What You Should Know About RV Inspections

Oct 26, 2022 | Maintenance & Mods

What You Should Know About RV Inspections

Whether you’re buying new or used, here’s everything you should know about getting a third-party RV inspection before your purchase.

By Brenda Puckett

Photo: Brenda Puckett

Pre-purchase RV inspections are on the rise for both used and new RVs. RV buyers are seeking third-party consultation from professional inspectors to provide insight as to the condition of the RV they’re purchasing. This can save the consumer time and money, allow them to avoid unforeseen repairs, and also provide peace of mind about their purchase.

What is an RV Inspection?

Much like a home inspection, a thorough RV inspection will cover hundreds of items inside and outside of your rig and can take anywhere from 5 hours to a full day to complete, depending on the RV and the inspection type. RV buyers can use an inspection report to negotiate pricing or repairs, and make more informed decisions about their purchase. Inspections often take place at a dealership, campground, or personal property, as long as there are available utilities like water, sewer, and electric hookups.

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the outside of an RV with a scuff
Photo: Brenda Puckett

Who Performs Inspections?

Look for a certified inspector who will explain the process, provide a list of what will be inspected along with pricing, how and where it will take place, and when to expect the inspection report. It’s common for the inspector to collect payment in advance. When choosing an inspector, you can ask for a sample inspection report. Always look at online reviews before booking your inspection. There are also accrediting associations like the National RV Inspectors Association, whose website offers a locator feature to find an accredited inspector in your area.  

You can use the Togo RV app to find a certified RV inspector near you. Just go to the RV Service & Repairs finder and filter your search for Inspections.


Prices vary from company to company and are typically based on the size and class of the RV. Some inspectors offer affordable packages for shorter reports or higher-priced packages for more thorough inspections with upwards of 500 to 800 items observed. Prices can range from  $300 to more than $2,000. Like with any important purchase, you’ll get what you pay for, so seeking a bargain might not always be the best option.

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What’s Included in an RV Inspection?

In some cases, the buyer might not live in the area where the RV is located and has not viewed the rig in person, so the inspector will act as the eyes and ears for the purchaser.

an electrical panel on an rv
Photo: Brenda Puckett

Inspectors are looking at most everything inside, outside, and under the RV. This will include tasks like accessing the roof to look for signs of excessive wear and water intrusion, plus operating all major components and systems, including the air conditioner, furnace, water heater, kitchen appliances, electrical and water systems, and the holding tanks. They will also confirm proper function of the slides, awnings, windows, and doors. Under the rig, inspectors will examine the running gear, wheels, and axle conditions. The engine and generator might be observed as well, including fluid sampling of both. Safety items like emergency exits, detectors, and the propane system are typically checked during every inspection, no matter the level of package being purchased.

The inspection report will list which items were examined as well as what items are properly functioning or need repair. Reports can also include photos and videos with annotations to help consumers understand the results. Some inspectors will have their report ready immediately following the service and others will produce it the following day. 

the window of an rv cracked open
Photo: Brenda Puckett

What to Expect From the Dealer or Seller

Dealerships might claim to do their own inspection, which is typically a PDI (pre-delivery inspection), on behalf of the purchaser. However, having a third-party inspection empowers the RV buyer to make a more informed, unbiased decision. If a dealer or private seller resists the request for an outside party to perform an inspection, consider why they would want you to move forward without one. If you want an inspection, find a dealer or seller who will welcome the process and work with the inspector. 

No matter what type of rig you’re looking for, third-party RV inspections can help ensure that you’re getting the RV you want with added peace of mind knowing you won’t be dealing with any unexpected issues or repairs immediately after your purchase. 

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Brenda Puckett

Brenda is a certified RV inspector, registered RV technician, National RV Training Academy technical assistant, Women's RV Basics training instructor, small business instructor for the National RV Training Academy, published contributor for Girl Camper magazine, and the creator of "52 Ways to Empower Women RVers" YouTube series.