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Old 09-07-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Diesel engine with very low miles?

Hi folks! Member for a few years, but usually just a lurker.

I know that there are TONS and TONS of good information here, so I thought I would pose my question here. I did do a search for the topic and got a little info that was helpful, but at the risk of re-whipping a dead horse, I am hoping for some more info on this matter.

My wife and I have discussed making a big upgrade from a popup to a Class A motorhome. Quite a jump I know! But I have looked, and lusted, at MH's for years. We both love to camp and even as "campy" as it may be to camp in the rain, it's getting tiresome taking it down and then drying out a wet camp.

So, with me being retired now, we want to make a big jump. I think we are ready.

So, after we discussed the matter a few months ago, I began a serious search for Class A's. We will be buying 'used', hence the purpose for my question here. I have found a really nice, 2001 Monaco Dynasty, 38 foot, Class A diesel, with a 350 Cummins on board with only 23,000 (and change) miles on it. The coach itself seems to be in surprisingly good shape, especially for its age, but I have not, as of this writing, really began "dissecting it" for a possible purchase yet. I plan on it this week perhaps.

But my main concern is the engine with such low mileage for a unit that is 12 years old. The salesman told me about how it was owned by an older couple before the husband recently deceased, and his wife was not interested in the coach any longer. (a dealer has the rig on consignment).

What should I be concerned about with this engine having such low mileage for a 12 year old unit? Even though it averages out to almost 2,000 miles per year, I jokingly told the salesman that "this engine ain't even broke in yet!". I plan on test driving the rig probably this week. How far should I drive it? What should I look and listen for? And even though my question is primarily about the low miles on the diesel engine, can any one add a little tidbit/problems about 2001 era Monacos?

In my previous career, we utilized diesels but obviously put many more than 2,000 miles a year on them! I guess I have never really thought about a diesel with LOW mileage that has been underutilized until now.

Any help on this question is greatly and deeply appreciated! Thanks so much in advance!

Jim
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Jam View Post
Hi folks! Member for a few years, but usually just a lurker.

I know that there are TONS and TONS of good information here, so I thought I would pose my question here. I did do a search for the topic and got a little info that was helpful, but at the risk of re-whipping a dead horse, I am hoping for some more info on this matter.

My wife and I have discussed making a big upgrade from a popup to a Class A motorhome. Quite a jump I know! But I have looked, and lusted, at MH's for years. We both love to camp and even as "campy" as it may be to camp in the rain, it's getting tiresome taking it down and then drying out a wet camp.

So, with me being retired now, we want to make a big jump. I think we are ready.

So, after we discussed the matter a few months ago, I began a serious search for Class A's. We will be buying 'used', hence the purpose for my question here. I have found a really nice, 2001 Monaco Dynasty, 38 foot, Class A diesel, with a 350 Cummins on board with only 23,000 (and change) miles on it. The coach itself seems to be in surprisingly good shape, especially for its age, but I have not, as of this writing, really began "dissecting it" for a possible purchase yet. I plan on it this week perhaps.

But my main concern is the engine with such low mileage for a unit that is 12 years old. The salesman told me about how it was owned by an older couple before the husband recently deceased, and his wife was not interested in the coach any longer. (a dealer has the rig on consignment).

What should I be concerned about with this engine having such low mileage for a 12 year old unit? Even though it averages out to almost 2,000 miles per year, I jokingly told the salesman that "this engine ain't even broke in yet!". I plan on test driving the rig probably this week. How far should I drive it? What should I look and listen for? And even though my question is primarily about the low miles on the diesel engine, can any one add a little tidbit/problems about 2001 era Monacos?

In my previous career, we utilized diesels but obviously put many more than 2,000 miles a year on them! I guess I have never really thought about a diesel with LOW mileage that has been underutilized until now.

Any help on this question is greatly and deeply appreciated! Thanks so much in advance!

Jim
Its all about the records on service if any. If the oil was changed yearly and such, the engine should be fine. Belts, fluids, tires, cooling system, transmission service and fluid types. Dryer for air system. Lots of think about but not any of it is a show stopper except the engine and transmission. Those are the very big ticket items. Good luck on your search...
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:33 PM   #3
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If you are buying a 2001 dynasty with an ISB 350 it is a great coach. Check the dot date code on the tires if they are original you are going to spend some dough on new ( I put the bridgestones on mine) tires. Verify if it has transend in tranny. Ask if they can plug in and pull diags on the motor and tranny. How old are the batteries about 5 7 years and they need new. my friend is buying a 2002 with 27,000 and it checked out fine they only too one trip of about a 1,000 miles every year and a few locals so it is possible. I on the other hand have abut 91,000 on mine and it is not quite broke in. Don
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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If you are buying a 2001 dynasty with an ISB 350 it is a great coach. Check the dot date code on the tires if they are original you are going to spend some dough on new ( I put the bridgestones on mine) tires. Verify if it has transend in tranny. Ask if they can plug in and pull diags on the motor and tranny. How old are the batteries about 5 7 years and they need new. my friend is buying a 2002 with 27,000 and it checked out fine they only too one trip of about a 1,000 miles every year and a few locals so it is possible. I on the other hand have abut 91,000 on mine and it is not quite broke in. Don
Should be an ISC (350 hp and 1050 ft lbs torque)
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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It's not unusual for Class A's to have low mileage. For about $25 you can have the oil analyzed which can tell you much about the engine's condition.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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Low mileage

We bought a 2007 with 8,000 miles of it. Demanded new tires as part of the deal.

