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Old 08-24-2019, 11:59 PM   #1
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1998 Dream - considering purchase / seeking advice

Hi folks, I'm new to the group and new to RVs. Just retired have a electro / mechanical background.
Came across a 98 American Dream AF which is stored is in a large shop next to an airplane. It has 24k miles and 210 hrs on the gen. Looks good inside and out. Everything seemed to work ok. The rubber roof looks like nothing has been done on it, I looked in all the cabinets looking for water damage and nothing. The engine sounds good and we're going to take it for a ride next week. The owner does not have it up for sale, a friend who knows I'm looking tipped me off about it. My friend tells me he takes in out once or twice a year for a weekend and has it serviced annually / winterized. He'll sell it for $30k. The Michelin tires look fairly new (still has the ant flickers / vent spews on the sides walls) I noted the 4 digits of the DOT is 5205 which I believe makes them 2005 or 13 years old. I suspect i would have to cost in 6 new tires or at least the front two. I would appreciate any thoughts on the price of the RV, what i should check look out for during the test drive.

What impress me most about these coaches compared to others I looked at is the NCC Net carrying capacity....wow!
Thanks
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:33 AM   #2
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The quality of the cabinetry is another high point on these coaches.


The Dream was a fine coach in its day (and still is) and this one appears well-kept. The problem with the value is that non-slide coaches aren't very popular and thus the prices stay low. Normally I would say that a non-slide coach like this would bring maybe $20k-$22k, but $30k is probably ok for a nice one like this. The tires, though, are a reason for price negotiation. With 13 year-old tires, I would not want to drive that coach any further than a nearby truck tire store. You are looking at $2500-3500 for six new ones.


I didn't find a 1998 brochure on the American Coach website, but here is a 1999 Dream AF and that should be near identical.
https://www.americancoach.com/resour...45_brc_pdf.pdf
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:05 PM   #3
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Thank you Gary!

Exactly the type of input I was looking for!

Here are some cell pix my friend took to get me to go look at it. When I was there i was taking pix of the tires, spec sheet, labels, etc.. silly me. The seats, even the driver's seat, show little to no ware, almost like new. It truly has seen little use and that kind of concerned me. I looked closely at the exhaust, appeared ok, he ran everything AC units and showed me (educated me) on all the functions.

In any event, I will be back out there for a test drive next week and will be able to see if I can bring him down based on the tires. If I decide to go forward. As I mentioned he does not have it for sale but said he considered selling it since he also has a large 5th wheel camper and wanted to get back to his airplane (he built), etc. I seen several toys / projects he has going, nice shop.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
The quality of the cabinetry is another high point on these coaches.


The Dream was a fine coach in its day (and still is) and this one appears well-kept. The problem with the value is that non-slide coaches aren't very popular and thus the prices stay low. Normally I would say that a non-slide coach like this would bring maybe $20k-$22k, but $30k is probably ok for a nice one like this. The tires, though, are a reason for price negotiation. With 13 year-old tires, I would not want to drive that coach any further than a nearby truck tire store. You are looking at $2500-3500 for six new ones.


I didn't find a 1998 brochure on the American Coach website, but here is a 1999 Dream AF and that should be near identical.
https://www.americancoach.com/resour...45_brc_pdf.pdf
You are so right Gary and with a slide pretty much doubling the price of an older unit, they won't bring much without one.
Some would argue with NADA values, but I've found low retail, to be pretty close to an actual private sell, in most cases.
In this case and especially with it needing tires, right off, the OP is looking at about.... https://www.nadaguides.com/RVs/1998/...3001377/Values
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:21 PM   #5
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Non slide and tires aside; these American coaches are nicely built. To find one that is new like conditions and low numbers is good. We enjoy our 98 Eagle and the nicely built furniture and cabinets.
The non slides are on the lower money scale, as they pointed out. The tires would scare me out of my skin. They are well pass due, and would not take them to nay great speed other than to get then replaced.
The only thing you may experience with this coach is sticky switches and items that need attention. exercising your coach regularly is important and avoids problems.
Good Luck
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
What impress me most about these coaches compared to others I looked at is the NCC Net carrying capacity....wow!
Thanks
Can't say about this particular coach, but with ours, we have plenty of CC, as well and more than a ton to the good. Only problem is, the extra is all on the front axle, with the rear at max or a little over, when loaded for the road. Just saying and something that I never considered before getting it weighed. Doesn't hurt anything in our case as we only tow four down, but if we were to be pulling an enclosed trailer, things would be a bit different and even though the numbers are good, for pulling 15K lbs.
With our vintage, it seems that the American's with a tag axle have the opposite problem, with the front axle, usually at max. Again shouldn't hurt a thing and especially if one was expecting to pull a heavy trailer, where the tag axle would be pretty much a necessity.
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:44 PM   #7
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In my opinion.
From my experience
We purchased a 99 Signature 10 years ago that had ALWAYS BEEN STORED in like manner.
And serviced annually.
That alone off sets the, no slide issue Value.

