Before you hit the road with your new RV, there’s one crucial step you must not skip: the pre-delivery inspection (PDI). This episode dives deep into the ins and outs of the PDI, shedding light on its importance and guiding you through the process with a handy list of do’s and don’ts.
- Why PDI?: Understand the significance of the RV pre-delivery inspection and why it can be a game-changer for your travels.
- PDI Do’s and Don’ts: Navigate the inspection with confidence, knowing what you should be checking and what common pitfalls to avoid.
- The Included List: A walkthrough of what’s typically included in a standard PDI, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.
- Bonus Tip: Tune in for one invaluable tip that could make all the difference during your RV PDI.
For those about to embark on their RV adventures or even seasoned RVers looking to upgrade, this episode is your essential guide to ensuring your vehicle is road-ready from the get-go.
Me picking up my Super C: https://youtu.be/mvi0PSFR-oU
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Do you want that same new car feeling when you drive off the lot in your new RV? You know the one where everything is shiny and new and has that new car smell and everything works perfectly? Well, you need more than just a set of keys. Today we're gonna dive into how to avoid your very first RV mistake as we talk about the Pre Delivery Inspection, or PDI. Let's ensure that your first journey isn't to the repair shop, but to a destination unknown and memories waiting to be made. Buckle up, it's time to learn the ropes. And welcome to the RV dreaming podcast. This podcast is for people who thrive on adventure, embrace unconventional lifestyle, and seek life beyond the ordinary. RV dreaming, start here and go anywhere. My name is Stuart from Stuart Doing Stuff on Instagram. I've been a full-time nomad for three years now. I split my time between my 40 foot Super C and my little mini sprinter van here. And I traveled with. With my two cats camden izzy follow me on instagram at Stuart Doing Stuff for more stories and videos. All right, today we are going to talk about the very first thing you do when you buy an RV. And no, that's not take a camping. This is the pre delivery inspection, the PDI. And the pre delivery inspection is what happens after you buy the rig, but before you actually take possession and drive it off the lot. And the PDI is usually scheduled right when you're signing the paperwork. And it's normally a few days to a week or whatever after you actually go through the buying process. So it's not like a new car where you sign on the dotted line. You get a drive off with it that day, what they do is they schedule an appointment, they give you a tech, and they'll go through this system up and down, and they, they say that they're going to show you how everything works, but there is so much more to it. Now let me give you a real quick story. When I was doing my PDI on my Super C, it was like a balancing act. Cause my rig was in Buffalo, New York, and I was in LA, Los Angeles, California area. And I wasn't gonna fly to Buffalo in January and pick up the rig and drive it through the ice and all that other kinds of stuff. So I came up with a deal with the dealership that they would bring it to Des Moines, Iowa. And I would fly from California, from Long Beach to Des Moines, Iowa, we would do the transaction there, that was their furthest west location, and I'd drive it back. So, we had a lot of coordinating to do with that, making sure that the rig got from Buffalo to Des Moines on time, to make sure that my flight got there on time, to coordinate the, PDI. And then I had to coordinate my trip back to Long Beach from there. So when I did that, we set up our meeting for early, I think like around eight, because I wanted to hurry up and get through this, hit the road and work start working my way back to California. But at the same time, If there was anything that needed to be fixed, my fear was I couldn't get it fixed, because, you know, I was doing it on, I don't remember what day it was, it was, I remember the day, I don't remember the date, or is it the other way around, it was January 6th, because I remember when we were doing the PDI, we kept stopping to watch all the stuff going on at the Capitol, so that was going on on all four TVs, or however many, three TVs that I had at the rig, and then, you We're trying to go through all these different systems. Does this work? How does this work? And is this functioning? So anyways... We were doing that, but they pushed my PDI. They called me at like 8 in the morning and said, Hey, we need more time, we need more time, we need more time. And so finally, we had to check out of our hotel room. So at around 11 o'clock, we had to check out of the room. We walked down to the dealership, because we couldn't get an Uber because it was snowing. So it was like a mile away, and it was, it was ridiculous. But, you know, whatever. Everyone was like, you should have had the dealership come and get you. You know, you just spent a lot of money, but we enjoyed the walk. And it wasn't snowing, it was just snow on the ground and it was cold. By the way, I didn't know it snowed in Iowa. I hear you guys already, like, rolling your eyes, forgive me on that one, but prior to me RVing, I spent 12 years in Long Beach, California down in L. A. I didn't really think about the weather that much. So anyways, we, got there and It just kept going on and on and they kept dragging it on and on to the point where Paul and I, who was helping me pick this thing up, we just ended up ordering Domino's Pizza and it delivered to the rig and everything. So finally, later in the day, they went through the entire rig with us, but man, it was an ordeal because my fear was what if something's not right? What if something's not working? Then... We might get stuck here for another day trying to wait for them to be able to fix it before I officially said, okay, so those are going to be in the in the tips and tricks of what we're going to talk about here on your pre delivery inspection. So why is this important? Why is a PDI so important? Well, it's your last chance to ensure that everything is in proper working order. prior to you actually taking possession of the rig. It's there to help you learn about the systems, the functions, and the capabilities of your rig. And it's your chance to have things repaired or fixed before taking possession. So this is really important because you don't want to take possession of a busted rig. You don't want to