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Old 06-29-2020, 03:09 PM   #1
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Pre Deliver Inspection

Hi All, My wife and I are looking at buying our first Airstream/ first RV. We found the model (FC23FB) we both like preowned at a dealer. Is common practice for the buyer to pay for a pre delivery inspection, in this case $700? It covers full safety check, wheel bearing, brakes, fill propane, customer walk through, set up hitch, etc.

Thank you!
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:38 PM   #2
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I’ve only purchased used trailers from private owners, but $700 for a PDI sounds like a money maker for the dealer. Unless you are getting a really good deal, i’d pass.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:52 PM   #3
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Bogus...a PDI should be part of every sale at a Dealership.

I'm not aware of any state that does not require a safety inspection before selling.

What happens if after you have 'camped' overnight on his lot to ck all systems that were explained to you at the orientation and you find $700 dollars worth of other stuff that needs attention.

The price should reflect a 'working' trailer.

Bob
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:06 PM   #4
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Sometimes at a car dealer, the window sticker will say "additional profit". That inspection charge sounds like the same thing. A reputable dealer should do that inspection anyway to make sure that what they are selling is ok. I don't know if there are more things on the inspection than you listed, but $700 seems like a rip off. Maybe you ought to look at the Forum sales site. Many Airstream owners sell that way and you will probably get a better deal. At least you can check comparable sales offers.

Once you get aluminitis (no vaccine available as yet) the tendency is to want to buy one fast, but have patience and make sure you won't feel bad once you have bought one.

A wheel bearing inspection could simply be jacking up the trailer and feeling how much play there is in the wheel, or pulling each wheel and brake hub and checking them properly. Maybe they check the brakes by seeing if they grab when towed , or pulling the brake hub. The walk through takes a couple of hours—what should that cost? Two tanks of propane shouldn't be more than about $15-20. Setting up the hitch if it is new should come with the price of the hitch. If it is used, a good mechanic should be able to set up most hitches in less than 30 minutes. What is a safety check? Plugging it into a truck and seeing if the lights work? Add all that together and it sure isn't $700. Such things need to be asked about.

I'd think twice about the dealer.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:14 PM   #5
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Never bought used so I've not seen that kind of charge. Typically the only add on charge I've seen on a new purchase might be a nominal amount to move your hitch over to the new trailer.

However if they did repack the wheel bearings that usually carries a $250-$375 charge from the dealer service department and would be recommended when purchasing a used trailer. Brake replacement is not low cost either. Obviously the question is whether they inspected or whether they actually did any work. If all they did was spin a wheel, then it's just a dealer pack to make more money.

To me if they can't state we repacked the wheel bearings and replaced the brakes I'd be skeptical. Safety check. Yeah you check the tail lights and and clearance lights. You make sure the break away chains are good and that the break away disconnect cable is in good shape and that the break way system engages the brakes when pulled. You also verify that the hitch lock engages and locks down. What size propane bottles? Fill is typically $25-$32 a bottle in my locale dependent upon size. Hitch setup. $100-$200.


Bottom line I would expect for that price that the wheel bearings were repacked, the brakes were replaced or they give you report as to what % of the brakes were left.

Many dealer built their "prep" into the negotiated sales price. So in one instance separating that charge may save you some sales tax since it's not built into the sales price. On the other end if I were buying a used trailer privately, I would be paying for some of that same work in a service appointment with a dealer. So the real question is whether any real work was done or whether this was just some kind of cursory check.

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Old 07-01-2020, 11:53 AM   #6
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Charges for service vary a lot. I had the bearings repacked for $180 four years ago at a suspension shop. Depending how old the trailer is, whether the brakes need to be rebuilt is not clear. If only a few years old, highly unlikely a rebuild is necessary. Shoes, springs and magnet are the parts normally needed in a rebuild—none are expensive, but the labor can be. An "inspection" implies no replacement or rebuilds of anything. After more than 50,000 miles our brakes were fine after some initial problems. Campgrounds charge a lot for propane, propane dealers less.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oswego View Post
Hi All, My wife and I are looking at buying our first Airstream/ first RV. We found the model (FC23FB) we both like preowned at a dealer. Is common practice for the buyer to pay for a pre delivery inspection, in this case $700? It covers full safety check, wheel bearing, brakes, fill propane, customer walk through, set up hitch, etc.

