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Old 08-27-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
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Need more help on possible DP purchase. Picture link

Yesterday we went back to see the 2004 MADP we are considering purchasing to have another look, including the roof which required us purchasing a ladder and a noodle (paint protecting) to access it. We are still unsettled about the coach which we want to purchase (our first) BUT, after finding receiving the poor coolant analysis results and not having had a chance to test the old oil, plus the sellers having a total of 2 engine/chassis maintenance invoices from 2012 and 2013, we (mostly me) are becoming more unsure about whether we even proceed with hiring an inspector to go over the house systems.
The good is that the engine, trans, and gen oil analysis test results were within normal limits except for few elevated metal counts.

A few things that I saw while going over the coach were:

-The inside of the coolant reservoir tank had heavy rust scaling on the inside just under the pressure cap. I assume the rest of the tank above the level of the coolant would be in the same condition which means I'd need to change the tank before having the system flushed and cleaned and before replacing the coolant. I didn't get a pic of the rust, but I had seen another coolant reservoir tank on another 2005 MADP with a 500hp Cummins with even more rust which is what prompted me to look at this one.
-The hydraulic fluid filter looks like it may have been the original one because there's undercoating overspray on it. The gauge still showed in the good range but is that possible if it's 10 years old?
-Paint pealing on the valve cover which is probably of no concern unless the engine might have overheated at some point.
-Couldn't find the coolant filter to check it, but was told later it's near the side radiator next to the engine oil filter


-We were told that the coach has always been stored under a carport or in a garage but while inspecting the roof it appears that the sealant for all the openings has mildewed and cracked. It's understandable that after 10 years the caulking would need to be re-done but is it normal for all the caulking to have mildewed so much? The coach is located in Florida which probably explains the amount of mildew and cracking but it seems a little excessive for a coach kept under cover. Other than the caulking issue, the roof is one of the best looking ones I've seen during our motorhome search. Lastly, the factory shows that this coach should have a Brite-Tek roof but it appeared to be unpainted fiberglass which the owner's thought it was until getting the info from the factory.


-Lastly, the owners just installed a residential Frigidaire refrig.. They had all the previous venting closed off. Not sure if that's the best way to go. Also, the info label rated the current usage as 6 amps. The coach only has 4 flooded house batteries, with a small solar panel and the original 2000 watt inverter which I assume is MSW and I'm unsure whether medium sine wave current would work OK with the refrig. Also, we're fairly sure we'd need to add at least 2 more house batteries (didn't really see a good place to do that) and a couple of solar panels if we want to boondock for more than a few days.


I'm sure there's more but brain freeze is coming on.
Hoping to get some opinions from the experienced folks here after viewing the pictures in the link below. Thanks


https://www.dropbox.com/sc/oxhyohrbs...U552uSy8X5qIEa
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:21 PM   #2
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Hi. I am sure a more experienced voice will pipe up, but to me you are right to be concerned. If the price is right it would be worth hiring someone to go over the systems and maybe you could deal, bit the issues with the filters and the caulking : to me, that is fairly easy maintenance which I would do if I was selling the coach. Aside from the 2 invoices for the last few years do they have any more invoices for service? I am wondering g if they are not trying to hide anything , or just didn't care enough to do the basic maintenance and are bailing out before they have an issue. How are the tires and suspension air bags?
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:20 PM   #3
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Do each of the two invoices include the required annual services?

If not, what required annual services do you think were not done based upon the mileage per year of the rig?

Obviously, if you are concerned about the inverter, you could price in the cost of a replacement to your offer.

The rust in the coolant tank and perhaps coolant would be of concern to me because I have not encountered such a situation.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
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If the roof is BriteTek it will be a solid sheet, with no walkway areas. If fiberglass it should have two walkway areas that will have a pattern to them.
Our '02 DSDP has the BriteTek and it still looks very good although I have had to touch up the sealant in some spots. Our rig has never been stored inside and the NW winters aren't dry!
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:31 PM   #5
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I would have STRONG reservations concerning this unit. You have discovered several items that raise my suspicions that would indicate the running gear was not properly maintained. Unless you plan on doing your own maintenance, the time and effort involved could be considerable.

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Old 08-27-2014, 07:15 PM   #6
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The good is that the engine, trans, and gen oil analysis test results were within normal limits except for few elevated metal counts.
(If you have no history of prior analysis, you really have nothing to compare your present findings to. Proper analysis depends on an ongoing analysis program that confirms or denies signs of deterioration based on a history of past findings.)

The inside of the coolant reservoir tank had heavy rust scaling on the inside just under the pressure cap.

(Metal tank? That would be in line with the bad coolant discovery. May or not be a sign of what is going on in the entire cooling system. If what you see is better than most you’ve inspected, a good flushing before introducing new coolant may just resolve any issues. The cooling system is not so fragile that this alone would be cause for rejection in my opinion.)