take possession of something where the dealer goes, Oh yeah, that's, that is broken. I'll tell you what, why don't we make an appointment for X date and then you can bring it back and we'll fix it then. Don't fall for all that kind of stuff. That, that is absolutely ridiculous. We're going to kind of get into that too. So, that is the, one of the biggest things. So what is included in your PDI? Well, in a word, Everything. You should go through all of your electrical components, all your plumbing, your air conditioning, your heater, your furnace, your hot water heater, your fire and CO2 alarms, your microwave, refrigerator, propane slide, seals and gaskets, cosmetic, your roof, your windows, your awnings, cabinet doors, furniture, blinds, shades, curtains, flooring, window coverings, engines, generators, and most importantly, A test drive. Believe it or not, I just dropped six figures, large six figures, on this Super C that I was picking up and I had never driven it before I drove it off the lot. I didn't even do a test drive. That was my bad. And I didn't even think about it until after I was leaving. When, when we were all done and they pulled it out of the garage and they gave me the keys and they said thank you. They actually said thank you. I went... I've never driven this before. Holy crap. I've never driven this rig I hope it drives right because I was so obsessed on making sure I got all the other stuff, right? I completely forgot about the most obvious which is driving the darn rig. So Anyways there's a whole list of everything that I just gave you that will be attached to the show notes and on the website at RV dreaming TV that you can download And you can check off as you're going through your PDI, because it's very, very important. So, I also want to give you a couple do's and don'ts of a good PDI experience. So let's go through this here. So here's one for the do's. You do... Want to test everything when you're on shore power, that's going to give you an idea to make sure that everything is right. Everything is working properly. Everything is the way that it should be. And that's running everything. Your water heaters, that's checking your slides, making sure they go in and out. That's making sure your refrigerator is on, making sure that your air conditioning is working all the components. You're going to go through this three times. One of the times you're going to do it with your shore power. Okay. Then you're gonna go do it again every single little thing when your shore power is off and you're just running on your house batteries Because you're gonna want to learn what's on the inverter and what's not and make sure that everything is as it is supposed to be Do it turn your inverter on make sure that everything is working Make sure that your refrigerator is still running because that should always be on with the inverter make sure that your heaters or any other components that you have that's supposed to be plugged, that's supposed to be operating when you're on, when you're on your inverter, when you're dry camping, is working. And then, believe it or not, we're going to do it a third time. We're going to go through every single little thing one more time, this time with the generator. Because the generator is, in theory, supposed to kick on, provide enough power to be able to power your rig. So you're just going to go through those systems again. Make sure that when you turn your generator on, Your automatic transfer switch switch is over, you're able to run your air conditionings, you're able to run all the different components that are supposed to be run as if you're on shore power. Because it is not uncommon for a component to work when it's on shore power, but not work when it's on the generator, and you gotta figure out why. Those are big things that need some diagnostic presence. And your best leverage as a buyer is to ensure that all those things are looked at and taken care of. Before you take delivery because these guys want to get this stuff done and and get you off the books so that way they can move on to the next person so your best leverage is right then during this PDI so that way you know that you're getting everything taken care of. Before you take possession, because that's when the pressure is on them. A couple other do's in this session. Do record and take videos and take notes. You're going to get a lot of information about your rig, and if you've never RV'd before, you're going to be thrown into the deep end on a lot of new components. Don't be afraid to bring a notepad. Don't be afraid to take video, and ask the person doing the walkthrough, say, I'm sorry, excuse me, that was a little confusing, can you do it one more time, so I can record it? And that way you can have a document. You have some sort of verification that you can go back on and look at so that way you don't ruin anything or, or if it's confusing, you have some, better information to be able to do that. So do take notes, and ask questions and, and take videos. The other thing, do ask questions, ask a lot of questions. Don't be afraid to say, you don't know, don't be afraid to say, wait, can you explain that one more time? I thought this, you're saying that, am I getting this right? Don't be afraid to be able to do this. Remember. You're buying this rig, and especially if you're full timing or you're kind of going through this process, it might take you a while to figure out how A connects to B, which represents C, and, and all this other kinds of stuff, so don't be afraid to say, Hey, I have a question. Another do. Check to ensure that you have all of your keys, all of your TV remotes, all the little knick knacks, all the owner's manuals, all the warranty information on all the different components. It's gonna come in a big, kind of like, um, Like a duffel bag kind of a thing and and and it's got a lot of information. It's got all your warranty information, all your owner's manuals, everything that you can possibly imagine and check your keys to make sure that you have two keys or at least on your engines, your keys for all the storage bays, bins, everything underneath, make sure you have all your TV remotes. If your rig has three or four TVs, make sure you have three or four remotes that come along with it. Don't forget Be afraid to say, hey, wait a minute, we're missing something here. And most importantly, like I mentioned before, don't rush it. Take your time on this. This is supposed to be your time to get familiar with your rig. So you take your time and you don't let the dealership rush you. If