Think
Like new stored and serviced will save
Paint condition
Rubber trim
Awnings.

For me.
Replacement tires goes with the territory on a 20 year old vehicle.

I never heard anyone talk about devaluating a prevost or Newell for
No Slide. From that era.

Just my opinion.

Being stored and serviced could save you
$30,000 in maintenance and repairs
Down the road.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:24 PM   #8
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Did I miss it or did the Dream in1998 not have a slide option? Maybe it was stated in op first post but I didn't see it ... my 1997 Eagle has a slide. The pictures aren't good enough to tell if it's a non slide unit on my tablet. Curious.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:53 PM   #9
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Here's this coach
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:07 PM   #10
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Did I miss it or did the Dream in1998 not have a slide option? Maybe it was stated in op first post but I didn't see it ... my 1997 Eagle has a slide. The pictures aren't good enough to tell if it's a non slide unit on my tablet. Curious.
Mike
Yes, they did in the 98 M-40DVS model, unfortunately this is the DAF without a side.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:22 PM   #11
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Beautiful vintage coach that's easy to work on, still get most all parts for and will drive excellent. My 99 rides smooth, no rattles, squeak's etc...and if I need it to it'll run 80 mph... lol (probably get flamed here for that statement)

That's to nice a coach to have a tire blow out and do $$$ to body, tires for sure.

It's worth what your willing to pay. Most people that buy these coach's keep them a long time.... I'm not concerned about much I could get for mine, I just keep enjoying it!

After you drive, or buy, ask away here, there's lots of knowledge about them here!
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:29 PM   #12
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Here's this coach
I looked at some newer coaches, they were not diesel pushers though, that once you got 4 adults on board seemed like you had to make a choice of leaving the fishing gear or camera behind.
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:47 PM   #13
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"there's lots of knowledge about them here!"

Indeed, indeed!. Great inputs and food for thought from everyone. Really glad I came here.

Absolutely all new tires all around if I go with it. Haven't tried yet but I suspect there's room for negotiations, as Gary mentioned.

Guess when he replaced the tires in 05 and only took it out locally for a weekend or two in the year he couldn't bring him himself to change them again. He did replace a couple engine belts and the batteries were also new.

The paint is very good. The cabinets as mentioned above are indeed nice. The closet (cedar) looked like it was never used.

As far as no slide out mainly its just my wife and I. If we bring extra folks along suppose we could "slide out" a tent from the generous basement storage ..if needed. Having said that this is well below my budget and a slide would be nice as the main purpose of an RV for us is to escape when it gets cold here and venture warm places each winter. So still deciding, target to buy one is by end of next summer. I suspect whatever I buy and as long as it does not turn out to be a lemon I will likely stick with it for some time once I make it mine.

Much appreciated for what has been posted in reply so far.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:21 PM   #14
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I will say it's a nice rig, for one person. For us...there are just the two of us..no slide equals no deal. You will regret not looking for a unit with that slide. The "living in a hallway" effect will drive you both crazy. Trust me when I say this. We looked for a time before we found the right unit, so keep on keeping on in your search. You'll be glad you did.
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