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Old 01-21-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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Hello Everyone!

My hubby and I are in the process of selling our home and becoming fulltimers. Our daughters are married and taken care of now, so we can set out to enjoy our dreams a bit.

We saw a 1999 40' Alpine with only about 7,000 miles on it. It seems to have been taken real good care of, but my hubby is worried about the seals.
Also, the fact that Western Rv is no longer in business and we might have problems getting service. Can't most places service an rv?

We'd appreciate any insight and advice on our future purchase of this rv or any other.
It will be our first motorhome, tho we've had fifth wheels and trailers.

Thanks, Jan and Joe in Oregon
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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With only 7000 miles that would mean the coach would have been sitting for years! Seals, hoses, belts, tires, batteries, generator, etc. all of those things will need attention. I would have someone really look at it.

Barb
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:07 PM   #3
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Thank you, Barb. It may be more than we bargained for.
It's so darn nice, too. lol.

How about 40' foot of train following you everywhere? Are there
places that you won't fit? Campgrounds, etc?

What's the best length for ease of using the campgrounds?

Thanks again, Jan
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:43 PM   #4
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Jan- a good way to find what fits your style of living is to rent an RV and live in it. You can get Class A and Class C rentals easily. Good luck in your search. Mike
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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Thanks Mike, great idea!
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:12 PM   #6
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Jan:

Any good RV service center can give it a thorough inspection. Now is the time to find a good repair facility anyhow. Yes, the rubber parts may need some replacement, but that's not hard. Figure it into the price. The low mileage could also mean there is plenty of wear left in it.

The quality of these coaches is such that if un-/under-used, the coach is just that more valuable to the buyer.

Length was a huge concern for me, originally. I moved from a 31' Winnie into a 40' Alpine. I have to say I've had very few problems. It drives much better, but I do have to watch my turns. It's not hard, just different.

There are two State parks I can't get into now, they just don't accept larger coaches, but several parks have started allowing bigger coaches, too. Sometimes I have to work a little harder at getting my 40' into a spot, but not a huge problem.

The most important thing for me was the floorplan. If my floorplan was available in a 36' or 38', I might have gone for one, but it isn't, and I'm still happy.

The bigger size also means more storage. For a fulltimer, I'd most certainly consider a 40'er. Those few extra feet can make a big difference.

That all said, I don't think I'd buy anything bigger. Anything more would only exacerbate what are now just minimal manuvering issues.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:36 PM   #7
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Hi Jan and Joe, welcome to the forum!!
We bought our rig with 30,000 miles that sat for about 7 years. We had it checked by a RV dealership and all was in good condition. Consider how the rig was stored and how severe the weather is where it is stored. If it was parked under a cover out of the elements you might not have too many worries. Our rig was under a tin cover and all the rubber parts were good except the tires which we replaced. Our climate is fairly mild. We have put on about 4,000 miles with no problems. Best of luck and I hope you find your dream rig!
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:32 AM   #8
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Jan and Joe

Like others have said, have the coach checked out at a good shop. Have them check all systems for proper operation and leave them on for a number of days to insure continued operation. Run on shore power and on-board power. Look for critters living in various spaces like engine, refrigerator vents, storage compartments, etc. With only 7000 miles, I would assume it has the original tires. They need to be replaced. Tires are close to $500 a piece. Have all fluids, filters, hoses and belts replaced. Have the coach washed and look for leaks. If all is good and reasonable, have fun.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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Hi Jan and Joe:

Sounds like the coach has lots of miles and fun times left in it. Have the coach checked out by a reputable shop and then ask the owner if you can stay in the coach for a few days. You will get some idea how livable the floor plan is for you. No coach is maintenance free, it is just a matter of time before something mechanical breaks. As you travel down the road you are shaking your power plant, sewer plant and home like level three earthquake. However, good preventive maintenance and periodic inspections will minimize interruptions to your travels. Good Luck Jim
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:56 AM   #10
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Oh, thank you all for the replies. You all are great!

What would you offer? Nada books it between 47 and 48.

Also, it has a washer/dryer, a Splendid 2000. Is that a pretty good one or would we want to change it out?

Again, thanks so much for all the great advice and helping us learn about this!

Joe and Jan
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:37 PM   #11
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The Splendide is standard for a combo unit. Many coaches have stacked/separate washer dryers (usually Kenmore or Maytag), but they take more space. However, they process more laundry, faster. Do a FIND on this forum (or others) and you'll find lots of opinions on both. I have stacked units and LOVE them, though I thought them silly before trying, since I don't full-time (yet). If I did full time, they'd be a must. And now that I have them, I'd buy them again.

The pricing these days is wild, but such a low mileage coach at that price sounds great. The NADA Guide lags a dropping market, but older coaches are directly valued by the remaining usability. Your coach sounds like it has lots of life left in it. I'd be more likely to compare it to others up for sale and realize people will accept (should accept) less. But you don't want to kick yourself later if you don't get it because you offer was too low. Occasionally you need to just "step up to the plate", especially if it is a long term purchase. A few extra dollars now will mean you're happy later.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:21 AM   #12
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Joe and Jan,

That asking price is probably pretty close to market. The RV Consumer Group pricing guide showed that 1999 Alpine at around $85K last summer. As others have noted, the bad economic times and fuel prices have resulted in RV prices generally dropping about 35-40% in the last 6 months. That would place the market value for this coach in the low $50's. Just to give you another example of how pricing has changed, last year the same pricing guide listed a 2003 Alpine's value around $135K; today, with repos on the market, there is a 2003 Alpine that remains unsold on ebay at $85K (a 37% decline in value).

Given that this coach will also require tire replacements, fluid changes, and other hoses, etc. to be changed out, you would not be overpaying if you bought between $40-45. You didn't say if this was a dealer or private party. If it is a dealer, you might get him to throw in tires at cost, or an extended warranty plan.

Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:16 PM   #13
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Hi jjwinters,
You don't say where in Oregon you are located, but if you can get the coach down to Guaranty RV in Junction City, those folks know lots about Alpine coaches. We had several maintenance items done there last October and were very pleased with the level of professionalism and service. They could check out the coach for you and advise you on the purchase.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:20 AM   #14
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Hi jjwinters,
getting back to part of your original question of can you get into parks, you really have to ask yourself the question of how do you expect to use your coach. Since it sounds like you plan on fulltiming, you need the extra storage of a bigger rig, but be aware that many state parks and some private parks as well dont take 40 footers. When we had our 32 we still couldnt get into some parks and if we did it was tight. But there is nearly always a place close by to where you want to stay that can take you. An example of this is in Northern CA Prarie Creek National park doesnt take anything much larger than 24 ft but not too far away are many parks that can... just a short drive to where you want to see

Good luck in your search
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