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Old 03-07-2013, 07:03 AM   #1
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Need some advice and opinion

My last post was hastily written and I was unclear about what I was asking so I am retrying here.

I am looking at a 2006 Phaeton 40 QDH for sale here in NJ for $89000. Comparable coaches are at least $25000 more with the difference being that this one has 50000 more miles on it that the others. Since the Cat diesel is supposed to be a 400k engine, is 88000 miles a big deal?
There is considerable surface rust around the baggage door frames but not so much that cannot be fixed fairly easily it seems. Is this a concern for a lack of maintenance or a common issue?
What should I check for relative to engine and Trans?
Any other Tiffin/Phaeton specific issues?
With 88000 miles, are there major services looming?

I would love to upgrade to a DP Class A from my current Class C and this seems like a great entry so long as I am not getting in over my head. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:08 AM   #2
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The price seems quite good.

Mileage is a bit high but it really shouldn't be a big deal. My biggest concern with high mileage is really more high use (i.e. I'd be more concerned about the wear inside after 90k than the actual wear on the engine).

I'd be a bit cautious about the rust but it might not be really anything as long as it's just there (I've seen other coaches with rust in that area and the rest of it looked decent). Probably simply that they used it in areas with some salt exposure (e.g. beach or some driving on winter roads) but if it's limited to there it's probably not a big deal. Check the exhaust too for signs of rust there as well.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice

michelb -Thanks for the reply and your advice.
I finally received a reply from the dealer who stated the coach was from NC hench the rust. Also stated that they have no service records from the original owner but that everything works as it should, although with the caveat of "if everything was perfect it would be priced $10,000 higher".
The interior pictures are gorgeous, showing no wear and tear at all, and the coach body looks very good as well. The lack of service records worries me especially being a novice to a diesel pusher. If I decide to pursue this I will have to hire a diesel mechanic to check it out.

Any further opinion would be appreciated.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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We purchased a 98 Allegro Bus for a very good price. It had 133000 on the Cummins C8.3, which I felt was no big deal as the owner had all the service listed as to mileage and what was performed. I agree with you. Have a competent diesel mechanic look at it. The history is important, IMHO. As is your overall feeling for the seller. Don't ignore the little voice!
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
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I have been tending to rust on my coach for the last 2 years. It's not bad, but keeping up with the rust is a good idea. I want to keep my coach like-new.

I have now treated rust under all 4 wheel wells, on the oil pan, on both sides around the compartments, and around the rear of the coach. Again, none of it was bad, but if it was left unattended, it would have only gotten worse.

Unfortunately, motorhomes are not built to resist rust like modern cars are. If the rust is manageable, I would not let it degrade your decision to purchase.

The mileage is clearly not a concern on the diesel engine. It does indicate use by the prior owner, which generally is a good thing, as the mechanical's like to be used on these beasts.

If the inside is in great shape, and the outside is good, with manageable surface rust, I would not be afraid of this coach. It might just be the best deal going.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #6
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Hi Ho: We bought the same coach a year ago and have been happy with it. You should check the wet bay floor which (if it hasn't been done already) can still be replaced under warranty-I think. Also the slide out floors and the radiused edges where the roof connects to the side walls. These are all problems that can be corrected, but are not easy (or cheap).

If it has thermopane windows (which it probably does) are they fogged between the panes? We had 10 windows rebuilt to fix this problem at the relatively inexpensive price of $2000. It can be expensive.

Are the tires original, and what is their condition? A new set of tires runs just under $5000.

What does the service record show for the drive train and normal maintenance? You can ask the previous owner or get some records from Freightliner. The mileage is not a concern if the maintenance has been done.

Someone once told me that on a large class A motorhome you should figure about $1000 per year of existence to get everything back to like-new condition. This might be in the ballpark.

And last, but not least, does it have the stuff that you want and are you prepared to maintain a large/complex diesel pusher? It isn't especially cheap and takes some effort but can be really fun (in my opinion).
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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I have been reading that a lot of cars, trucks, and MHs that were flooded
or water damaged in Hurricane Sandy have been hitting the market. Just
something to check closely when shopping now. I'm sure that there are
laws against selling damaged vehicles, but that never stopped a crook
in the past and it won't stop them now.
Although it should be fairly easy to spot a damaged MH since you can see
into all the lower compartments, but there are also some crooks that are
pretty clever at hiding such damage.
Just something to be aware of.......

.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for the Feedback

To All that have responded, my utmost thanks!
This forum is such a blessing for almost every aspect of the RV lifestyle.
Regarding the Phaeton I was interested in, I was told there are No Service Records, but that "everything works as it should". The lack of service records leaves me nothing to go on without an extensive (and likely expensive) inspection by a qualified diesel/RV mechanic, since I am not qualified to look at all of the diesel pusher's systems and decide if they are sound. So, thanks to your input, I think I'll pass.
I would absolutely love to be in a coach like this but I'm afraid the downside potential is too great. Even with an extended warranty, the lack of service records just seems to indicate a lot of work may need to be done to bring it up to speed. Especially considering that the warranty does not cover 'expendables' like tires, brakes, batteries, etc..

Thanks again for all the the advice - I am most grateful.
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