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Old 02-18-2017, 12:49 AM   #29
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Smile MADP review

Good morning...just like several of the above rvers' we full time in a 2004 MADP 4018. It is almost identical to yours. We bought ours from an individual in 2014 along with the toad. We were the third owners. Ours now has 68,000 miles. The individual we bought it from took very good care of the unit as well as being very fourth right and upfront plus all the maintaince records. We have turned it into our own as well as any updates we wanted. The previous owner had installed a complete new Aqua Hot system, new tires, no smokers/pets and was very clean. It does have the full fiberglass roof. I went through and removed any and ALL silicone on all the seams and replaced the sealant with Etherbond Tape. We did tour the Newmar Plant after we decided on a NewMar and knew then we were investing in an exceptional product. The FreightLiner XC chassis along with the ISL 400 Cummins and Allison 3000 transmission has been very reliable combination and fuel mileage isn't too bad getting 7.5-8mpg.I'm an ole gearhead and have done all my maintaince thus far. This whole full time rv-er'/ MADP thingie has been a positive experience for us.
Lowell & Judy Hurt
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:18 AM   #30
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I think we finally found our DP, 2004 Mountain Aire. What areas to pay attent...

Lots of good advice.

The only other thing you might want to verify is if it's a CAPS injection motor. A 2004 model is probably an HPCR injection system, but a 2004 model could have been built as early as Aug 2003. Cummins quit building CAPS motors in early 2003 so there is a slight possibility.

CAPS motors are known to be somewhat problematic, and expensive to repair. With that said, thousands are out on the road and have never had a problem.

On the other hand, there are folks who weren't so lucky.

Repeating CAPS Failures - Need Help

Maybe not a deal breaker. Just be aware.
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Old 02-18-2017, 05:12 AM   #31
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The unit looks like a nice buy. The Newmars in good shape fetch good $$$ but will hold value. I found the original selling Canadian dealer when we bought ours last Nov and they knew the complete history. They did the first service for us as we and the previous owner shared the cost of that. Few tips how I do things and I have had diesels forever with not a single drive train issue ever:
1. When driving go easy, hit the hills or accelerate slowly using the throttle to follow the turbo. IE don't punch it to the floor quick. Just keep working the engine up slowly.
2. When I come over the top of a good long hill I start reducing throttle slowly as required just as the peak is starting to flatten over the top. I go over slowly and eventually no throttle. What I have done here is reduced the temperature of combustion chambers, turbo, manifold etc slow so less heat stress from rapid internal temp changes.
3. In Canada we don't worry as they condition the fuel up here but in the US I hear no so carry bulk fuel conditioner. Add before filling using a suitable pouring and measuring device. You also will figure out in a short while, how much to add at each fill based on miles travelled and gauge indication.
4. IMPORTANT log your fuel fills and mileage. WHY? It gives you an indication of something not going right in your engine by seeing a change in consumption pattern. Put results on a spreadsheet if you can then you can get a formula to see avg mileage.
5. In Canada we have to do a two day air brake professional course to drive an air brake equipped vehicle but apparently not down your way. Talking to motorhome owners in USA this seems to be what I consider the most important but most overlooked part of a coach that occurs from a lot of owners. I regularly check all lines, pull air drains prior to start, do full brake application before moving, while standing shut engine off and hold pedal down for 2-3 minutes to monitor air loss, cycle brakes to check compressor recovery, grease auto slack adjusters and always listen for the air dryer purge - you will hear it. Be careful that you have safety devices installed before going under your coach to prevent it from crushing you.
6. Check hub oil level in the front regularly. I also check the tag wheels as well of course as they are there.
7. Throw the engine oil away after 12 months regardless of miles travelled. Oil is hygroscopic which means it absorbs moisture. Do that service for diesel and oil filters same time. Don't start your engine in a campground unless you will drive the coach. Working the engine boils some of the moisture from the oil.
8. Sweet spot for ISL on hills is 1900-2000rpm. Shift manually if you have to to maintain this. Don't worry who or what can go past you. Lots of those guys don't pay for maintenance or are coach owners with deep pockets.
9. Alison Tranny - watch the temp gauge, mine never gets over 190F.
10. Belts/hoses - check before every trip. If you see a leak or crack there is something that has changed.
11. Tires- my TPMS is a 3lb mallet that I hit each tire with at every stop including gas stations. Watch the pressure and condition of tires. Truckers compliment me as they say very few coach owners do this. Also carry a lug wrench to check lug nut torque of toad items and check their tires as well.

I realize you are buying a second hand well travelled coach but the above items give you a chance to keep your coach at that same level for many years to come.

