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Old 01-27-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
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I have been around reading irv2 for awhile now and have learned a ton. Well the time has come to get very serious about buying a used Diesel Pusher (to hopefully start our full time adventure later this year). I have narrowed the search down to a few different units and have some questions and would be very interested in peoples responses and advice.

1) Should I be concerned with purchasing a unit that is a few years old but has very low mileage. For example one rig I have seen is a 2005 that has only 8,190 miles. I have heard that diesels need to be run to be “healthy” - and it is clear this rig has not been used much.

2) Same kind of question for diesel generators – the 2005 has only 41 hours on the genset.

3) IFS – how important is it?

4) Older Aqua Hot – From what I have heard many people love Aqua (or Hydro) Hot – and I would really like to get a rig with it. I have seen some 2004 and 2005 rigs that have Aqua Hot – is there anything I should look out for with an older Aqua Hot system?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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Here goes nothing:

The coach is 4 or 5 years old and has extremely low mileage. Are maintenance records available for the coach? What gets the engines and generators is lack of use but all maintenance is based on miles or time. Time usually wins and needs to be the criteria for a coach with low road use. Right off the bat the tires probably need replacing, again time not miles.

IFS is not that big a deal IMHO. Straight axles have been around for ever and are tried and true.

Not familiar with the Aqua Hot.

Good luck and welcome to the site. I'm sure more will reply in greater depth.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:49 PM   #3
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IFS is not a deal breaker. I have a solid front axle and it seems fine. IFS is a bit better though and you get a greater wheel cut. Service records are important to me. Even with little use you need to lube the chassis once a year at least, twice yearly is specified. If the engine and generator are running well then you are probably ok there. Try to learn how close the owner came to doing all required servicing.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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As others have stated -- the maintance records are very important. I would run the genny and make sure that it is working OK. While on generator power, test the air conditioners and other working items within the MH (microwave, heater, radios, TVs, etc). If you are near a coach care center, you might consider investing a little money and take the coach to them and let them do a "once over" on the coach -- get their opinion of it. Also, they may see something with their eyes that you and I might over look and not see. In my case they found a hydraulic hub about to go -- I did not see it. That is just one example of the trained eye looking at it.

I do have the IFS -- I love it and as said above, it does give you a little better turning radius.

Just a few thoughts -- I bought mine second hand and have really enjoyed it.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:11 PM   #5
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Bill,
Solid axle is fine. Get at least a 55 degree wheel cut. Some of the newer IFS you can get 60 degrees.
The maintenance records are important. If it hasn't been maintained, don't buy.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:19 PM   #6
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To embellish on the "if it hasn't been maintained don't by it comment", the drive train on ours seems to be the part that requires the most lubrication. We've put on a fair number of miles each year, more than the industry average of 3,500 and still found that the grease in the U joints and slip joint need renewed frequently. Without a lot of activity, it is unlikely that the air brake system filter would go bad from just sitting but a lot depends on when it was maintained and what happened afterwards. If it sat for a year or more at a time and then was driven thousands of miles without lubrication, you could be looking at some serious repairs when you do start using it. On gensets, the thing that goes bad fast is the carb with the diesel genset you shouldn't have to worry about that. It is things like the windings in the genset picking up moisture and shorting out that could be your nemesis.

If you are going ahead with the purchase, I'd make sure that you have a healthy budget for repairs. We had one and nearly doubled it. Since that point, however, the RV has run great and with no additional problems.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by historyljc:
Bill,
Solid axle is fine. Get at least a 55 degree wheel cut......
There are a lot of nice coaches out there good for full time use with less than 55 degree wheel cut. Mine has 50 and I have a friend with an American Eagle with 45. IMHO a wheel cut of less than 55 should not be a deal breaker.

Bob
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
.....
1) Should I be concerned with purchasing a unit that is a few years old but has very low mileage. For example one rig I have seen is a 2005 that has only 8,190 miles. I have heard that diesels need to be run to be “healthy” - and it is clear this rig has not been used much.

<span class="ev_code_RED">Our first coach was new and the one we have now had 12,000 miles on it when we purchased it. As is stands now I don't think I will ever buy another new coach. Takes to long to get the bugs out and I would rather someone else go through the initial frustration with the dealer and the manufacturer.</span>

2) Same kind of question for diesel generators – the 2005 has only 41 hours on the genset.

<span class="ev_code_RED">Our generator had less hours than that on it and it now has about 160 hours. I don't think that shoud be a problem on a diesel</span>

3) IFS – how important is it?

<span class="ev_code_RED">It is nice but should not be a deal breaker.</span>

4) Older Aqua Hot – From what I have heard many people love Aqua (or Hydro) Hot – and I would really like to get a rig with it. I have seen some 2004 and 2005 rigs that have Aqua Hot – is there anything I should look out for with an older Aqua Hot system?

<span class="ev_code_RED">Aqua Hot would be nice for full time use but just keep in mind that they require maintenance once a year and you will hear them when they run and they exhaust diesel fumes outside.</span>

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nodine:

There are a lot of nice coaches out there good for full time use with less than 55 degree wheel cut. Mine has 50 and I have a friend with an American Eagle with 45. IMHO a wheel cut of less than 55 should not be a deal breaker.
Bob
Wheel cut has been increasing on recent models. I have 50 degrees with a solid axle on a 36' MH and it is fine. If I had a longer MH I would definitely want 55 or 60 degree wheel cut. If everything else is equal get the largest wheel cut available.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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Our current coach was one of those 3 year old extremely low (6800) mileage units. We got the real story from the previous owner who happened to be a leasing company. The units were used at sporting events and company functions locally. The unit had a complete maintenance documentation package. It was driven very few miles to the events but usually left there for 7-10 days. My suggestion is to ask for the previous owners information. Unless they have something to hide it will ususally answer your questions.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:42 AM   #11
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I don't think low mileage or low genny hours is a major issue, but it would make me check things more closely. The genny's power generation components can accumulate moisture and short out if not run under load regularly, so run it for an hour with the a/c on to be sure that has not happened. That will also dry it out if there is any moisture. And as the others have said, if the miles are low, make sure the recommended maintenance got done on a time basis rather than miles - it still has to be done. If it wasn't, get a pro to check out the engine and drive train.

I've had a 36 footer with a solid axle and 50 degree wheel cut and now have a 40 footer IFS with 56 degree cut. The larger coach with the 56 degree cut maneuvers MUCH better. You usually get an IFS with air suspension and leaf springs with a solid axle (but not always). I highly recommend the air for comfort, but it needs more maintenance than leaf springs. The Roadmaster chassis (Monaco family of coaches) is sort of a hybrid design, with a solid axle on a floating subframe and air suspension. It gives a pretty good combination of the advantages of each. I don't own one, but have driven them and they seem to handle fine.

Aquahot is one of those systems that is great when everything is working good but I see a lot of people with problems and the repairs are often quite expensive. For that reason I have mixed feelings about getting one. A good propane furnace such as the Atwood 8500-IV or Excalibur with the two speed fan is quiet and dependable, but the hot air circulation system in many coaches are not all they could be.

Just my $0.02 and not claimed to be any better than anyone else's.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:19 AM   #12
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Thanks to everyone that responded. We are still looking for our dream coach, but since we still have not sold the house we have some time yet.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:39 AM   #13
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I have always looked at low miles as being a plus. All motorhomes sit for extended periods so I would not be to concerned. Would you rather have the same motorhome with an extra 30,000 miles on it? Your powertrain should be in pretty much new condition, just barely broken in. If everything works on it I would buy it.
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