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Old 05-27-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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1994 Thor Residency 3500, Questions and Musings

This is the motorhome about which my wife has been the most excited. It's a 1994 Thor Residency 3500. It's on a Ford chassis and has the 460 motor with 57k miles. It actually looks like it's been maintained and probably used relatively recently. In fact it's the only rig I've seen of this era that hasn't had at least some evidence of water damage from the roof. I did find a spot under the rear window but it should be relatively easy to access as there's a compartment right there under it. It's on a dealer lot and for what it's worth, the salesman said a couple that had just retired, traded it in on another motorhome in this last fall. Anyway, it looks like we are going to look at it again on Tuesday.

I worry about what may go wrong with it so if anyone has any experiences with it, I'd love to hear them. The only thing I've been able to find on the Internet (two on this forum and one elsewhere) is guys having problems with wiring and not being able to find a wiring schematic. Now that is a big deal but I'm not sure I won't buy it just because of that, although maybe that should be enough. What do you all think? I have a hard enough time chasing shorts when I do have a wiring diagram.

I know we'll have to figure out the GVWR, GCWR and curb weight because, as I've so often read, these chassis are often almost overloaded when they leave the factory. If we get serious I'll inspect all the systems and I will likely have a mechanic look at the drivetrain and chassis.

What's a post without pictures, right?

Here's what she looks like:



We both like this seating arrangement. It gives a roomy feel to a coach without a slideout and it's unique. That table has folding leaves (which are up) and also folds down into coffee table height:



Just aft of the aforementioned couch is this little table. We both like this too. I like it because of it's orientation towards the living area and TV and the wife thinks it'll be good to cut fabric on:


This is not a good picture of the windows, but they give an exceptional view and contribute greatly to the open feeling of the living area. This I think is what my wife likes the best. She refers to this MH as, "The Window One." Also I like a double doored fridge - not so much bending over if it's set up right (I believe that's the original fridge too):


The kitchen is unspectacular but we both prefer an in-cabinet oven with a stove top rather than an oven and stove top together in one unit. Plus, check out that big pot and pan drawer right underneath the stove top. It took my wife about 20 seconds to find that and start oo-ing and ah-ing over that (it's the little things):


Another neat little thing about this unit is they didn't make the built in nightstands so they crowd the top edges of the bed:


There's one or two neat things about the bathroom too. It's a floorplan we both actually like so we're going to investigate further. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #2
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For whatever it's worth, we have a 2000 Model 3790 Residency we bought new. It's now 12years old with 74k miles.

We've been extremely pleased with the build quality so far and it has been virtually trouble free.

Ours has the same "L" shaped couch and galley very similar. The major difference is the 1999 and later Ford chassis had a wider front track adding a bit better handling and stability and of course the v10 engine.

The 460 v8 is a good engine with tuned port injection. Many folks with the 460 have added exhaust headers and a free flow exhaust system which I understand enhances the power and allows engine to run cooler.

Based on the experience with ours I wouldn't hesitate to purchase one. One downside, if the windows were made by SE-GI and are dual pane, there's a potential for inner seal to creep across the window.

Good luck with your search
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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My favorite floor plan

When we were looking that was my absolutely favorite floor plan. Have you test driven it yet? The fridge may be an upgrade. I don't remember seeing it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LVJ58 View Post
One downside, if the windows were made by SE-GI and are dual pane, there's a potential for inner seal to creep across the window.
The '99 Residency we are looking at has the seal creep but we've been told that its only cosmetic and it shouldn't cause any leaking.



Our floor plan has the L shaped couch and that same table but ours has a slide right there, giving it even more space & a skylight. We are trying to figure out what to put in that space to utilize it the best way possible.

