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Old 07-11-2015, 04:43 AM   #1
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What to look for when buying a 2000 Magna

We have put a deposit on a 2000 36' Magna and been all over the forum trying to educate ourselves on what to look for that could rear it's ugly head up before we sign the papers. Going to pick up 500 miles away in the Tampa area last weekend in August. Was traded in on a new Sprinter diesel. Pictures look great, clean and has been kept under cover. Was told one owner. Have asked for any maintenance records but have not heard back yet. They only sell their older coaches AS IS. if it doesn't work they don't fix, I do have a huge check list I have developed over the years. Just looking for more impute to see what I need to add to my list. Hoping in the next 2 weeks I can come up with a list that is Country Coach specific to add to my buying a used Motor home list. Wish I could talk to the previous owner but do not know who they are. Coach came from Titusville Fl. with 90k miles on it. Thanks to all

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Old 07-11-2015, 05:04 AM   #2
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Country Coach Owners Club
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Make sure that everything works prior to signing. Unfortunately you will not see everything.
Make sure all electronics work as expected. Have the tech. go through them all.
Make sure heating and cooling systems work. Last year was cold and this summer is hot. Make sure water heating works as expected.
See if they will check engine oil and transmission oil for metal flakes. Might be a moot point on engine if they recently changed the oil.
Check for any water stains or delamination.

These are just a start. Remember you are buying a 16 year old vehicle.

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Old 07-11-2015, 05:37 AM   #3
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I believe there is a buyer checklist on this forum. If not I know several of the other forums have a checklist. Good idea to review it, and make notes on it as your doinf=g your inspection.

Look at the "house" portion

All major appliances to see if they work. appliances work on gas and AC, run the generator.

Use a ladder or climb on the roof (with owners permission) to inspect condition of roof, end cap seams, and plastic and covers.

Look at the "Truck" portion

When people say bring a mechanic to look at stuff, If your not able to do this on your own, bring someone who is knowledgeable and knows what they are looking at. If you need to pay someone to do this, it is worth a couple hundred bucks to get an unbiased opinion

I am the mechanic. I bring some small tools, a voltmeter, a good flashlight, a big piece of cardboard to lay on the ground. I spend 15-20 minutes under the MH looking at stuff.

Do this before starting the engine.

Look at batteries (coach and chassis). Condition, water level, type, Measure the voltage (write it down)

Pull dip sticks and wipe on clean white paper towel, look for color and odor (Generator oil, engine oil, and tranny fluid)

Look at oil filter to see when it was changed last. (what brand is the filter can give an idea if its been changed)

Look at air filter for cleanliness.

Look at tire date codes. Signs of UV exposure, small cracking in the sidewalls. Does it have a spare? how /where is it.


Any signs of drips or leaks around engine, tranny, differential, and wheels (brake cylinders)

Brake pads and rotors, rusting, jamming, brittle. hose condition, signs of over heated disks. Look carefully at pads for thickness. use a small screwdriver to test for brittleness of pad (old age)

Parking brake assembly, rotor, pads, leaks, cables.

rubber bushings on springs, shocks, links, torsion bars.

Front end linkages, king pins, idler arms, etc, look for looseness, play, grease fittings.

Grease fittings on front end and U joints to see if they've ever seen a grease gun,.

"U" joints, bearings, Differential and transmission sleeve for (push up/down) for signs of wear. Look very carefully at each U joint for signs of rubber seal splitting, any signs of damage, cracking, splitting, or exposed interior of joints. Have they been greased.

Look for rust, how serious us it?

Look carefully at the entire trailer hitch, how its mounted to the frame, welds, bolts, look for signs of cracks or stuff moving.

Start the engine, then climb back under and listen for exhaust leaks.

If the unit has jacks, extend / retract them, look at the hoses
2001 Coachmen Mirada (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:57 AM   #4
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Good info. I do have a huge check list I have been using in the past, downloaded it and have been adding to it over the years. Like you say will never see everything but do not want to miss any major money pits that would have to be done ASAP. Was wanting to put together a Country Coach Specific list of things others have had to replace/repair that I should check for. Like you say it is a 16 year old coach. Have radiator, intercooler on the list already. Tires are 5 years old have been told, batteries about the same. Been a mechanic all my life so I will be doing the running gear myself.
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:33 AM   #5
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Wet or dry PTO.

I purchased mine last year without one service record. Just by looking at the coach you could tell it was taken care of. After looking at a few dozen coaches we knew this was the one we wanted. Took it for a quick test drive and purchased. Drove it from Titisville Florida to Connecticuit without a problem. Once home I changed all the filters,oil change and switched the trans fluid to transyand. I have put about 6k miles on it without issue.
1998 36ft Country Coach Magna #5499
Gillig chassis with a Detroit series 40
2002 F250 CC 7.3 PSD
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:08 AM   #6
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All good input. Also check the hydraulic hose for signs of deterioration.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:24 AM   #7
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Go to harbor freight and buy a bore camera as they are not expensive but can get into lots of nooks and tiny spots.

Use it to look under and behind things.

Look for mouse droppings or water damage or ???
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:32 AM   #8
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Peeling Clear Coat:

CC applied a great clear coat finish to painted and gel-coat areas of the coach in the 90's. The light colored areas may be clear coat over gel coat. The brow and the roof cap are the first areas to begin peeling. Now my side panels have begun also. Was perfect for 15 years but time and sunlight takes its toll. Appearance only but not easy to fix.

