All Your Questions Answered About RV INSPECTIONS

What Is An RV Inspection? 

An RV inspection is a certified third party’s goal assessment of an RV’s condition and components. An RV inspection examines all the RV’s structural and mechanical systems. An RV is more complicated than a house in several ways because it is on wheels.

An inspection results in a full report documenting everything that has come up during the process. You may go with the inspector and learn about the RV systems. 


How Much Does an RV Inspection Cost?

The cost depends on the type of examination and the size and type of RV under inspection. You should expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars for this service. 

Inspections on drivable RVs are more expensive due to the additional labor and time the inspectors need to examine the engine and drivetrain components. On the other hand, towable RVs take less time and cost less.

When and Why do You Need an RV Inspection?

You may believe that an inspection is only necessary when purchasing a secondhand RV, but it is also required when purchasing a new RV. You can also get an assessment for your RV before selling it. The examination can assist in communicating the value of your RV and providing customers with confidence in their purchase. 

Additionally, having that inspection report on hand can aid in your RV’s quick and easy sale. And while we don’t recommend buying an RV without seeing it first, it does happen. A complete examination from a competent RV inspector can save you thousands on repairs if you buy a unit that you can’t inspect yourself.

What is Included in an RV Inspection?

Because you can use RVs for traveling and living, an RV inspection combines a home inspection and a vehicle examination. Depending on the size and style of the RV, it could take a few hours or more.

Outside, the inspector will examine the RV’s exterior and look for evidence of corrosion or delamination on the sidewalls. They’ll search for leaks and damage on the roof and the joints and seals. They’ll also put the slide-out assembly and RV windows through their paces.

The inspector will examine the wheel assemblies, frame, axles, leaf springs, ball joints, steering components, and hangers-on on the underside. They’ll check the leveling and stabilizing systems for proper operation and the towing and hooking equipment.

Who Performs an RV Inspection?

The National Recreational Vehicle Inspectors Association (NRVIA), whose objective is to train individuals to examine RVs, is the best location to look for an RV inspector. They provide a unique feature that assists you in finding professional RV inspections in your area. You can then look at the person’s website and contact them to see if you want to use them for an inspection.

If you can’t find an NRVIA-certified inspector, you might inquire about pre-purchase inspections with an RV technician who has a license. You may also look for mobile RV repair mechanics who can inspect for you.


Details About a Used RV Inspection

A third-party inspection informs you of any faults before taking the RV home, whether you buy it from an individual or a dealership. Even if the owner keeps a detailed maintenance log, there’s no guarantee that everything is in working order. It’s also good to get your inspection, even if the dealership has performed one.

Do you have reservations about purchasing a used RV? You can alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with signing on the dotted line if you complete this 100-point used RV inspection checklist.

What are the benefits of inspecting a used RV? Because RV builders like to smuggle in low-cost fixtures and parts into certain portions of the RV to save money. It’s easy to fall in love with an RV’s floor plan. However, you may discover after purchasing that it lacks a key feature you desire, such as a power awning or automatic stabilizing jacks.

If you would like to rent an RV, make sure you have the RV rental inspection checklist. This will guide you during the RV inspection you are about to rent.

Used RV Inspection Checklist

There are so many things to keep in mind when buying a used RV!


What does the interior smell like? Is it smoky inside? It’s impossible to get the cigarette smell out of an RV! But keep in mind that An RV could have a musty odor that goes away fast. After 20 minutes of airing out and gazing about, re-smell it.

Make sure the toilet’s closing hatch is completely closed. Fill the toilet with a tiny amount of water and ensure its pools rather than draining. Check again in five minutes to see if the water hasn’t evaporated.


Is the shower big enough to keep you from going insane? Is there a good shower head on the shower? Most RV owners’ initial improvement is most likely this. The cheap plastic fixture may irritate you. Is there a seat in the shower so that women may shave their legs? Is there a substantial lip on the bottom of the shower to prevent water from spilling out? Aside from that,


Open and close each window several times to ensure straight and secure when you close them. Check to see if it’s too sticky. Are there day/night shades on the windows, or are they curtains?


