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Old 06-24-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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Problems with buying MH not driven for years

I recently found a 35' Sportscoach Cross Country with 22,000 miles in immaculate condition. It has been garaged since new. The MH was owned by an older couple who both have passed away. Their grandson is the executor of their estate and has offered to sell the MH for a VERY reasonable price.

Now the problems. It's powered by a 300hp Cummins and I was surprised to find an Allison 5 speed; expecting a 6 speed. Initially the batteries were dead however after a charge the cummins fired right up and seemed to run great. No oil spots on the floor under the engine & trans. The grandson thinks the MH was started occasionally however it hasn't been driven for approx. 4 years. Still has the original tires and don't know about the storage batteries. I know the tires & batteries will likely need replaced. I am concerned about seals etc. in the engine/trans.

My question is, have any forum members bought a MH with these circumstances and what problems did you have?
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
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That rig sounds like a great find. I have not had such luck so no first hand experience.

But....tires, batteries and maybe hoses could be a concern. Each are relatively inexpensive. You do not indicate how old the rig is so tires are merely a queston mark.

Replace the engine and generator oil and filters and enjoy.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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i all so have a 37' Sportscoach Cross Country 2006 that set for along time 3 to 4 years this RV likes to run hot after driving it for 2 years what happens is it blows hot air out the back like most RVs do to get better MPG but it sucks up alot of trash and add some oil and sand and the fins in the air cooler and radiator get full and well pass air if it is a good price and you are a do it your self guy then i would get the RV pull the radiator and the air cooler and it that time you can see every thing on the motor and see what else it could need from there
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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If the price is right and you like the layout, I'd say go for it. Allow for tires, batteries, hoses, oil and transmission fluid changes. Does it have an exhaust brake? That tells you the torque converter is a 'lock-up' type and can assist in slowing down. Kept in a garage is a huge plus in roof condition, leaks, rust, etc.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #5
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If the price is right and you like the layout, I'd say go for it. Allow for tires, batteries, hoses, oil and transmission fluid changes. Does it have an exhaust brake? That tells you the torque converter is a 'lock-up' type and can assist in slowing down. Kept in a garage is a huge plus in roof condition, leaks, rust, etc.
Sorry I failed to mention it is a 2004 model and does have exhaust brake.

One of my concerns is towing a dinghy with the 5 speed?

I am a DIYer so will change all filters, hoses, other servicing etc. before driving if I purchase the MH.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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Hi GigaWatt,
As to towing, it all depends on weight. My coach has a Cummins ISC 330 HP. My combined weight is a bit more than 37K. In the mountains, patience is required. Other than that, the Cummins will run all day without any problems or irritations.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Check your weights. I'm towing a car with a Allison AT542 which only a 4 speed.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #8
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I have had my hoses & belt inspected a couple times with an eye on PV, but the techs tell me they're fine and should last 300,000.

Think you're just looking at oil changes (2X in the first 5K you drive it), tranni maintenance (maybe a flush), new filters and you should be good. Have the oils tested by Blackstone before you buy if you can.

Then batteries and tires.

Something I'd do, don't know if it's necessary, is to plan trips that are not to stressful and tend to stay close to repair places. No mountain driving for the first 5K you put on it. Limber it up first before heading up the Tetons.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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Be careful. Our first motorhome sat quite a while. We had all kinds of problems. Brakes, tires, generator relay switch, toilet, lots of electrical (12 v) problems, generator fuel lines. Trust me, the list goes on. We found the worst unit to buy is one that is never used. Except for the tires and brakes, the chassis was the least of the troubles.

We thought finding this low mileage, seldom used coach was a blessing. It turned out it was a curse.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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Be careful. Our first motorhome sat quite a while. We had all kinds of problems. Brakes, tires, generator relay switch, toilet, lots of electrical (12 v) problems, generator fuel lines. Trust me, the list goes on. We found the worst unit to buy is one that is never used. Except for the tires and brakes, the chassis was the least of the troubles.

We thought finding this low mileage, seldom used coach was a blessing. It turned out it was a curse.
This is the exact scenario I am worried will happen. Years ago I bought a 3/4 ton Chevy pickup that sat in a barn for several years after the owner died. I cleaned all of the fuel system, changed the oil and started driving. Ended up replacing about half the engine valves that had pitted while setting, the entire exhaust system all 4 tires and numerous other parts!!
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:49 PM   #11
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This is the exact scenario I am worried will happen. Years ago I bought a 3/4 ton Chevy pickup that sat in a barn for several years after the owner died. I cleaned all of the fuel system, changed the oil and started driving. Ended up replacing about half the engine valves that had pitted while setting, the entire exhaust system all 4 tires and numerous other parts!!
That was a gas vehicle. Have the oil changed and analysed and try each system. RV's sit a lot of their life, this one had the added advantage of being in a garage.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #12
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We purchased a rig that was 5 years old with very little use. It had sat outside and had some fading. We have had it 3 years and no major problems yet. I changed the oil and filters as soon as I got it. I checked for recalls on all of the major parts (engine, trans, refrigerator, etc.... ) Buying a used unit is always a gamble, but if the price is right.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ru499 View Post
Be careful. Our first motorhome sat quite a while. We had all kinds of problems. Brakes, tires, generator relay switch, toilet, lots of electrical (12 v) problems, generator fuel lines. Trust me, the list goes on. We found the worst unit to buy is one that is never used. Except for the tires and brakes, the chassis was the least of the troubles.

We thought finding this low mileage, seldom used coach was a blessing. It turned out it was a curse.
This would be the same issue I would worry about. Sitting for a long time and having corrosion on the wire connections and also depending on where it sat at mice or other rodents chewing on wiring. I would see if I could get a copy of the electrical schematics for the coach. Electrical troubleshooting is not hard merely time consuming. If nothing has chewed wires them most problems would be connectors and you can usually fix those relatively easy and cheaply. I might ask the owner if you can take it to an RV shop and have them evaluate it for you. Have someone with experience go over it and look for possible problems.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:28 PM   #14
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Also check your brakes, brake fluid and hoses. There was a thread a few days ago that I can't find but someone bought a used coach that also had not been used for a while and low mileage. On the first trip out the brakes failed due to bad and contaminated break fluid I think. So add this to the list of service items. Good luck and post some pictures, we like pictures and keep us updated on what you do.
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