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Old 10-31-2014, 09:41 AM   #1
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Looking for advice on a 04 42' C15 Magna

New member here. Not new to motorhomes as this would be our 8th one

Of these, 3 of them have been Country Coaches including a 99' 36 Intrigue (good coach but no slides, single pane windows, and a generator that would not start when out snowmobiling), 01' 40' Magna (Needed more than a C-10 for me and it had corrosion issues - first and last one off Ebay ), and our last one we had for 6-years was a 2002 36' Intrigue with two slides.

We liked our last Intrigue but it had some issues with our train drive galley slide where the base slide gasket got pulled in and needed replacement that also involved re-securing the base plate (PIA). It had leaking hoses that had to be replaced, and intermittent relay issue that nearly left us having to manually pull in the slide a couple of times.

We actually set out to start saving for a big block Truck Conversion with a stacker for the toys and picked up a used 5th wheel in the mean time and two a 3-way. One 1000 mile trip and the family is sorely missing a motorhome and we just cant swing a Renegade or a Showhauler at this time but some of the quality DP's are such an amazing value that we are in the hunt again.

Now to the question.

We are eyeing a 2004 Magna 42' with three slides and a C15 Cat motor. This is an extremely low mileage coach stored inside and are trying to catch a flight out to look at it more closely and want some advice on what to look for.

Did the C-15 motors run hot as it looks like the same size radiator as the C12's had? Any thoughts on how they use fuel compared to the C12? I believe the 04 should have a pre-ACERT single turbo motor but not sure.

The slides on this coach are a large flush floor slide on the street side with some protrusion into the basement but not like the ones in the 2000-2001 era. Are they solid designs?

The curb side slide has the Girard Awing mounted to it which seems odd but having the awning lower would help with shade when the sun angles reek havoc on the ones that come mounted on the roofs.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:54 AM   #2
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C 15 in 2004 is a single turbo (non acert) most likely a 2003 Engine, 692k on my C 15 Acert without any issues...
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:49 AM   #3
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That year hits the good area on the smog stuff. The slides in our 04 Allure have been good for us (Though we did break a spot weld on the rear slide on a trip to Alaska. But it was a 90 min labor charge fix for them to rebrace and weld it stronger than before. But that could have happened to any coach - I really hit a big hole with the rear tire while getting over out of the way of a lumber truck.)

The MPG will probably be in the 6-7MPG range, as it sounds like you travel heavy. But, that's just my thinking. Hopefully other CAT C15 owners of that era will share their real world MPG. (When looking the coach over. Go to the Silver Leaf and you will see the Lifetime MPG for that rig.)

You know CC, and you know the Magna's have good quality materials and craftsmanship on the inside.

One area to check, and for sure research this more as again it is from 4 year old memory now, is if the dash is one of the full electronic versions. I looked a really well taken care of 40' 2003 Magna with the BIG BLOCK. Going thru the receipts, I saw two times that the owner had replaced the dash instrument panel. Not inexpensive....

I dragged my feet to long on the Magna, as I gent flew into down and drove it away two days later at the full asking price!!

Best of luck to you, AND WELCOME TO THE BOARD!
Smitty
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Setting up to fly out there next weekend.

I'll look at the silver leaf fuel history (I sure hope it is over 6) and looking at the photos it does not have the electronic dash :-)

My checklist includes dates on the tires, date on batteries, last hydro hot service (not sure if 04 Huricane or a Aqua Hot), inspecting the undercarriage for rust, observe slide operation from inside and out, look for signs of leaks, and a run through of all typical systems.

If it meets our mustard test we will escrow a larger deposit and pay to have Cat run a diagnostics and pull an oil sample.

If I'm missing something, please let me know.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:41 PM   #5
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Do some searching on the Radiator, and Power Take Off (PTO). This coach is in the era of both of those.

