RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-17-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 24
What would you do? Insight appreciated...

Hey gang -

I'm considering jumping into an 2000 Alpine! Currently, we have a 1994 Thor Residency (which was our first) and it has worked great for us in the season we're in, but I'm now looking into getting us into something nicer, bigger with more abilities and options - as well as (hopefully) increased reliability.

I am wholly unfamiliar with the Alpine's, and despite MUCH reading about them, am not sure how to feel. I've read all sorts of "they're amazing, best ever" to "big problems, blah blah blah"...all that to say - not sure how to feel about it all.

Wanting to make a responsible decision for our family that will allow us to enjoy the road, vacations and memories that come with them -- would value some input as to if there are huge money sucking issues or other deal breakers OR makers I should be aware of....

Looking at a 2000 Alpine 38' with the 330HP, low original miles (22k). So far appears to have been kept in really good shape.

Thanks SO much in advance for any input!
__________________

firedogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-17-2019, 02:03 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 24
Should clarify a few things!

It's 36', 330 cummins with the allison 6 speed, side mount radiator, pass through under storage. solar panels, sat dish, side by side fridge with ice maker. built in vacuum, two roof AC, one piece FG roof. 23k miles, 170 hours or so on generator. kept mostly undercover.

We usually make a trek each year to Moab for jeeping, so being able to tow a jeep on a trailer behind is an important item for us. I'm not needing to win any races, but I'm hoping there's some good experience / input for those of you who use yours for towing as well how they do. Looking for any thoughts, experiences or considerations I should have before pulling the trigger. Thanks again in advance for any input!
__________________

firedogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 05:50 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Tom and Patty's Avatar


 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,278
23k miles, itís been sitting a lot. When was the last time it was driven any distance.
I definitely would have an inspection. Pull fluid samples, engine oil, engine coolant, transmission.....those are the major ones. IIWM Iíd pull genset samples and rear end.

The 36 wonít be lacking any power, but you still will lose some races up a hill.
Have to go for. Bike ride with Patty. I let other give you things to look for.
__________________
Tom, Patty, Hannah "The Big Dog" and Abby Kat, Indianapolis, Indiana 2000 36' FDS 72232 Our Photos
"We live out in our old van. Travel all across this land. Drive until the city lights dissolve into a country sky, just me and you - hand in hand." Zac Brown Band
Tom and Patty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 06:05 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Ljwt330's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Capistrano Beach, California
Posts: 1,071
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Patty View Post
23k miles, itís been sitting a lot. When was the last time it was driven any distance.
I definitely would have an inspection. Pull fluid samples, engine oil, engine coolant, transmission.....those are the major ones. IIWM Iíd pull genset samples and rear end.

The 36 wonít be lacking any power, but you still will lose some races up a hill.
Have to go for. Bike ride with Patty. I let other give you things to look for.

These were my first thoughts, as well^^. That's just an average of about 1100 miles/year--lots of down time. A very detailed inspection of the fuel system, oil, hydraulic system and brakes (the other hydraulic system) is in order if you are serious.


If the interior/exterior is in great shape, that is a plus as it shows pride of ownership. The "fear" of Alpines is generally limited to the 2004 and newer versions with the Vansco multiplex system. You don't face the possible steering bracket weakness of later models either. Outside of these two issues, Alpine's are no more a horror story than any other manufacturer's coach, and the build quality is very high as are the materials used.


If this were me, I'd be most concerned with the lack of use, but that can be overcome with a thorough, professional inspection.
__________________
Larry, Eileen, and Finley
2004 Alpine 36FDDS
Third motor home, first Alpine, no need for another.
Ljwt330 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 06:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,855
I agree with whatís been said above. The low mileage is almost alarming.

Do you have any information on the history of usage? Has it been sitting for 8-10 years? Are there maintenance records?

With those miles and being stored under cover, it should look almost showroom new, inside and out.

A couple of other big ticket items are tires and batteries. Check the age and condition. It could also be on the original Bilstein shocks which will need to be replaced.

A full inspection of all house functions in addition to fluid analysis would be on my list. You may spend $1000 for those tests and inspections, but you could easily spend multiples of that if you donít.

There will be no comparison in build quality or ride comfort to your current coach. Operating costs and maintenance will be higher on a DP v gas.

