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Old 09-02-2015, 07:13 PM   #15
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... I had my eye on a few Thor Mandalay but couldn't commit because I've heard too much bad about Thor, for example.
.

Thor to MHs is like GM to vehicles. Don't get tied up with the head of the clan. Mandalay was Thor's.. Four Winds'... attempt at building a luxury brand. They did good, and because they were new to the upper-middle-class market, their MSRPs were lower than the norm.

Fit and finish were fine, as you can see by noticing that most Mandalay Coaches are asking more than NADA.

As far as chassis, that's a can of alphabet soup, IMO. So many variables enter the drivability factor....loading, tire pressures, ratio of wheelbase to overall length....that I'm not convinced that there's that much difference.

Those that own certain premium brands will differ, but what else have they driven under the same sets of circumstances.

Tag axles...a whole 'nother matter.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:46 PM   #16
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Welcome to Country Coach - I am very happy with my coach!

Congratulations!

Brian
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:31 PM   #17
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Welcome to Country Coach - I am very happy with my coach!

Congratulations!

Brian
Thanks!

Both of yours are 07.... I'll be towing my supercharged 2005 Jaguar XKR behind my turbo diesel 2005 Country Coach!

Now I need to decide a covered or uncovered car carrier. Hmmm...
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:40 PM   #18
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As you already know, a covered trailer is best.

Second to that, get a trailer that hauls all four wheels off the ground.

Third, naw, don't go there. Not with an R series.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:33 AM   #19
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Congrats on the new shoes, enjoy learning the systems, and dialing things in to your way of doing things!! And, I suspect it has an over, a combo convection/microwave (Bet you knew that...).

Happy and fun times ahead,
Smitty
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:38 AM   #20
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Congrats,Country Coach built a great coach.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #21
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Well, I guess I spoke too soon. It failed inspection so I am not completing the transaction. I'm really disappointed. So the search continues...
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:50 PM   #22
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Best of luck with it. The CC Inspire is worth putting some $ and effort into if needed.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:09 PM   #23
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Curious about the flaws the inspection found. What were the deal-breakers?
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:17 PM   #24
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Failed inspection before closing the deal, is better, then finding a 'not factored into the price' problem afterwards...

Now, you have choices to make. Offer a lower price based upon whatever the problem was with the failed inspection. They may not say yes, but that is OK. Or, you keep on shopping.

IMO, it is OK to buy a coach with minimal items needing attention, but priced accordingly. But, I prefer to pay a little extra, for a coach that has been properly maintained and cared for. When you are buying at this price point, a saving a few $K up front, can come back and haunt you very easily!

When we were shopping for our coach. I budgeted funds to allow for travel, and inspections, of coaches. I wanted a days vacation, cost of a flight and rental car. Spent less then 15 mins once I got to the coach. The owner had misrepresented the condition, and pictures can be taken that do not show all that you see in person! (Told the owner as he came out to talk with me from his house, that he had wasted my time and money, and the coach was not what he had represented online and over the phone thru numerous conversations. Jumped back in the rental car, and back to the airport and got on the next flight back home!). I also drove over 500 miles three different times, to see different coaches. And had at least 4, maybe 5 full inspections that I paid for, including dyno runs at Cummins and one at CAT. I also made my offer on our current coach, based upon the OK results from the oil analysis.

OP - My point, is to keep investing the time and energy to find as 'bristol condition' of a rig as you can. Be prepared to walk away from several in this process. And if you are buying a less then 'ready to go' coach, offer price from you should reflect the reasons you maybe lower then the asking price. (I asked for an allowance/credit on 8 tires, house batteries, and a few other miscellaneous items. This added up to over $15K in allowances/credits. (Call it allowance, as I was buying off of consignment. And finally figured out the salesman representing the seller, did not like the word 'credit', as it lower the 'sales price'. So I factored in the GT $15K hit in sales tax. And agreed to have the coach written up at the higher sales price, with the word allowance. This way the salesman received their commission on the full price of the sale, and was going to bat for me with the owner to close the deal. (Took me about a week to figure out that is why the salesman was dragging his feet on going for the offer I had made!)).

Keep looking, go slow, and keep an open mind to a short list of manufactures and models that you feel will meet your need. Last opinion, is to drop years to remain within your purchase budget range, and buy the highest quality coach that you can find. Quality lasts, and a good quality coach, becomes a great foundation to make 'your coach'.

Best,
Smitty
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:53 AM   #25
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04-06 CC Inspire

Mike,
I have owned my 2005 CC Inspire for four years. I have the 36' Siena.
Overall it has been a solid well built coach. The 36' has been just the right size for my DW and I.
As others have suggested be patient and keep looking, you will find just the right coach.
Although really clean, well maintained coaches are not easy to find they do come on the market.
If you find an Inspire that you feel is the right coach for you I'll be glad to provide you with a list of items that you will want to check out.
Good luck,
RJ
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:56 PM   #26
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Failed inspection before closing the deal, is better, then finding a 'not factored into the price' problem afterwards...

Now, you have choices to make. Offer a lower price based upon whatever the problem was with the failed inspection. They may not say yes, but that is OK. Or, you keep on shopping.

IMO, it is OK to buy a coach with minimal items needing attention, but priced accordingly. But, I prefer to pay a little extra, for a coach that has been properly maintained and cared for. When you are buying at this price point, a saving a few $K up front, can come back and haunt you very easily!

