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Old 09-28-2017, 08:01 AM   #1
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Checking out a used Class A; advice

Hello all,

My family and I are looking at a used 2011 Fleetwood Storm 32BH that is about 4 hours away from us. We plan to go look at it this weekend, and if all goes well, pull the trigger. I have found a reputable mechanic who is willing to do a thorough check of the RV prior to us making the trip. We have gone through the finances and everything looks to check out for what we want.

For reference, this is the exact one we're looking at:
https://www.rvtrader.com/dealers/PPL...32BH-121486844

What I want to know are the things I need to look for and what things I should consider when making this decision.

Lastly, my wife has some concerns with traveling with our 4 1/2 year old son in a Class A. Does anyone have experience doing this and do you believe that it's safe?


Thank you!


Tom
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:16 AM   #2
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So much of your decision is strictly based on your preferences and how you plan to use the MH.

One thing my wife and I really like is the ability to stop at a rest stop or gas station and have full access to the bathroom and kitchen without having to put a slide out.

There are probably seat belts under the sofa. Perhaps you could rig a childs seat in the booth.

Tire dates are something to look at. Anything more than 7 years old should probably be replaced or at least inspected.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:26 AM   #3
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Your probably buying "As Is" so anything you (or your mechanic) doesn't discover will be your responsibility to fix.

Will the Dealer allow the vehicle to be taken to a private off-site location for inspection. If not, and your doing everything on the lot, its harder (no lift or power tools). Will mechanic pull tires and inspect brakes, etc.?

I would ask Dealer to be sure there is some propane and fresh water in tank, so you can test everything. Anything you find now that doesn't work, you can get Dealer to fix or reduce price.

Get a PDI (Pre-delivery Inspection) check sheet from manufacturer's website site. If nothing is available specific to your MH, you can use something like this
Attached Files
File Type: pdf RV PDI Checksheet.pdf (121.9 KB, 28 views)
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:37 AM   #4
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Unit is 6 years old. Look closely at the tires, some can age out at 7 years! Coach batteries can age out a 4 years! Check those also. Check the engine belt, rubber belts crack out with use & age!
Kids do fine just put them in the seat belt & keep them there! If anyone up walking around while moving they can go off flying if you have to stop, slow down or turn even slightly! Call out loudly before you do: turning/slowing/stoping, if you have people not in their seat.
Good luck & happy trails
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:45 AM   #5
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Open upper cabinets and look for water damage. Look behind slide out drawers for evidence of water. Get up on the roof and check general condition. Water damage will be your biggest concern.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:52 AM   #6
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Nice looking unit, but I would request a bunch of additional pictures before making a significant trip to see it. PPL has a pretty good reputation, but they also know how to sell, and not including pictures of areas that are problematic would be my first concern when making this type of evaluation no matter who is selling. Also, if you find an alternative at their Cleburne location, or at MHSRV, shoot me a message and I would be happy to take a look and offer my opinions as I don't live to far from either place.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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Tom,
That's a nice looking unit. The one thing that caught my attention when I looked at the add was the mileage. For a 2011 that seems kind of high to me for a gas unit from the perspective that if you are financing your purchase, and end up putting any significant mileage on it, then you're going to possibly be in a situation of having a difficult time selling it without taking a big financial hit because of the mileage if you decide to upgrade at some point down the road. If you plan on keeping it for a long time then it's probably not an issue, but just something for you to ponder if you're thinking you may be upgrading at some point. If it were a diesel unit it'd be a non issue, but for a gas unit it's starting to get up there.

The one positive is that you can use the mileage as a negotiating tool to get a better deal as long as everything else checks out.

