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Old 11-19-2019, 01:25 PM   #1
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Buying a Used Class A DP

Hello everyone,
I am in search for a DP and I am sure this has been answered many times but so hard for me to search these forums in detail. So basically looking to spend 30K to 40K and looking for a 36 to 38 foot DP. I narrowed down to probably Newmar, Tiffin, and Monaco. But the years I am interested in are from 2000 to 2005. I think that would be the best years for my price range. Can you lovely people point out some opinions on the most reliable ones to get? Thanks
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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First, are you handy? IMO you need to be handy if you're going to buy a 20 year old MH. Maybe any MH for that matter.
You listed quality makes. Do an Rvtrader search everyday and get familiar with what you want as far as motor, floorplan, etc.
Find the most cared for MH that fits "your" criteria. If your budget is going to be extremely tight you might want to include gassers.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:00 PM   #3
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I think those three are good starting points, but after 15-20 years of ownership, the owner has more to do with the reliability than the manufacturer. These things are built to be somewhat light weight, but get rumbled up and down roads of varying quality. Some rigs have never seen a dirt road, some were used exclusively in the boondocks. You're just gonna have to be handy or rich -- or both -- to fix what always seems to break. My rig just got $538 worth of on site work to replace both fridge AC heat elements. What's next? God only knows, He's not telling, and I think He may be laughing.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:53 PM   #4
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First, are you handy? IMO you need to be handy if you're going to buy a 20 year old MH. Maybe any MH for that matter.
You listed quality makes. Do an Rvtrader search everyday and get familiar with what you want as far as motor, floorplan, etc.
Find the most cared for MH that fits "your" criteria. If your budget is going to be extremely tight you might want to include gassers.

I am for sure a good handyman so I am willing to work around a lot of minor issues. I am more concerned of mechanical issues than anything. as long as i can get back home to fix, I will be ok with small items to repair.

Would an quality inspector catch everything or at least all the major and minor issues when they report back to me?
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:07 PM   #5
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....Would an quality inspector catch everything or at least all the major and minor issues when they report back to me?

This is the million dollar question really. The problem IMO is that you are going to spend 200-700 dollars and not get any guarantees. If you could work out a way to at least get the engine looked over and have an experienced mechanic give you a general feeling on how well the motor was maintained I'd be for that. Maybe something like Oil/filter change and an inspection by chassis shop with the agreement to pay half and buy the MH if no major problems. I'm trying to come up with my plan right now.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:34 PM   #6
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I look for evidence of quality maintenance. If the previous owner took care of the little things, he likely took care of the big things, too. No rental units -- ever. If the window is held closed with duct tape, that's a bad sign. Cleaning a DP engine is tough, so I'll let that slide. But cleaning the rear radiator is imperative, but sometimes overlooked. Gas struts that can't hold the door open show me poor maintenance, tho they are more obvious on doors that open up versus side opening doors.


Look for signs that this unit was well cared for. That's about all you got. I change my own oil religiously, but I never get a receipt from myself, so maintenance receipts will not tell the whole story.


Look for recalls on rear trailing arms. That's about a $5000 maintenance bill you might be inheriting.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:42 PM   #7
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Water damage is the killer of older units. A lot a people dont keep up with sealing the roof or noticing water damage until its a big problem. Look at corners, windows, and around slide openings. Check for soft spots in walls and floors. Look for water stains a peeled wallpaper.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:01 PM   #8
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Unless you have a spare 5000 to 8000 dollar budget for emergency repairs when you travel, I wouldn't consider a diesel pusher. There are big ticket items that can break on a diesel. If you don't have the extra for repairs, I would stick with a gasser. They are much less likely to require a high dollar repair. This is assuming all things like tires and brakes are in decent shape. I had a gas rv for five years, and put almost nothing into it. My current DP has been a money pit, but at its age, this stuff was due to go. I got a great deal on it, so Im still ahead, but if I had paid market value for it, I would be way under water on it. Don't get me started, but I recently spent almost $5000 Cdn on fuel pumps, among other things. That doesn't include labor. This isn't something even an inspection is going to tell you.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:55 PM   #9
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My experience with an inspector is I could have done better putting a bet down at a casino. His "test" on the batteries cost me $3500 to replace 8 shot batteries. It was a waste of $600 dollars for the "trusted" inspector I had. I did get a nice 30 or 40 page inspection report with pictures, I started a nice fire with the report, that's what it was worth. If you get records of oil changes and tranny services, that is a good start. Oil leaks on a diesel can cost a small fortune to have fixed. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take one opinion as gospel. Way too many tech's don't know what they're doing, especially on a motorhome that was built when the tech was in diapers. We were told by shop after shop that a problem we had could not be fixed, took 6 months but we found a shop that knew what they were doing and fixed the problem for a few hundred bucks. Good luck.

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Old 11-20-2019, 09:11 AM   #10
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Monaco built some fine coaches in the early 2000's. We love our 2002 Windsor!

Noticed you are kinda new on the forum and wanted to say hello!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:26 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone. Lot of good info to take at heart.....I have the money for major repairs if needed, but trying to stick with an older RV due to price and usage.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX7NOROTOR View Post
Hello everyone,
I am in search for a DP and I am sure this has been answered many times but so hard for me to search these forums in detail. So basically looking to spend 30K to 40K and looking for a 36 to 38 foot DP. I narrowed down to probably Newmar, Tiffin, and Monaco. But the years I am interested in are from 2000 to 2005. I think that would be the best years for my price range. Can you lovely people point out some opinions on the most reliable ones to get? Thanks
In that age range and length, the Cummins 5.9 24 valve was a popular powerplant. As mentioned, the fuel pump is a weak link, mine with parts/labor was $7,000. Also, the exhaust manifold were known to split, another $1,500 parts and labor. Aside from that, 6 tires, my Toyo's were right at $3,000; 6 batteries (2-12V; 4-6V) $700-$1,000. Nevercold refrig/freezer and the 6 gal hot water tank are 2 more items to add to your "replacement" list. Ask the seller for receipts of all items that have been repaired/replaced, not that the replaced items will last forever but at least they should be a more current version than the original equipment.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:07 AM   #13
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In that age range and length, the Cummins 5.9 24 valve was a popular powerplant. As mentioned, the fuel pump is a weak link, mine with parts/labor was $7,000. Also, the exhaust manifold were known to split, another $1,500 parts and labor. Aside from that, 6 tires, my Toyo's were right at $3,000; 6 batteries (2-12V; 4-6V) $700-$1,000. Nevercold refrig/freezer and the 6 gal hot water tank are 2 more items to add to your "replacement" list. Ask the seller for receipts of all items that have been repaired/replaced, not that the replaced items will last forever but at least they should be a more current version than the original equipment.
Thanks for all support folks....I learned more now
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:21 PM   #14
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Also look at the Holiday Rambler Endeavor DP's. We had a 2000 38ft with cat diesel for years that gave good service without a lot of problems.
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