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Old 04-01-2016, 12:40 PM   #1
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Question Buying a diesel pusher--inspection time

We have been looking for a while and have found a couch that we want to buy. It is a 2009 Fleetwood Discovery 40X diesel pusher (350 cummings)with 51K miles. We have agreed on a price and now we would like to do some inspections.

We are new at this and would appreciate any advice moving forward in the buying process. Financing, inspections couch or drive train, Taxes etc.

Thank you!

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Old 04-01-2016, 04:28 PM   #2
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Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: White Rock, BC
Posts: 529
Having a coach properly inspected before you buy is very important and if you are buying remotely or are not terribly familiar with that type of coach an inspection is vital. Unfortunately getting a coach properly inspected can be challenging.

First, you must be aware that two inspections are generally required, one for the coach and another for the chassis, as these are different areas of expertise and require different skill sets. Secondly, those doing the inspection must be properly qualified, hopefully more so than simply being a friend of a friend who owns and RV. You must find the right people for the job and ensure they will provide you with detailed feedback.

In the fall of 2014 I found an RV that seamed to suit of needs well but I live near Vancouver, British Columbia and the coach was located in central Florida. I transacted a deal contingent upon a favorable professional inspection followed by my own personal inspection. I was able to find an RV inspection service for the coach inspection and a mobile diesel repair mechanic for the chassis inspection. I vetted both businesses before hand.

During the inspections issues were found with both inspections. I was provided with a repair estimate for the chassis items and a detailed report on the coach issues. Though not evident in any of the photos or video I had seen on the coach interior or exterior, the coach inspection with a moisture meter detected some delimitation in a side wall. For all things combined the estimate to do proper repairs came out to over $30K. Needless to say I backed away from that deal with a cost of only $730 for the inspection services. If you want more detail on my experience, it was written up in this forum at "Inspection finds $30K in hidden defects".

On the positive side, we continued looking and eventually found a great coach 9 months later, just days before I retired. This coach was located close enough to our home that I was able to inspect it personally and the dealer included a warranty to cover anything I might have missed.

Retired and livin' the RV dream!
2005 Newmar 43 ft. MADP, Cummins ISL 400HP, 2008 Honda CR-V toad
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Old 04-01-2016, 05:12 PM   #3
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Near San Antonio, TX
Posts: 333
So if you are at all handy around the house and/or with cars you can probably take care of the coach portion yourself. There are two electrical systems, 120v somewhat like your house and 12v somewhat like your car. There are three sources of electricity, shore power, battery bank, and generator. These all feed both electrical systems in some way or another. I think most people can master the coach end systems with help from this forum (or ESPECIALLY the Discovery Owner's Association which you should join now if you are pretty sure you are going to buy a D). Flaws found on a coach inspection are negotiating points and can usually be fixed by you.

The chassis end is a different story. Some of us may have diesel pickups or tractors and be somewhat familiar with diesel systems, but unless you are a medium duty diesel mechanic, you are probably want to get some help. For one thing these are large vehicles and you will probably need large tools and facilities (Large jacks and jackstands or a lift) to really work on them properly. For such a large vehicle, it is incredibly difficult to maneuver around underneath, especially if you have to torque bolts and so on. Access to the engine is under the bed so top end stuff is not that hard to get at, but you still need to know what you are doing.

So the chassis inspection, to include the engine, can be more critical. I had a Cat technician come out and pull all the codes and run a cylinder cut out test, among a number of other things.

We have a lot of fun in our DP, and I am really glad we were patient and got the appropriate inspections until the right one comes along.
2005 Discovery 39s Cat C7 330hp, AF1 brakes,
2013 Silverado Crew Cab Toad, Blue Ox Towbar
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