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Old 01-09-2013, 10:49 AM   #15
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i know we are off topic here but i also bought our '97 london aire at .14 cents on the dollar...38000 vs 270000..and very nice looking unit and everything works as should. and after looking for long time i found that there are no perfect maintenence logs...at least none i could find..you do have to trust your instincts and the shop your getting from.. all the old coaches we looked at had the fridge replaced at one time...an on tires i believe that old is not all bad if there is no weather checking like the ones on mine.. of course fronts are many times more important as the rear have two to cover..just my opinion..jeff


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Bought our used Mountain Aire last year at 38 cents on the dollar. Could not be happier with it. So far, so good...nothing major and we fix the minor things ourselves. Hey...these things were never perfect, not even when new. I feel like thanking the original owner for taking the $120k hit on depreciation...and taking such good care of such a beautiful coach.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:28 PM   #16
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How many of you have older motorhomes that you use to travel across the country? Do you feel confident in your motorhome? What problems have you had? What have you done to protect yourself against breakdown? I have a 1997 HR Imperial with a 325hp eng and 3060 Allison trans that I have had for 2 years. I have the oil tested each time I change it, I have serviced the auto trans, it is at the Cummins dealer to replace all of the cooling system hoses including the heater hoses and replacing the green coolant with the extended life coolant. The basic chassis is in great shape. I want to travel from CA to MI and WI and still feel a little uneasy about that many miles in a 15y/o motorhome. I pull a 2008 Ford Edge that weighs around 5k lbs and have had some overheating concerns while traveling up the Grapevine in CA on 100 degree days. I am mostly worried about crossing the mountains. I appreciate anyone's comments...... I know the original owner traveled all over the country from the repair orders and services that he had done. It now has 94k miles.
Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #17
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I've traveled coast to coast in our '98. I carry tools and have Good Sam roadside assistance for things I can't or don't wish to tackle. Except for a flat or two, I've never had an issue. I also get yearly oil and filter changes and an oil analysis to monitor engine health. At about 70,000 miles, I don't consider my Cummins really even broken in yet. Better to use it than to park it is my way of thinking.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:43 PM   #18
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I concur that water damage is the most disappointing thing to find, and unfortunately a very common occurrence in an older coach. Check around slideouts, on the floor in the corners, and around the floor below windows. Press on the interior wall panels to see if they are spongy. Try to peel back a little carpet around the front corners, where wind driven rain may end up. Look for waviness in the exterior panels.

Find out what it will cost to get the transmission serviced. Plan to change the hydraulic fluid in the lift system, steering system etc. Check out the AC units (including the chassis AC) and let them all run for at least 20 minutes to make sure they don;t overheat after they reach temperature. Run every system for a while. Time spent finding the problems before hand will help you know what to budget and how much negotiating you need to do.
Be prepared to have some surprises!
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #19
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120,000 miles so far and it's fine. I feel very confident driving cross country at any time. If it breaks, I fix it or get it fixed. I have been following several forums for a while, and I see no correlation to age/mileage and repairs. I think the key is to exercise all components on these vehicles on a regular basis and don't skimp on maintenance costs. I have found most problems to be inconvenient at worst, but not catastrophic.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:38 PM   #20
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Just bought a 98 Beaver Patriot with 25000 miles. It had basically everything original, including the transmission oil and tires. I have been steadily working through everything. If you aren't mechanically inclined, buy something new or that has very good maintenance records. Except for the tires, nothing has been extremely expensive so far(touch wood). Use the internet to find best pricing. eg. The mirror remote switch was broken. Monaco(Navistar) wanted $104. On line it was $38 for the identical unit.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:40 PM   #21
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I know of an '03 Winnebgo Ultimate Freedom w/15,000 mi. Always stored inside and the owner wants to get it gone. If interested get in touch
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:01 PM   #22
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We have a '93 Monaco and just this past April did a 7k trip - from Lancaster, CA to middle FL to SC to VA to MI and then back to Lancaster CA - all within 5 weeks. The really only major problems were a tire puff out on the trailer which meant that we got 4 new ones for that and 1 tire for the RV. Then in TX on the way back we started to lose volts and had to run the generator for about 2 days to keep volts up while on the road.
Turns out the inv/char was sometimes not working. The neutral wire would not stay connecting. Then we realized that when the previous owners changed out the microwave/convection oven and that was 1.6kWz and the inv/char was 1500 watts modified. Needless to say when we got a new one we got one that would run that better. A 3k watt pure sine one.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:08 AM   #23
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I have a 2001 Diplomat with 105K. Leaving in late March on a 8 month trip out west. I don't give it a second thought. Enjoy
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:17 AM   #24
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I know of an '03 Winnebgo Ultimate Freedom w/15,000 mi. Always stored inside and the owner wants to get it gone. If interested get in touch
I'm interested, please send PM.