Forgive me if you are/were a heavy equipment operator or the like as this may sound like trying to tell Einstein how to do math but hopefully others can gain something as well. It's how I have the best chance to travel trouble free.
All the best and we hope you have the same luck with your purchase as we did as we hit the jackpot with ours with regard to condition.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:41 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by vtwinwilly View Post
Lots of good advice.

The only other thing you might want to verify is if it's a CAPS injection motor. A 2004 model is probably an HPCR injection system, but a 2004 model could have been built as early as Aug 2003. Cummins quit building CAPS motors in early 2003 so there is a slight possibility.

CAPS motors are known to be somewhat problematic, and expensive to repair. With that said, thousands are out on the road and have never had a problem.

On the other hand, there are folks who weren't so lucky.

Repeating CAPS Failures - Need Help

Maybe not a deal breaker. Just be aware.
I called Freightliner get information and they told me chassis was build July 2003 and gave me the engine s/n. Looked up that s/n on Cummins web site and it gave me a build date of 24 June 2003 with a fuel pump #4076443. Looked that up and it says its a CAPS fuel pump. I wonder what the cut off s/n was when they changed to HPCR in 2003? I think I will ask Cummins and see if they can give me more information.

Now this is something to think about and thank you for the link. I read the pages of info and what problems some have had. But like you said, there are many out there that do not have problems. Going to do more reading on this, and still go look at it.

I will see if there is any historical code or new codes on a road test, but visual inspection probably wont tell me much if it going to be problematic soon. The scan tool I have shows a lot of info so I will see if something is out of specs.

Thanks for the info
Jen
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:50 AM   #33
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I can personally vouch for the quality and honesty of Motorhomes of Texas both on the sales and the service side. I bought my coach from them in April of 2014. They did everything they said they would, and more. It is about a 3 hour drive from my house, but I always take my coach to them for service. The only thing about your discussions with them that I don't understand relates to the work done on the engine. When I had a leak n my exhaust manifold due to some sheared bolts they told me that they subcontracted that tyoe of work to Cummins (I think in Tyler), so I had it done by Cummins in Houston. If that is the case I wonder how you are going to be able to talk to the mechanic that did the work.
Good to hear good things about Motorhomes of Texas, of all the places we have looked and talked to this place is one of the better ones we have dealt with.

I called yesterday and got more info about the head gasket repair and to talk with the service manager. They were busy and the salesmen did his best to try and explain things. He said the fan control had problems and they replaced that but the over heating caused a head gasket problem. I told him I would just talk to some one when we get there since the salesmen really couldn't explain everything. You are probably right about them out sourcing the head repair and gasket replacement. Will know more on Monday. Maybe if I call Cummins in Tyler they might be able to tell me if they worked on it.

Thanks
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:05 AM   #34
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Never trust the seller! Repairs are very expensive. Have an independent mechanic check it out. Have the engine oil sample tested. Check the fridge for temperature, the stove and heating system. Check the levelling system for leaks and operation. Do all the roof air systems work in both heating and cooling mode. Our friends own a 2004 Dutch Star and had the diesel fuel pump ver pressurize and wash the cylinders in the middle of nowhere New Mexico....$25,000 engine rebuild.
Spend the money for a professional review...then use the info to negotiate.
We never trust every thing the seller says, but there are good sale people out there that are more honest then some. But we will be checking everything out for hours on Monday. I told them I'm going to be there all day.

After my inspections, road test and scan tool results if we think we need to go talk to Cummins or Freightliner, we will.

Thanks
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:37 AM   #35
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Good luck. I hope it all works out for you. We bought our MADP 2 years ago, in a similar fashion. It just requires a lot of due diligence and it seems like you are on top of it.

One bit of advice I received was to thoroughly inspect the Hydronic Heat. It is a big ticket item. Check it on both diesel and electric. You can obtain most owners manuals for hydronic heating on this website, as well as about any other manual you need.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:57 AM   #36
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Also do a careful inspection of the lift pump. Look for any signs of leakage. The prior link to the CAPS problems are an important consideration. These injection pumps need fuel to cool and lubricate them. Bad fuel filters will starve these pumps of fuel. A leaking lift pump will cause air to be drawn into CAPS pump and starve them. The CAPS fuel injection pump is not perfect, but works well if you take care of it.

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Old 02-18-2017, 03:56 PM   #37
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You might want to take a look at the paper work you linked, as it looked to me that page 3 had the parts breakdown(?). Besides head gasket, it looked like it referenced 'cylinder jack' with price n/c. If this was a cylinder jacket, then for sure dig a bit deeper on the engine...

