What Is An RV Report? [Complete Guide]

What Is An RV Report?

Table of Contents

Buying an RV is a big purchase and you will want to make sure that you do your due diligence on any potential RV. A great way to start this process is by getting an RV report for your potential RV purchase.

But what is an RV report I hear you say, well worry not you’re in the right place. This article will explain exactly what an RV report is and when you will need one.

An RV report is a document that provides an overview of the results of an audit performed on an RV. The report will summarize any relevant findings about the RV you are thinking of buying. 

What Is An RV Report And What Does It Contain?

Buying an RV shouldn’t be a decision that’s taken lightly and so most people will want to get an RV report for any potential RV purchase. 

An RV report is a comprehensive list of all information and statistics about an RV. It includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), title, odometer reading, model year, transmission type, gear ratios, fuel type and pressure levels, engine size, engine hours or miles on a diesel-powered engine, chassis number(s) if applicable, manufacturer’s suggested retail price for new vehicles and any outstanding liens.

Possibly the most important details contained within the RV report are the ownership history, and previous accidents. This information can be difficult to get so make buying a report worthwhile. 

The main things that an RV report will detail that you won’t be able to easily find out from looking at the RV are:

Accident History

The RV report will detail any accidents that the RV has had, this can be minor like a dent or major like a new chassis. This is helpful to know as you will be spending a lot of money on the RV so will want to know that it hasn’t been completely rebuilt after an accident.

The accident history will also give you a good idea of how well the RV has been cared for during its life.

Insurance Claims

The RV report will contain any insurance claims that the RV has had against it, this can either be by the RV owner or a third party. This can be used in conjunction with the accident history to try and identify how severe the accident was.

New Parts

The report will also detail any new parts or upgrades the RV has had. Bear in mind that it will only show new parts if they have been replaced because of damage. If the owner has added a mod kit then it won’t show up in the report, likewise if they have replaced a part themselves.

Damage History

The damage history of any vehicle you are looking at buying is important. You want to know that it has suffered the least amount of damage possible. The RV report will detail any damage that has been repaired in the garage.

This will include damage that’s internal like the engine or interior, this is just as important (if not more) than exterior bumps when it comes to RVs.

Mileage

Whilst you can probably find this out easily yourself it will be included in the report. Obviously the least amount of miles is preferable as the more miles the more likely the engine has degraded.

Ownership History

The RV report should detail the number of previous owners for the RV, if the RV has changed hands a lot of times over its lifetime then this could be a red flag.

Use your best judgement as to the age of the RV and the number of owners it’s had, 1 or 2 previous owners is preferable.

What Is An RV Report For?

An RV report is used to gain more information on an RV that you plan to purchase. It will give you a good idea of the condition of the RV as well as how well it has been cared for over its lifetime.

The RV report will help you to decide whether to purchase the RV you are interested in or not. It can uncover red flags that could be potential issues with the RV and therefore help to save you money in the long term.

It will also give you a better understanding of the RV, if you do decide to purchase and a problem arises in the future then you might have a good idea what it is because you got an RV report. This can be given to the mechanic who might be able to diagnose the issue quicker and more effectively.

You can also include the RV report when you come to sell the RV, this will help you sell it quicker as it will show the new buyer that the RV has been cared for and is a good buy. 

How Do I Get An RV Report?

Unfortunately RV reports are harder to get hold of than car reports, but there are a few ways to get one food the RV you’re eyeing up.

RV Report Online

Searching online is a great place to start when trying to find out information about an RV. If you can find the VIN number on the RV then you can go to a website like autozone  or iseecars to find out the vehicle’s history.

These VIN lookup websites will give you a free RV history report so you can find out any potential red flags quickly and easily.

DMV

Your local DMV office is another and possibly more legitimate place to find out a vehicles history. The DMV stores all the information for registered vehicles in the USA, so if they don’t have anything on your RV then it could be a worrying sign.

You can either go online to request the information from your local office or go in person and request it yourself.

Dealership

If you are buying an RV from a dealership then you can ask the dealership for the RV report before you make your purchase. 

A reputable dealer will be able to provide you with the history of the vehicle, if you can’t provide this information then it could be a warning sign.

RV Mechanic

Mechanic

If you have learnt about the history of an RV and are happy with it then you can go the extra mile and hire a mechanic to look at the engine for you. They should be able to tell you the condition of the mechanics of the RV and advise you further on whether it will need any work in the future.

The best method is to combine all of the above so you can get a real overview of the previous life of the RV you are thinking of buying. You should be able to find out a lot of information online and through the dealer, if you can’t then it could be a sign to look elsewhere.

How Much Do RV History Reports Cost?

This information was harder to find and doesn’t have a specific answer, you should be able to get the majority of the information for free. However you may have to pay an admin charge to the DMV (this depends on your local office) and to a dealership, you should pay in the region of $50 to $100.

The mechanic will usually have a day rate and will depend on the location but should be in the region of $80 to $150. 

It’s a small price to pay for a piece of mind and the report could save you a fortune if it stops you from buying a dilapidated RV.

Should I Buy An RV Without An RV Report?

Unless you are buying a brand new RV from the manufacturer then it’s best to get an RV report done. It will highlight any red flags that you should be aware of.

Buying an RV is a big financial decision and getting an RV report done before purchasing will help you to make the best choice possible and not rush into buying a dud. I’d therefore recommend getting an RV report on any potential purchase.

What Is An RV Report? – FAQ’s

Should I Use The RV Report To Negotiate The Price?

Yes, an RV report can be a useful tool if you want to negotiate and get a better deal. If the RV report shows that there has been an accident or damage you can use this to negotiate a lower price.

However, if the RV report shows the RV is in great condition then it might be best to keep that to yourself as this could increase the price. Use it wisely and to your benefit.

Does The RV Report Show How Reliable The RV Is?

From the RV report you will be able to get a picture of how well cared for the RV has been and the damage report will be a good indicator of how reliable it is. If the report shows that it has been in the garage 10 times a year for the last 5 years then it shows that the RV isn’t very reliable.

Will The RV Report Tell Me If Any Parts Have Been Replaced?

An RV report should detail any parts that have been repaired or replaced if it’s part of an insurance claim or accident damage. If the previous owner has replaced parts themselves then it might not be on the report so make sure that you ask the question.

Final Thoughts

An RV report is essential when purchasing an RV, and it’s often overlooked by people. It’s an important tool to assess the true value of the RV and whether it is worth the asking price. In some cases it can be used to get a lower price or save you from buying a wreck. 

Heather

Heather is an avid camper and RV enthusiast! Her aim is to cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions, to have THE BEST RVing trip EVER.
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