Thanks Gary
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:54 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slemnah View Post
How many of you have older motorhomes that you use to travel across the country? Do you feel confident in your motorhome? What problems have you had? What have you done to protect yourself against breakdown? I have a 1997 HR Imperial with a 325hp eng and 3060 Allison trans that I have had for 2 years. I have the oil tested each time I change it, I have serviced the auto trans, it is at the Cummins dealer to replace all of the cooling system hoses including the heater hoses and replacing the green coolant with the extended life coolant. The basic chassis is in great shape. I want to travel from CA to MI and WI and still feel a little uneasy about that many miles in a 15y/o motorhome. I pull a 2008 Ford Edge that weighs around 5k lbs and have had some overheating concerns while traveling up the Grapevine in CA on 100 degree days. I am mostly worried about crossing the mountains. I appreciate anyone's comments...... I know the original owner traveled all over the country from the repair orders and services that he had done. It now has 94k miles.
Thanks!
We have enjoyed a few trips into the U.S.A. with our coach. So far, each trip has taken us across Canada to the West coast, then down to California, across through Nevada, New Mexico, up to Branson, MO, and north to home. Each trip about 5000 miles. It has always been very enjoyable. Although we have not had to use it, we subscribe to Coach Net, so if we're broke down on the road, we can get towed somewhere, at least off the road.

I think your approach regarding replacing all the hoses is a good idea, one I've been thinking of doing. Anything rubber is subject to aging. Regarding the heating, have you washed the dirt from your radiator? Also, a new set of thermostats might help.

Also, I replace the fuel filters often, and keep a spare set on board. Once, a new fuel filter sprung a leak, and I had to change it on the side of the road. It was the one and only time that I did not have a spare filter on board. I will never make that mistake again.

I don't believe that age or miles has much bearing on reliability and safety on the road. It's all about maintenance and preparation. I also think that our older mechanical engines can be more reliable and easier to repair than the newer electronically controlled engines.

Oh yes, I also believe in riding on new tires. I won't start the rig rolling in the morning until I know the tire pressures are OK. I've been trying a tire pressure monitoring system, with some problems, but I'm hoping that it will be a good thing.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:04 AM   #26
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If you are not confident doing a through inspection both mechaincal and the house pay an independant inspector, could be the best $$ you ever spent. As far a what kind of problems you might have who knowns on a 17 year old RV, you should keep a poo happends fund on hand. There is no cheap way to own a large motorhome new you get big payments,old you get repairs (there is no crystal ball). Currently I just finished installing a new house water pump system $350.00, and am waiting on a set of glow plugs for the generator $70.00. Last year was brakes, rotors, tires, axle seals and controller for the generator about 5K for parts I do all the work. Oh yea up graded 3 TVs to LED. From a reliability stand point the coach is ready to go any where my only concerne is keeping the 150 gal fuel tank full. Good luck
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:08 PM   #27
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A lot of good advice here. Here's my list to have checked out. Generator. Has maintenance been done and how many hrs on it. Belts, hoses (all cooling hoses, fuel lines, hydraulic lines, rubber hoses hooked up to turbo, tires check date and look at side walls for checking. Make sure all systems worked as designed. Replace all gray and black water pop open vents. Look for signs of leaks, delamination of walls or roof, age and strength of batteries, get them load tested. Same for charging system. Check the shocks for leaks and look at all the rubber suspension part for decay. Fill the water tank, gray water tank, and black water tanks and check for leaks. If they balk offer to pay the dump fee and the cost to get it winterized again. Run the refig and look for frost build up. ( have him run it for a couple of days prior to you checking it out) Hot water heater does it work as designed.
Good luck
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