Most first-time RV owners buy a small one. The larger ones tend to intimidate them. When they buy a second one, it is usually too big to fit in campgrounds. Their third RV is even bigger. Make sure you have the correct length to fit into the locations you’ll be camping.


Is there an awning that has power? When does the awning come to an end? Some RVs have the awning finish exactly over the front door, drenching you if you try to go outside due to the rain running off the awning. 

Are the awnings on the side functional awnings, or are some of them slide toppers? Slide toppers only reach as far as the slide to keep sticks and debris from falling into the crack.

An awning test is part of a used RV inspection. Extend the awnings to guarantee good operation. Examine the awning fabric with the awning open. Is the color fading? Are they starting to drift apart?


Is there at least one super-comfy seat in your house? There are no couches in many travel trailers. Would you be comfortable watching a movie in a u-dinette with a flat back? Is there enough seating for your entire family or friends if you plan to invite others? Is it possible for everyone to view a movie at the same time?

Power Outlets

For most people nowadays, having a smartphone is a necessity. Are there any power outlets where you can charge your phone without the generator running? Are there enough outlets in the RV in the locations you want them? 

Many kitchens have one outlet, which is acceptable for a camping trip but inconvenient if you spend more than a couple of weeks in your RV.

Lighting for The Outside

Connect the trailer to the tow vehicle’s electricity or switch on the motorhome’s headlights and check all of the outside lights–running lights, headlights, accessory lights, brake lights, etc. Is there an LED light strip under the awning? We weren’t looking for this function when we bought it, but it turns out that we enjoy having the LEDs on at night.


Open the slides and follow their course across the floor. Examine the floor for scratches, twisted floor vents, or other indicators that the slide isn’t working. Inquire with the prior owner of the slide has ever become stuck. Examine the seals that surround the slide. Check to see if they’re still in good shape.

System of Water

To test the grey and black tanks, fill the fresh water tank. You must include hookups in your used RV inspection. This allows you to fill the grey tank while showering. It’s an excellent opportunity to check for leaks in the showerhead. 

As you run the shower, check the status indicators to determine if it appropriately gauges the quantity of water in the grey tank. Check to see if the water heater is heating the water adequately.


RV safety inspection is crucial. Check for a fire extinguisher and glance at the label to ensure it hasn’t expired. They only last a few years. Bring a small gas can to make sure the carbon monoxide detector is working. I don’t think I need to explain how critical a carbon monoxide detector is.

System of Energy

Identify any GFCI outlets (the one with the test button in the middle). You can see these in the bathroom and kitchen. Make sure the reset button pops out when you press the test button. Connect the RV to the shore electricity and test it. What is the size of the generator (assuming there is one at all)?

Quality Assurance

Examine the interior and exterior for any screws that have never been a bit down. Frequently, the manufacturer will overlook the stud and place a glob of silicone in its place. T

Water Injuries

A walk around the trailer is also part of a used RV inspection. Examine the sides and roof of the trailer for even the tiniest bubble or dip. This is a tell-tale indicator of side delamination or water damage. Do not buy if there are any bubbles!

Inspect the sealant around pipes and gaps on the roof for cracks on your hands and knees. Finding a minor fracture that you can seal with a $5 sealant is common. This is a clue that the RV owner has not been taking good care of it.

Look for any bubbles or mushy patches in the RV’s interior ceiling. Examine the area around the exhaust vents in particular. Step down firmly on the floor where the floor meets the kitchen cupboards all around the kitchen’s perimeter. Make sure the floor doesn’t have any soft patches.

Ensure no water leaks from the pipes under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Are there gutters on the sides of the building? This is beneficial in preventing further water damage. Check for dampness or soft patches where the wood has rotted out by opening basement compartments and feeling the bottoms of each compartment.