While I would have preferred, and actually thought I was getting, a Common Rail ISL with the Variable Geometry Turbo, vs CAPS era ISL. (Honest mistake all around, and as the buyer, it was my responsibility to obtain the engine SN and validate the CAPS vs next generation ISL.) But if the rest of the coach checks out, and the engine passes muster, and the price is right - I would not walk away from such a coach just because it had CAPS ISL (Or ISC.).

If you can not get a solid answer on the engine head gasket, and if a cylinder jacket was replaced or not. You could then also ask Motorhomes of Texas to work with you on a discounted extended warranty. (Do your homework first, so you know the costs and coverage of the EW. If you agree to a reasonable sales price, then to close the deal from their end let them know that due to the engine work, you'd like them to sell you the EW at their costs. (And of course you'll dance some. But for sure a substantial discount on the warranty.) And tell them towards the end of this dance, you're willing to walk if needed, it's that important to you...

Or if you get great answers all around about the engine, and it does no worry you with your experience - GREAT!!! Just wanted to share that strategy...

Best of luck to you, and looking forward to hearing the final outcome!
Smitty
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:45 PM   #38
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Your Snap on scanner will not connect to the Cummins ECM. Cummins has their own software.
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:55 PM   #39
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While you are at MOT... take a look at a few of the "Other Brands"...for comparisons sake.
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:58 PM   #40
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You might want to take a look at the paper work you linked, as it looked to me that page 3 had the parts breakdown(?). Besides head gasket, it looked like it referenced 'cylinder jack' with price n/c. If this was a cylinder jacket, then for sure dig a bit deeper on the engine...

While I would have preferred, and actually thought I was getting, a Common Rail ISL with the Variable Geometry Turbo, vs CAPS era ISL. (Honest mistake all around, and as the buyer, it was my responsibility to obtain the engine SN and validate the CAPS vs next generation ISL.) But if the rest of the coach checks out, and the engine passes muster, and the price is right - I would not walk away from such a coach just because it had CAPS ISL (Or ISC.).

If you can not get a solid answer on the engine head gasket, and if a cylinder jacket was replaced or not. You could then also ask Motorhomes of Texas to work with you on a discounted extended warranty. (Do your homework first, so you know the costs and coverage of the EW. If you agree to a reasonable sales price, then to close the deal from their end let them know that due to the engine work, you'd like them to sell you the EW at their costs. (And of course you'll dance some. But for sure a substantial discount on the warranty.) And tell them towards the end of this dance, you're willing to walk if needed, it's that important to you...

Or if you get great answers all around about the engine, and it does no worry you with your experience - GREAT!!! Just wanted to share that strategy...

Best of luck to you, and looking forward to hearing the final outcome!
Smitty
The cylinder jack was a left rear leaving jack that was replaced. It shows info on the first page, but at first I was questioning what cylinder they was talking about so I went back and reread every thing.

You are right about asking for a discounted or a for sure warranty on the repair they just did on the head gasket. If I'm not happy with the explanation or what I see on the engine, we are prepared to offer less or walk away, again.

If it is in great condition as described and passed all inspection we will be happy and offer what we feel is right for us. I have been reading about CAPS all day and called Cummins to ask question. They had a limited people working on phone lines today and said to call back Monday 6am to 5pm to get more answers, so will do that Monday.

Thank You
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Old 02-18-2017, 05:24 PM   #41
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Your Snap on scanner will not connect to the Cummins ECM. Cummins has their own software.
Yes, Cummins has their own software and I have and I have the Pro-Link Ultra software to read it.
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Old 02-18-2017, 05:48 PM   #42
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While you are at MOT... take a look at a few of the "Other Brands"...for comparisons sake.
Yes, will do. Going to look at every thing they have that I think I'm willing to pay and I just might find out I like something I didn't think I would. On the way down we are stopping at I-35 RV in Denton since they are open Sunday to see what they have and if this Mountain Aire is not the one we will stop and look at stuff on the way home. Usually stop at PPL in Cleburne and MHSRV in Alvarado when we drive to Galveston to get on a cruise ship about 2 times a year.

I actually like Super Cs like Jayce Seneca and Gulf Stream Supernovas and mostly because they are easier to work on and I think they are safer. Just my opinion and mostly because I work on the M2 Freightliner chassis at work. But lots of cool advantages of DP and mostly the cost of a used Seneca 2012 and up is more then I want to spend.

We went to the big RV show in Southern California this past Oct and almost bought a Jayco Seneca, really liked it but the only floor plan I liked had a bathroom I did not like. Wish I could have asked for something with some slight changes but Jayco does not do anything custom. Talked to the people at Showhauler and if I win the lotto that's where I'm ordering a new one.
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