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Old 11-23-2014, 09:46 PM   #1
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Buying first MH


We want to get into RVing and found a 2012 Monaco Knight 40DFT we like. Today was our first look at the unit and the beginning of the usual buyer/dealer mating ritual. They're waiting on us to make our final decision and give them a deposit in order to cinch the deal.

The unit has low mileage but high inside usage. It is in average condition with a few visible detractors due to normal wear and tear. Collectively, the items are not show stoppers but they're unsightly enough to warrant a redo.

We were thinking of replacing the carpet, maybe some of the wallpaper and doing something about the sagging leather upholstery. Is a limited make over practical and financially feasible? We would like to buy new but can't.

Also, is there any way of determining a fair price for a previously owned RV? BUC books aren't any help and other similar units on the market don't reveal much. Lastly, are there any major flaws with the MK 40DFT?

In advance, thanks for any insight you might have to offer.


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Old 11-24-2014, 02:44 AM   #2
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I would recommend you pass on this coach; as it sounds like there are more issues you may not be seeing. Slow down and do more homework like you have started to do. There are many nice used coaches out there and the cost is still low due to supply and demand.

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Old 11-24-2014, 03:22 AM   #3
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I have been looking around as well for our 2nd coach. Some folks here have given the good recommendation to google the NADA value for your coach. If you do this make sure that you do NOT click any options or enter mileage for a diesel coach. Take all defaults and use low retail value or slightly below it as a point to begin negotiations. Sounds like the one you are looking at may have been an ex full timer rig. Would not offer top dollar. This time of year should favor the buyer with cash in hand, and that role will reverse a bit come spring. Good luck
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:41 AM   #4
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Flooring and upholstery can be replaced, but it is generally more expensive for a RV than a house. Many flooring installers won't touch an RV, and for good reason: the techniques are different and the labor large for the small sq ft of space. That's not an attempt to scare you off - just a pricing caution.

The online NADA RV Guide is based on average depreciation rather than actual market data, so its just a rough estimate. Shoot for the low NADA retail value, but don't be surprised if the dealer balks. There is a fee version of NADA that has better data - might be worth buying a copy if you are RV shopping.

Don't rush into this purchase - there should be plenty of late model diesel pushers available, so no need to jump at the first one that looks ok. If you don't find it locally, shop further afield. These things have wheels! It's nearly the big RV trading season in the snowbird states, e.g. Florida, Texas and Arizona. Lots of Rvs being swapped, so a wide selection.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input.

Passing on the deal is what my inner voice is telling me (other things like fans not working, engine A/C not blowing cold air and shades not rolling properly are unsettling).

However, I keep wondering if we're passing up a super deal because we're being too picky. With all of the add-ons, the coach has everything we want and that aspect in addition to looking for 2 1/2 years is tugging at me to end the search and find a nice quiet place to enjoy a cup of coffee. On the other side, I'm mechanically inclined, but all my years of fixing and repairing stuff undermines my enthusiasm for taking on a new project that has every indication of costing more time and money than its worth.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:51 AM   #6
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New captains chairs in ultraleather: $ 1500 each
New Sofa in ultraleather: $1500 each

New Carpet: DIY for $400?

Engine AC not blowing cold air: Check to see if AC clutch is turning at the compressor. If so, could just be low 134A. Could be $300 DIY or $2,000 in a shop.

Fans ? What fans.....

Shades are replacement its for a few hundred.

The rig sounds like a young concrete queen used inside but not driven by someone who did not care. Any drive train maintenance records? That is where most of the big buck repairs are.

With an inspection of the drive train by a qualified mechanic being good, and the price low enough it could be a good deal. At least the tires should be less than 7 years old....
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:20 AM   #7
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Smile Thanks Dean

Appreciate the input on cost estimates.

As I mentioned this was our first look and we didn't get too far into trouble shooting, just observations.

The fans are ceiling exhaust fans. The ports opened but the fans didn't run.

Your park-a-lot observation is right on. The outside looks new but the inside definitely looks lived in. There were no records or documents of any kind in the coach. I had to beg the finance guy to look up the home base (Michigan) on Car Fax.

