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Old 12-11-2013, 10:56 PM   #1
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New Purchase

I am very close to buying my first rv class A motor home.It is just a 5 hour (hopefully )drive to inspect this baby.Weather long term is calling for snow squalls and white outs.You have to actually drive in this **** to believe it.Pardon my French.

It may be closer to a 10 hour drive.

My Canadian brothers and sisters know all about this.

This unit is a (1999) Damen Challenger,50,000 miles $15,000 and appears from the pics to be in pretty good shape.

I know the basics like checking the oil dipstick for a milky substance indicating water in the oil indicating a possible head gasket problem.

Checking the exhaust when cold starting to see if traces of blue smoke are present to indicate cylinder ring degradation.

I also know to check the corners inside the unit for traces of water leaks.

Is there anything else I should be looking for?

I have to admit I am a bit nervous about all of this.

$15,000 for me is a big purchase.

I am recently retired and on a fixed income.
I cannot afford a major screw up in this purchase.

Is there anything I should be on the lookout for?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated

I am very new to this!

thank you
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredHoser View Post
I am very close to buying my first rv class A motor home.It is just a 5 hour (hopefully )drive to inspect this baby.Weather long term is calling for snow squalls and white outs.You have to actually drive in this **** to believe it.Pardon my French.

It may be closer to a 10 hour drive.

My Canadian brothers and sisters know all about this.

This unit is a (1999) Damen Challenger,50,000 miles $15,000 and appears from the pics to be in pretty good shape.

I know the basics like checking the oil dipstick for a milky substance indicating water in the oil indicating a possible head gasket problem.

Checking the exhaust when cold starting to see if traces of blue smoke are present to indicate cylinder ring degradation.

I also know to check the corners inside the unit for traces of water leaks.

Is there anything else I should be looking for?

I have to admit I am a bit nervous about all of this.

$15,000 for me is a big purchase.

I am recently retired and on a fixed income.
I cannot afford a major screw up in this purchase.

Is there anything I should be on the lookout for?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated

I am very new to this!

thank you
You'll know when you know, you know? Give her a good walk around and look at every thing, very crook and corner, smell, open, close, and operate evrything on the bus.

Is this a private seller or a dealer?

Got a link to the listing?
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:13 PM   #3
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And you should be nervous haha, seriously its hard to know what the right thing to do is
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:13 PM   #4
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Oh also, go tot the Damon section of this forum and post the unit there, you might find some folks who have the same unit and can tell you more about it
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:35 AM   #5
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Ask to see service records. Start the generator, see it power up the Tv and charge the batteries. Check the code dates on the tires, do not go by the tread, 8 to 10 year old tires need to be replaced,= More expense. If you do not feel right about the rig, walk away and keep shopping. Good luck
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by donhoward49 View Post
Ask to see service records. Start the generator, see it power up the Tv and charge the batteries. Check the code dates on the tires, do not go by the tread, 8 to 10 year old tires need to be replaced,= More expense. If you do not feel right about the rig, walk away and keep shopping. Good luck
Agreed. I walked away from 10 of them
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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I would also bring a flash light and a piece of cardboard to lay on to look for rust, rot or any leaks from rear end , motor , tranny or any tanks. Also check the transmission fluid, if it smells burnt be aware the tranny may need fluid changed or even more help than that. Open Nd close everything that opens and closes. Turn on and off everything that turns on and off. I used to be a customer service manager for a home builder and would conduct new home orientations with the buyers. Bring a light or plug tester to check all outlets. If you have a cell phone charger that plugs into a cigarette lighter or 12 volt outlet to make sure they work. I could go on and on. Good luck .
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #8
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Do yourself a huge favor and hire a reputable inspector to look the vehicle over thoroughly. It will cost you some money up front but can save you thousands. Also have the oil and transmission fluid tested at a lab like Blackstone. It cost $25 for each, best money you can spend. If the owner won't let you send an inspector, run away from it.
Steve
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:10 AM   #9
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Here's more on the fact if you smell burnt transmission fluid run don't walk away. Burnt smelling fluid means one thing and one thing only, "The clutch discs are burnt because of low hydraulic pressure." The low hydraulic pressure is from hardened and or worn rubber seals. There is only one way to fix this problem and that's to rebuild the transmission. Changing the fluid does not fix the reason why the fluid smells burnt it only gets rid of the burnt fluid.

If everything else about the MH is OK negotiate for the rebuild of the tranny. Please don't listen to him if he insists the tranny is OK and changing the fluid is all it needs.

Excellent suggestions about the fluid tests from the poster above. That will very clearly tell you of any engine or tranny problems.

TeJay
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:13 AM   #10
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Link to Motor Home

Here is the link to what I am considering buying.

1999 Ford CHALLENGER
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #11
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It looks very good in the pictures, but all the previous advice stands.

Open cupboards and look for signs of roof leaks. Operate all the appliances and generators. Take a long test drive even if you have to pay for the fuel.

IMHO water leaks behind the exterior fiberglass, drive train and chassis repairs are the most expensive risks of buying a used rig.

Appliances, tires, brakes, furniture and fabric can all be replaced a bit at a time or repaired by the capable DIY person.

You will learn a lot just being on and near the target rig.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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It does look very clean for a 99 but looks can be deceiving. Do as suggested and give her a close inspection. If there are things that need upgrading will only $15 into it you can eventually afford doing some upgrading and it looks you've got a good start. But you need a solid frame to start with so don't let the icing cloud your inspection.

Best of luck with the search

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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Just count on it feeling 20% more used than it looks in photos. When you get on scene, more stuff will jump out at you than through pics, like the difference in color of the drivers side door and the rest of the coach.

I Dunno, that's a long way to drive to see her which mean you have to be even more willing to walk away, cause the further you drive, the more emotionally a attached you get, and tired. Consider all options in your budget
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