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Old 08-20-2014, 09:57 AM   #1
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How low is too low

3,255 miles. That's how many original miles are on this 2003 National Tradewind 7374 LTC I'm looking at. The owner bought it new and drove it the 150 or so miles up to the golf course camp ground and leaves it there for the summer. Come fall he drives it back home, services everything and stores it in the garage. Next spring, same thing. This has been going on for 10 years now. The coach itself is pristine inside and out, looks like it just came off the assembly line. Everything works and we love the floor plan.

That said, I'm a little scared of the mileage, or lack there of. Some systems would benefit from little usage e.g. electronics, shocks, wear and tear on cabinetry etc, but other things like rubber hoses and maybe the drive train are better off being used than they are sitting their whole life.

I'm close to putting an offer in on this unit, we really do like it, but what say you? Is 3,255 miles an extraordinary, crazy find or just crazy?
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:12 AM   #2
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Sounds like a deal to me especially if it was stored inside. The primary thing for me would be tires but aside from that, if the price is right, I would go for it. You might run into some issues with belts, hoses etc but as said, at the right price you can't go wrong.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:13 AM   #3
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Go for it and don't look back!
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:19 AM   #4
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Don't post his phone number , because if you don't take it , there could be a good chance of a bidding war for this rig.

Note; There can be issues , but all you have to do is read through the forums and see that even buying new , isn't a way to avoid issues.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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I would not pay a premium for the low mileage. You'll probably want to crawl underneath and check for rust, dry rot, etc. That said, if you get it for a good price and everything checks out, AND you're prepared to do a little maintenance it may be a really nice unit.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Sounds like a deal to me especially if it was stored inside. The primary thing for me would be tires but aside from that, if the price is right, I would go for it. You might run into some issues with belts, hoses etc but as said, at the right price you can't go wrong.
Tires are crap. Original in fact, and like everything else on the coach they "look" brand new. I told the owner the tires are 10 years old and are death traps but he emphatically informed me that some guy at some tire shop told him they were fine. I pleaded with him to go to the Michelin web site and read their recommendation on tires aging out but he would have nothing to do with it. Nope, some guy at some tire shop said they're fine and so they are.

As for the "right price" he's asking TOP dollar. Like $10k over NADA top dollar. He did the NADA thing and of coarse plugged the mileage in (even though NADA states, IN CAPITAL LETTERS, not to enter mileage on diesels) and came up with a big number (27% premium big) . I tried to explain that mileage isn't a consideration on diesel engines like it is with gas engines, but again, he would have nothing of it. Same with the batteries. He hit the button on the monitor panel and it read 12.9. I told him that was a tad low, 13.6 is a full charge, but noooooo, anything over 12 is perfect

But the coach really is in excellent shape otherwise. Tires, batteries, etc are maintenance items anyhow. They all need replacing at some point. We'll see if he is realistic on price later this week
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:07 AM   #7
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Sounds like you could find yourself upside down on this in a hurry.
10 K over book then add another 4 k for tires and you still have a unit
over 10 years old that might even have all the same fluids and filters
when the unit was purchased.
I would call this unit high risk.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardbark View Post
3,255 miles. That's how many original miles are on this 2003 National Tradewind 7374 LTC I'm looking at. The owner bought it new and drove it the 150 or so miles up to the golf course camp ground and leaves it there for the summer. Come fall he drives it back home, services everything and stores it in the garage. Next spring, same thing. This has been going on for 10 years now. The coach itself is pristine inside and out, looks like it just came off the assembly line. Everything works and we love the floor plan.

That said, I'm a little scared of the mileage, or lack there of. Some systems would benefit from little usage e.g. electronics, shocks, wear and tear on cabinetry etc, but other things like rubber hoses and maybe the drive train are better off being used than they are sitting their whole life.

