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Post Info TOPIC: NRVIA - RV Inspection


RV-Dreams Family Member

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NRVIA - RV Inspection


We have been looking at an RV Inspection course and the certification that the ones running it are trying to get set up.  This may not be a popular post to some and I did think awhile before posting.  We looked over the courses and material descriptions online and listened to part of an online seminar.  My concern was in calling the certification "NRVIA" that it looked like it implied that the RVIA was involved and neither myself or my husband could see that being the case.  Maybe we are misunderstanding the intention but.............  We have had 8 RVs, only 3 of them new.  We knew a trained and certified RV technician, well, actually two of them and know the training that they endure.  I saw one of them inspecting a 5th wheel trailer once and I believe it took about 2 hours and he said that was the norm.  He had meters and all sorts of equipment he pulled from his cargo trailer.  I saw him checking for "rot" also which I would never have thought of doing or how to do it.  We would always choose an RV tech, certified, if we were going to be spending very much on a used RV especially if you aren't familiar with all of the systems.  I think RV systems are just more involved and most people not familiar.  Both the refrigerator and the a/c can be running but not cooling properly, leaks can be covered and what's underneath them as is, just so many things.  With a short course, I'm expecting there will be many out there and if they have some background, other than a quickie course, they could still be a good choice so check out the credentials of any inspector that you decide to use.  We actually have a set of books that we bought from the RVIA on RV maintenance a few years ago since my husband is mechanically inclined and I am frugal.  Our friend that was just starting out got all the "crap" jobs, literally, when he first started out but most people start at the "bottom".



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Hi Cathy,

I think this is such a critical topic for anyone buying a used rig and for everyone else who has had their rig for a long time.  I know lots of people buy used and some that are REALLY used and travel years without major incident, but I have seen just enough tragic and near-tragic issues to convince me to buy new when we are ready in 2015. And then to have regular system checks even when everything is working fine.  

Just a couple weeks ago I was at a rest stop in Oregon and there was a 5'er on a tow truck.  The whole middle section (kitchen) was gutted by fire. The owner was talking to some folks and his spouse was in their truck with two dogs.  I don't know when the fire happened but they were both still shook up pretty bad.  He said the fire department told him it looked like someone had used masking tape to repair some wiring behind the stove area.  He couldn't believe someone would do that (right?!) but was really beating himself up because he didn't spend the money to get the used rig inspected before they bought it.  Of course the "What if we had been sleeping in there?" and "What if we had left the dogs?" questions were repeated a couple times.  My kids were tent camping with friends last year when they heard this loud noise.  They looked at the small motorhome camped behind them and the refrigerator had fallen through the floor of the rig!  They learned the next day that it had been leaking slowly for years and the floor had rotted - AND it was not original to the unit so the metal reinforcement straps had been removed so it would fit. I'm guessing an inspection might have found that...... It could just have easily fallen through while they were driving down the road no.

I'm glad to hear inspectors go through a rigorous certification program and while I'm not a proponent of legislating safe practices, I hope more folks will be responsible "home owners" to avoid serious mishaps!!

Jodee



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I like Certified and licensed in any field in fact in the state Im from a profession Lic. has a picture on it looks just like a drivers lic. Now for the bad part.....if it cost you say 350.00 from a decent service but you find another one for 150.00 which one would you use......Trust me the guy at the low end has to cut corners to keep his price down and still make a living........and the customer second guesses the high dollar guy and goes with the deal of a lifetime..........(Remember if its a deal...something is wrong)

A license or certification is nothing but a piece of paper that says..." I put my time in and I was smart enough to pass the test"..............a true quality service tech or professional loves his work and no matter how many accolades they get , they know there only as good as there last job and have the will to supersede themselves and keep adding to the quality of there reputation

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I know from first hand experience that even new rigs can have serious problems. That wiring fix behind the stove done with masking tape could have just as easily happened at a factory as by the first owner. Some manufacturers pay little to no attention to what ends up being hidden behind walls. ceilings or in an underbelly. Sometimes they don't pay attention to things that are right in front of your face, but won't be discovered until you put water it the tank and try running a faucet or two. Our current used 5er was supposedly inspected by a certified mechanic, and myself using RV Consumer's Group guidelines, and we both didn't find that there was some dried 'stuff' in the black tank until I took it out and used it. (Three bags of ice cubes, some water and a 100 mile trip solved that one.) It also passed the Virginia safety inspection, but I found one marker light not working (corroded connection) after towing it home.

Bottom line, these things can be incredibly complex and difficult to make certain everything is working correctly until you've taken it out a couple of times and used everything in every possible mode. Being certified can help, but that won't mean everything's been checked out - they can't unless they live in it for a bit.

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Walt



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Agree that quality control is at a all time low across the board. I think we have probably all heard the new "Let the dealer take care of it." We have no fear of used and anyone buying new needs to stay tuned for items that are recalled and check owner's forums to see what others are having issues with. None of this is specific to RVs. That comes down to more "what ifs" which will paralyze you. We just do what we can to increase our chances of success, take a deep breath and live!