Is it customary to ask the dealer to allow the unit to be taken to an independent mechanic for an inspection. I asked if RV buyers had anything like an appraisal/surveyor service they could use to determine condition. They said their shop would do a thorough inspection and fix any problems (to a limit). I mentioned without first hand, unbiased knowledge, I felt like I was buying a "Pig in a poke".
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:39 AM   #8
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Our fantastic roof vents will open but the fans may not spin if the temp dial is not set to call for fans, whether on the manual or automatic setting. Not sure what the new vent fans are like.

You are likely getting ready to spend a bunch of money on that rig. Satisfy yourself with an inspection, not the dealer. Customary has no place in your wallet.

The dealer has a conflict of interest in doing a good inspection for you and also selling you the rig. So you need an independent inspection.

The dealer should be able to fix the dash AC cooling problem before sale to you.

Also........do not pay for the rig, until the dealer has fixed every thing you have asked him/her to do and proven it to you.

You and the dealer are on opposite sides of the negotiating table.

Way too many folks have trusted the Dealer to do the right thing after the cash is paid and have been bitterly disappointed.

As others have said. There are some very good buys out there if this dealer will not meet your needs on this rig.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:47 AM   #9
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If the drive-line is up to snuff and the slides seem to operate as a rather newer couch should. You can always low ball them, and ask for a 90 day bumper-2-bumper warranty to cover other issues. But if you were to go forward, since it is only a 2012, everything should be 100% fixed to your liking before you take delivery. The cosmetic issues, you can do on your dime, but use that as a bargaining chip. They sure would want to unload the unit before the new year.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:13 AM   #10
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You mentioned you had been looking 2 1/2 years. That's a fairly long time. What have you learned during this time about what you want in an RV? Have you looked at a bunch? Have you driven any of those you looked at? I found that looking at lots of RV's gave me a much better feel for what a good one should look like. You have put in the time to find a good one. Don't sell yourself short now because your patience is getting thin. Like others have already mentioned that are some really nice well cared for units out there that are turnkey ready to roll...especially under 5 years old. There are others that have been rode hard and should not be considered unless they are WAY under book and you can steal it.

If you decide to move on this one, I would offer low book minus what it will cost to make everything work 100% and also discounting to replace the worn out items you can't live with you plan to replace right away. Once the price has been agreed upon, have it inspected by a reputable outfit and negotiate the price down further if things are found defective. Also never be afraid to walk away from the deal. I'm not saying you need to steal it. Just get a very good deal based on it's condition and the time of year your purchasing. Your good deal is out there and it's a good time of the year to be a BUYER. Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:39 PM   #11
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I would recommend that you keep looking. The previous post that said look further afield is right on. They do have wheels, and the trip home can be a big part of the fun in buying a used rig. There are plenty of them out there. Plenty! And don't be afraid to look at older rigs too. Check out the thread here "How old is too old?" You might be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:00 AM   #12
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Can any of you give some guidance on the purchase of a new Tiffin. We are looking at either the 33 Allegro Red or the a 35 Allegro. Gas vs. diesel for a first time user?
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:16 AM   #13
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There are volumes of materials on what to look for in purchasing a used coach. Lots on specific brands. Use the google search in the right top banner. Good luck in your hunt. Also go to PPL web site and you'll see what similar or same coaches of that era are sold for. I believe eBay offers some research data as well. These are real time prices.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:31 AM   #14
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If you don't know what to look for and are unfamiliar with pricing, I don't think you should be characterizing this deal in any way other than a high risk situation based on low information and high emotions...and a feeling of scarcity.

I'm in the market for a rig and IMHO there are an abundance of and a wide variety of rigs on the market. After about 9 months of research, reading, and discussing a variety of issues in a variety of forums, I'm really not looking for super deals.

I will be happy to find an appropriate floor plan/length/diesel (that I'm not sorry about one year later) in good verifiable used condition, for a fair price (that I feel I can now determine on my own), and have budgeted $20,000 just for the catch up maintenance, repairs, personal upgrades, and modifications...along with doing my best, with hired professional assistance, to avoid buying a rig with significant or too many smaller nasty surprises that I have been reading about and could easily double or triple that $20,000 budget.

My rig budget alone is $100k to $150K.
My verification budget is $5,000 and that includes airfare and location costs.

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