Why become an RV inspector? More and more potential RV buyers are wanting the rig they have chosen to be inspected so they know exactly what if any issues are involved with that RV. In the past, dealerships have offered Pre-Delivery Inspections (PDI) that were not only expensive, but biased towards making a sale. Private sellers can’t even offer that.
Why an RV Inspection
Recent statistics show that over 65% of RV sales are from private seller to private buyer with no RV dealership involved. That usually means the buyer has no warranty and has no idea of the true condition of that particular rig. Enter the independent RV inspector.
This should be a person with no connection to the selling dealer or private seller. He will provide, at a predetermined fee, a totally unbiased inspection report to whoever requests his service, known as the “Client.”
How to become an RV Inspector
How does someone get to become an RV inspector? Actually, there are no requirements or licenses required for someone to hang out a shingle as “RV Inspector.” This opens up a real can of worms for the client who expects a professional to do the inspection.
My feeling is that the best way to do this is to become very familiar with all types of RV’s and RV systems along with a general knowledge of RV problem troubleshooting. The job can certainly be done by both men and women, but it is not for the faint of heart. You will be climbing on RV roofs as well as scrambling underneath to examining frames and running gear. The inspector should have an inspection report template for each type of RV inspected from Pop-up to diesel pusher. An inspector should follow some sort of code of ethics to ensure his unbiased position. He should also develop a set of standard practices so every inspection is done the same way.
The person wanting to become an RV inspector should also learn all about forming his or her own small business, probably doing this first. There is so much to starting your own business I can’t cover it here, but great help is available from the US government Small Business Administration. www.sba.gov .
Fortunately, a recent organization has been formed called the National RV Inspection Association (NRVIA). They have written up both a Code of Ethics for RV Inspectors, and an expansive Standards of Practice document. There is an exam in order to become a Certified RV Inspector as well as an annual fee to join this organization. I hope all prospective RV inspectors will join with the NRVIA and proudly advertise that they are NRVIA Certified inspectors.
Now that you are certified and have become an RV Inspector and set up your own business, how do you get clients? It’s called marketing! You should have a website for your business where you will have an internet presence. Local newspapers might be a source as well as bulletin boards on local businesses. What if you are an RVer yourself and are traveling full-time? That website becomes more important yet. While you are waiting on clients, perhaps you can do some RV service work in campgrounds. Yet another small business possibility!
Searching the internet will turn up a few RV inspection companies that are looking for inspectors. This is where you need to really do your homework on those companies. Can they get you work across the country, are they truly independent and unbiased, do they offer training?
I have found one I particularly like called the RV Inspection Connection. These folks hold training sessions all over the country. Their first course is a 5 day RV Technician course with heavy emphasis on small business formation and also on RV inspection. They also offer a 5 day Advanced Inspector class covering inspection software and doing several graded mock inspections. This company has developed an excellent suite of inspection software available to their technicians. They also will handle all of the incoming calls, billing, preparation of finished inspection reports, and much more “back office” tasks for the technician. Once you notify them of your location, they can schedule inspections for you in your area. They do require someone be NRVIA certified and pass several examinations as well as the advanced inspector course before they bring someone on as an independent contractor. Contact them at http://rvinspection.com/.
I believe the RV inspection business is a real up and coming business opportunity that can make you a decent living on the road. Along with owner to buyer transactions, there are a growing number of dealers that want their used trade-ins inspected so they can offer a “Certified Pre-Owned” rig at a premium price. What about inspecting park model trailers for resale. This business is just beginning to take off. This is a good time to become an RV inspector and get in on the ground floor.