Best of luck on your purchase, hope to see updates of the fun memories you're making with that RV.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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The 1 item I would look closely at is tire dates...This could be a huge hidden expense for you if you need to replace all 6 tires after purchase....7-10 years (depending on brand and inspection) is the life of tire....NOT TREAD
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:22 PM   #6
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The '99 Residency we are looking at has the seal creep but we've been told that its only cosmetic and it shouldn't cause any leaking..
It is not cosmetic-your dual pane glass will fog up and no longer insulates. This is a common problem but it will need to be fixed.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:36 PM   #7
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We have a 1995 Residency 3500 and love it. We looked at a lot of used MHs and when my wife saw the floor plan she said "look no more". If you buy it and need an owners manual send me a PM and I'll be glad to make you a copy.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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We have a 1995 Residency 3500 and love it. We looked at a lot of used MHs and when my wife saw the floor plan she said "look no more". If you buy it and need an owners manual send me a PM and I'll be glad to make you a copy.

Same thing that happened to me when we walked into a 2000 Residency at the 1999 Pomona RV show--the rest is history.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kat_nda_sand View Post
The '99 Residency we are looking at has the seal creep but we've been told that its only cosmetic and it shouldn't cause any leaking.



Our floor plan has the L shaped couch and that same table but ours has a slide right there, giving it even more space & a skylight. We are trying to figure out what to put in that space to utilize it the best way possible.

Best of luck on your purchase, hope to see updates of the fun memories you're making with that RV.
Some place on either this forum or another forum there's been lengthy discussions on dual pane window fogging & seal creep and information on places that do repair.

It happened to our 2000 but fortunately SE-GI replaced ours under warranty with me paying shipping and doing the change out myself.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone for the input

The windows are single pane, thanks.

I have not test driven it. When we first talked to the salesman, he said to make an appointment for a test drive. I thought there's no way I'm giving them that kind of warning. I want to see how it starts cold. As it turns out, when all the batteries are completely flat it doesn't start at all. (I had a hunch...)

Thanks for offering to make a copy of the manual!

My wife went through all the paperwork. It appears the fridge is the original. I saw a picture of another Residency for sale on the web and it had the same fridge doors.

The tires are older, from 2003 and 2005.

We did look at it again today. We still like the floor plan and the cabinetry but I found a few concerns. Overall, the coach just doesn't look like it was maintained well. It certainly wasn't cleaned well.

We found receipts for tires and a brake master cylinder, but no maintenance records at all. The tranny fluid looked good but the engine oil was quite dirty. I picked all manner of junk off the top of the motor, .22 rounds, peanuts, Barbie Doll accessories...

They obviously cooked with grease and weren't very particular about cleaning. It would take the better part of a day just to get the upholstery cleaned. The carpet is dirty enough it should come out. For some reason, the carpet on the doghouse is different from the rest of the carpet. It's funny all that we didn't notice the first time we looked at it.

All the cabinet doors and drawers worked except for one, but there was water damage inside a cabinet from a prior leak around the water heater. The rear window leaks down both corners. There's water damage inside by the head of the bed and underneath, at the top of the basement. The pull curtains in front had missing rollers as did the hard plastic shower curtain. A handle was broken off the fridge door. The shower head was broken -- little things like that make me think maintenance wasn't a priority for the previous owners.

Brake fluid was leaking from the master cylinder, the metal fittings on the brake lines were significantly corroded -- I'd imagine they're frozen solid. There was deep rust at the front of the coach on and around the engine (a sticker indicated it spent some time in New Jersey). The tires are older, '03 and '05. The exterior was heavily oxidized. Most of the basement locks did not function. There were multiple dings on the bottom of the basement doors that had been painted over with a rattle-can. The roof was in very good condition though -- rock solid.

I'm afraid if we buy it, I'll be buying someone else's problems and we'll end up fixing those problems for a while to come. I should probably mention they want $20k for it. As it sits, I'm fairly confident it's not worth half that. I suppose that's the kind of day a fellow should expect when he closes the door on his Jeep-car and the window falls down... :(
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:55 PM   #11
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I would run away from that deal. Besides the problems you've found they are asking way too much for it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:04 PM   #12
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^ Thanks, I agree. Before I found all that I did, I was thinking about offering them about half what they were asking. Now I'm pretty sure I don't want to make an offer at all. In fact we stumbled across another motorhome, Ford chassis with a 460 again, less miles, looks new on the inside, four years newer for basically the same asking price. (That'll be another thread, I'm sure.)
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:36 PM   #13
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Vastly overpriced, as you've noted. A $5,000 coach at best.

Steve
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #14
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^ Thanks, Steve.
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