Pre-Delivery Inspection

Understanding the Pre Delivery Inspection Process

Next to your home, buying a new toy hauler or RV is probably the biggest financial transaction you will make. Being prepared and understanding what to expect is important to making the experience a positive one.

Whenever you buy a new toyhauler you will do what’s called a pre delivery inspection or PDI prior to signing any paperwork. At the same time you will be shown how everything on your trailer works. Last week I took Voltage V3900 Toy Haulerdelivery of a new Voltage 3900 from Richardson’s RV in Menifee, Ca. so I thought it would be a good idea to explain the process and provide some tips.

First, if at all possible schedule the PDI on a sunny day and preferably as early in the day as possible. I was not able to follow my own advice on either of these. As my luck would have it I picked mine up in the afternoon during one of the heaviest rain storms to hit Los Angeles in years. Although they had it parked in a covered area, rain still seemed to hamper the outside inspection and we tracked a lot of water inside. Doing the inspection earlier in the day is also a good idea to give the service techs more time to make on the spot repairs. This will lessen the time or perhaps even eliminate the need to make a future appointment for repairs. Your inspection should take from 2 to 4 hours depending on the complexity and size of your trailer and how many issues you find.
Voltage V3900 Toy Hauler
Now it’s important to understand that the dealer representative has done plenty of these before and this maybe your first. His objective is to explain all of the trailers systems to you and your objective is not only to learn from him but also to make sure everything works. In either case, you need to control the tempo and not rush it.

Some things you should consider bringing are a pen and notebook to take notes, a camera, a flashlight, and a copy of the purchase order or delivery invoice. If you don’t take good notes consider bringing a video camera and have a partner film it. Use the camera to photograph any problems you may find and jot them down on your notebook. The purchase order is needed to double check that every option you’re paying for is in fact installed.

With that, here is a list of your trailers major systems that you should inspect and fully understand how they work.



  • All storage doors open, close, and lock
  • Voltage V3900 Toy Hauler

  • Generator
  • Sewer, grey & fresh tank dump valves
  • Shore power hookup
  • Propane tanks
  • Converter/Charger
  • Batteries
  • Awnings
  • Siding, paint, and vinyl striping
  • Front leveling jacks
  • Tires & wheels, including the spare
  • Rear Stabilizing jacks
  • Fresh water fill points; city and holding tanks
  • Outside lighting
  • Pump Station
  • Voltage V3900 Toy Hauler

  • Exterior slide seals
  • Pin Box
  • Steps
  • Outdoor Shower
  • Ramp door
  • Ladder
  • All exterior lighting


  • Propane & Carbon Monoxide alarms
  • Refrigerator
  • Air Conditioners
  • Water pump
  • Water Heater
  • Furnace
  • Televisions & Entertainment systems
  • Voltage V3900 Toy Hauler

  • Air vents
  • Stove
  • Microwave
  • Slide out operation
  • Control Panel
  • All interior lighting
  • All cabinets
  • Interior doors
  • Furniture
  • Window blinds
  • All windows
  • Counters
  • Sinks & faucets
  • Floor & wall coverings
  • Garage tie downs
  • Electric bunk operation
  • Shower
  • Toilet

Be certain you operate and understand all of the above systems.

Now, after hooking up to your tow vehicle, be certain to check that the electric brakes operate by pressing the manual switch inside the truck. Also make certain the brake, running, and turn signal lights all work.
Voltage V3900 Toy Hauler
As you find issues, write them down. At the end of the inspection you should consult with the dealers representative on which can be fixed immediately and which will take a future appointment.

My PDI took about 3 hours and was overall a great experience. The employees at Richardson’s were all very cooperative and helpful. Most of the cosmetic issues I took note of were fixed immediately. Others needed parts ordered and a future appointment will be made to fix them. However, it is recommended that you wait until your first use of the trailer to see if any new issues arise before you make your first warranty appointment.Voltage V3900 Toy Hauler

Well, hopefully I’ve accurately described the process. Feel free to use the comment boxes below to add a suggestion of your own.

Visit Dunechasers for more photos
Visit Richardson’s RV for dealer information

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J.T. says:

Very Nice write up and good info for anyone.

Richard says:

Nice Article!!

Shishe says:

I made an offer on a 5th wheeler, the dealer accepted it but come up stating that I have to pay $1000 for the PDI on top of my offer, smell fishy to me. Any advise will be appreciated

Kevin McKenzie says:

Walk away from this dealer and never look back!

Tom Glander says:

How was the experience with Richardson’s? I’m looking at a 3950 from them in Riverside. Would you recommend Richardson’s as a good dealership?

Thanks for the information. Very helpful.

Tom Glander says:

The article says the experience was a good one. So I guess I already answered my own question. Just wonder if there’s anything you would rather have done differently, or if it was a totally great experience.

Tim Werle says:

Thanks for the checklist. I am picking up a new 3200 on Friday!

shirley cook says:

Thank you for such valuable information. We our first time RV toyhauler buyers and appreciate folks like you. Now I’m more prepaired for pick up.

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