When buying any used vehicle, you will want to know what the history is, so you know what you are in for.
If the RV you have your eye on has had one or more previous owners, you can’t be sure that you are getting all the important information that you will need during the sales process.
This is where an RV report will come in handy and give you the information you are searching for.
RV Report Basics:
An RV report is a document you can get that will tell you anything that relevant about the RV that you are buying. If you have ever heard of a car report, you can imagine this to be a very similar RV version.
In this article, we will get more in-depth about RV reports and why they are so important:
What Types of Things are Included in an RV Report?
Knowing what information an RV report can contain will help you determine if you want to go through obtaining one before making a purchase.
So what is included in an RV Report?
Perhaps one of the most important bits of information you can get from an RV report is the damage history.
If you have purchased any vehicle, you know that even if it doesn’t look like the vehicle has sustained any damage, that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t.
Often, damage can be hidden internally, so you wouldn’t know about it until your vehicle started to fail after use.
Engines are only in top working order for a certain number of miles before they need repairs or could use an upgrade.
That’s why an RV report also includes the mileage of the RV, so you can be informed about how much use it has gotten in its lifetime.
This can be different than when you purchase a car, as no one is likely to drive their RV for a daily commute.
Another helpful piece of information you can get from an RV report is a history of insurance claims made on the vehicle.
This can help in conjunction with the damage report and be very informative on everything that happened to the RV for the duration of its life.
Similar to insurance claims, you can also get a history of any accident involving your RV.
This can be helpful when you are looking to purchase as well.
Another potential item listed on an RV report could be if something needed to be replaced on the RV.
It is most likely that an RV would have a record of parts being replaced if it was due to damage or an accident, which would also be included in the report.
It could also be included if the work was done at the dealership you purchase the RV from.
However, this is not always the case. If a previous owner made changes themselves, it is unlikely it will be on the report.
Another change that might not show up on the report is any change made for cosmetic purposes.
What Do you Use an RV Report For?
The main use of an RV report is purely informational.
The most common use is for a consumer to use when determining whether to buy an RV, as there could be things that aren’t being mentioned in the sale process.
Another great use for the RV report is if you already have purchased an RV that is now showing signs of an issue, you can use the RV report to see if that gives you, or your mechanic, a clearer picture of what could be the problem.
Lastly, you could get an RV report to help you sell your RV. Buyers appreciate a seller who is upfront about any problems the vehicle might have gone through. You are more likely to get a buyer who is actually interested and comfortable purchasing if you provide that documentation for them.
Additionally, if you bought a new RV that you are now trying to sell, a clean RV report can be a huge selling point that would help you to get a higher selling price for your vehicle.
Where Do you Get an RV Report?
While an RV report is similar to what you can get for a car, they are harder to get.
Here are a few ways to go about it:
There are a few websites you can check for RV reports that have been good sources for information.
These websites often look up your RV’s history using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for your RV.
While a website option can be a good and quick way to pull up some information, it is not foolproof.
DMV/Secretary of State
Another, more thorough way to get an RV report can be through a DMV/Secretary of State Office, depending on what state you are from.
These offices keep the information for all registered vehicles in the United States, which would include RVs.
When requesting a report from one of these offices, you could go online or put a request in at the office itself.
If you are purchasing an RV through a dealership instead of a private seller, you can inquire about the RV report there before making your purchase.
If you are working with a reputable dealership, they will likely have some history on the vehicle. They should even have this information if the vehicle is pre-owned.
Once you get the information from a dealership, you can still also use the previous resources as a cross-check of the information that you have received.
How Much Do RV Reports Cost?
This is a question that doesn’t have a clear-cut answer, but there are general standards that you can look at when it comes to the price of an RV report.
If you do choose an option that costs money, remember, it is less expensive to purchase a report upfront than to have costly repairs down the line.
The price is mainly based on where the report is coming from, so I have broken it down for you:
Online, you might have to pay a small fee based on what website resource you use.
Likely you will not spend more than $100.
Most of the time, this charge is so that the site host can keep their site running and help provide people with the information needed.
DMV/Secretary of State
The DMV or Secretary of state might have a small fee themselves, but this isn’t likely very high.
Like online sites, they are not trying to make money off of these fees but instead are trying to pay for the services they offer.
A dealership is a little trickier.
If they do have a fee, it will probably be built into the cost of the RV that you are purchasing, and you are not likely to notice it.
However, many dealerships could offer this report for you for free as a service they offer, as they make money from the sale of the RV, and the cost of the report doesn’t matter as much for maintaining the business.
Is it safe to buy an RV without an RV report?
If you are buying any preowned vehicle, you should do your best to get an RV report.
Not only does an RV report allow you to make an informed buying decision, but it is also a good resource that lets you know if there is anything that you should watch out for on your RV when and if you do buy it.
Not every RV will come with an easily accessible report. So you should not always worry if you can’t access it.
However, it is not a bad idea to get a professional to take a look before you buy, especially if you are purchasing from a private seller. This can be similar to getting a house inspected.
What Else Should I Know About RV Reports?
There are other things that you should keep in mind when it comes to an RV report:
It is possible that an RV report can be a useful tool when it comes to negotiating prices.
If the RV report claims there have been accidents or other damage, you may be able to talk the price down.
Alternatively, if you are selling an RV with a clean report, you can use this as a selling point to drive the price up.
Keep in mind, however, this is not the only indicator of price.
Things like the year, the mileage, and the general amount of use can also be factors when it comes to price.
This might go without saying, based on previous information, but the RV report can be a good indicator of how reliable the RV will be.
Overall, the RV report is a handy tool when it comes to being informed about your recreational vehicle and can be a beneficial tool when it comes to making purchasing or selling decisions.