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Old 09-02-2016, 12:35 PM   #1
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Looking at a 2002 Tradewinds, need owners input

Hey All,

We are looking at our first Motorhome. Its a 2002 National Tradewinds 35LE, 330hp cat, Allison 6 Speed, Spartan Chassis. 7.5 Onan Quiet Diesel. 32,000 Miles.

The owner has set a few pictures. It looks good, with one little exception. The rear wall, seem to show signs of a previous leak. They did say they had a cap to roof leak that was repaired, they have reciepts as well.

So with the pictures below. What should I look at before buying. What would be a reasonable price to pay?

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Old 09-02-2016, 12:39 PM   #2
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:42 PM   #3
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Some how loading them as attachments has turned some of the pictures.
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:46 PM   #4
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These two pictures show the rear wall water evidence. The corner of the cabinet shows a little discoloration. The head board has what appears to be water stains.
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Old 09-02-2016, 01:19 PM   #5
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You indicate you have not seen the coach, just the pictures.
Obviously you need to see it in person before you get much further in the process. I see lots of fabric damage in the chairs and a broken piece of corain on the stove lid, which looks like a crude repair that should be fixeable. Upholstery can be redone cheaper than replacing the chairs if they are in good condition otherwise.
My sense is that it needs a thorough cleaning from top to bottom.
If the current owner has been hard on it then I would have the drive train checked by a competent Shop as part of the process.
If you are buying it as a fixer upper, there isn't much in it you can't repair or upgrade yourself.
Leaks are a way of life in these things. The seams and components need to be resealed from time to time or they will leak. I just resealed my front cap seam two days ago after a leak presented itself during a really heavy rain storm we experienced! I also did the rear one for good measure!!
If your handy, the drive train checks out and the price is right you should be fine..
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Old 09-02-2016, 01:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MikeandRuth View Post
You indicate you have not seen the coach, just the pictures.
Obviously you need to see it in person before you get much further in the process. I see lots of fabric damage in the chairs and a broken piece of corain on the stove lid, which looks like a crude repair that should be fixeable. Upholstery can be redone cheaper than replacing the chairs if they are in good condition otherwise.
My sense is that it needs a thorough cleaning from top to bottom.
If the current owner has been hard on it then I would have the drive train checked by a competent Shop as part of the process.
If you are buying it as a fixer upper, there isn't much in it you can't repair or upgrade yourself.
Leaks are a way of life in these things. The seams and components need to be resealed from time to time or they will leak. I just resealed my front cap seam two days ago after a leak presented itself during a really heavy rain storm we experienced! I also did the rear one for good measure!!
If your handy, the drive train checks out and the price is right you should be fine..

Thanks for the reply!


It is on the other side of the country from us. We have a friend in the area that is going to give it a good once over and make sure there is nothing obvious.

My wife and daughter have bad allergies, and noses like bloodhounds. So a smell test before we fly is needed.

We have kids and a budget and need to tow a race car and trailer. So that leaves us looking at this vintage DP. We expect a little wear, but nothing abused. I did see the counter, they mentioned this and the tear on the corner of the recliner as well as sent pictures of both without being asked. I think as long as we can get them to price it with those in consideration it would work out for us. I did see a bottle of Schaeffers oil in the storage bin, so that makes me a little warm and fuzzy about drivetrain care.

I'm ASE certified in Gas and Diesel and grew up in a Cummins dealer. I feel ok looking over the drivetrain myself and will do so before any money changes hands. If there is any defects that are common on this model or application that information is greatly appreciated. I do know about the jack reservoir mounts, and will look at that.

The steer tires are new, about 1500 miles on them. Drive tires are in good condtion pre the seller, unsure of the date, but will be checked.

I just don't know the details of buying a coach, or how actual sales prices match up the NADA.

NADA says average retail is $43, low retail is $36. They started at 45, are now down to $43k after two months online. I think $32-$35 is realistic, but have no idea really, or if they will take that. Opinons on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:14 PM   #7
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Just bought a 2001 38' Tradewinds for $17,000, which I thought as a steal! had to replace step motor, 12v water pump and engine anti freeze surge tank($245.00!). She is ready to roll and I am proud new owner. PPL in Houston sold one like it for $30,000
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 4dcooley View Post
Just bought a 2001 38' Tradewinds for $17,000, which I thought as a steal! had to replace step motor, 12v water pump and engine anti freeze surge tank($245.00!). She is ready to roll and I am proud new owner. PPL in Houston sold one like it for $30,000

Gas or diesel? It really depends on condition. Sounds like you got a deal!
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsupra View Post
Thanks for the reply!


It is on the other side of the country from us. We have a friend in the area that is going to give it a good once over and make sure there is nothing obvious.

My wife and daughter have bad allergies, and noses like bloodhounds. So a smell test before we fly is needed.

