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Old 08-02-2017, 11:01 AM   #1
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Seeking Advice

Hi Everyone,
We are currently in the process of purchasing a 1998 Alpine Coach 36FDS, I think is the model. The consignment dealer wants to fix anything before turnover, GREAT!
The problem is, he's had it to 2 different shops for problems with the speedometer & power steering. These shops are having trouble finding parts etc. Is this due to the manufacture? Is this a warning sign of future problems? It's been 4 weeks & we're anxious to get our rig. Should we back out of the deal & look at something more common?
Any advice is appreciated.
Keith
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:10 AM   #2
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I have no experience with that model, but I can say in my own search for a used motor home, I am focusing on models from the major manufacturers that have nationwide dealerships, spare parts warehouses and good customer service reputations to hopefully avoid the situation you find yourself in.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:55 AM   #3
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Where are you located? A competent shop should not have too much difficulty repairing the items you mentioned. WRV made the coaches in Yakima, Wa. and there are many knowledgeable service centers in Washington and Oregon. Every coach has it's own separate set if deficiencies and you can research them on this forum.

Be cautious about what the dealer says has been repaired or serviced. If possible spend a few hundred buck to have a pre-purchase inspection performed. A thorough inspection will cover every component on the coach and could reveal a significant amount of needed repairs.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:17 PM   #4
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I just had the same thing happen to me. My speedometer quiet and started call all the Country Coach repair and part places in Junction City, came up with nothing, no longer made. I called a salvage yard back east, nothing.
Country Coach Motorhome Parts RV Exterior Body Panels Used RV Parts For Sale | visonerv.com
Then I called Speedometer with Trip Meter Gauge 64981 30567: nwrvsupply.com in Junction City and sent them some pic of the front and back, 2 days later I called back and she said I think we have a match.
So I ordered it and it was brand new, same number but an 06 mine stamped 05 and all I had to do program the back, works great.
Look on there sight and see if they have anything.
2 stroker
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:15 PM   #5
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Even though Western went out of business in 2008-09, they used many common parts as in other RV brands, or trucks such as Ford F250. There are many well experienced and dyed in the wool Alpine owners that frequent this forum and they provide advice on troubleshooting, and can usually provide replacement part numbers and/or sources if you experience future problems. If the seller is having trouble locating the parts info, perhaps you could find out what they need and check for advice on this forum? Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:20 PM   #6
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Not sure it is so much an issue of finding a more "popular" brand of coach--think the issue is finding off the shelf parts for a nearly 20 year old coach. Availability of third-party providers of dash instrumentation/gauges will depend on status of the original manufacturer. Steering, suspension, and drive-train components for the Alpine are all pretty much from the over-the-road trucking industry so again, to the degree that these parts are still in inventory will determine availability. The last option is RV salvage yards--in this case, a higher production brand of coach might be an advantage...
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:26 PM   #7
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When talking about the power steering, do you mean the unit that drives both the steering and breaks or the hydromax unit that drives the steering when the engine is off? The pump that operates both steering and brakes is available through White House Products in Great Britain. Great Customer Service and will have the pump to you in less than a week. Their website: Hydraulic Gear Pumps | White House Products | Hydraulic Pumps. A couple of us have used them for replacement pumps and have been very satisfied. look for a recent thread on this topic on this forum.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannbowl View Post
Hi Everyone,
We are currently in the process of purchasing a 1998 Alpine Coach 36FDS, I think is the model. The consignment dealer wants to fix anything before turnover, GREAT!
The problem is, he's had it to 2 different shops for problems with the speedometer & power steering. These shops are having trouble finding parts etc. Is this due to the manufacture? Is this a warning sign of future problems? It's been 4 weeks & we're anxious to get our rig. Should we back out of the deal & look at something more common?
Any advice is appreciated.
Keith


I suggest that the issue is more with the shops the consignment dealer has sent the coach to. There is no rocket science on these coaches, but there are unique features not found in other coaches.

To further your request please describe the symptoms, this forum can assist getting the dealer headed in the right direction. Where is the dealer located and what parts are they looking for? I see from your profile you are in the north west, there are multiple dealers that have worked on Alpines for years.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:37 PM   #9
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Keith, I have accumulated over 100 (and counting) replacement part numbers for my 1999 Alpine. Would be happy to share them with you. Many of those numbers came from the generous folks on this forum. RVPioneer gives some good advice, a Pre-purchase Inspection is necessary. If anything, a list of issues will can be used as leverage in negotiations. However, you do want to know if there are any issues with big ticket items, tires, fridge, etc. When asked, I tell people if you are going to buy an older coach, plan on $5,000 to $10,000 on top of the purchase price in repairs. And, it helps if you are handy at doing some work yourself. Even so, you can end up with a lot of coach for the money. As Dave mentioned, it is not rock science.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:35 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for their comments & help. I will get in touch with the new shop today to find out more details.
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