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In the Process of Buying a Motorcoach

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RVF Newbee
Mar 29, 2023
I've never been on a forum before, so please excuse me if I'm not doing it correctly.
I'm in the process of helping my parent purchase a 2011 34' Coachman motorcoach for a 4-week family cross-country trip we are taking this summer.
We are purchasing in Delaware, but my parents live in and will house it in North Carolina.
We need to know where we need to go for the inspection.
Should we have it inspected in Delaware before purchase? If so, would we need another inspection if it is being registered in North Carolina?
How much is an inspection? We see it can be anywhere from under $100 to over $800 for an inspection.
We are trying to figure it all out since we are new to the motorcoach world. Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions?
It depends on with "inspection" you are talking about. An inspection to purchase like a condition inspection is up to you. There are registered people all over the country that do those. Cost is generally from a few to several hundred dollars. Some state require a "VIN inspection" for items coming from out of state. That is generally done by law enforcement, DMV or Sec of State office. That is a completely different item than the condition inspection. Basically the check to see it it's stolen.
When buying from out of state, your state will require you to have the proper ownership papers from the state it is coming from. All the state offices have a rule book for every other state and whatever it says, you will need to produce.
Let me know if you need a hand.
Thank you,
You should absolutely get the coach inspected before purchasing. You'll want to find an RV inspector that will go over the entire coach/chassis if possible. I've found a few that will only inspect the 'house' and not the chassis, be aware of the difference. The chassis is your engine/driveline and related controls...'coach' or 'house'... everything else.

State mandated inspections are an entirely different thing, you will have to do that also if it's being registered in a state that requires inspections.

Have you considered renting? It seems odd to buy a coach for a 4 week trip, although I know rental can be very expensive...

And welcome to the forum, you're doing fine! Stay tuned, I'm sure the welcome party will be here shortly.
Check North Carolina "Registration" & "Inspection" laws. I'm pretty sure NC has an annual vehicle inspection requirement.
Titling & licensing in NC will have fees/taxes charged (a percentage of the purchase price), a title fee, & a license fee!

An "RV" Inspection is an inspection of the complete vehicle being purchased, its' components, etc. Mechanical & Electrical! A fee charged by a certified inspector will vary in accordance with what all is inspected!

It will require you to do some research prior to purchase, titling, & licensing, as well as securing appropriate insurance!

Good Luck!
Rent, if you can. That may seem expensive but will be MUCH less expensive than paying inspection and sales / titling fees for a vehicle that you will only have for a month. And it will be for a MUCH more modern coach than something from 2011. And you won't lose money on trying to sell something later.

Barring that, make CERTAIN that EVERY SYSTEM runs and operates BEFORE you purchase. No water leaks from any pipe, drain or roof membrane, water heater, air conditioning, heater, electricity converter / inverter . . . everything works. Does it have a fresh coach battery that can deliver lots of amps - not simply a check that it shows some obscure number of 12 volts. Lighting - all lamps and switches work. Does any fresh water, gray water or black water tank leak? Does the refrigerator work from all the proper power sources? Does shore power and battery power work? Do all oven and stove burners and ignitors work? How many tanks of propane are there - do their gauges accurately indicate the level of fill?

This is a very complicated house on wheels you are contemplating and I desperately want this to be an enjoyable trip for you.

Are you getting any owners or operators printed manual for any appliance noted above?

I could ramble on but . . . .