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Old 03-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
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Question 2002 Alpine M-38FD

A local deal has a 2002 Alpine M-38FD with 117, 198 miles and 297 hours on 7.5 onan diesel. The unit is in pretty good shape rear tires have good tread but are 2003's. I am in a 40' toyhauler right now thinking about making a change to a motor home. Do ya'll think this sounds like a decent deal? Thanks, Rudy N.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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Guess you would have to to talk about $$$s first. Used RV market remains depressed so some 2005s are going for $100k or less [many with less than 75K miles]. Some Alpiners might say that 03 and 04s are some of the best coaches for the money still on the road--depends on what you want to spend. One thing for sure--the 03 tires are alteast 3 years past their "safe" margin. So tell us more about the coach--does the dealer have the previous owners maintenance log?
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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Mileage seems high unless the previous owners were full timing in which case it was probably well looked after. 2003 tires on a 2002 model doesn't make any sense but you need to budget for 6 new ones or get the dealer to throw those in. Get it checked over by a professional, get an extended warranty and if you can get the price down go for it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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Cajun- Welcome to the forum! Hope to see you around a bunch.
The 02 has a fully analog chassis. I recommend front tires no less than 5 years old, rears up to 6. Time on gen is low for the mileage, so not a lot of boondocking relatively. Chassis should have another 100k left on it if well kept.
does it have owner's manuals & maintenance docs? (a bonus, tho most of the manuals we have on line at the Alpine Coach Tech Library (google)).
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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I suspect that EngineerMike meant no MORE than 5 years old for front tires. If not I will save some bucks this summer!
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Passed

I want to thank those who responded to my question. I had to pass on the coach. Once I was able to take a trip into the dealership to see it. The shape of the coach was too ruff for me. Thanks again, Rudy N.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Jim- I can see where you might question my "no less than 5 years old" spec for tires. Here is my story.
I saw on a Tour de France special once how Lance Armstrong's team stored their tires in a small cave in France to age them for several years out of sunlight and at a cool temp with controlled humidity. Everybody was curious about Armstrong's incredible lack of flats on the race circuit. Seems curing the rubber that way made them more flat resistant, which helped save time during the races due to less mechancal's.
So when we bought our coach in 2007, I ordered a set of 6, leased space in Lance's cave, and had our replacement tires shipped over to France to be sequestered in the dark, cool of the subteranean French hill country. I figured if you could win TdF races that way, couldn't hurt for what we do, right? I understand they have also upped the level of science associated with the cure process (thru which I've benefited without additional cost which these days is appreciated), by eliminating the approximately 3" of wood chip floor covering in the cave in favor of a comparable depth & coverage of cow chips. Seems the latter exudes certain vaporous transmissions that further aid the surface cure for tire rubber compounds by forming a sort of case hardening layer. They say you can't get the smell out of the tires, but I have some experimental theories I want to try out that I think might work, that may lead to lucrative patents some day.

My only problem now is that I've run into a problem w/French Customs. Seems that since I didn't get certain obscure importation permits for the tires in 2007, they are now French domiciled and cannot leave the country without arduous bureaucratic process & payment of exorbitant fees. Strangely, this has nothing to do with the tires themselves, but with the incorporation of French cow chip extracts (French domestic products of which the French are justifiably quite proud) being incorporated into an end product which they are claiming is now destined for "exportation," an interpretation for which I am unequipped to argue the contrary. So our plan is to ship the motorhome over to France, briefly tour the French wine country and perhaps lay in a few cases of local vintages, then have the tires mounted there, take a supposedly brief "holiday" Chunnel trip under the English Channel (at which point the tires will have escaped the tentacular clutches of the famously parochial Parisian bureaucrats, maybe head briefly up to the Green Isle for a shot of Irish whiskey or maybe a pint (or maybe a second pint, who knows?), then have the coach surreptitiously shipped home in parts, strung out over seven or eight cargo containers. I can reassemble the rig in my spare time, assuming none of the containers gets routed to an incorrect destination (in which case, like Mike Kelley, I'll have fun hunting up spare parts and it'll take a bit longer to get the rig fully roadable again).

This way I can ride on fully optimized "no less than 5 years old" tyres. (Note the tires became tyres when the rig transited the Chunnel and they became British citizens; I'll suppose I'll have to consult American authorities on the appropriate repatriation process, but that's bound to be smooth and efficient, right?)
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
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Mike, I think you lost more blood at DRR than we realized! Matt
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:34 PM   #9
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Mike, I Think you might have spent to much time in Mexico. There ability to move stuff across borders is rubbing off on you.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:52 PM   #10
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Mike,

Is that cactus juice you're drinkin there???
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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Mike, I wish you had told me about that bike tire aging trick to prevent flats a few years ago BEFORE I crashed due to a flat tire and shattered my wrist!

But I do have a hint for you. The French have been trying to find Lance's stash of performance enhancing drugs for years with no luck at all. You might want look around that cave and see if you can find them. If so, your tires might suddenly move to the top of the French customs list.
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