Would you mind sharing what the seller is asking for the coach?
__________________
2005 Alpine Coach 36MDDS
2015 Grand Cherokee Diesel
RVPioneer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 08:50 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jim A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,612
I agree with the above posts. My coach is newer and has 110,000 more miles on it than that one! We bought it new, and put those miles on it. We think it has a lot more miles left in it too. Great coach to drive and definitely not a "money pit". We have never regretted purchasing it. And it isn't likely to be for sale anytime soon.


About all I can suggest is that you go in with your eyes wide open, and have a few bucks set aside for unexpected expenses. If you over-extend yourself buying it, you will be in trouble.



I would figure tires and batteries as a planned expense, not an "unexpected expense". Tires do not do well when not used, covered or not. Go by age, not looks or remaining tread.
__________________
Jim A
'04 Alpine Coach 36' MDDS
Jim A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 10:34 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 24
Hey gang -

Thanks for the input so far. A family friend who makes his living buying and selling motorhomes found this one for us, and is going over it checking all the systems and such. It has brand new tires (like last week) because the other ones were probably original and showing signs of needing replacing, and all new house batteries in 2016. The inside and outside are in exceptional shape (based on pictures so far, I'll see it in person in the next couple of days here) -- it definitely has been well cared for and a pride of ownership from the previous owners shows.

We won't be over extending ourselves - I tend to be fiscally conservative (understatement) and this is something we've been saving for / keeping in mind. With plans to sell our current soon, putting those funds directly towards this new (new to us) Alpine. Looks like its going to run me $34k to purchase the Alpine should I decide to move forward.

Having yet to see it in person and do my own walkthrough / inspection / get my hand and eyes on things -- it does seem like a well cared for, gem of a find that is in great shape, low miles and at a price I can afford.

Thanks again, and keep the input coming! Seems like the coach quality and condition and the price are in-line..tough to find comparables on the market...but seems like a fair price. Thoughts!?
firedogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 11:32 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,855
The price seems reasonable. Based on your description it sounds like it is in very good condition cosmetically, which would be expected given the low miles and not being exposed to the elements.

Great news on the tires. New batteries in 2016 may indicate that it has seen some use recently. Keep in mind that improperly maintained batteries can easily be ruined in 3 years.

Iíll emphasize again the importance of fluid analysis, particularly if there are no service records that show regular and recent oil changes. Oil, transmission, coolant, hydraulic, brake fluid, fuel, Iíd have them all tested if there are no maintenance records. Find a company in the area that can do these tests, not a shade tree mechanic that says it looks good. Coolant and oil on the generator as well.

New Koni shocks are about $800 plus installation.
I havenít had an alignment but heard it can be $300-500.
If you decide to, or need to, change all fluids and filters youíre looking at $2,000 or more.

Oil change, lube, fuel and air filter, $500+
Transmission fluid and filter, $500+
Coolant flush and replace, $500+
Hydraulic fluid and filters (radiator fan, brake booster and power steering), 200+
Brake fluid, wheels off, $300+
Generator coolant, oil and filters $300+
Thereís also a separate hydraulic system for the room slides and, I think on your model, the generator slide.

Only the engine and generator oil service are annual. Others are 3-5 year intervals. Not to scare you, just to inform you of what will be necessary over time and what items may be negotiated with the seller.

It sounds like youíll be able to handle unexpected issues when they arise. Just be sure to do everything you can to identify potential problems before you commit to the purchase.
__________________
2005 Alpine Coach 36MDDS
2015 Grand Cherokee Diesel
RVPioneer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2019, 01:53 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
DrDaveMA's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Lake Wales, FL
Posts: 2,807
What would you do? Insight appreciated...

ďIt has brand new tires (like last week)Ē. Look at the side wall, mostly on the inner wall, for the ďDOT born onĒ date, 4 digits (week of the year and the year, like 5216, last week of 2016). I once bought a set of tires that were over 6 years old when they were delivered to me as ďnewĒ. The dealer and I had a conversation about that and he got new tires that were less than 6 months old.

The Alpines are great, they have issues just like any other coach, the thing they have that others donít is an outstanding support group here on IRV2. If you search a problem there are not many that have not been covered here.