The tech we saw doing the inspection could not have missed much being there the 2 hours and working every minute turning things on and checking. He had quite a bite of experience, was certified and had attended I think it was the 10 week full-time school which is supposed to be a good course. It is expensive though so one would need to be serious. At that time, around 2000, I think he was charging $250.00 for the inspection. He has since retired so I'm not advertising for him. Most people that I could recommend as good at anything have retired and that is why we are focused on "do it yourself".

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Good information.  I am new here and have recently attended the NRVIA training.  After 25 years of owning various types of RVs, I was very pleased to be able to learn how to properly inspect the integrity of the RV systems from a Master RVIA Technician.  I can see only positives from this type of training, for myself and for those who pay for an inspection on an RV.  AS well, the time necessary to complete the arranged inspection protocol should take longer than a couple of hours on a typical fifth wheel or motorhome.

As the cost of these vehicles continues to escalate, and so does the number of people that are using them as their residences, it only makes sense to inspect them the same as a stick built home.  They each have similar systems that need to have periodic maintenance done, and if you have it inspected, then you(or your bank) will know if that maintenance was done and if repairs or necessary maintenance replacements were completed on time.  These rolling houses incur wear due to their use and as such need components replaced/repaired/maintained on a periodic basis.  A comprehensive inspection by trained personel can provide the information for you to decide to forge ahead with a significant purchase. 

I suppose the quality of the inspection will depend on many factors including how involved the owner is in the inspection(distracting the inspector can have adverse effects), how competent the inspector is, if the rig is capable of operating on all systems so that all systems can be inspected, how thorough the inspection report is(I know that the inspection template is VERY thorough) and other factors such as these will certainly impact the overall objectivity of the report that is received by the customer after the inspection is complete.  I know that this system can only help the RVs on the road to become safer over time and hopefully mishaps like the fire in the trailer will be significantly reduced.  Keep in mind that the inspector is a skilled individual who provides an inspection of those systems, not someone who knows or should know how to repair those systems.  The repair is another step in the process handled by other qualified individuals.  The inspector is a skilled observer of the systems.  I am excited to be able to participate in helping other to know what the safety of their RVs systems is.  I see huge potential for the improving of the safety of my neighbors.



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I am in agreement with the general line of this thread.  I have just completed this course of training and feel that using the skills learned, the standards of performance required and the checklist program provided will provide a though look at the condition of the RV inspected.  This process does not open up the insides of panels or disassemble systems, but looks for signs of proper or improper conditions on all systems, and gives an impartial report of what was seen.   

Some class members were there only to be able to provide  themselves with skills to take better care of their own RV's. 

It is estimated to take 2 to 3 hours or more for the inspection at a location where full hookup is available.  

Still NRVIA is a new professional association and will only be as good as the members and IMO the other members of my class appeared to me to have the desire to keep the bar high.  Ongoing education (CE) will also be required to stay certified.

The  Standards of Performance and Ethics are posted on the site for NRVIA (nrvia.org).

I hope this will help everyone to understand where we/ they are going.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

 



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Forgot to sign post

Jesse

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I'll stick with an RV repair tech if we need an inspection since they will have the experience to know what to look for. They have been there and done that. Education is fine but experience is priceless. We have the inspection checklist from the RVIA and would be competent enough to complete that. When it comes to propane and electrical systems, I want the most competent person I can find doing the checks. I am also offended by the amount of recruitment and sales pitch that this group is doing possibly misleading others to believe that this will be a real money maker for them and considering the cost of the course and the fact that they can run a lot of people through it in a short time, well, it doesn't have a feel good element for me. Keep in mind that as a member of Workamper News (will not renew), I have been following the development of the program and saw the little promotional videos. I am sure that those with previous experience just looking for some extra training and certification will benefit but I'm not so sure that they will make a ton of money inspecting RVs and this is touted as a way to support your lifestyle on the road.

When we had our home inspected, we learned that the only thing we were legally entitled to if the inspector missed something was a refund of the cost of our inspection.  I am guessing that this would be the same with an RV inspector and if not, I'm guessing that a hefty liability insurance policy would be required by the inspector similar to the one carried by the RV tech that we used, very pricey especially with propane involved.  That is why I see someone with experience being of more value in our case.  We all have different levels of expectations and this is mine.

I know that Workamper News is also promoting a RV Tech for campgrounds.  I saw post on their website where a guy was all excited about how he was taking this course and would be able to choose where he wanted to travel and support his wife and 3 children that she was homeschooling.  Everyone was very encouraging, well, except for me who understands the realities of what happens to a family on the road like this and it can be very bad - I have seen them when they go broke.  I realize many here don't count on an income but if you do, research the realities and just don't read the promotional materials.



-- Edited by SnowGypsy on Thursday 5th of December 2013 07:07:56 AM



-- Edited by SnowGypsy on Thursday 5th of December 2013 11:59:19 AM

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