Thank you!
******
(You did not say the year or price. If it is more than FIVE YEARS OLD... that changes things.) Nobody is going to beat down the Dealer's Door to buy this trailer before you get a chance to check it out.)

Used is sold AS IS, unless you get into details. Check the Refrigerator and Hot Water Tank outdoor hardware. If they look crusty, cruddy and rusty... be careful. Is there a lot of red rust showing on the tops of the Propane tanks? Take a look down the TOILET... lots of toilet paper and stuff... maybe a full timer lived in it. Just some pointers.


When you are closing on the transaction... ASK:

- 90 day 100% Warranty on All components.

- Next 90 days has a 50% Warranty on All components.

Be prepared to go on an extended trip the day AFTER you pick up the trailer. After a week... you will FIND the major flaws. The little stuff... you will fix for your time and the part.

If the Dealer balks... they already know more than you do. Negotiate the transaction starting with 100% major components for a time period and then have the wife... go at them.

Nancy... whoa... She is a Blue Heeler ready to round up the herd. I like being the "well... gee... maybe we need to get that Arctic Fox we looked at". Sometimes we take turns.

It is YOUR money. They know what they paid, repaired and did not get everything. Trailers come up for sale every day.

Our 2006 23 foot Safari had 14 inch wheels and tires... you may want to find a later one with 15 inch Goodyears Load Range E. Tires on the older 23 footers had 14 inch tires. This was my FIRST Airstream and my First experience with ignorance not understanding ONLY the 23 foot trailers at that time had 14 inch C Rated tires. The others... all had 15 inch.

The 15 inch wheels and axles are what you want on the 23 foot. Check the DATES on the tires... another big expense coming to your doorstep.

Have fun. What looks hot today... could be past tense when seeing a 25 foot for the same price tomorrow.
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:14 AM   #8
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" QUOTESnip" "Used is sold AS IS, unless you get into details.

Really? Buy from a quality dealer.

Bob
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:31 AM   #9
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Hi,

I look at it like this. It's your money spend it as you like. If the price is right for YOU, why do you care how the dealer makes his money. They are in it to make money, right? The business of what you spend on your trailer is yours, not what someone else wants to spend. It is supposed to be fun, this is after all a recreational vehicle.

JM2C

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Old 07-02-2020, 04:36 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum!

FYI the search function in the blue box above works great, powered by Google to search only this site. [using the desktop version -- not the App] There a lots of threads/posts about "pre delivery checklist" --

https://www.google.com/search?q=pre+...=airforums.com

Note the added search term "site:airforums.com" which you can also add to your own Google Internet search, if you want to take that route.

You might want to get on the same page with the dealer, about exactly what he or she is going to inspect. I would find a sensible list via the search results above, and email it to the dealer. If the dealer is very thorough and honest, $700 seems OK IMO. If he/she is not, they will probably give you a report not worth its weight IMO.

The fact that the dealer is the selling agent, and is going to make a profit on the sale presumably, would seem to tip the scales against you here though IMO.

Happy trails!
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:52 AM   #11
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Paying for a PDI seems odd, but as others have said, if the deal looked attractive inclusive of the extra cost for the PDI, I'd proceed as long as I had the right of refusal depending on what I learned during the PDI.

With a private sale it's nearly always "where is, as is," though some dealers may have a Certified Used program, as Colonial does. You'll pay for that too, but it's a nice feature if you can get it.

Oh, and given you'd be paying for the PDI, I would definitely take pictures and as much video as I could throughout the process so I wouldn't have to worry about what I can remember later.
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