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Old 03-14-2018, 12:08 PM   #1
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Prospective Alpine Coach Buyer

Hello all. My wife and I are on the search for our first DP MH. Upon lots of research and looking, we really like the Western RV Alpine Coaches, both the 38' and 40'. Price range puts us looking at 2001-2003 models, which I know are hard to come by.

If we find one, what are some of the things we should look at when inspecting the coach? Anything in those years to be especially careful about? Any other advice or insight?

Thanks so much in advance.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:36 PM   #2
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2003 would be a good choice. If you can find one with the 400 HP ISL, even better. Old Scout is a great source of info, particularly on the 2003 MY. He should be along shortly.

You could do a search of his posts or enter some key words such as "2003 problems" etc. for additional info.

All the basics like, maintenance records, owner history, tire and battery age and condition, inverter, generator, a/c units, furnace, refrigerator, etc need to be checked. A test drive is a must and if possible I recommend a pre-purchase inspection. If you're capable and have the tools and time and the seller is willing you could inspect the coach yourself, perhaps with the assistance of a mechanically gifted friend.

We're all biased here, but you'll be hard pressed to find a better coach for the money.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RVPioneer View Post
2003 would be a good choice. If you can find one with the 400 HP ISL, even better. Old Scout is a great source of info, particularly on the 2003 MY. He should be along shortly.

You could do a search of his posts or enter some key words such as "2003 problems" etc. for additional info.

All the basics like, maintenance records, owner history, tire and battery age and condition, inverter, generator, a/c units, furnace, refrigerator, etc need to be checked. A test drive is a must and if possible I recommend a pre-purchase inspection. If you're capable and have the tools and time and the seller is willing you could inspect the coach yourself, perhaps with the assistance of a mechanically gifted friend.

We're all biased here, but you'll be hard pressed to find a better coach for the money.
What would be a no go for you? If I find a coach that everything works but the fridge for a great price, is it worth it? What would be some things that if they were broken or not functioning properly would be a no go? I assume just like anything else, when we're talking about 15-20 year old mechanical equipment, breaks are bound to happen.

Thanks for the quick response!
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Old 03-14-2018, 04:14 PM   #4
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What would be a no go for you? If I find a coach that everything works but the fridge for a great price, is it worth it? What would be some things that if they were broken or not functioning properly would be a no go? I assume just like anything else, when we're talking about 15-20 year old mechanical equipment, breaks are bound to happen.

Thanks for the quick response!
A definite no go for me would be a generally run down and neglected coach. Some obvious signs would be things such as unusual wear on the front tires or tires over 7 years old, missing parts like door latches or gas shocks that hold open the basement doors, blinds that don't operate properly and any other easily observable defects that haven't been repaired. These offer indications of the type of care the coach has received overall. If someone is driving around on bald, aged out tires, they've probably skipped some other maintenance items as well.

If you're confident that the refrigerator is the only item in need of replacement, you know the cost for a new one (installed), and believe the price is fair, then give it a shot.

We've owned ours for 15 months. I spent several months doing research and 3 months looking at 6 different coaches, all Alpines, until we found what we were looking for and within our budget. We almost jumped on two, out of perceived desperation, that we know now we would have regretted. We weren't looking for a project and both needed $10-15K of work that I could see. We found a gem right at the top of our budget and couldn't be happier with the decision.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:41 PM   #5
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All I can add is we love our Alpine.
Our is a 2007.
I'm not up to speed on the older ones other than they sure made a great coach, any year.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:44 PM   #6
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....2000 thru 2003 were some of the most stable platforms WRV built--IMHO. Agree, 400ISL with a Jake brake would be preferred but not essential--will limit you to 2003 and newer. Later 2003s had a better wheel cut than early 2003 and older coaches. 2003 coaches and earlier came with modified sine wave inverters--true sine wave preferred--most probably replaced by now. WRV had some issues with weepy HWH hydraulic hoses during that era but should also be fixed by now. The rest is common MH stuff related to a 15 year old rig.
PS--there was a mix of 350 and 400 engines in the fleet during this time. The air filters were different [smaller opening on 350] so some filters were miss-fitted by owners resulting in possible engine dusting--unlikely occurrence but Cummins will be able to check it and tell you.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:54 PM   #7
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2002 40' Alpine for sale

Well, interesting to log on here, first time in a few years, and see a thread about interest in an older Alpine. We have a pristine 2002 that has been in storage for about five years, indoors until last year, one of those I want to keep it, husband doesn't want to drive it anymore stories. We also have been living in Oregon and the coach is stored in Banning, CA, so it was safely stored, easy to let it be.
It's a triple slide, washer/dryer/combo, big electric refrigerator, king bed, dining table and chairs, 400 ISL, awning, satellite, husband put about everything he could on it. Have no idea what it is worth but we had a guy come out last year, met him at the site and he went through it, all is well. Needs tires, naturally, since sitting on tires that were good but now are old. It's pretty I have pictures I could send.
Help, everyone. What would be a fair price. I think it has around 35k miles on it.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:57 PM   #8
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We placed a contingent offer on a private party-owned that was accepted on a 2005 M-40FD Triple Slide. It is being inspected next week. As long as nothing too troublesome is reported on the inspection report, I am flying down in early April to take delivery.