I replaced all 6 batteries myself. The chassis batteries failed in 2 months and the house batteries started to go bad after about 3. They were actually 2 years older than my chassis. ???

I changed the oil & filter right away. And then over the next few months did the transmission, fuel filters, air filter, air dryer and so on.

The belts looked brand new and it already had extended life coolant according to my mechanic.

If you're handy you can do most of this stuff yourself and save a bundle.

The learning curve is steep! (More of a learning cliff actually) But this site has been my best helper ever.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:46 PM   #7
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Diesel engines break in at about 150,000 so there's not many RV owners that have a diesel that is broken in yet.

As stated before, the engine and transmission are the very big ticket items. I would look for signs of abuse or neglect. There should be oil change records at least once a year and it should not be leaking oil anywhere. In short, the engine and transmission should perform like new.

The big difference IMO between gas and diesel is the cost of parts and repair. Diesels are much more expensive. One of the things that sold me on having a Class A Chevy P30 is that mechanically, it's just a Chevy truck and I can buy auto parts at ordinary stores and lots of people know how to work on it. To some extent, that is true although many people are scared off by it's size. We recently replaced the radiator for $1200 (parts and labor) and I've heard estimates of $4000+ for diesel coaches on the same job. Diesels get better mileage and have more towing power uphill, although diesel does cost more per gallon as well.

I would have a trusted mechanic who is familiar with RVs check out the mechanical, but keep in mind that a coach that is not used very often can have a lot of bugs that develop that can nickel and dime you to death. There are so many systems on these things that it's very easy to get overwhelmed if it is not checked, used and maintained regularly.

sjkted
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:24 AM   #8
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I bought our 2000 Dynasty in the fall of 2010. We have the same motor and transmission you are looking at. It will have standard SCA coolant and non-synthetic tranny oil. Here are the issues I had. Lift pump, it has seals that will leak using ULSD, about $900 if you have it done at Cummins. The Oil pressure sender to the ECM is prone to fail. The fix is to replace it with an oil pressure switch, which requires an ECM software update plus parts. About $500 if done at Cummins. I also had cam position sensors replaced as one quit. $400. I replaced the coolant with OAT and the tranny with synthetic. Since purchased we have about 22,000 miles. It is a great engine and tranny combo. Price those repairs in if they haven't been done. Oil analysis will show if metal is above norm or contaminated by coolant. Those are bad. Same with tranny, no engine coolant allowed.

After start Check air system by doing an Air Brake check. That will give you some idea of the pneumatic system condition. On your drive you should use the brakes firmly at some point. Clunking is normal for brakes that haven't been used much. It may even pull, first time. Should it continue, I would price a brake job in ~$400. It will have Air leveling, HWH, two pushes to level. Check it out. There is a connector on the back of the panel that is prone to falling out, if it doesn't work. Aqua hot, watch it fire up, it may give a puff of smoke, which is normal, more than that and it should be tuned up ~$200. Does it have a tag axle. Those were transition years and some do, some don't. Make sure it goes up and down if it does. Use the Pac Brake, they sometime stick.

Don't forget the Notcold 1200LRIM refer. It should have the recalls done last I heard they were up to REV E, check to be sure, it is a fire hazard. I replaced mine with a Samsung 197.

You have mentioned price. Don't let the stuff I mentioned put you off. These are great coaches and I have let you see how the sausage is made. Get this at the right price and you will have a great value. IMHO
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
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I have found a really nice, 2001 Monaco Dynasty, 38 foot, Class A diesel, with a 350 Cummins on board with only 23,000 (and change) miles on it. The coach itself seems to be in surprisingly good shape, especially for its age,
But my main concern is the engine with such low mileage for a unit that is 12 years old.
What should I be concerned about with this engine having such low mileage for a 12 year old unit?
Thanks so much in advance!

Jim
Jim
I would be much more concerned about the age of every other piece and part of a 12 year old, 23,000 mile, coach than I would be about the diesel engine.
If the coach has no water damage, (and if the price is right), I would say you found a gem!

IMO, a 23,000 mile coach is 109,000 miles better than a 132,000 mile coach.
Mel
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:53 AM   #10
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There is no Class A diesel without some problem lurking in the future.

If the target rig has had no water intrusion, drives and runs well, meets your floor plan and condition needs the low mileage will likely be the least of your future problems.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #11
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There is no Class A diesel without some problem lurking in the future.

If the target rig has had no water intrusion, drives and runs well, meets your floor plan and condition needs the low mileage will likely be the least of your future problems.
I'd amend that to: There is nothing in life without some problem lurking in the future. I believe it's a corollary of Murphy's Law.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:49 PM   #12
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BFlinn, well said! Kudos
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