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Old 07-28-2014, 10:21 PM   #15
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Location: Horse Town USA, CA.
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Originally Posted by Craiginok View Post
Sorry to jump in on MistyAnn's question, but I'm in a similar search for my first Motorhome and when I read the original post the first concern I had was the miles on the Winnebago. However, none of the feedback even mentioned that as an issue.

So my questions is am I being overly concerned as I limit my search to MH's with about 50,000 miles or less. I know the engine will last way more miles than that but won't the miles effect everything else in the coach?


If your looking at DP's only your way to low, if properly maintained the power train should easily last 300,000. If looking at gas 50,000 is a good starting point. Ask for maintenance records, that will tell how well it was taken care of. However, as either one ages there will be other items that will need attention. The main thing find something you like and not what someone says you should like.


1999 35 ft. Dolphin 5350, F53, Banks System, 5 Stars Tune, Air Lift Air Bags, Koni Shocks, Blue OX TruCenter, TigerTrak track bars F&R, Roadmaster 1-3/4" rear auxiliary sway bar, 2004 F450 Lariat 6.0 Diesel Crew Cab DRW, 4X4, B&W Custom Truck Bed, GVWR 15,000, Front GAWR 6,000, Rear GAWR 11,000, GCWR 26,000, 1994 36ft Avion 5er, GVWR 13,700
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:50 AM   #16
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I too was concerned about buying an "orphan" coach at first but aside from body parts (which can still be had for National by the way), almost everything else on a coach is from different suppliers. Mechanical issues are not an issue and neither is glass or appliances.

If it were me, based on the OP's description, I would take the National.

1. they were actually pretty decent quality units to begin with. At least as good as WB and probably better.
2. the care and maintenance sounds like a no brainer

Post a question in the National forum to owners about the quality and you will generally see really good feedback about their products.

1999 - National Tropi Cal
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:14 AM   #17
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We just went through the search for, and purchase of, an older used coach. We downsized and "downgraded" from a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus 42' to a 2004 Winnebago Journey 36'. For our lifestyle, it was simply a better fit. A couple of lessons learned:

First rule and last rule: Do not fall in love with a specific coach before you purchase. Falling in love with a brand or floorplan is fine--but beware the tendancy to become enamored with one specific coach before you have a thorough inspection and spend some time with the coach.

Next, remember, especially when dealing with popular brands like Winnebago, that there are other identical floorplan coaches out there. We decided on a floorplan and model, and then searched for the right clean, well maintained coach. There were several that did not make the cut. After buying our second used coach, we have learned:

#1--Condition and maintenance are far more critical than mileage. We would much prefer a used coach with 100K miles that is well maintained over a 35K garage queen. If you are fortunate enough to find a coach with excellent maintenance and records, you may be able to avoid the $10K bill for new tires, batteries and complete service updates.

#2--An experienced inspector, utilizing an established checklist, will find items you would not notice or find in years of use. Some will be critical, but some will be insignificant. Consider each item, research the impact and cost to your ownership. Some may be deal breakers, but most are not.

#3--All inspectors are not created equal. Try to find one that uses a checklist and provides a thorough, written report. You may have to utilize more than one in order to have a full inspection on coach AND chassis. Most RV inspectors we have found cannot, or will not, sign off on a chassis inspection.

#4--and most critical. IF it sounds to good to be true, it is. A coach that is 20% less than like models on the open market probably has some hidden (or glaring) issues. One coach we looked at was only slightly below the market. It was extremely clean and seemed well cared for--but in talking with the owners, we realized it had spent 6 months of each of the last 5 years parked beachside on the Gulf coast. A careful examination of the underside revealed that the steel structure was already being consumed by rust. Had we fallen in love with the price and apparent topside condition, we would have been fighting rust for our entire ownership. We ended up paying a slight premium for a coach that had new tires and spent the last year having extensive updates to maintenance and small repairs--things we won't have to do now.

So...don't fall in love, remain cynical, and use an expert inspector. And good luck!

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