We have kids and a budget and need to tow a race car and trailer. So that leaves us looking at this vintage DP. We expect a little wear, but nothing abused. I did see the counter, they mentioned this and the tear on the corner of the recliner as well as sent pictures of both without being asked. I think as long as we can get them to price it with those in consideration it would work out for us. I did see a bottle of Schaeffers oil in the storage bin, so that makes me a little warm and fuzzy about drivetrain care.

I'm ASE certified in Gas and Diesel and grew up in a Cummins dealer. I feel ok looking over the drivetrain myself and will do so before any money changes hands. If there is any defects that are common on this model or application that information is greatly appreciated. I do know about the jack reservoir mounts, and will look at that.

The steer tires are new, about 1500 miles on them. Drive tires are in good condtion pre the seller, unsure of the date, but will be checked.

I just don't know the details of buying a coach, or how actual sales prices match up the NADA.

NADA says average retail is $43, low retail is $36. They started at 45, are now down to $43k after two months online. I think $32-$35 is realistic, but have no idea really, or if they will take that. Opinons on this would be greatly appreciated.
You might want to check on the tow rating. My '99 Tradewinds is rated for 5,000#. I don't know if National bumped that up for the 2002 35', but it sounds like you'll be towing a load significantly in excess of 5,000 #.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:18 PM   #10
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You might want to check on the tow rating. My '99 Tradewinds is rated for 5,000#. I don't know if National bumped that up for the 2002 35', but it sounds like you'll be towing a load significantly in excess of 5,000 #.
Yep, It has a 10k hitch and the GCVW is up from the earlier ones. You have to get the 6 speed Allison to get the bump in GCVW. In 02 that also meant getting the 330hp Cat 3126.

I did all the math, and with the coach loaded I think we still have atleast 7,500. We like the Monaco's in the same vintage, but they seem to only have 5k hitch.
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:01 AM   #11
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Yep, It has a 10k hitch and the GCVW is up from the earlier ones. You have to get the 6 speed Allison to get the bump in GCVW. In 02 that also meant getting the 330hp Cat 3126.

I did all the math, and with the coach loaded I think we still have atleast 7,500. We like the Monaco's in the same vintage, but they seem to only have 5k hitch.
I think that all Tradewinds come with the 6-speed Allison as standard. The brochure for the 2002 TW doesn't mention a 10,000 # tow option or a 330 hp option, and it continues to show the 31,000# Combined Vehicle Weight Rating. Still, brochures are often out of date when published, and all of them throw in the caveat that production changes may change the specs given. Just be sure of what you're buying. Have the seller send a pic of the label verifying the tow capacity.

I see that you're in Tennessee and looking at a TW in the western US. Have you looked for a unit in Florida? That would be a lot closer to home for you. And if you are buying from an individual rather than a dealer, you should probably expect to pay closer to the lower end of the price range.

Best wishes locating the unit that will satisfy all your needs. It's out there, and if you take your time, you'll find it.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:55 AM   #12
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I think that all Tradewinds come with the 6-speed Allison as standard. The brochure for the 2002 TW doesn't mention a 10,000 # tow option or a 330 hp option, and it continues to show the 31,000# Combined Vehicle Weight Rating. Still, brochures are often out of date when published, and all of them throw in the caveat that production changes may change the specs given. Just be sure of what you're buying. Have the seller send a pic of the label verifying the tow capacity.

I see that you're in Tennessee and looking at a TW in the western US. Have you looked for a unit in Florida? That would be a lot closer to home for you. And if you are buying from an individual rather than a dealer, you should probably expect to pay closer to the lower end of the price range.

Best wishes locating the unit that will satisfy all your needs. It's out there, and if you take your time, you'll find it.

I saw the same thing, we went over the brochure and came to the conclusion that it was wrong more than it was right. He sent me a copy of the window sticker and we verified everything. That brochure is pretty poor point of reference at least on this one. We have a friend going to inspect and drive it monday, hopefully it all works out!

We have and continue to keep our eye open in Florida, just haven't found one we like down there yet. We have found a bunch of 40' but we would like to stay a little shorter.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:28 AM   #13
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We have a friend going to check it out monday!

As far as the towing goes, it has a GCVW of 40k vs most of the others we have looked at are in the 31-32k range. This is per the sheet in the cabinet, the brochure doesn't match any number haha.

Thanks for all the replys. If you own one we'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:48 PM   #14
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Well we are getting close.

What the thoughts on value here? Is $38K out of line?

He is putting a new windshield in, new rear tires. Everything else is ready to go down the road. The front seats and recliner need recovered. The paint is slightly oxidized in a few places. No leaks. He is going to completely service it and fill it with fuel before we leave with it. The inspector and myself both feel he is an honest seller, and has been very easy to deal with.

I was thinking 35-37 was in the ballpark. My bank(USAA) says $35, his bank says $49! Small discrepancy haha

NADA if I add in all the goodies says $35-$41. $38 is right in the middle.
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