Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Are cleaning, reconditioning and spot sealing part of state safety inspection for RV?

Dear Dave,
After simply asking for a Virginia state inspection for my RV ($20), a “reputable” RV service center gave me an estimate for replacing the (2 axles) bearings – $650, roof cleaning and reconditioning – $1300, and spot seal – $800 (whatever that is). All I asked for was a yearly inspection for $20. What should I actually expect for a state inspection for my 2017 Winnebago Fuse with 22k miles? I researched and these are some of the things on the VA Inspection list: wear in bushings, kingpins, ball joints, wheel bearings and tie rod ends… among the usual check of lights, horn, driver seat, etc. —Bobby, 2017 Winnebago FUSE 2017 (Ford Transit 350 HD Turbo)

Dear Bobby,
I am not familiar with Virginia State Vehicle Inspection Rules; however, most RVs do not require the safety inspection. I would recommend you contact the VA Department of Transportation to get a verification. Maybe some of our readers from VA can help confirm. Even if it does require an RV safety inspection, you are correct in the assumption it is the typical things you listed.

The roof cleaning and recondition and spot seal are not a safety inspection item. I would question the bearings needing to be replaced as I believe they are sealed hubs, not typical bearings you find in a trailer or older cars I would question if this service center is “reputable” as it seems they are just drumming up business.


According to the 2017 Ford Transit Owner’s Manual, there is no scheduled replacement or inspection related to bearings. Unless the hubs are squealing or the unit is wandering and cannot be aligned, there is no need to replace bearings. Check your Ford Chassis Owner’s manual for routine maintenance.

The roof of your Fuse is most likely a fiberglass material that has a 10-year warranty. It should be cleaned and inspected for any damage and does not require reconditioning like a rubber membrane. You can apply a UV protectant like 303 Protection or recommended wax to keep it from fading, but not a conditioner.

Spot sealing

Spot sealing, in my opinion, would be to dab a little silicone sealant on areas that look to have the original sealant cracking or pulling away, which would allow moisture to penetrate. You should inspect the sealant at all roof-to-sidewall joints, at the front and back cap, and around any vents or skylights, and reseal as necessary. None of this is a safety inspection—just routine maintenance that you can do yourself and not worth what they estimated. However, keep in mind most service centers are charging anywhere from $125–$150 per hour, so it adds up fast.

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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberghttp://www.rv-seminars.com/
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


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1 month ago

PA requires a yearly safety inspection on all RV’s, and trailers over 3000lb gross weight.
15 states require yearly inspections and about half the states require an emissions inspections.
Sounds as though the shop is looking to make extra money with the roof sealing and spot sealing.

1 month ago

Where I live the state used to mandate safety inspections on all used vehicles in order to get a tag issued (not renewed). There was so much corruption by shops licensed to do the inspections, that the state dropped the requirements.

1 month ago

As a former Virginia State Inspector for over 30 years, based on the information Bobby provided, I would suggest never returning to that “reputable” RV center. The only item that he mentioned that is covered in the VA State Inspection manual would be the bearings. Although possible, with so few miles it is highly unlikely there would be a problem with the bearings. However, it would be good to know why they recommended replacing the bearings. For future State Inspections I would suggest looking for a private local truck shop that also advertises working on RV’s and performs state inspections.

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