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Old 11-21-2014, 11:04 AM   #1
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1996 Beaver Patriot Buying Used Thoughts

I am a newbie RVer (and new to forums also) considering a 1996 Beaver Patriot with the 300 hp motor with 106,000 miles on it. It is being sold by a small local (Portland, OR) dealer with an asking price of 17,500. Cosmetically it appears in good condition and all home systems fire up and work as one would expect.

Could anyone share experience with this model, year, purchasing this old? Anything that might help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts,

Recent retiree looking to see the Western US

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Old 11-21-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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My first RV was a new 5th wheel, mostly tire replacement, a flat, ended up as a full replacement of the tire. Then I move to a used gasser not too many problems but like all motorhomes, something fail just about every trip, nothing major, just bring your tool box. Just purchased a 2002 diesel pusher, fingers crossed. So enjoy your purchase, mainly a new one would cost 10 times as much.

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Old 11-21-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Welcome to irv2.
I can not help with coach to much only offer your these links for chassis and Beaver information link.
I am sure some Beaver owners will chime in for further help.
98KSCA, 99MACA, 03 KSCA-3740- 8.1 Chev-- ALLISON Trans, now in good hands
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #4
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My first thoughts go to:
1) Are there any water leaks and check for delamination.
2) Check for heavy rust under the chassis.
3) Was the regular maintenance done and have a diesel mech look over the engine, suspension, and brakes.
4) Carfax it.
5) why is it being sold.

An older diesel with very little mileage (unlike this one) can be a real problem if it just sat...diesels like being used and have a very long useful life...so hopefully they documented their maintenance and did a good job of it...as the mileage is not unreasonable IMHO...maybe indicates it was a really great rig to go rving in.

If it looks great inside that's a pretty good indicator, but I would still research how to buy an rv and do all the due diligence suggested...would take me a couple of weeks, not a day...very complex systems.

Great diy mod opportunity to personalize it if no fundamental problems.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:21 PM   #5
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Check the date codes on the tires. Tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires between 7-10 years old, depending on depth of tire cracking. Tires will run you around $6,000 for the set.
Check the rubber bushing in the chassis, a ride should tell you how good the shocks are.
Beaver, as well as the other Oregon manufacturers made very solid coaches in those years. If it was well taken care of, it should last you a long time.
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #6
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Parts may begin to be hard to find due to age. Beaver made a quality product; I used to own one. You might ask around at the Beaver Ambassadors Club.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:57 PM   #7
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Great info

Thanks to all for the insights, info and links.
I am going to spend the day with the vehicle tomorrow doing a complete inspection. If looks good under the scope I will make an offer contingent upon positive thumbs up from independent diesel magnum chassis mechanic.
I am taking all the advice seriously and appreciate the input.

Thanks again,

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Old 11-21-2014, 10:11 PM   #8
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If it's in good shape that seems like a great deal. I'm looking at a 97 Patriot and owner wants $36k 😜
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:42 PM   #9
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Countdown to Offer

After taking all advice I spent the entire going over this 1996 Beaver Trenton 300 hp Cat with as fine a tooth comb as I could muster.
There is evidence of a leak (ceiling staining) in the roof where solar panels were installed but it appears to have been sealed. There are no soft spots on the roof (bounced by 185 lbs on every square inch) and I can find no evidence of rot.
Tires are all less that five years old.
All of the house systems work - lights, heat, stove, water pumps, generator etc.
Carfax VIN check reveals no issues.
License and Tags are good until March 2015
Runs and drives well and seller has agreed to independent diesel/magnum chassis prepurchase inspection.
Caveat: the RV lot seller has no service records or history on the coach. So inspections as to current status is all to go on.
The floor plan is exactly what I have been looking for. All amenities are great.
1996 Beaver Patriot Trenton with 102,000 miles asking $17,995.
Would you make an offer?
Should I?
Nervous about pulling the trigger Tom
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:59 PM   #10
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If the chassis/engine inspection is good, go for it! Do oil analysis on engine and generator, I read it's cheap...
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:15 AM   #11
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Well, the asking price is lower than I value my equivalent rig. (Of course, my value is not a market value.)

And I am a happy 12+ year owner, not a first time buyer.

Most of my repair time on my old rig is spent on exterior cosmetics. Electrical issues crop up frequently but have been solvable.

Since the rig seems to hit your needs buttons, go for it!
1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:00 AM   #12
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I will be in your situation soon, and the only way I know to reduce nervousness is to reduce the unknowns. First of all, I think you can make an offer, but with reasonable conditions.

My assumption on buying a used coach will that I will be putting at least $20,000 into it after I buy. So, I have also budgeted $ to put into it before I buy to catch as many issues as possible: hire professional roof leak detector, hire experienced mechanic, hire chassis rust prevention experts to see if they can still do a rust application - the idea here is three key professional verifications.

As to the roof, water runs down hill, so the sides and floor are relevant as well. (Delamination)

After I buy my rig, I will probably put armor roof, a chassis rust application, and detailed catch up maintenance - professionally done.

If it was a freight liner, I would take it to freight line for a safety/maintenance review.

That's what can be done if agreed on before money is exchanged.

To me, reasonable verifications can't be done by me as a diy project. So, if I can't pay for the verifications, won't pay, or don't know to pay, I'm probably over my head.

Due diligence is not perfection, but risk minimization.

Be triple sure on those three items.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:16 AM   #13
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Purchase update

Here is an update on my road to getting on the road.
1. Had qualified independent mechanic check the electrical system and everything checked out.
2. Took at nearly two hour test drive and ran it through the paces; freeway, bumpy roads, uphill, downhill, traffic, even some white knuckle treelined side streets and all went well.
3. Today the rig is going to the Cat diesel mechanic where there are going to do fluid tests on oil, coolant, transmission as well as a visual and running inspection of the entire engine chassis.

If this final inspection goes well, as I think it will, the seller has accepted an offer of $16,500.

Knowing that I wanted a diesel pusher and what my budget would allow I decided to buy older and put the money into repair on a higher end rid. I have budgeted about an equal amount to the purchase price to meet these ends.

Thanks again for all of the insights and please keep them coming. I will update as soon as the deal is done.

Feeling more confident with all the help
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:44 AM   #14
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This what I found on the NADA guides....

1996 Beaver

Patriot Series Trenton

Research another motorhome ValuesSpecificationsFloor PlanSpecial Notes


Suggested List Price Low Retail Average Retail
Base Price $199,510 $12,570 $15,150
Options: (add)
TOTAL PRICE: $199,510 $12,570 $15,150

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