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Old 07-12-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
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Hi and question

Hi everyone.
I'm fairly new here but have lurked a few weeks. I just saw a craigslist ad for an late 90's Inifinty 34'. It has 108,000 miles. Traded in at a dealership. The sales manager says that a couple of snowbirds lived in it in Arizona and drove it back and forth. Cheap price($8k), but he says it just needs to be cleaned.

I guess I have to obviously use my head, and I probably don't want to clean out cat pis or other terrible funk. But if it looks in great shape, is that mileage a problem? I have a young family(kids 7, 2.5, <1) and it would be great for weekends and other shorter trips, we don't need anything to live in, so our use would be smaller than the previous owners'.

Are there big things I should look out for? I guess tires would be expensive if it needs new ones.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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Harbinjer: There is a great MH buyers Checklist that you can download. I used it and still use it on EVERY MH inspection. It is so helpful in getting you to open and look everywhere. Turn on devices and make sure you did because you write down your comments. One biggie I have is health concerns...LICE, RODENTS and MOLD.... and as you might consider....all the mechanical goodies.
Please gather your checklist and fire away at the questions after you read thru it.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Problems

I guess the former people had pets, and as they were cleaning it, I couldn't smell the pet odor above the cleaning agents, but it might be there still. It also had some water damage by the driver's side window. It might've just been left open during a few rainstorms, or it might leak, they are selling it 'as is' and they don't know which it is. Also one of the rear windows in the bedroom has some waterproof tape on the outside over the seals. I guess that window will have to be replaced at some point. Other things look in decent condition, not perfect but decent. In the case of having to replace two windows, on mid-size bedroom one, and the driver side window, do you think that would be $1000 maybe? If the wife is ok with it, I'll have to get the checklist and do a really good inspection, and drive it, of course.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
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Windows are often accused of leaking when it's actually the roof seam. Check that before you consider replacing windows. Mileage rule of thumb is 3,000-5,000 per year is OK. Less or more is more harmful to a gasser then a diesel.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Thanks. The damage is near the bottom of the window and in the forward part of it. I would suspect the roof if it was all the way down, but I'll look more closely if I have a second peak at it.

It looks like its the 496 Chevy V8 engine in it. Any strong feelings for or against that one? Could that run to 200K miles or it is likely going to be lots of repairs?
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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A late 90's coach with a Chevy chassis will have the 454 engine, not the 496. Probably a 4L80E transmission.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:43 PM   #7
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You'll find answers to everything you want to know here. In fact maybe even stuff you don't want to know.

I don't want to but go over everything and as previously advised download that checklist. Be surprised how much more you will look into if you get reminded in print.

Ask away and the 454 is a great engine if you run and treat her right.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:49 PM   #8
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Sounds like a crap-shoot to me....$8k isnt alot of money to risk but you could easily spend $8-10k more on fix up just to make it comfortable and safe. Then you still have a 20 something year-old gasser with over 100,000 miles on it. This could be a good buy that with some "elbow grease" will give you many years of service but more likely its a "money-pit" with endless frustrations--IMHO......
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
This could be a good buy that with some "elbow grease" will give you many years of service but more likely its a "money-pit" with endless frustrations
Yeah, I'm worried about the money pit and really want to avoid that. Makes me want to get a basic pop-up instead with much less to break. But given our currently intended use, all I need to work are the Engine, AC and lights. This also makes me think that such a large motorhome might be too much for us.


Are there any good guidelines to avoid the money pit, other than buying new with a warranty? Many of the craigslist ads I've seen say that they've been well maintained.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:32 AM   #10
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A friend of ours went to an RV service place and asked for a repairman and talked to him about what he would charge to inspect units. The guy wanted $100.00 per and our friends claim it was the best $300.00 they spent. The first two he looked at for them had literally thousands in required repairs and the third was just a few small things as the ads are usually overstated. They bought a beautiful unit from Kijiji.ca and are very happy after they had the minor repairs done.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:42 AM   #11
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Harbinjer... there are some great tips unfolding in this conversation. A MH is a moving home so you have a variety of systems to be reviewed. I wrecked my 1994 Bounder and hunted a 1995 Bounder to use as parts. It turned out that the new purchase at $6700 was much nicer than I thought. I have been swapping parts from the older wrecked RV to the nicer one for almost 8 months now and am almost finished. The chassis will have its quirks and many have been documented on this site. Knowing what chassis you are buying or which chassis types are are less quirky can make choosing an RV easier. The MH BUYERS CHECKLIST on this site is my guide to helping go thru an RV. I carry a ladder with my on an inspection and insist on looking at the roof first. If the roof is really rough you might bet that the owner was no maintenance person. I wear my get ditry clothes and pull the RV out onto an area where I can crawl under. Tires have date codes....if the tire is older than 6 years...you are looking at replacement soon....even if the tire looks good to the eye. Every system needs to be run up.... Test the batteries with a hydrometer.....this will tell you if they are in good shape. yadda yadda.....
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:54 AM   #12
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A reputable 3rd party RV tech is probably the way to go. They can find the big stuff up front which then doesnt bode well for all the small stuff. Even a low milage RV that is 20 plus years old maynot be a good deal--sitting in storage is not an RV's friend. If you are mechanical and handy, restoring an old RV can be fun and save you some money. If this sort of thing doesnt appeal to you--dont buy and older RV. Even newer RVs will need constant "care and feeding" which requires some time and money.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:09 AM   #13
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Most RV dealers and techs don't know a thing about a MH chassis! They're used to working on trailers. Repairs on things like leaking exhaust manifolds, worn front end components, radiators, etc. can stack up very quickly. It needs to go to a place that works on trucks! A place that you might take a dump truck to?

Assuming there is no rot in the ceiling or walls, and no large areas where the coach is delaminating (ask here if you want to know about this!), and it passes a chassis inspection, you very likely are looking at a coach that's not going to turn into a money pit. Best of luck!
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #14
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We may have another look at it, but I think at this point, we might just save up to get something like this next year, and do so more comfortably. So, in general a coach that's been well used but well upkept also is a better bet than one that's sat around for some years? Is there any sure signs of good upkeep, other than the whole thing? Is the roof something like that?

Also, I assume that delamination is the walls or ceiling coming apart, as in the composites not sticking together like they are meant too?
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