As I think of our issues with our CC over the past 13 years, most were due to operator error, or standard issues with a component (i.e. exhaust manifold on C8.3L Cummins) common to all motorhomes with that component.

CC was tops in quality IMHO.
1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:55 PM   #9
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Here is a 2000 Magna just for comparison 2000 Country Coach Magna
1998 36ft Country Coach Magna #5499
Gillig chassis with a Detroit series 40
2002 F250 CC 7.3 PSD
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:55 PM   #10
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In the '00 era, CC used clear coat over gel coat and claimed the coach came with "full body paint". My '02 was done the same way and I have had problems but a trip to Mexico fixed the issues.

One thing that no one mentioned is all the manuals. That coach should have two 3" binders that have all wiring schematics for the house, plumbing layout, and electrical schematics for the chassis. There should also be a box with manuals for everything that was installed in the coach such as refer, tv's,microwave, water heater plus a lot of other components.
2002 Country Coach Intrigue
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:42 PM   #11
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Check the charge air cooler. Use a flashlight and look at the connection between the core and the headers. On my 2000 40' Magna you could see a small crack if you knew what you were looking. The crack was visible by looking through the grill. Some of the 2000's were fixed under warranty but many weren't. Mine wasn't. About $5000 for replacement. You won't have enough boost pressure to climb grades if the CAC is leaking. Without a way to read boost pressure, you may only be able to tell if the CAC is leaking is to find a hill and see if you climb it at a reasonable speed. Tough to do in Florida.

Some coaches around this period also had similar radiator problems. I haven't had any problems with my radiator.

No wet PTO's on the 2000 Magna; the hydraulic pump is an engine mounted/driven pump.

I replaced the drag link and tie rod ends because the rubber seals were cracked and there was little grease on those parts. With alignment and a some other minor work about $2000.

If the air dryer hasn't been replaced, another $600 for that. Tires will be about $5000 if needed. Check the DOT date on the sidewall; anything 7 years or older will need replacing.

The hydraulic driven engine coolant fan controller has been a problem on some coaches. I haven't had a problem with the controller but did have to replace two of the sensors used with the controller. If the controller fails, or as in my case the two sensors failed, the fan will not run at high speed and you can get into an overheat situation pretty easily.

My clear coat along the front cap and the sides of the roof was peeling off. This is a common problem with any coach that has clear coat applied to gel coat. Some coaches have problems with clear coat on the sides but mine does not. This is an aesthetic problem but to have the roof problems fixed was about $5000.

Although my expenses on my coach for all but the tires for these items totaled about $12000, I bought my coach quite a bit less than market value and still have a great coach and even with these expenses I have less than market value in the coach after 5 years of ownership.

This coach has a Hydrohot furnace that needs annual maintenance. Check to see if the maintenance has been done recently. Usually all that is required is a bit of burner area cleaning and replacement of the fuel nozzle and fuel filter.

On a coach of this age you should, unless you know they have been repaired, expect problems with the normal wear items like the water pump,, etc.

The smoke and LP alarms probably need replacement if original. They have a 5 or 6 year shelf life. The LP alarm is coupled with a solenoid on the LP tank and the original LP alarm is no longer available. Not a serious problem but you have to get a new LP alarm and solenoid as the new replacement alarm won't work with the existing solenoid.

Look at the NADA pricing for this coach and press the seller for answers to the condition of the CAC. See if the dealer can check the boost pressure. I have a CAT C10 and it can generate about 25 psi of boost pressure. With the bad CAC, I was lucky to get 9 psi of boost.

You should press the seller for maintenance records. Things like oil change, fuel, coolant and oil filter changes, hydraulic oil filter change, generator fuel and oil filter changes. Coolant changes and type of coolant. Does the transmission have Dexron or Transynd. Transynd is better as you get longer periods before maintenance is required.

I don't want to scare you off this coach as Country Coaches are great motor homes. I've had my 2000 Magna since 2010 and full time in it and appreciate the build quality of the coach. Although I shouldn't say this, but this will be the last coach I buy as I don't believe I can find a comparable coach for even twice the money I have in this coach. I do have friends that made similar statements and then bought another coach and I may have to eat my words in the future.

You can go over to the Yahoo Country Coach Owners forum and ask questions there and get more input.
Pete - Full Timing
2000 Country Coach Magna 40', CAT C10, #5892
2006 Jeep Liberty
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:06 AM   #12
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Great info Pete. Am hoping that the CAC and Radiator are not a problem. I totally believe in doing the PM items, Have tried to make sure that all records are with it but it might or might not. Didn't figure the dryers were that much but not surprised. Tires are said to be 5 years old. Might wait couple years on them depending on what they look like.
PM (preventive maintenance) should be a three letter POM (piece of mind)
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:35 AM   #13
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You may want to hire a independent inspector to go thru the coach. And taking it to a Cummins dealer to have them check out the engine and chassis could be money well spent too.

"As Is", could be at a lower price point, based upon what you find during either your's or an inspector's inspection.

Any items not documented via receipts is suspect. Batteries, tires age, air cartridge, etc.

Good luck on this one, hope it's a gem!
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:11 AM   #14
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