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Old 06-06-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Inspecting the new (used) Alpine

My wife an I have put a deposit on a 2004 Alpine FDTS. On Saturday I am going down to inspect the coach to insure everything is as advertised. I will be taking the inspection checklist from RV consumer group and another one from some source I can't recall. Is there anything Alpine-specific I should be looking for? This is our first RV purchase (and hopefully our only one) and we really want to get it right.

Ian
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:02 AM   #2
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Check to see if steering has been upgraded, & whether emergency brake boost is present w/key off. Check age of tires.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike. That's just the sort of thing I was looking for.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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cruzian, here's a few maintenance issues you may want to check out ...

Batteries - you should be able to determine the age of the batteries from their serial numbers ... typically good for 6 - years +- ... make sure cables do NOT lay down on any brackets!

AC Shrouds - the Dometic Penguin AC shrouds are notorious for working loose &/or start cracking around the mounting screws ... replacement covers are available but covers are typically too big for the mounting

Left DS Fender Panel - the panel directly under the driver's seat that serves as a fender and extends around the front wheel can come loose from its frame mounting ... push on the panel in front of the wheel to determine if it moves in & out (not good) ... may require remounting using fiberglass straps

Rear Spoiler - the rear spoiler (camera) have come loose for some owners (fortunately not me - knock on wood!) and may require remounting

Just some things to check although relatively easy to correct ... all of these issues have been previously documented on the website

Good luck with the purchase & enjoy the coach ... they're great motorhomes!
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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An evening of cruzing this forum will give you some more ideas but here are a few more things to look at [not necessarily Alpine isues but worth knowing about]. Check for water stains/instrusion around windows and the front an back end caps, HWH had issues with their hydraulic hoses so check slide hoses, the older xantrex/"greenbox" [mod-synwave] inverter can be an issue, outside, dual-pane windows on many coaches this age are starting to fog, brake fluid old/needs flush, exhaust gasket/manifold on Cummins leaking/cracked, radiator and intercooler leaks on some newer and some older coaches, and check 120v electrical connections through-out coach. This list isnt intended to scare you away from Alpine--far from it, but you do need to know about some of these trends/issues as our coaches age.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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I have been doing lots of cruzin through this forum and another. It's good to know my brain can still assimilate so much information in a short amount of time!

The brochure for 2004 FDTS I'm inspecting says that automatic air leveling is standard and that hydraulic jack leveling is an option. I know that some high-end coaches have both. I'm wondering if this one does or if they installed the hydraulic jack leveling INSTEAD of the automatic air leveling. Does anyone know what I should expect?
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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I would expect to find hydraulic leveling jacks in the four corners. I am not sure if I have seen an Alpine Coach without them. My '04 has hydraulic jacks, and if I remember correctly, they were strongly recommended over the air leveling. I am not sure what they even look like. I would not expect to find both.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:23 AM   #8
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Ian- WRV had a way of putting "options" on as standard. Coach could have been ordered w/air leveling but not likely. A few earlier units were made w/air. Its either/or, you can't have both. Almost all Alpines had hydraulic leveling. Avalanches had air, and a few 2009 rigs had air (they made a sort of stripper version late in the lifespan of WRV). Otherwise it was HWH hydraulics for the balance.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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The inspection went well. The dealer has agreed to fix everything on our list including the steering bracket and the brake assist, which has not been installed. Thanks to everyone for your input and suggestions, especially for the infor on the brake assist and steering bracket. I would never have known to ask for it. So my DW and I are now proud owners of the 2004 Alpine FDTS. I look forward to seeing you all out there!
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Congratulations!!
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:35 PM   #11
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Ian- on an 04 recently, the owner installed the brake boost relay kit per the schematic in the thread I referenced in post#2 above. Not sure he had the install correct, but we did identify that his Vansco programming is different than the programming for the 05 off which the schematic was developed. He may have burned out one of the Vansco circuits.

IIWMI'd drop the fuse size to 0.5A on the relay coil as a precaution. On 05's I powered the relay coil w/a remote 12V source and never popped a breaker, but w/a 3A fuse the 04 owner seems to have blown a fuse or breaker circuit. He may wind up wiring around the circuit involved (still working out what happend), but for early 04's a cautious approach is indicated till we have this figured out.

You can order the steering fix kit here.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim A
Congratulations!!
Welcome to the club!!
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:47 PM   #13
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Cruzian, WELCOME to our wonderful Alpine family!! Hope you will consider joining our national club, Alpine Coach Association (www.alpinecoachassociation.com) and the regional club NorCal. Monitoring this site and asking questions, along with joining us at various rallies are the two best ways to really learn your way around your new rig. Plus, the added bonus of coming to our rallies is meeting lots of really great people!!
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