you feel like you're being rushed, just tell them, hey, wait a minute. Hold on. This is a lot of information. I just want to make sure that I'm getting everything. Right, you know, and, if they're worth it, if they're worth a darn, you know, if they really do care about your 100 percent total customer satisfaction, then they will take that time to really make sure that they explain it well, so that way you are comfortable when you leave the facility. And here's a big don't. And this is, this is the one thing that, when I was looking for rigs, was a deal breaker. Do not pay extra for your PDI. Do not pay extra for your pre delivery inspection. I've seen things, when you look at your bill, when you're signing to buy, it'll have a little line item in there, and it'll say pre delivery inspection, or it'll say something walk through, or something along those lines, and I've seen fees range from anywhere between 1, 500 all the way up to 5, 000 for this service. Do not pay for a PDI, that should be part of the deal, and if a dealership is going to insist that you pay for it, then you insist that you're not going to buy it, plain and simple, walk out of that dealership, as a matter of fact don't walk, run out of that dealership, get to your car, get online, and tell everybody, these guys are trying to charge me for a PDI, and just watch the internet blow up, because this is the It's the biggest markup, the biggest nonsense that I think is out there. So do not ever pay for PDI. They should not even put it on there and hope that you catch it. That's how ridiculous this is. This is part of the overall experience. This is the thing that they, they should just do. It's part of the entire process. Alright, so. And finally, if there is anything that needs to be fixed, have them do it before you take possession. Do not wait. Do not fall for the, Oh, well, you know, our tech is gone. We don't have time. We don't have parts. We don't have this. We don't have that. You know, if that's the case and say, you know what, then let me know when it's ready. I'll come back and pick it up because you lose all leverage the minute that you Take delivery of that rig and drive it off the lot. They want to get rid of it. They want it out. It's taking up space. It's, it's, It's amazing on how fast your rig will get to the top of the priority line if there's something wrong with it. So, because I did that when I had my Super C, I went through all these systems and we were there for a long time. It delayed, not only did it delay because of what they did, it delayed because I took a lot of time trying to get that done. I didn't have any problems with my rig. There was one that we were able to identify and it was on my touch screen that monitors like your water tanks and your holding tanks and all that. There was, there was the propane sensor that was not reading right. It was reading zero on the sensor, but you go to the tank and it was full. And they couldn't figure out why that was. And so they just determined that it was a faulty sensor. I said, no worries, I'm not going to worry about it, because that's an easy fix. It's just a sensor, then whatever, but all the mechanical stuff. But that's how detailed that I went through this PDI. Because as I was going through the touchscreens, I saw it was zero, and I was like, wait. I thought you said that I get a full thing of propane, so they jumped into it, they looked, and they looked over, they opened it up, and they, and, the poor tech guy, he, he probably spent about 20 or 30 minutes trying to diagnose this, cause you can tell, he was a good guy, you can tell he wanted to get it right, he, you can tell that he, took pride in his job and pride in his work, so he wanted to figure this thing out, you know, even after I told him it's fine, we, at least we identified it, and now we have a solution, and it's not, detrimental, he still went, no, I'm going to, I'm going to try and check this thing down. So anyways, that's how granular you have to get with these PDIs, with these pre delivery inspections, because it is that important. The key to having a great first trip is to make sure that you're not going to have any surprises when you hit the road. So I'm going to leave. Everything that I just told you, everything that you should check, these do's and don'ts, I'm going to put this on our website at rvdreaming. tv, I am also going to put it into the show notes down below, so that way when you go and you are scheduling your PDI, you can take this checklist with you, and then you can always add your own depending on what kind of rig you're going to get, like you're going to look for different things if you're going to get a motorized versus a travel trailer versus a fifth wheel, so you can add You know, other unique elements that you want to do or things that you don't want to forget because it can be very overwhelming. So you can add your own items there to it. So I'm going to leave that on the website. You can find that in the show notes, just go and click on it and it will take you there. Or you can just go to the show notes and copy and paste and put it into your phone or do whatever it is that you want to do. So recap, do not be rushed. During your PDI, this is your time. All right. Do not let the dealership rush you check everything three times. Once on a short power, once on the inverter, and then again on the generator. And please, please, please do not pay extra for this service. Do not pay extra. This has got to be the biggest mistake I see people do is they will pay big money because they don't know any better. Do not fall into that trap. Do not pay extra for a PDI. I hope you learned something new in this episode and just kind of reiterating the importance of making sure that you have a free, a very great, a very exciting, very fantastic first trip because that's when you're going to fall in love with the RV lifestyle is when everything works. If your very first experience out of the gate in your brand new rig is where things just aren't working and things are broken and things aren't going your way, you're going to have a really bad experience and you're going to drop out. Don't do that. Make sure that your experience, your very first experience, is a positive one by knowing that you have confidence in your rig. Everything is working. All of that starts with a successful PDI. I hope this helped you. that's going to be it for this episode Thanks for listening to the RV dreaming podcast. Enjoy your travels. Make them safe. Make them fun and make the memorable We'll see you in the next episode