Good Luck and keep us posted!
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:58 AM   #8
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Run the slide in and out a few times listening for noise. Check underside for flood damage or corrosion. Spare tire.
Looks like a really clean unit.
Travel on
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Tom,
That's a nice looking unit. The one thing that caught my attention when I looked at the add was the mileage. For a 2011 that seems kind of high to me for a gas unit from the perspective that if you are financing your purchase, and end up putting any significant mileage on it, then you're going to possibly be in a situation of having a difficult time selling it without taking a big financial hit because of the mileage if you decide to upgrade at some point down the road. If you plan on keeping it for a long time then it's probably not an issue, but just something for you to ponder if you're thinking you may be upgrading at some point. If it were a diesel unit it'd be a non issue, but for a gas unit it's starting to get up there.

The one positive is that you can use the mileage as a negotiating tool to get a better deal as long as everything else checks out.

Good Luck and keep us posted!
Generally, I would think that 62,000 miles is low for an engine. Do gas engines in these big motorhomes typically have shorter life spans?
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:13 AM   #10
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The mileage is about double what the average gas rig might have after six years of use. Past owner might have been following the NASCAR circuit catching as many races as possible. If the coach is well maintained I wouldn't worry too much. Maintenance records would be useful and check the tire birthday codes. They ware on the edge of aging out or wearing out.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:32 PM   #11
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The mileage is about double what the average gas rig might have after six years of use. Past owner might have been following the NASCAR circuit catching as many races as possible. If the coach is well maintained I wouldn't worry too much. Maintenance records would be useful and check the tire birthday codes. They ware on the edge of aging out or wearing out.
My thought with the higher mileage is that it has been used its whole life and spent little time sitting... and that's a good thing, right?
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:33 PM   #12
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WOW, that's a lot of mileage for a 6 year old coach - gas or diesel! Sure that mileage is accurate and not a typo. While there are many gas rigs out there with over 60,000 I would assume they would be older and perhaps more of the maintenance items have been done already. Without extensive maintenance records from tranny service, belts, brakes etc, I personally would pass on this rig, unless it is thousands below value and you can spend the money to update.

I'm also wondering since this has been heavily used based upon mileage, how are the rest of the coach systems? And tires, if still original, are shot especially with that kind of mileage.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomgillotti View Post
Generally, I would think that 62,000 miles is low for an engine. Do gas engines in these big motorhomes typically have shorter life spans?


Tom,
I can't really say if it's a bad thing mechanically that it's been used the amount that it has. What I can say is that the more miles that a gas unit has on it the less value it has. I think the same holds true for a diesel coach, but I'd bet that a diesel coach will hold its value much better with higher mileage than a gas coach. There's others on here who could answer that question with more knowledge than I have. I just know that personally I'd much rather buy a gas RV of the same year with 30,000 miles on it vice 60,000, unless the one with higher mileage was in great shape and priced such that I'm not going to take it in the shorts as bad when the day comes to sell. I'm not at all trying to persuade you away from it, but rather just making sure you're taking it into consideration when it comes to what it's worth paying for it.

I've been looking online at used RVs for awhile now because hopefully I'll be upgrading some day, and I actually enjoy browsing the listings (gives me something to do at work when I'm killing time) and the mileage on your listing caught my attention as being high, and I was just pointing that out as something you might not be aware of if you haven't looked at many RVs. To actually see what I'm talking about go on Rvtrader and do a search for used class A's, gas, and select only 2011. Leave everything else blank. There's just over 100 listed today. Scroll through them and look at the mileage as you scroll down the listings. I'd guess off just the visual without actually doing the math that the average is somewhere close to 25,000 give or take a few miles. Anyways, if you like the RV, and it checks out then go for it, but definitely make sure the price you're willing to pay is taking the mikes it has into consideration.

Sorry this was a bit long winded
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:18 PM   #14
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As far as mileage goes - I have a 1997 class a coach with the Ford V8 and it has just a little over 61,000 miles on it. The beast was taken well care of by it's previous owners. I've had the unit for a little over 3 years now and all I've had to do to it was replace the tires and batteries. I have done some upgrading to the interior but that was only because we wanted to. Oh I also had the black tank crack on me last year and I had to remove it and weld the crack. I wouldn't hesitate to take it anywhere.
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