The suggestions above are right on, one thing I would do, I would pull the samples for testing before you purchase the coach, then after you acquire it change ALL the fluids and belts, that way you establish a known baseline. You know how old everything is. You are putting good money and your family in that coach.
__________________
Dave, Bobbi and Fenway
2005 38' FDTS Alpine Limited, 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
Lake Wales, FL
DrDaveMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2019, 09:11 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Walton, KY
Posts: 143
Hi Firedogg,
We bought our 2006 34FDDS Alpine in Feb this year.
Why did I want an Alpine?
In short we wanted as small coach with all the stuff that the big rigs have. Fresh and wastewater was high on our list.
We have travelled for 3 month now this year already and I love the Alpine for many reasons.
Now did everything in the beginning go smooth ... no.
I replaced All the roof caulking, made a fiberglass repair on the roof, changed the front shocks, and many more maintenance items. But I think you can find these on any price level coach in that age.
One comment on the new batteries. Mine had 1 year old batteries that I ended up replacing because the dealership had them not maintained and they would simply not perform even after many attempts to revive them.
If you have 2 left hands any older coach will be a nightmare and i think these are mostly the horror stories that you are referring to.
The owners group of this forum and my ability to do all the repairs / improvements myself made this the perfect coach for us.
Joerg
__________________
2006 Alpine 34 FDDS
2013 Honda CRV
Blue Ox, Patriot
Alpine06 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2019, 08:43 PM   #11
Member
 
lazybyrd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Onalaska, TX
Posts: 66
All of the previous suggestions are right on as far as I am concerned. The more info you have the better decision you can make.
I had a high dollar inspection with all the fluids done and have had the repairs and maintenance you would expect from a 16 year old vehicle with a home mounted on top.
I would add that house a/c unit replacement should be on your to do list. 2 of those.
Should you decide to pull the trigger, you can prioritize your maintenance plan based on sample return results and inspection findings. Iím still doing mine.
We bought our Ď03 36í about 15 months and 7500 miles ago.
No regrets
lazybyrd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2019, 08:59 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 5
I see it posted on Craig's this morning. You might want to act fast, maybe a deposit until you can get the fluids tested.
If it were closer to Vegas that's what I would be doing. I'm looking for a 34 but wouldn't rule out a nice 36.
GSPx2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2019, 10:14 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SoOC
Posts: 205
Our recent purchase indicated cosmetic near-perfection, but the after costs were stunningly high. I opted for no thorough mechanical inspection, considering the considered likelihood of similar near perfection. I'm a bit surprised, too, at the sizeably higher continuing costs of a diesel versus my previous gas powered.



Sounds like you're on the right track
__________________
2007 Alpine SE 34FDDS + Cherokee Trailhawk
whalepirot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2019, 03:34 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
paul65k's Avatar


 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Posts: 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSPx2 View Post
I see it posted on Craig's this morning. You might want to act fast, maybe a deposit until you can get the fluids tested.
If it were closer to Vegas that's what I would be doing. I'm looking for a 34 but wouldn't rule out a nice 36.
Interesting....I was dead set on finding a 34 and looked and looked and finally "Settled" for a 36...in hindsight I'm really glad I did. While I wanted to be able to get into smaller parks and State parks, hence the search for a 34......we have had no issues getting into almost anywhere we want to go and now having spent a good deal of time with other Alpine owners and seeing the 34 first hand we are very happy with our 36 and there are so many more 36' units available/built you may want to look a little closer for a 36
__________________

__________________
Paul & Jean
2001 Alpine 36FDDS (350HP)
2006 Alpenlite 32RL Augusta - SOLD!!!
paul65k is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Payload Overload? Buying First Trailer - Insight Appreciated! Exeter Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 36 06-17-2019 03:56 PM
American Coach: Insight on owning a 2004 Fleetwood Revolution 40C would be helpful to me> randall729 Fleetwood Owner's Forum 10 03-29-2019 10:57 PM
Newbie. Charging weirdness, insight appreciated! stillstandn Class A Motorhome Discussions 26 02-21-2017 11:58 AM
Any Advice Would Be Appreciated gomango Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 12 04-25-2015 12:29 PM
Couple Problems, any advice would be appreciated benningtonr Class A Motorhome Discussions 7 09-12-2011 10:24 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×