The hydraulic fluid filter looks like it may have been the original one because there's undercoating overspray on it.

(The fact that the gauge is still in the normal range here is a good sign. Yes a fluid change is due, but the fact is, there are numerous hydraulic system out there that function properly for a lifetime without a fluid change. A hydraulic system does not create contaminates like an internal combustion engine does. The hydraulic system oil changes recommended by the manufactures of motor coaches are more for eliminating outside contaminates. If you don’t see water, or dark oil, it’s a safe bet there are no issues.)

Paint pealing on the valve cover which is probably of no concern unless the engine might have overheated at some point.

(Only indicates paint didn’t stick to the part for some reason, would not indicate an over heat condition unless it was almost to the point of fire. If that has happened, you could recognize it from other items in the compartment having been damaged.)

We were told that the coach has always been stored under a carport or in a garage but while inspecting the roof it appears that the sealant for all the openings has mildewed and cracked. It's understandable that after 10 years the caulking would need to be re-done but is it normal for all the caulking to have mildewed so much? The coach is located in Florida which probably explains the amount of mildew and cracking but it seems a little excessive for a coach kept under cover. Other than the caulking issue, the roof is one of the best looking ones I've seen during our motorhome search. Lastly, the factory shows that this coach should have a Brite-Tek roof but it appeared to be unpainted fiberglass which the owner's thought it was until getting the info from the factory.

(I think you’ve answered this one for yourself, It’s a ten year old coach. The owners didn’t spend much time on the roof. That’s typical.)



Lastly, the owners just installed a residential Frigidaire refrig.. They had all the previous venting closed off. Not sure if that's the best way to go. Also, the info label rated the current usage as 6 amps. The coach only has 4 flooded house batteries, with a small solar panel and the original 2000 watt inverter which I assume is MSW and I'm unsure whether medium sine wave current would work OK with the refrig. Also, we're fairly sure we'd need to add at least 2 more house batteries (didn't really see a good place to do that) and a couple of solar panels if we want to boondock for more than a few days.
(I’m with you on the possible need to upgrade to support this mod. The residential refrig is a good way to go. You’ll on the right track on what you may need to do in the upgrade.)
Hope all that helps
DTW
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:58 PM   #7
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I think it looks like it's in very good condition. If the price was reasonable, I would buy it

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Old 08-27-2014, 08:05 PM   #8
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Are present owners the original ones?
Looking at the pictures for a 04 coach they look pretty good, the roof is a Brite Tek roof and looks clean enough, washing it will remove any mildew it will have and the seams up there can be covered with E-Bond tape so it will be good for another 10 years.
Not much rust from what I see, if it was up north in winter you would be seeing what it would be like for rust.
A ten year old coach should have the seams probably re- caulked because the sealant will be drying out. FL. DOES GET HOT.
This is maintenance that will be a normal thing. Which would also include new belts, filters, and fluid changes.
The jack pistons may need new springs eventually but if you wipe pistons down with WD040 AND WIPE OFF clean may not need at all.
The HWH reservoir should be checked with all jacks retracted, remove the Bell vent on top of tank and fluid should be between the two lines on shaft.
Your inverter/converter should be OK for fridge operation once a res-fridge is cooled down you would be OK between campgrounds with power connected for camping..
Newmar installs a inverter and batteries for just the fridge itself.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:07 PM   #9
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If you are having that many reservations about buying the coach then it probably is not the one for you. That is the way Thom and I look at any major, or even minor, purchase. Any "I am not sure if we should buy because of ____" then we just don't buy. For us it is just not worth the stress and questions that keep popping up.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:57 PM   #10
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We've decided to pass on this one which was hard because of the time, effort, and expense we have invested into it. My wife made a good point today. If something major did happen after we purchased it, (a real possibility with any used coach we may buy), then I'll truly regret my decision to purchase it after knowing the things I do, but by not purchasing it, we have to believe that in do time, we'll eventually find another coach we like that has much better maintenance documentation. It is a one owner coach which was one of the primary reasons we initially went to see it. The link below from a couple of prior posts about the coach should answer some of your questions and give a little more insight into why we made the decision we did . Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions.

Possible wet cylinder cavitation pitting from poor coolant?

Possible delamination? and need advice
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:44 PM   #11
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It looks to be in nice shape for a 10yr old coach. If you have reservations about the unit the best thing is to hire an RV inspector and have them go over it with a fine tooth comb. It will only be a few hundred dollars but will be worth the price for the comfort it will give you in buying it.

Good luck with your choice.

If you buy it... Welcome to the Newmar family!!

Happy Trails!!!
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