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Old 11-18-2012, 06:31 AM   #1
PDGotro's Avatar
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LA Gulf Coast Campers
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Location: Gonzales, La.
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2003 Tiffin Allegro Bay

Interested in information on the pros/cons of purchasing a used 2003 37ds Allegro Bay with only 12,000 miles - what do I look for when "looking over" this motorhome?

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mt Juliet, TN (Homebase)
Posts: 401
Here is a guide I found for used MH.
Used coach inspection

There are multiple areas that will need to be inspected.. The chassis and running gear including tires, suspension components, the house itself focusing on general condition, all of the added components such as air conditioners, refrigerator, heating, hot water heater leveling system and the like. Another area to be looked at as well would be the generator, batteries, and inverter/converter if applicable. Unless you feel comfortable as to your qualifications to perform a thorough inspection then you might want to get some help either in the form of a knowledgeable friend or hire a professional to do the inspection...

You will need to inspect the wear components such as brakes and tires and the life span components such as shocks, suspension components, hoses, belts, seals, batteries and tires.

If the coach has not been in continual usage there will be the added potential of problems with dry rot and compromised components relative to fuel delivery.. Particularly with gasoline engines... varnish can form in as little as 30 days of disuse of proper precautions have not been taken.

You will also want to post questions and do searches to gain insight to any of the particular high probability areas of concerns that are unique or specific to makes and model years.

Starting with the house, you will want to look for any signs of water leakage, delaminating, as well as roof condition and integrity. The doors ( including bay doors) should be inspected that they open and shut easily and securely, and that all the locking mechanism work. Windows seals should be inspected and in the case of dual pane window that the inner seal has not failed, any cloudiness is a red flag. You will want to insure that all awnings are in good repair by opening and stowing taking note of any signs of wear.. Awing should open and close easily, excessive sloppiness is another red flag.

You will also want to insure that all cabinet doors and drawers will open and securely latch when closed. Check the alignment of interior doors.. Then if equipped level the coach and note any changes especially in the alignment of interior doors including the shower door. Significant changes when leveled should be a concern.

Inspect the batteries for signs of bulging or corrosion.

Inspect for evidence of routine maintenance

Focus on know problem areas such as the auto brake if so equipped

Diesel cooling system test for sign of electrolysis

Air bags look for dry rot and signs of leakage

Look for signs of dry rot on belts and hoses

Run generator under load for a period of time difficulty in starting and surging is a red flag

Make sure that the refrigerator operates and will cool in all modes

Check the outlet temperatures of the dash and roof air conditioner

If the unit is equipped with slides in addition to insuring that they will extend and retract check the alignment of the slide with the side of the coach when fully retracted.. Slider problems are often preceded by signs of miss alignment. when retracted the slide should look the same in reference to the coach opening on all four corners. While your at it learn how and then do the manual retract operation...

Insure that the hot water and furnace are operating properly

If possible get the coach weighed and match that against the GVWR rating to understand what your CCC will be.

One last area to think about has to do with documentation such as Owners manuals wiring and plumbing schematics and diagrams... Make sure you get them...You will need them... Try to get as thorough understanding as you can about where things are... Have the person you are buying from demonstrate or explain dumping procedures, water system, winterizing... Knowing where all the fuses, switches, valves are located and what they do... may save you some headaches .

2002 Fleetwood Revolution 38B
2006 Honda CR-V Air Force One
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Warner Robins, GA
Posts: 2,114
Originally Posted by PDGotro View Post
Interested in information on the pros/cons of purchasing a used 2003 37ds Allegro Bay with only 12,000 miles - what do I look for when "looking over" this motorhome?
Is it on a Workhorse or Ford chassis?

If it is on a Workhorse check and make sure the recall on the brakes has been completed.

If it has the Dometic refrigerator check and see if it was on the recall list.

Check the date the tires were manufactured. If they are the original they will need to be replaced due to age.

You can probably get a lot more answers/advice on the Tiffin RV Network.

Tiffin RV Network

Good Luck,
Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
Lil Girl-Rescued, Abby Rescued, Peaches Rescued
06 Allegro 35TSA Workhorse Chassis
2013 Chevy Spark Dinghy
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