We are super stoked to start our RV journey with a great quality coach. I'm sure I will be bending all your ears for being pointed in the right direction

Thanks to everyone for their insight and advice. We really feel like we hit a home run with this one. It stretched our budget, but the price for that model and year were too good!
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pamelashere View Post
Well, interesting to log on here, first time in a few years, and see a thread about interest in an older Alpine. We have a pristine 2002 that has been in storage for about five years, indoors until last year, one of those I want to keep it, husband doesn't want to drive it anymore stories. We also have been living in Oregon and the coach is stored in Banning, CA, so it was safely stored, easy to let it be.
It's a triple slide, washer/dryer/combo, big electric refrigerator, king bed, dining table and chairs, 400 ISL, awning, satellite, husband put about everything he could on it. Have no idea what it is worth but we had a guy come out last year, met him at the site and he went through it, all is well. Needs tires, naturally, since sitting on tires that were good but now are old. It's pretty I have pictures I could send.
Help, everyone. What would be a fair price. I think it has around 35k miles on it.
The Alpine Coaches are hard to find in good condition. NADA will give you a decent starting point; it gives you a low and average retail price. Do most people stick to this, of course not. Almost every RV we have been looking at (higher end, older model coaches) are listed above book. We got extremely lucky in finding what we did. Having things in common with the current owner didn't hurt either.

I'm not even an owner yet, but that's just my 2 cents from what I've seen so far.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:44 AM   #10
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Morning Hambone, hope everything goes as planned and you are able to close the deal on the 2005. Your initial inquiry was with regard to 2003 and earlier. The 2005 and newer coaches have some differences from the older models. I am not as schooled on the 2005, so hopefully a newer coach owner will jump in to help guide you. In my opinion, none of the changes on the 2005 make for a show-stopper. But you do need to check their status during the PDI.


PS--its not too early to consider joining the Alpine Coach Association. We are a great group of Alpine owners with a well-deserved reputation for hosting great rallies, providing great camaraderie, and great owner support. In other words, we are just GREAT! Check out our website at aplinecoachassociation.com. I've attached a chapter registration form for your consideration.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ACAApplication.pdf (401.0 KB, 11 views)
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:25 AM   #11
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Morning Hambone, hope everything goes as planned and you are able to close the deal on the 2005. Your initial inquiry was with regard to 2003 and earlier. The 2005 and newer coaches have some differences from the older models. I am not as schooled on the 2005, so hopefully a newer coach owner will jump in to help guide you. In my opinion, none of the changes on the 2005 make for a show-stopper. But you do need to check their status during the PDI.


PS--its not too early to consider joining the Alpine Coach Association. We are a great group of Alpine owners with a well-deserved reputation for hosting great rallies, providing great camaraderie, and great owner support. In other words, we are just GREAT! Check out our website at aplinecoachassociation.com. I've attached a chapter registration form for your consideration.
Old Scout,

I get the reports from the inspection and fluid analysis early the following week (probably the 27th). I have everything set up for the purchase with the bank, just waiting on the green light from the inspector.

As soon as I know we are purchasing, I'm going to join FMCA and ACA. I can already tell that you guys are great group from the forums here. I'm sure I'll be asking plenty of questions after the purchase (some dumb ones included). Please bare with us, we're newbies

I'm Active Duty Navy, so as the saying goes "stand by for heavy rolls"

Thanks for the advice and insight!
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:55 AM   #12
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Tim, there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers. I have had a 2005 FDTS ( Front Door Triple Slide) since it was new, so if you have any questions that you canít find answers for either here or in the ACA technical library, (technical library is one of the stickies above) ask away. You are in TN so you should also join Alpine Coach East (ACE) for members east of the Mississippi, as Dean said we are just great!

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Old 03-18-2018, 10:27 AM   #13
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If your inspector wants a heads up on some known issues with an '05 coach you could point him to this old thread Inspecting 36FDTS-Possible Issues? that has a good list in it. None of the these items are what I would call deal breakers but just negotiating points if found. Good luck on the inspection. If the coach has been taken care of then you made a great choice.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:18 PM   #14
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If your inspector wants a heads up on some known issues with an '05 coach you could point him to this old thread Inspecting 36FDTS-Possible Issues? that has a good list in it. None of the these items are what I would call deal breakers but just negotiating points if found. Good luck on the inspection. If the coach has been taken care of then you made a great choice.
Thanks for this. I forwarded to the inspector for a read ahead. Fingers crossed the inspection goes well.
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