-Radiator - Check to see if it is one of the at risk aluminum units. (Not just CC, but Alpine, Monaco, and others - used the same supplier of an aluminum radiator that is prone for early failure. If the owner has replaced, that is a plus. If not, a potential few thousand dollar opportunity ahead, and thus - a negotiation item.

-PTO - If a 'dry PTO', another opportunity for costs ahead to replace or convert to a 'wet PTO'. Same comments about negotiation point.

But, even with these both being still to be addressed - the Magna coach of that era warrants moving forward and taking care of these if needed - at the right price point.

And spot on having the inspection. Do pull and oil sample for analysis too. Also when inspecting, ask CATS opinion on how much longer life you should see out of the engine related hosed. If getting close to replacement, another opportunity.

Last comment, and this is a personal decision you must make. If the coach is well cared for overall, and really 'hits' what you are looking for. Don't let it get away for a few thousand dollars. If you go drive this rig for say 5-10 years, any costs over 'rock bottom, killer deal price' - are amortized over those years ahead.

Hope it is all that you hope for, if not, keep on looking!
Smitty
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:22 AM   #6
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The '04 Magna will be laid out like my '03 Magna because I am withing one or two coaches of the end of the '03 run. Thus, you will have the Hydro Hot in bay number 3 on the street side. The 5 bays run like this:

Curb side:

#1 Through bay
#2 Through bay
#3 2/3 bay
#4 House batteries
#5 Wet bay with propane tank

Street side:

#1 Through bay
#2 Through bay
#3 Hydro hot
#4 1/3 bay
#5 Plumbing bay

Jan and I absolutely love our 42' Resort plan coach. We have the 505 HP C12 and average 7.5 MPG over the 70,000 miles driven. I would expect the C15 to do less well but probably not way worse.

This coach is our 7th and past coaches have included two Bluebirds. For us, this is the best of the bunch. Dead silent when driving. Very comfortable and usable on the road, in a resort or dry camping in a national park. Big generator running at 12.5 KW runs quietly at 1,800 RPM rather than variable. Big enough holding tanks for a week when boondocking. Only weakness is the small, 110 gallon, fuel tank. And I can live with that. The '04 tank may be larger but I don't think so.

Good luck with your viewing and let me know if I can help you with additional information.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
Do some searching on the Radiator, and Power Take Off (PTO). This coach is in the era of both of those.

Thanks Smitty. Not sure what to look for on the radiator as its sandwiched behind the CAC. With the low miles I doubt it has been changed. I assume I am looking for a copper unit. Is there an easy way to tell if it's aluminum?
Premier in Junction City thinks the PTO should not be applicable on this year cat but I will look for the second set of hydraulic lines.


-Radiator - Check to see if it is one of the at risk aluminum units. (Not just CC, but Alpine, Monaco, and others - used the same supplier of an aluminum radiator that is prone for early failure. If the owner has replaced, that is a plus. If not, a potential few thousand dollar opportunity ahead, and thus - a negotiation item.

-PTO - If a 'dry PTO', another opportunity for costs ahead to replace or convert to a 'wet PTO'. Same comments about negotiation point.

But, even with these both being still to be addressed - the Magna coach of that era warrants moving forward and taking care of these if needed - at the right price point.

And spot on having the inspection. Do pull and oil sample for analysis too. Also when inspecting, ask CATS opinion on how much longer life you should see out of the engine related hosed. If getting close to replacement, another opportunity. not sure I understand the "engine related hosed." Are you talking about the radiator and hydralic hoses or something else.

Last comment, and this is a personal decision you must make. If the coach is well cared for overall, and really 'hits' what you are looking for. Don't let it get away for a few thousand dollars. If you go drive this rig for say 5-10 years, any costs over 'rock bottom, killer deal price' - are amortized over those years ahead. Thanks Smitty. I do think this is a rare find and kept like a classic car in kind care. It needs some tweaks to the interior furnishings for our use. We plan to also visit a 40' Affinity that is near by but it has one less slide, a C12, twice the miles and is more $.

