t indicate when you desire it to happen. Please provide that info as well as our schedule changes regularly.

      Thanks

  5. Used Class A – 2005 Damon Intruder 391 37700 Kennedale, Texas 76060. What does a good inspection for this model run?

    1. Good morning Tim,

      Since all inspectors are independant business owners there is going to be different pricing but an average for a Class A motorhome is going to be $500-700 (best guess). You may also incur travel expenses based on how far an inspector is from the RV. I hope this helps.
      Thanks

  6. Our widowed neighbor was told she needed to pay $5,000 to have her RV inspected to sell it. Is someone scamming her?

  7. I like that you said that just as if you were purchasing a house, you would want it done by a certified home inspector and the same goes for an RV. My husband and I are thinking about buying an RV or a trailer because we think that it would make camping a lot easier and so we would go more. I think that having our trailer or RV inspected would be smart because then we would know what needed to be worked on or if we were good to go or whatever the state of it was. I think that it would just help better prepare us for owning one.

  8. I am looking to buy a thor sr22 class c motorhome. It is a 2017. I am not familiar with rv purchasing. What would I need to know about getting an inspector and assuring that a good job is done ?It is a private party sale. What if the owner objects?

    1. Hello Glenn

      You need to find an inspector that will go thru all the componets like they were going to purchase the RV themsleves. There a few inspection services out there that only exam a few componets. Are they insured? Can they provide testimonils? etc.
      As far as if the owner objects, which has happended to us before, I would ask why? are they hiding something? my thoughts.

  9. Hi: We are looking at a 2018 Cougar RES. If we get an inspection thru your company, what are the assurances if something is missed.

    1. Hello, Thanks for contacting us. As far as any assurances of something that is missed, we use a software similar to a home inspector. We follow along testting all the componets, etc., so it is hard to miss something. There are no warranties, etc available from us as the RV could be test driven, etc which could cause issues or someone could damage a device after we leave the RV. Did this answer your questions and/or concerns?
      AL

  10. I like how you mentioned that an inspection can cost as little as $250. My husband and I are wanting to buy one soon so we can take our kids on a camping trip in a couple of weeks. We’ll have to look into hiring someone who can do an RV inspection before we buy one!

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