When we were shopping for our coach. I budgeted funds to allow for travel, and inspections, of coaches. I wanted a days vacation, cost of a flight and rental car. Spent less then 15 mins once I got to the coach. The owner had misrepresented the condition, and pictures can be taken that do not show all that you see in person! (Told the owner as he came out to talk with me from his house, that he had wasted my time and money, and the coach was not what he had represented online and over the phone thru numerous conversations. Jumped back in the rental car, and back to the airport and got on the next flight back home!). I also drove over 500 miles three different times, to see different coaches. And had at least 4, maybe 5 full inspections that I paid for, including dyno runs at Cummins and one at CAT. I also made my offer on our current coach, based upon the OK results from the oil analysis.

OP - My point, is to keep investing the time and energy to find as 'bristol condition' of a rig as you can. Be prepared to walk away from several in this process. And if you are buying a less then 'ready to go' coach, offer price from you should reflect the reasons you maybe lower then the asking price. (I asked for an allowance/credit on 8 tires, house batteries, and a few other miscellaneous items. This added up to over $15K in allowances/credits. (Call it allowance, as I was buying off of consignment. And finally figured out the salesman representing the seller, did not like the word 'credit', as it lower the 'sales price'. So I factored in the GT $15K hit in sales tax. And agreed to have the coach written up at the higher sales price, with the word allowance. This way the salesman received their commission on the full price of the sale, and was going to bat for me with the owner to close the deal. (Took me about a week to figure out that is why the salesman was dragging his feet on going for the offer I had made!)).

Keep looking, go slow, and keep an open mind to a short list of manufactures and models that you feel will meet your need. Last opinion, is to drop years to remain within your purchase budget range, and buy the highest quality coach that you can find. Quality lasts, and a good quality coach, becomes a great foundation to make 'your coach'.

Best,
Smitty
Thanks for all the advice. The real problem I have is that I spoke with the dealer and asked specific questions about deal breaking items and he was, to put it mildly, very much less than honest about 3 / 5 of those issues.

I was looking for a well used coach, not one that was fairly well abused and damaged by neglect.

"All major components are working" ended up including leveling jacks not powering on, "no fuel to start the generator" and the backup camera not powering on. Not to mention the ladder on the back being partially torn out.

The glass "all looks fine" when the final inspection showed 9/10 windows seals leaking, many fogging, and both sides of the windshield being chipped and had at some point partially come out and had been poorly resealed. It "all looks fine" in answer to "is there any issues with the glass... fogging, leaking seals, etc".

And when I asked about what appeared to be plumbing issues and possible water damage, "it's only missing a couple of covers". Yet the floor in the kitchen had at least 1/4" give and all the tiles were cracked or broken and the fiberglass roof had some major repair done with silicone.

I was expecting a host of lived-in issues, I didn't care about the batteries because I was gonna go lithium, I knew the tires had to be replaced and I knew of all the minor cosmetic stuff, but just in the end, there was way too much wrong.

I feel like posting a thread on the particular RV as well as posting the inspection report a couple of pictures and being specific about what was said with the particular dealership, but I don't know if there's naming/shaming rules here.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:46 AM   #27
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Name them. We all can benefit from knowing about flakes in the industry; especially when it costs us time and money in order to make an appearance, or hire a tech for a PPI.

This wasn't Palm RV in Ft Myers, was it?
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:46 AM   #28
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Name them. We all can benefit from knowing about flakes in the industry; especially when it costs us time and money in order to make an appearance, or hire a tech for a PPI.

This wasn't Palm RV in Ft Myers, was it?
Yes Mike - Name them! And, while always a good idea to keep an eye on any business or salesman to protect yourself - their are honest dealers and salesman out there.

After hunting and walking away from several coaches, I finally ask on this board, and others, for a list of places and actual salesman that had earned a solid reputation.

As I was on the West Coast, I ended up talking on the phone to two of the places and the salesman that were recommended.

Steve at California Coach Company

And another Steve at Holland Motors Home of then San Diego, and now San Marcos.

As I lived in San Diego, I ended up going in for a meet and greet with Steve Wilson (we lost him to cancer last year). I took my list of Must Have's and Nice to Have's, as well as my list of Manufactures, Models and Years that seemed to fit my budget, and match my/our desires. Steve (both Steve's, as Steve Bennett at California Coaches has a solid reputation), looked over my list, and asked if I was open for input on it. Yes I was, and as we talked it over, we added to other manufactures that I had not included (Wanderlodge LXI, and older Newell's - though he admitted they were few and far apart, and may have too much 'glitter' for our likes.).

Mike - These professional salesman, who while for sure wanting to make a sale, will also work with you on finding the 'right' coach for you. They're interested in word of mouth, and repeat business, more then they are in getting you into any coach to make a sale. (I mean this, I had Steve Wilson nudge me strongly away from one coach, that I had wanted to drive up and take a look at - as he knew things about that coach that I may not have found during inspection processes.)

These professionals know of coaches that are coming in on trade in, or consignment, or just needing to be sold (One was a spouse who had lost her husband, that called and asked advice on how to sale their coach. She was in Montana, and still called Steve Wilson to get guidance and advise.). IMO, many of the best used coaches available, never get advertised. As they have professional salesman who have a short list of potential buyers that are looking for a coach. Like me, as my coach was coming in on consignment, and I literally met it as it was driven into the lot. I crawled under, over, thru, etc. - all before the dealer had their detail crew go thru it.

I'll stop here, but my message is besides looking for yourself. Look into making a relationship with a professional salesman in or close to your area. Enlist their help too. Steve Wilson did not represent the seller, the salesman that had first sold this coach to the owner was representing him. Yes they both worked for the same dealer, but I had Steve's assistance in negotiations to purchase my coach. Yes, he and the other salesman did split a consignment commission, but I feel I got a fair, if not killer, price. And more important, I got the coach that my wife and I liked.

Best of luck to you, and keep on looking!
Smitty
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