I'm close to putting an offer in on this unit, we really do like it, but what say you? Is 3,255 miles an extraordinary, crazy find or just crazy?
IF the owner can prove the pre-storage PM was done as claimed, then you may have found one of those rare gems. National made a quality coach in that timeframe. As "topdownman" said, the miles are SO low that they should NOT be something for which you pay a premium . I'm sure you know you are looking at buying new tires immediately, and perhaps it would be wise to have all the hoses and belts replaced, too. Lastly, VERIFY that the Bosch Brake recall has been completed if it is on a Workhorse W series chassis.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:26 AM   #9
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The Genset would be my biggest concern. Our 97 Newmar had only 43k miles on her and the Genset only had 25hrs of use when we bought her in may 2013. Other than new tires and UV issues with some of the plastics, all has been good with her but I have yet to take her out on a long haul since we bought her last year.
The Genset however won't run for more than 30 min, backfires then dies. Looks like I may be looking at a carb rebuild due to old fuel sitting in the carb bowl for years.
Have yet to check my belts and hoses.. That is a concern too but fairly easy to resolve at minimal costs if you do it yourself.
I'd say go for it.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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If the original owner has all of the maintenance records and the price isn't 10K (where'd that figure come from anyway) over list and You and Mrs. like it, GO FOR IT. Trust your and DW instincts first and use a resource such as forums to get ideas of things to look for that maybe you didn't think of. One thing about these forums is there will always be naysayers that can create a feeling of doubt.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:53 AM   #11
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Yup, if the records support the maintenance claims, you are good to go there. Tires, hoses, belts, deals, can be expected to need to be replaced.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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OK, a quick look at NADA shows average retail as around $65K. Your're saying he's asking 27% more? That's over $82K! Plus you need new tires, batteries and maybe a few other things over $5K. Now you're 87K out of pocket.

A quick look at some of the RV sites shows many of the same model and year at an asking price of around $65K, which means they probably sell for less.

I know its hard to think when you find a great motorhome which your like and seems in great condition, but is it worth $22+K more (and it's still a crapshoot same as any other used motorhome).

The seller is like a lot of private sellers out there, they over value their motor homes and are not realistic. Personally (and I have also pulled the trigger when I should have waited) I would wait him out and make a lower (realistic) offer and stick to it.

I don't think many other knowledgeable buyers (and you seem to know what you are doing) would pay the extra $20K.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:52 PM   #13
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It seems by your post that you already question not the coach but the price. Be sure you only pay what you are comfortable with. You do not want to feel like you got taken if you find yourself with a "major" breakdown or problem hits the wallet and your time hard after you just paid for the coach, new hoses, belts, tires and whatever else it needs to be sure it is ready for the road.
I think 20k would buy many tire, belts, hoses, and a very nice trip to Alaska! I agree you should pick a number you are good with and stick to it. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RTinVa View Post
It seems by your post that you already question not the coach but the price. Be sure you only pay what you are comfortable with. You do not want to feel like you got taken if you find yourself with a "major" breakdown or problem hits the wallet and your time hard after you just paid for the coach, new hoses, belts, tires and whatever else it needs to be sure it is ready for the road.
I think 20k would buy many tire, belts, hoses, and a very nice trip to Alaska! I agree you should pick a number you are good with and stick to it. Good luck with your decision.
Actually I was questioning the coach. The price negotiation I can handle fine. The original question was all about a 10 year old coach that has basically no miles.

Thanks to all the responses. I was worried about a coach that has sat for almost it's whole life and it seems the consensus is that in itself is not a deal breaker.

The ask is $75. NADA books it at close to $70 (with all the options, and it has pretty much every upgrade/option offered that year). That said, NADA also advises that a unit in exceptionally good shape can sell for above average retail. Balancing the two I'm going to offer $66 which would put me at around $70k after tires and a hose or two. I think that's fair and just compensation for the risk of a 10 year old unit.

As for the genny, the camp spot he keeps it in is dry and the genny get's used enough. I'm more concerned about the engine brake, which are famous for freezing if not used routinely.

I'll keep you'all posted. I have two other deals in my back pocket if this one falls flat. Maybe I'll even post the phone number if I can't buy this one
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