Tor home inspectors - a rip off?

Aug 3, 2019
49
18
Nottingham
Funster No
62,953
MH
N+B Arto 79R A Class
Exp
10 years with hires, Newbie owner
Hi all,

So the next stage in my acquisition of a motorhome is to get it checked out. I guess I could do it myself but I’m sure there is some expertise that I don’t have – both of the living as well as for the mechanical aspects. Given the size of the outlay, I decided that it’s definitely worth having a professional look it over thoroughly.

I looked around for people who do it and came across a few. One of them, Elite Inspections, called me and sounded very knowledgeable and extremely thorough but wanted £1500. This seems a heck of a lot given that the other company I am considering using, Habcheck, (who seem to be accredited with the right bodies) wanted £375 for, apparently, the same service.

I asked the more expensive company to explain why their service had so much greater value and, apart from some final about the technology they use and the thoroughness of their checks, weren’t able to give me anything substantial in justification.

I have no idea what is reasonable for a vehicle inspection – other than that the AA and similar bodies charge around £200 for the mechanical and structural aspects of a car inspection which seems broadly in line with the Habcheck price (they actually contract out the mechanical/structural bit to another company, Dekra, so about 50% of the price goes to each).

Have I made a sensible decision in thinking about going with Habcheck (In which case the more expensive service looks like a bit of a rip off) or am I missing something?

As well as views about the best way to go in general, I’d be interested in anybody specific experiences of Habcheck as a company.

Thanks a lot. Chris
 

M-J

Jan 15, 2019
660
471
Funster No
58,012
MH
Bessacarr E562
Exp
6 months in
Is this a private purchase?
 

M-J

Jan 15, 2019
660
471
Funster No
58,012
MH
Bessacarr E562
Exp
6 months in
A well reviewed dealer with warranty?
 
OP
chenderson1965
Aug 3, 2019
49
18
Nottingham
Funster No
62,953
MH
N+B Arto 79R A Class
Exp
10 years with hires, Newbie owner
A well reviewed dealer with warranty?
They are a large dealer. I fon’t know where I’d look to find reviews. It comes with a 12 month warranty but, for such a large purchase price, I don’t want to rely on their inspections to inform me about potentially serious issues (damp, rust etc) which might not present themselves until after the warranty has expired.
 

hilldweller

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 5, 2008
32,092
32,482
Macclesfield
Funster No
5,089
MH
Swift Sundance 620FB
Exp
From Aug 2007
No, from a dealership. Value is circa £55k for a 2012 N+B Arto 79R.
There's very little serious mechanical problems unless it's done a massive mileage. The one dreaded killer is damp. £375 should buy a lot of damp tests.
 
OP
chenderson1965
Aug 3, 2019
49
18
Nottingham
Funster No
62,953
MH
N+B Arto 79R A Class
Exp
10 years with hires, Newbie owner
There's very little serious mechanical problems unless it's done a massive mileage. The one dreaded killer is damp. £375 should buy a lot of damp tests.
Thanks, but I’ve decided I’d like the peace of mind of a comprehensive inspection. My question is about the best company to use and what represents a reasonable price?
 

M-J

Jan 15, 2019
660
471
Funster No
58,012
MH
Bessacarr E562
Exp
6 months in
I would book an thorough independent damp inspection and check any items that are unlikely to be available from the manufacturer should they be faulty or damaged.
 

maz

Jan 26, 2011
2,896
2,441
Out there somewhere
Funster No
15,094
MH
Burstner Ixeo 680G
Exp
Since March 2011
£1500 is a total rip off!

Habcheck is apparently a franchise - so you might get a good mobile engineer, or you might not.

Do Dekra inspect vans over 3500kg?

What was the test drive like? Any cause for concerns there?
 
OP
chenderson1965
Aug 3, 2019
49
18
Nottingham
Funster No
62,953
MH
N+B Arto 79R A Class
Exp
10 years with hires, Newbie owner
£1500 is a total rip off!

Habcheck is apparently a franchise - so you might get a good mobile engineer, or you might not.

Do Dekra inspect vans over 3500kg?

What was the test drive like? Any cause for concerns there?
Going for the test drive on Thursday so will look for obvious problems then, before shelling out to book the inspection.
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
11,736
11,180
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
N&B Flair 8000 IVECO
Exp
since 2012
Thanks, but I’ve decided I’d like the peace of mind of a comprehensive inspection. My question is about the best company to use and what represents a reasonable price?
I would be interested in how they do the damp check on a N+B Arto.

