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Old 04-01-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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2002 Fleetwood American Eagle

We're looking to purchase a 2002
fleetwood American Eagle 40QS, with a Spartan chassis and a 400 ISL engine. This will be our first diesel purchase. Are there any issues we should be aware of?
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #2
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Get someone who has owned a big diesel moter home to go with you even if you have to pay him and above all don't take an rv dealers word for any thing.Seven years ago I was right where you are now and I am still trying to get things fixed on mine .I bought an American Dream which as you know is the baby brother to the American Eagle.I love the coach but it has about weaned me from ever buying from a dealer again.The dealer I used is supposed to be one of the biggest most reputable dealers in North Carolina.Make sure your dash air works .make sure your inverter works.Plug a 120v fan or lamp in using the inverter power only .Just because the your status bd lights up doesen't mean it works .Make sure all your alarms for low water, trans temp,low oil and air brakes all work.Since you will be spending 75,000 plus for this unit,see if they won't let you take the unit out for an overnighter at a local campground You can find out a lot more this way than you can with a salesman fast talking you through your inspection.This will also give you a chance to talk to other diesel owners who will gladly impart thier knowlege to you .If the seller won't agree to this ,walk on down the road .Remember ,the market is flooded with big diesel units right now because no one is buying them!!
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #3
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As O/p said if you are not confident in your knowledge, there are any number of private party inspectors that for a reasonable fee will give the coach a through look over, both inside and out. If the dealer will not allow that run away fast. Finally if there are issues make sure they are corrected BEFORE $$$ changes hands, or you leave the dealers lot. By doing it that way everyone is happy when the deal is done, and you don't have to make trips back at $4.00 + per gallon, and be without your coach.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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2002 Fleetwood American Eagle

Thanks for the info. It gives us a starting point on what to ask the dealer. We need all the advice we can get. We do plan to take a diesel mechanic with us the next time we go to see the coach.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:58 AM   #5
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A diesel mechanic can look over running gear, which is more than likely in good shape. However an experianced RV tech would be a better choice in looking for things like delamanation, water damage(leaks) and comfirming all on board systems work as they should. High end diesel coaches have systems that are very complicated and expensive to repair so as I said make sure EVERYTHING works like it should (aqua hot if equiped, leveling system, inverter system, slideouts, tank monitors, heating and cooling, dash air, enterainment systems, generator under a full load (more than just a quick start up), windows with slipping seals, all doors and hard ware, the age of the tires and batterys, and the list goes on. In short take your time and and check it out closely, and make sure it has all of the factory manuals with the coach, should be 1 or 2 large books, as these are almost non replaceable. While a 2002 coach is not new and will have some issues American Eagals are very good coaches. Happy hunting
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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2002 and 2003 were good years for that coach - the design had matured (Amercan Coach changed it again in 2004) and most of the wrinkles had been flattened by then.

American Coach in general and the Eagle in particular are top of the line coaches and, if properly maintained, should be a fine coach for you.

If there are no maintenance records, be prepared to spend $1500 or so bringing the chassis maintenance up to date, e.g. the numerous filters and fluid changes that a diesel requires to stay healthy. Also take a close look at the tire age (date code stamped on the tire sidewall) to make sure the tires are young enough to use for awhile, Somewhere around 7-8 years of age the risk of a blowout gets high even if the tire isn't worn. By 9-10 years it is decidedly ancient. A new set of tires is upwards of $3000 on that rig, so its a big ticket item if needed. Conversely, if already equipped with near-new tires, that is a plus.

Take a checklist with you to go over all the appliances and systems before you buy. Here is one that is rather exhaustive but really good if you take the time to do it all.


RV Buyers Checklist
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
2002 and 2003 were good years for that coach - the design had matured (Amercan Coach changed it again in 2004) and most of the wrinkles had been flattened by then.

American Coach in general and the Eagle in particular are top of the line coaches and, if properly maintained, should be a fine coach for you.

If there are no maintenance records, be prepared to spend $1500 or so bringing the chassis maintenance up to date, e.g. the numerous filters and fluid changes that a diesel requires to stay healthy. Also take a close look at the tire age (date code stamped on the tire sidewall) to make sure the tires are young enough to use for awhile, Somewhere around 7-8 years of age the risk of a blowout gets high even if the tire isn't worn. By 9-10 years it is decidedly ancient. A new set of tires is upwards of $3000 on that rig, so its a big ticket item if needed. Conversely, if already equipped with near-new tires, that is a plus.

Take a checklist with you to go over all the appliances and systems before you buy. Here is one that is rather exhaustive but really good if you take the time to do it all.


RV Buyers Checklist

Agree...fine coaches, those Eagles. Today, the new ones start at $525k.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer
2002 and 2003 were good years for that coach - the design had matured (Amercan Coach changed it again in 2004) and most of the wrinkles had been flattened by then.

American Coach in general and the Eagle in particular are top of the line coaches and, if properly maintained, should be a fine coach for you.

If there are no maintenance records, be prepared to spend $1500 or so bringing the chassis maintenance up to date, e.g. the numerous filters and fluid changes that a diesel requires to stay healthy. Also take a close look at the tire age (date code stamped on the tire sidewall) to make sure the tires are young enough to use for awhile, Somewhere around 7-8 years of age the risk of a blowout gets high even if the tire isn't worn. By 9-10 years it is decidedly ancient. A new set of tires is upwards of $3000 on that rig, so its a big ticket item if needed. Conversely, if already equipped with near-new tires, that is a plus.

Take a checklist with you to go over all the appliances and systems before you buy. Here is one that is rather exhaustive but really good if you take the time to do it all.

RV Buyers Checklist


Agree with Gary, must went with purchase of 2003 coach. Total up grade without tires 10 K. No new interior dynamics just deferred maintance
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