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Old 06-08-2014, 04:20 PM   #15
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Location: Northern Lower Michigan
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My wife and I purchased our Holiday Rambler Endeavor from Justin at Stellar Autoplex in Phoenix and have recommended him to three other people who have purchased from him too. He did a great job of going through the unit before we picked it up and helped us out when the awning arms gave us a problem. He is a very good person to deal with. His website is stellarautoplex.com

2018 Phoenix Cruiser 3100
Co-Pilots: Sadie and Cody (2 crazy poodles)
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:52 PM   #16
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We looked at a very nice Dutch Star that was a repossession/auction unit. The dealer said they had gone over it with a fine tooth comb and completed a 102 point checklist so I would know everything was perfect. "All you have to do is sign some papers, and hop in and take a vacation with it. She is ready to go". As we walked around it I found windshield wipers blades were in very sorry shape with part of the rubber just dangling, missing drawer pull, one inside rear tire was actually flat, on and on. The salesman said "we should hire you to check these units out!" Since it was middle of winter and I couldn't check out water etc., I asked for a warranty till warmer weather. He refused. I asked it we could take it into his heated shop and check it out, and he said only if we bought it first! We politely said goodbye and left.

Then we looked at another nice diesel pusher at a local bank that had repossessed it from a "well to do executive that fell on hard times". This coach was listed as "perfect". Again I made a list of things that would need to be done to it like tires, batteries, headlights, awning fabric that was ripped to shreds, etc. came up with a price, factoring in unknowns, that we were comfortable with and made an offer to the bank. They called several weeks later and said they had another offer just slightly higher than ours and did we want to up our price. I said no, we just couldn't do that.

About a month later we saw the coach on a dealers lot as a consignment sale unit!

So, look the unit over carefully. My theory is if someone is looking at bankruptcy or defaulting on a loan, they really won't care about what happens to the coach in the last days they have it, and certainly won't take care of it. Buyer beware.

Good Luck, Be Safe and Above All, Don't Forget To Have Fun
2006 Fleetwood Discovery 35H, being pushed by a 2014 Honda CRV
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Since Carfax and other reporting services mainly rely on registration and insurance records, they can't give a complete history. However they can reveal a vehicle stolen, mileage role back, salvage title, accident record, flood damaged, and many other things that can help you make a informed decision. I find the small cost of a check when making a vehicle purchase well worth it.
Car Fax is just one potential source of information on possible, or potential problems, if you are depending upon it as your main, or only source, then car fax advertising department has done its job, but that does not mean car fax will do your job of "Caveat Emptor" for you.

Not every business transaction involving your car is subject to Data Mining, and not everyone reports to car fax...
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
You can always get a Carfax or the like to find out vehicle history regarding insurance, location and mileage history. The rest is based on the truth of the seller, dealer etc. Do research before buying, inspect all systems yourself or hire a professional. Most used cars and trucks are sold at auction and resold by dealers, perhaps so they have deniability about history and flaws. It's the responsibility of the buyer to do their homework.
Originally Posted by IamJerryP View Post
Car Fax is just one potential source of information on possible, or potential problems, if you are depending upon it as your main, or only source, then car fax advertising department has done its job, but that does not mean car fax will do your job of "Caveat Emptor" for you.

Not every business transaction involving your car is subject to Data Mining, and not everyone reports to car fax...
I think I made it clear in my earlier post, quoted above, that it's just another factor to use when buying a used vehicle. I bought my RV from a dealer selling on consignment 1400 miles away from home. I got an AutoCheck report (like CarFax) and did research and learned about Cummins 5.9 '53' block issues and a bunch of other things to check out before flying to Wyoming to see it in person. Three other identical models like the one I was looking at were for sale in various locations, all for more money. When I arrived from the airport, the dealer had it in a heated service bay with power and water on board so I could check it out carefully. After a couple of hours crawling all over it and testing everything, I signed the papers and drove it home. Very happy and no surprises.

No, CarFax or AutoCheck aren't the stopping point, they are one more tool to prevent someone rolling back odometer, salvage title, hidden accident damage, etc. $40 AutoCheck is cheap research in a purchase often second only to purchasing a home. Banks won't let you buy a house without a title search, this is similar.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:23 PM   #19
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I just sold an 02 Travel Supreme that an oil change would have never showed on a Carfax, I did them all myself way before the due millage. A Cafax is not going to show all service work, only shops that report.
Chuck in SW FL
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:23 PM   #20
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I think Carfax and Autocheck is pretty cheap in relation to the actual cost of the motorhome, but would use it mainly to see if the vehicle was salvaged, wrecked or a flood vehicle. Any knowledge is good knowledge, but a thorough professional inspection done by an RV specialist can be worth its weight in gold.

As far as service work goes, you kind of have to take it with a grain of salt, as many facilitates don't report, and can't report when the work is done by the owner. I've changed the oil and filter every 3,000 miles, lube the chassis every 2,000 miles, along with changing out brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, etc. myself, but Carfax would think that my motorhome has never been serviced.

For the most part, you'll be able to look at the wear-and-tear and determine if it shows pride of ownership. One caveat for me, though, are repossessions. My wife worked in collections for a few years in the banking business and can tell you that without a doubt, one of the first things people stop doing is normal maintenance, especially if they know it's just a matter of time before they are so far behind, the vehicle 'disappears' from the driveway due to begin repossessed. People will keep spending and running up their credit cards, but not by servicing their vehicles. I helped her with the repossessions while in the impound lot and it was very telling that these vehicles had bald tires, poor brakes, air filters that looked like from a coal mine and oil as black and thick as tar, if the oil level even showed up on the dip-stick. -RT
Ricardo Tegarini
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:27 PM   #21
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We do a little buy and sell from auctions, it's just business.

But it all depends on the dealer or individual selling. As a dealer and as service manager, I check out ALL the systems. To sell a non working trailer is bad because you won't come back for repeat business, and that's my goal. It's also just morally wrong.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:50 AM   #22
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Why use the dealer at all? I have bought two units direct from auctions and skipped the middleman dealer who does nothing but add extra cost. You can usually find small auto dealerships where the owner will take a $1000 finders fee to let you use his dealer license and you can then bid and buy your own coach, saving ten's of thousands of dollars.

When buying repo's or auction coaches you don't get a lot of time to inspect them so use your nose inside the coach, it will detect water damage, mold, mildew, and just old dirt smell. Both of the coaches I bought at auctions smelled new when you walked in and looked new. I then look at the engine compartment (the repo and auction will not clean the coaches at all), check the oil condition and overall 'look' of the engine compartment.

At the end of the day you will probably need to replace all fluids, filters, tires, and probably house batteries. I do this just to start a baseline for my records and I feel better about it. Bottom line is buying at dealer auctions, bank auctions, estate sales and private parties that need to sell are the way to get the best deals on coachs. Using a dealer just adds extra expense that is not needed.

Just my .02 YMMV.
Steven and Stephanie
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2008 Hyundai Elantra
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:09 AM   #23
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All good advice given. Price is the deciding factor. Price according to the risk you are taking. No matter how nice looking, there will be something that needs attention.

Oh, and by the way, do you know how to tell if a dealer is lying? His lips are moving!

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