Martin
 
OP
chenderson1965
Aug 3, 2019
49
18
Nottingham
Funster No
62,953
MH
N+B Arto 79R A Class
Exp
10 years with hires, Newbie owner
I would be interested in how they do the damp check on a N+B Arto.

Martin
What makes you say that? Is there anything in particular that I should ask for/specify on damp generally - or for this model in particular?
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
11,736
11,180
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
N&B Flair 8000 IVECO
Exp
since 2012
What makes you say that? Is there anything in particular that I should ask for/specify on damp generally - or for this model in particular?
The wall and roof panels on N+B vans are bonded skins aluminium foam aluminium so the inside and out are both aluminium, the trouble is not all habcheck people know this and if they stick a two pointed damp meter in it will show 100% damp as the aluminium is electrically conductive which is what the probe is designed to measure, there is another type of moisture meter that works on radio frequency but I don't know if it works through aluminium. The Arto will not contain any structural wood, indeed the only timber should be in the furniture and the internal floor which being a double floor is protected from outside elements, some older Arto had wood in the garage floor but not anymore as far as I know.

Martin
 
OP
chenderson1965
Aug 3, 2019
49
18
Nottingham
Funster No
62,953
MH
N+B Arto 79R A Class
Exp
10 years with hires, Newbie owner
The wall and roof panels on N+B vans are bonded skins aluminium foam aluminium so the inside and out are both aluminium, the trouble is not all habcheck people know this and if they stick a two pointed damp meter in it will show 100% damp as the aluminium is electrically conductive which is what the probe is designed to measure, there is another type of moisture meter that works on radio frequency but I don't know if it works through aluminium. The Arto will not contain any structural wood, indeed the only timber should be in the furniture and the internal floor which being a double floor is protected from outside elements, some older Arto had wood in the garage floor but not anymore as far as I know.

Martin
Thanks. I knew that about the construction, but hadn’t made the connection with the damp testing method. I’ll mention it when I commission the inspection.
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
11,736
11,180
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
N&B Flair 8000 IVECO
Exp
since 2012
Thanks. I knew that about the construction, but hadn’t made the connection with the damp testing method. I’ll mention it when I commission the inspection.
(y) in my view it's the design and construction that makes N+B vans that bit different from a lot of the competition BUT after that they along with all other vans are just a collection of bought in parts, oven, fridge, heating (N+B use Alde which is great) control system, windows etc etc, mentioning windows reminds me that I should warn you to check the condition of the double glazed front side windows as they are prone to misting up when the seal breaks down and they cost a fortune to fix if you use the main dealer and yes there is only one UK dealer but going back to my previous comments about N+B basically being a collection of parts you don't really need the main/only dealer for service or repair.

Martin
 
Aug 6, 2013
7,646
6,298
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
Why not buy the van then, whilst still under Dealer Warranty, take it to real experts to have the checks done? There is no place for damp to hide or do damage given the construction and a seam, window, or rooflight leak is visible internally to the naked eye. No damp check will do more. Otherwise use Traders who are trusted (and appear) on this forum then take it to Alde themselves for a full heating system check and fluid change. You will spend nowhere near £1500 (less than half I suspect) for the labour charges and if anything is discovered that falls within the Warranty simply claim for it. Doing anything else risks being a total waste of money and is likely to achieve very little.
 
Jul 6, 2016
708
298
West Sussex
Funster No
43,954
MH
Carthago Chic A class
Exp
Since 1990
When you take it for a test drive, suggest you reverse it up an incline to check for judder. The Fiat base (if that's what you have) had a reputation for judder but was apparently resolved about 2011. The dealer may not be too keen to allow the mechanical assessor to take it for a test drive.

While you're at the dealership, ask to see the vehicle records (mechanical, MOT, water ingress tests etc) and make a note of the VIN.
 
Jan 8, 2013
3,380
2,763
Dronfield - Derbyshire
Funster No
24,202
MH
Burstner Nexxo T660
Exp
7 Years
That's like 30 hours at £50 per hour. What can they find to do to a MoHo, even a big one, for thirty hours? They should all be wearing masks :Eeek: :Eeek: :Eeek:
 
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