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Old 04-05-2016, 12:46 PM   #29
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I've owned two older coaches both high end when new. I owned the first one 10 years when I decided to down size and bought my present 99 4 years ago and still love it. I expect somewhat higher maintenance cost but nothing near the cost of a new coach. There are plenty of high quality units out there with maintenance records for sale. I personally would look at the privet sale market place first
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:35 PM   #30
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Lots of good advice

I appreciate all of the thoughtful responses. A lot of good advice. The following are some of the common threads I have detected:
1. Older can be good.
2. Get thorough inspections.
3. The manufacturers we are considering are good choices.
4. Since I have 10 thumbs and am not a handyman, I may experience greater than average rv owner repair expenses.
5. Don't necessarily limit my looking to lower mileage DPs.
6. Reasonably low ball the asking price.
7. There may be concerns with very low mileage DPs. What are the concerns with a 12-15 year old DP having only 20k-40k miles?

Thanks to all who have and will respond.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:47 PM   #31
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Your item 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airlifter View Post
I appreciate all of the thoughtful responses. A lot of good advice. The following are some of the common threads I have detected:
1. Older can be good.
2. Get thorough inspections.
3. The manufacturers we are considering are good choices.
4. Since I have 10 thumbs and am not a handyman, I may experience greater than average rv owner repair expenses.
5. Don't necessarily limit my looking to lower mileage DPs.
6. Reasonably low ball the asking price.
7. There may be concerns with very low mileage DPs. What are the concerns with a 12-15 year old DP having only 20k-40k miles?

Thanks to all who have and will respond.
I personally would have zero concerns with a 12-15 year old Cummins ISL diesel engine with 20K-40K miles.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:29 PM   #32
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Airlifter -

I would be most concerned about the individual coach your are going to buy and less about brand. Coaches of the same model can vary significantly. I have three close friends who have Dutch Stars. 2 of them have 40' coaches with long chassis. 1 has a 38' coach that came with a much shorter chassis. The two guys with the longer coaches like their highway handling and the shorter one not as much.

If you go back 12-15 years some of the best brands of that time you did not mention are Beaver, Country Coach, American Coach, and Monaco.

The high miles - low miles argument is significant. Pretty much if you look at a 12 year old coach and 10,000 miles a year was put on it, likely it is a good handling fun coach to drive. Really low miles could mean it was not. Or it could mean it hardly every moved and people lived in it full time. What you want is a rig used regularly. When a coach sits for months at a time bad things can happen. A leak could go unnoticed and wood is damaged. Rubber hardens, tires deteriorate, you can get rodent infestation and is not noticed for a while.

Both CAT and Cummins motors a very good. CAT has more service centers in the USA than Cummins.

If you want lots of big slides that started happening about 2003. I personally looked at 5-7 year old coaches 7 years ago when we were shopping because that is what the RVCG suggested was the best deal.

I do not think buying from a private party is necessarily better than a dealer or consignment lot. A private party only has their coach to sell you and that can encourage bad behavior. A dealer or consignment lot only has to sell you a coach. Of course the best course of action is always trust and verify.

Oh, TVs. CRT TVs went out of style about 2003-2004. That means if you get a rig before that you likely will have to replace it.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:46 PM   #33
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:07 PM   #34
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Airlifter -


Oh, TVs. CRT TVs went out of style about 2003-2004. That means if you get a rig before that you likely will have to replace it.
Not quite. We had a 2005 Coach House that had standard def, CRT TVs.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:26 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airlifter View Post
I appreciate all of the thoughtful responses. A lot of good advice. The following are some of the common threads I have detected:
1. Older can be good.
2. Get thorough inspections.
3. The manufacturers we are considering are good choices.
4. Since I have 10 thumbs and am not a handyman, I may experience greater than average rv owner repair expenses.
5. Don't necessarily limit my looking to lower mileage DPs.
6. Reasonably low ball the asking price.
7. There may be concerns with very low mileage DPs. What are the concerns with a 12-15 year old DP having only 20k-40k miles?

Thanks to all who have and will respond.
The concern many have with a low mileage coach is not necessarily with the mileage itself, but what that MAY indicate about the usage. Mechanical items, especially internally lubricated items NEED to be regularly exercised. Such items include engines, transmissions, generators, axles, wheel bearings, you get the idea. If a mechanical, lubricated item is not regularly exercised, the seals are not getting routinely lubricated, and have a tendency to dry out, crack, deteriorate.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 15 year old coach with 15k miles that was used 4 times a year for 250 miles trips, and had the genny run each month for a minimum of 2 hours under load. I would take that ANY day over one of same age/mileage that was used 3 times over that time for 5000 mile trips.

