with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Inspecting Your New RV Before Buying

RVers Online has a great article on “So You Want to Pick It Up At The Factory” by Bob Gummersall. I think it should be the core policy for buying or picking up your new or used RV, be it trailer, motor home, or van, before you put down the money. After all, you will be spending some serious time in your new home on the road and you want to make sure that not only is it safe to drive and move, but it is safe to live in.

Most factories and dealers have a department that is dedicated to performing the final quality check before turning the RV over to you and it is typically called “PDI”.

The people who do this work are selected because they are good at dealing with people and not necessarily technically qualified. They perform the PDI before you get there and if they find anything, it is supposed to be fixed before delivery is made.

My experience is that this step is difficult to do because to do a thorough check of all systems takes a lot more time than the management wants to spend. It is therefore up to you to do a complete PDI and call it a Pre-Acceptance Inspection (PAI).

You will be asked by the PDI person to sign documents that involve your acceptance of this product. I always recommend holding back a significant part of the payment, so that you have some leverage to get things fixed.

For example, if you sign a contract to purchase an RV include a line that says something like this. “A delayed final payment will be made, when the purchaser verifies the function of all systems and subsystems and the fit and finish, of the RV.” I recommend holding back about 5% of the total for this amount. This means you are holding back some of the profit of the dealer as leverage to insure proper state of the product before you accept it.

You can attach the following as the criterion for your acceptance. Also specify that arbitration of and disagreement will be done by an independent RV service manager of your choice.

One Comment

  • Posted July 9, 2006 at 15:41 | Permalink

    Agreed, it is easier to not accept the motorhome then and there if soemthign is not quite right than to try and take it back later to get fixed.

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