Hope it is all that you hope for, if not, keep on looking!
Smitty

Your input is very helpful and very much appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsander1 View Post
The '04 Magna will be laid out like my '03 Magna because I am withing one or two coaches of the end of the '03 run. Thus, you will have the Hydro Hot in bay number 3 on the street side. The 5 bays run like this:

Curb side:

#1 Through bay
#2 Through bay
#3 2/3 bay
#4 House batteries
#5 Wet bay with propane tank

Street side:

#1 Through bay
#2 Through bay
#3 Hydro hot
#4 1/3 bay
#5 Plumbing bay

Jan and I absolutely love our 42' Resort plan coach. We have the 505 HP C12 and average 7.5 MPG over the 70,000 miles driven. I would expect the C15 to do less well but probably not way worse.


This coach is our 7th and past coaches have included two Bluebirds. For us, this is the best of the bunch. Dead silent when driving. Very comfortable and usable on the road, in a resort or dry camping in a national park. Big generator running at 12.5 KW runs quietly at 1,800 RPM rather than variable. Big enough holding tanks for a week when boondocking. Only weakness is the small, 110 gallon, fuel tank. And I can live with that. The '04 tank may be larger but I don't think so.

Good luck with your viewing and let me know if I can help you with additional information.
Thanks for this information, it is very helpful. We originally were targeting a clean 02 because I feared the drop down tv. How has it worked for you as you have an 03?

I am not sure what to think about the C15 but past experience has been on the more power is that they work less hard and are not that much different. Our last coach had a 400 ISL and when towing a car trailer we generally were around 6 mpg. And this was a 36' two slide coach.

I hear you in the fuel capacity. That is one think I like about the Affinity.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #9
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the drop down tv works great. even tho cc only used it one yr. there are other coaches that are still using them today. parts and service is no problem. As far as fuel cap. easy fix, i just dropped an affinity tank in.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #10
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The '03 Magna came with a 42" Panasonic monitor which received signal from a VCR tuner and the Bose DVD and, if equipped, a satellite receiver. This is wholly inadequate for most of us a we need a digital tuner now for off air.

I replaced it with a 42" Panasonic Smart TV with wireless internet access. I also took out the VCR and installed a Blue Ray player also with wireless built in. The set up works perfectly well. I like the looks with no cabinets or TV in the cab. When under way the TV lift jiggles a little and make a squeaking noise. I have solved that by putting a strip of non skid material in the mating surface between the lifted section and the roof piece. Takes one second when preparing for departure.

Otherwise the lift system is well designed and robust. I have a friend with an '04 Magna that installed a smaller TV on the wall space between the main salon windows and the dinette window on the curb side. That way he can watch news and other less visual programming without putting the big screen down. I may do the same.

I also have DirecTV with receivers in the front and another in the rear. All the comforts of home.

My coach is build number 6298. I think that the '04 Magna started with 6301.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:42 PM   #11
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LAJ, where did you get the affinity tank? I am surprised it fits as it is almost 50% bigger. If you look at the '03 '04 Affinitys they have more space between the front wheel and the first bay. I assumed it was to accommodate the larger tank.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:57 PM   #12
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LAJ, where did you get the affinity tank? I am surprised it fits as it is almost 50% bigger. If you look at the '03 '04 Affinitys they have more space between the front wheel and the first bay. I assumed it was to accommodate the larger tank.
X2
I have wondered if a tank could be re-built that is larger or a second tank could be added that could have a separate pump to fill the primary tank via a switch like what many of the auxiliary truck tanks use in the pick up beds. I believe Transfer Flow make a pump kit that is sold separately.
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:08 PM   #13
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got it out of a totaled 03 affinity, with all mounting hardware. CC could get you a new one if you wanted. the extra cap. is really nice for either long back country roads or boon docking.

no rattles in my tv. maybe just lucking.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:22 AM   #14
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Have you read the posts in the Caterpillar forum on the C-15?
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