My experience is in aviation and aviation maintenance, and I ALWAYS saw more non-scheduled maintenance needed on aircraft that did not fly much!

Oh, another possible problem with mechanical stuff that sits for long periods of time is condensation in fuel tanks, especially if not stored full, in top ends of engines where it can lead to corrosion, etc.

Liken it to someone who sits on a couch all day, never exercises, but wants to run the Boston Marathon once a year . . . . It'll end badly!
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:33 PM   #36
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As I recently stated on a very similar thread:

I have a 14 year old Navigator.

It has a 500HP Cummins ISM, tag axle, Aqua Hot and has been parked in climate controlled storage its entire life, one owner and all the service done by one shop...took me 16 months to find her.

I have done a lot of updating to electronics, countertops, new ultraleather on all chairs, couch, new Karastan carpet, new wood laminate entry, all LED lights inside and out, new tiled shower, new around the window things, new microwave, new dishwasher, got rid of all the mirrors and brass, all new tires and Bilstein shocks, etc.

Long story short, IMHO, a similar new or "newer" coach would cost at least three times what I have in her at this point. I have shopped around and seen what is out there new and used...everywhere...sometimes I think I should become an RV Broker.

I would seriously go quality used and update everything. Far cheaper and you get exactly what you want.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:49 PM   #37
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Can be seen by my signature that I'm obviously not overly concerned about a coach's age.

When shopping for the coach we ended up with a few years ago, and eventually shopping for a replacement, I found that chassis mileage was rarely the issue that caused me to walk away from a coach.

The most common issue causing me to turn on my heel, was water intrusion. This problem is so common on older coaches, and so under reported by people trying to sell them, it got pretty frustrating. That experience in hand, when talking older coaches, for me it's way more about the condition of the coach itself. If that won't past muster, chassis mileage, tire age, and appliance condition are all totally irrelevant. Perfume on a pig if you will....

That said, I do almost all of my own work, because I enjoy doing that, and because it helps control the cost of owning something like this.

With 10 thumbs, where I knew I was going to have to pay somebody for anything that needed to be done (after finding somebody I felt was competent to do them), I'm not sure I would have taken the route we have.

That would be my second biggest concern on an older DP. -Al
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:15 PM   #38
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funjnt--- you said " I hired an independent rv inspection firm to inspect it. Cost was 350.00 and the guy spent almost a day." How did you go about finding such a firm? I know they are available cars and trucks but didn't know this service was available.

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Old 04-07-2016, 12:32 AM   #39
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Ahicks. I know a few obvious visible signs of water intrusion and intend to look carefully, including behind panels and drawers, basement, etc. What methods have you learned to detect hidden water damage?
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:20 AM   #40
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funjnt--- you said " I hired an independent rv inspection firm to inspect it. Cost was 350.00 and the guy spent almost a day." How did you go about finding such a firm? I know they are available cars and trucks but didn't know this service was available.

mossrocker
Hey Moss. After a lot of googleing and searching I did a search on craigslist for that area. There was a guy listed and I contacted him that way.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:33 AM   #41
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There are visual, and there is the smell. That musty odor is unmistakable. I look for any signs of delamination. Bubbles in the coach's skin or interior sidewalls are cause to leave without further inspection. Signs of ceiling, wall or floor damage, same story. Stories of "it's been repaired" are often completely false, based more on hope than fact. Soft spots and/or delaminated paneling in walls and ceiling paneling are dead giveaways.

Bubbles in the skin can be a few feet across (due to delamination), or the size of a dime (due to corrosion). With rare exception, both not economically feasable to repair on a coach this age - even if you are capable/willing to do the job yourself.

That said, there are people who say these issues often don't have a bearing on the coach's functionality. Hard to argue that point - other than knowing full well that this coach has one foot in it's grave, and the clock is running regarding the second. Water intrusion sends more coaches to the scrap yard than all other reasons combined.

Myself, I would far rather spend the time seeking out a coach that's been maintained well enough where water intrusion issues are not apparent. Yes, going to look at a LOT more coaches prior to finding one I can live with, but the pay off is in knowing that if I stay up on this coach's maintenance requirements, it's not going to deteriorate - not while it's on my watch anyway.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:28 PM   #42
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Thanks

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Hey Moss. After a lot of googleing and searching I did a search on craigslist for that area. There was a guy listed and I contacted him that way.
Thank you
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