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Old 03-31-2016, 09:20 PM   #1
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Location: Evergreen Colorado
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Advice???????

I am looking at a 2005 Alpine Limited 36 FDDS, 46K miles and appears to well
kept. I am not new to the MH game but would like to lean on the expertise
in this forum as to what layers of the onion I need to peel and look closely at.
The only condition issues I have found (it was well taken care of) are several
cracked tiles near the frig and over by the kitchen (high traffic and drop zones)

I currently have an 07 HR Neptune XL 34 SBD and now that I am retired looking for a better road experience as the BFW and Golden complain about the ride. I do like the turning radius etc. but not fun in the wind and truck traffic on the freeways.

I would really appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,

Jay
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:05 PM   #2
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Might try a search of this forum--many people have been in exactly your position over the years, so alot of info is available on Alpines. Think most Alpine owners are pretty stoked about the overall performance and value of their RVs. Here are some of the issues with 05 and newer Alpines--all are fixable and none are show stoppers: steering bracket fatigue, brake pedal pressure, radiator leaks, Onan inverters, and some early 05s had suspension/frame bolt issues. Again, owners believe Alpines are some of the best handling rigs ever made. A good maintenance log is key--if the previous owner took the time to track routine maintenance and record issues/fixes, then the coach should be in good shape.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:43 AM   #3
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Advice

Thanks Old Scout,

I appreciate the advice and have perused the forum quite a bit.

Thanks to all others that take the time to chime in....never enough input I say.

Best to all

Jay
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:28 PM   #4
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Advice???????

Jay, I have a 2005 38' FDTS, you are looking at a coach that is close to ours. Mine was manufactured in September 2004 so it is one of the early 05's. As Old Scout mentioned there are lots of topics here look them over closely and be sure they apply to the coach you are looking at.

There is a forum topic on the huck bolt issues and it is easy to inspect for. We have not had problems with the steering bracket but I do periodic inspections to be sure the problem does not appear. You can inspect for the radiator problem, I would take your prospective coach to a diesel mechanic and have them go over the engine thoroughly. One issue I have right now is with the hydraulic system. The hose from the reservoir to the pump is deteriorating it is a simple fix but like any vehicle that is 10+ years old you should expect hoses and belts to wear out. We replaced the serpentine belt about 2 years ago and I carry a spare just in case (NAPA carries them, just not all stores stock them). The brake pressure seems a little soft, but in 10 years I have never had a problem stopping.

I think every MH with tile floors has some cracked tiles, what you can expect with 33k pounds of coach rolling down the road flexing. We have a couple of cracks in the kitchen area, but until the tiles actually break I am not going to replace them (when we bought the coach WRV included extra tiles so I have a perfect match).

I have considered a newer coach, there are 2 things that really keep us from doing it. 1) since 2010 federal regulations require DEF for Diesel engines, that only adds expense to your fuel bills. 2) after 10 years I know every snap, crackle and pop and where to look for them.

I have not seen or driven a coach I like better. The Alpines do not have the fancy mirrored ceilings and the 05's did not have some of the features like LED lighting (but they are easily added) like the later coaches. The 05's do have the Cummins 400 hp ISL, depending upon the terrain and my foot (I normally drive in ECO with cruise control and keep 65 or under) I get between 7.5 to 9.8 mpg.

If you get the coach and/or questions pm me.

Dave, Bobbi and Fenway
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:33 PM   #5
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Advice

Thanks Dr. Dave....I see you hail from Mass My family roots hail from Italy to Ellis Island to Dorchester. I still have family spread out in Saugus, Weymouth, Fall
River, Quincy..... I am out in Colorado as my Dad joined the Army Air Corps. and they sent him west during WW2. I am an AZ native due to that event.

I will take your advice as I am having the second look see next week and have a
Cummins mechanic I am paying to look over the drive train etc. If something else
raises hackles I will PM you for some advice.

Take care.

Thanks

Jay
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:53 AM   #6
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PS--many of the issues I mentioned early are well-known and may have already been addressed by previous owner--just need to verify. IMHO, it is really hard for even an experienced machanic to give you a "clean bill" on an engine. A Cummins shop can run/print a history to show how engine was used, overall appearance of engine and coach is a general indicator or how it was cared for. Fluid analysis and maintenance logs are the best, but now you are spending some money. Beyond that, its a leap of faith....good luck
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