Find out how much the bumper is, and don’t take the salesman’s estimate as gospel. Inquire about documentation. If you want to attach bikes, a generator, a kayak, or other items, this might be a big purchase. 

Because of overloading their RVs, numerous RVers have had their bumpers fall off while driving down the road. However, there are ways to strengthen it after the fact.


Get down on the ground and examine the tires closely on both sides of the tread. Is one side severely worn down due to a lack of rotation? What brand of tires are these? Are these the less expensive Michelin or Goodyear tires, or are they the more expensive Michelin or Goodyear tires?


First, you must determine if you prefer to set up beds each night or whether you prefer to ensure that each of the children, as well as you and your partner, have a location that is ready and that you do not have to set up each night. Are you sure you won’t regret not purchasing the bunkhouse model?

Take out a tape measure and measure the master bed’s dimensions. Many RVs with plenty of space in the main living area have a smaller main bedroom. Is it possible that the maker used an RV Queen mattress instead of a real queen? 


Lie down on your back and crawl beneath the table. Examine the area for any visible flaws or evidence of deterioration. Is the underbelly completely enclosed, or are the bottom tanks exposed?

Camping in All Four Seasons

Are the drainpipes completely enclosed? Is the storage in the basement insulated? Is the storage space in the basement heated? Are the tanks heated with electricity or propane? Take a look at the ceiling vent fans. Are they the small Maxx air fans, with blades that only take up 1/3 of the vent opening, or the larger Maxx air fans, which are significantly more efficient?

If you’re buying a hybrid or a tent trailer, keep the outside noise in mind. Canvas will keep the noise from the neighbor’s loud generator out.


Is there a little radio antenna on the RV, or is there a larger one with a motor that you can raise and lower? Is there a cell phone booster already in the RV? They nearly seldom come with one, but it’s possible that the previous owner installed one if it gets used. Is a Wi-Fi repeater available? This can significantly increase your chances of accessing Wi-Fi at RV parks.

Appliances for The Kitchen

Place a cup of water in the microwave and heat until it is warm. A microwave can switch on and appear to work even if it’s not producing heat. This was a problem in our vacation trailer. Is there a convection microwave in the RV? 

Is this a good substitute for a traditional oven for you? Some owners prefer convection microwaves, while others dislike them since they prevent you from using the microwave while baking.

RV Inspections for New RVs

Before shipping an RV to a dealership, the manufacturer usually performs a pre-delivery inspection (PDI). In addition, before the buyer gets possession of the RV, most dealerships will do a PDI on the premises. You then repair the RV at both locations before handing it over to the next owner.

You’d think that you wouldn’t need to inspect a new RV with both of these safety measures. However, there are many cases where new RVs leave the dealership with unresolved difficulties. If you aren’t familiar with the systems, it might be good to plan an inspection for a new RV. During this time, you should have a new RV inspection checklist with you.

Is Getting an RV Inspection Worth It?

In a word, yes. An RV comprises a lot of different parts. It’s in your best interest to have them inspected before you have a severely damaged RV. Nobody wants to spend money on an RV to have it lie idle due to maintenance issues. Worse yet, you may pay thousands of dollars in unexpected RV repairs.

Consider paying for an examination before signing on the dotted line if you’re about to buy an RV. Knowing you made a wise and secure purchase, you’ll have peace of mind when you drive away. Have you recently had your RV inspected?

Inspection Report


It is critical to perform a professional RV inspection for a used RV. You could have spared yourself a lot of money and heartache. But, before you say “Yes!” to a deal, take a deep breath. Remember not to sign a form at the dealership on delivery day declaring you approve of the RV’s condition until you’ve inspected it.

Please do not sign the paper while basing on a verbal guarantee that they would correct any issues you find. Please note that they must remedy the problem on the contract, but that everything else is fine.

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