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Old 09-07-2009, 08:31 AM   #1
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Need advice looking to purchase my first diesel

I currently own a 1997 Damon Intruder "352" 454 35k miles it has everything and excellent condition, so ther is a few questions I need advice on

Looking at the Market there seems to be 2 different worlds "Ebay" and the rest of the world, I have been watching several listing on Ebay and you can get some good deals from what seems to be reputable dealers, The catagory motorhomes I seem to fall into is 50-60K, 36' about 325hp 2 slides. Any advice about Ebay or help with other Reputable dealers (names).

Financing, I have an excellent rating so I should be able to finance if I sell my motorhome what is a good lending place, and I hate thinkin of this but 20 years is crazy but is workable as far as my budget, is this bad going that long.

What should I look for pros/cons on deisel's brands engines, fit and finish accesories ect... my use is towing an eclosed car trailer 6-9 weekends 500-1000 miles round trip and camping and being from Minnesota sitting for 6-7 months.

And how do I deal with a dealer if I end up trading in My Damon,NADA shows it about $20,000.

thank you
Michael
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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Hi Michael,
Based on the OP, your coach is in great shape and serves your needs. You'll use a coach 2-3 months a year and about 10K miles per year. Before I make any suggestions, can you tell us why you want to trade coaches? This helps us understand your RVing priorities.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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The Damon is great but it is at its limits when towing even though we have a "Tuff Tow" on the trailer the lack of power has stopped us from going any long distances when we go racing. I know is sound crazy to by a pusher for a couple of long hauls a year and maybe will change my mind on that.... just trying to weigh all the options.
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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Hi Michael,
Thanks for the update. With towing capability as your primary requirement, I'd use that to narrow the selection. Usually, floor plan sells the coach. Once you find the coaches that will comfortably tow what you have, then continue to narrow the selection by finding the floor plan that meets your needs.

The source you purchase from is immaterial. From your posts, I read you are skilled at doing comparison shopping. As long as you have the $s, the seller must be competitive.

A couple of things that are not personal preference that I recommend you consider.
1. Before the purchase, have a certified shop check out the automotive components. The engine, transmission, air suspension system, jacks, etc.

2. Ensure the coach will qualify for an Extend Service Contract. Good Sam sells these. Call 877-387-7334 to get the details.

Once the report from the service shop comes in and you have the cost of an extended service plan, you can do the normal negotiation for the best price.

From a financing view, it is what ever allows you to sleep at night. There are advantages and disadvantages about long term financing. The is a personal decision based on your overall financial planning and how this purchase fits into that plan.

As to the brands to consider, I'd stick with the brands that are still in business (Newmar, Tiffin, etc.) Some brands made their own chassis (and other components). It will be difficult and inconvenient to obtain parts for these components. In either 2010 or 2012 it looks like Cummins will be the major player for RV engines. DD and Cat are pulling out of the market. For me, if a coach has a Cummins engine that would be a plus.

Good luck and post here with your thoughts and questions.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
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20 years is too long for a used coach and probably not available anymore on older used ones anyway. Expect to make a major down payment in todays finance market - 20% of better.

Most coaches will have Cummins or Cat diesels and both are excellent. A Prevost or other bus chassis may have a Detroit and they are fine too, though the much older 2-cycle Detroits are not held in high esteem any more.

How to deal with a dealer? Do your homework in the price, make a low offer and don't be afraid to walk away if they aren't meeting your budget. Your feet are your best negotiating tool.

Your annual maintenance expenses are going to be much higher on a diesel, even if you do much of the work yourself. Numerous and expensive filters, lots of oil, etc.
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:11 PM   #6
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Taz ...

Since you are from Minnesota, you might be interested in ...

Canon Falls Repos


I have never done business with them ... but they generally have an interesting variety of rigs ... I have watched their ads from time to time (I had relatives in MN that were interested in a used RV)
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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I do appreciate all the advice!!
Thank you
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:28 AM   #8
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It would appear that you are happy with the current MH except the power. Have you considered a Banks or other horsepower kit? The additional maintainance cost for a diesel will pay for it in 2-3 years.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:49 AM   #9
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Friend of mine, bought a used Safari moho off of eBay two years ago. It was a 2002 Safari Panther, which is/was a very well built diesel moho.

He bought it from a broker in Phoenix. He went down and looked at it before buying it, and then made a bid for it and got it for $129,000. The coach was in pretty good shape, but being on eBay it was an as/is sale and ended up needing all new tires. He didn't realize this until he left for a trip and blew two tires. During the same trip the Inverter went out, apparently it was already bad and not charging the batteries properly, and so also needed 4 new coach batteries. Even then he still got a pretty good deal.

My point is be prepared for this kind of thing. No telling how long a coach has been on a dealers lot or in storage by a private owner. Tires, batteries, even some of the appliances may not work properly after sitting unused for a long time.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob (WA0MQE) View Post
....... Even then he still got a pretty good deal.

My point is be prepared for this kind of thing. No telling how long a coach has been on a dealers lot or in storage by a private owner. Tires, batteries, even some of the appliances may not work properly after sitting unused for a long time.
Bottom line...

Be prepared to spend $3-$6K to replace tires/hoses/batteries/repairs when you buy any used RV that is a "bargain".

Also $3-$4K for an "inclusive" service policy is a must...

With that knowledge you will not be dissapointed in the "nickle and dime" stuff. So to any purchase price, add $6-$10K and that is your true purchase cost to get a fully functional, road worthy, safe, and warrantied coach..
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:37 PM   #11
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I think if you would purchase a newer model on a workhorse chassis with the 8.1 chev, you would be happy. I traded an older (94) allegro bay pusher with a cummins on a 2006 allegro bay with a 8.1 gas and like it.
Tiffin industries probably has the best reputation in the business.

The maintenance, oil and filter changes will be cheaper on a gas. 8 quarts of oil vs 5 gallons. Diesel air filters cost 30 to 50 bucks.

If you find something on e bay, like i did, have an unbiased inspector do an inspectionbefore you buy. I finance with good sam credit and they were great. They sent an inspector to check out the coach in florida, i was in louisiana.

Another benefit of a gas vs diesel, is the price. I bought a coach four or five years newer at the same price i would pay for a diesel. The good sam continued service plan was also a lot cheaper. $589 gas 1350 for an older diesel.

If you deal with an out of town dealer, go out and look at it first and don't be afraid to haggle on the price. The guy where i bought gave me the old used car complaint: "i am not making money at that price", but he sold it to me at what i offered.

The main thing you have to watch, is make sure they have a title when you buy. If you pay cash, get the title before you leave. If you finance at a bank, tell the bank not to send the money before they get the title.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:48 PM   #12
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Agaian great advice. I did find one on "Ebeg" he said he will do a trade-in but he wont give me a price even though I have sent all the info he asked for any way I am still thinking and lookin.
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