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Old 01-05-2014, 05:23 PM   #1
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The joys, or nightmares, of buying a used older coach

We thought we did good before buying. Had it inspected, reviewed maintenance logs and researched issues but it appears none of that matters when the seller is deceitful.

Coach is a 1998 Discovery DP

I decided to do some maintenance on the rear differential, air dryer and transmission this weekend and what a nightmare it was.

This is what the air dryer filters looked like. Yes the desiccant filter was in two pieces inside the unit. There was a big build up of red crud all inside the unit and I ended up removing the entire unit and took it apart and cleaned it. I'm assuming these are the original filters.



You can see the red crud. It was caked on the inside.


These were the transmission filters.


Judging by the date on the filter these are original filters as well.


I also changed the differential fluid. This was so thick that it would clog the funnel.

Changed the oil but I also did this last year.
I also changed coolant and hoses last year.
Did fuel filters this weekend
Did air filter this weekend
Did belts this weekend

Big repairs we have had to make:
Exhaust manifold
Head gasket
VP44 pump

Things we still need to fix:
Leaking coming from somewhere. Looks like coolant and I get a dime size leak when coach is parked. It is not a active leak so I am having a hard time tracking it down.

Coach only has 90k miles on it and I plan on sending all fluids to Blackstone for analysis.

Like I said the previous owner had maintenance records but it is obvious it wasn't done. For all we know he just made it all up to sell the coach.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:18 PM   #2
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Your post tells us a lot more than you are thinking. It shows how important it is to actually do the work on a reasonable schedule. For the way we use our rigs the manufactures requirements may be a bit stringent. But avoiding maintenance is just not worth it.

Has all of this that you have found caused any serious damage that you can detect?

Hope all turns out well for you. Happy trails.
Rick
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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Because I am new to rving. I would like to ask you experienced rving people. How often do you change all of those filters. Thanks
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Like I said the previous owner had maintenance records but it is obvious it wasn't done. For all we know he just made it all up to sell the coach.
He could have also been a victim. Many deceitful dealer service garages exist. They know that few RV owners
would be able to actually tell if a filter or fluid was changed......so the owner pays for it to be done, but
the service garage does nothing and charges for it anyway.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:06 PM   #5
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You are right...many of us are clueless. Me especially. Anything mechanical I bring my son whenever possible
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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My new/used pusher has 76K on her. The original owner did to what he felt was regular maintenance (according to his buddy who did the work) but missed things such as the transmission filters and oil. When drained it looked great, filters were in good shape, so I would not worry too much about that Allison unless the fluid color is off.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:07 AM   #7
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The chassis manufacturer will have a schedule that will, at least, make you aware of what needs to be examined and when. Many of us use Blackstone Labs. Sending your fluids to them on a scheduled basis will give you a good idea how the systems are holding up.

My coach is new to me as of May. When it is time for me to change the oil I will use Royal Purple. Once that is in the engine I will change the filter once between oil changes and get the oil tested at that time. If I keep the coach long enough I will build a record of the wear of the engine. If a problem shows up in the oil sample I can address it before it becomes a major failure.

This can be done for the tranny and coolant as well. The lab provides the kit (a bottle and shipping package) and the test is around $30.

On any RV chassis lubing is important but a DP even more so. And the rear breaks have a little devise called a slack adjuster that should be maintained from time to time. It is in the wheel inside the drum area and is difficult to service for most of us.

Common sense is the key here. If your rig sits for months without use it will probably need more attention than one that gets 5K or more miles a year and frequently driven a few hundred miles at a time.

Tires are another area to keep a close eye on. After loading your coach try to keep the weight distribution as close to your original loading as practical. Have the coach weighed and the height adjusted, along with the alignment. Watch the amount of time the tires are on the coach. After about 5 to 7 years it is recommended the tires be replaced. As I understand it, the oxygen in the air causes the rubber to weaken over time. This even happens inside the tires. Many folks are using nitrogen but it is expensive and I don't know if it will extend the life of the tires.

I hope I have not rambled off your original question too far. I am just like most of the folks on this forum. Happy trails is our goal and the information we exchange often helps us keep them so.

Rick
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:32 AM   #8
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When we bought our used 2009 MH this last spring, from a dealer, I had some things that needed to be addressed. In the PDI, I noticed that the air dryer filter still had under coating on it from the factory. When I asked why the filter was not replaced the tech stated that 'they never replace them'! I went to the owners manual and showed them that the air filter should be changed ever three years if not sooner. They ended up replacing the air dryer filter. We then looked at all of the other filters and any that showed sign of dirt were replaced. The inspection paper work that they showed me, showed that all filters/oils were replaced. I had them change the fuel filter also as they did not appear to have been changed.
It is always wise to consult the owners manual/engine manual for maintenance intervals and follow them. One other area that get over looked is the cooling system. Not only is it wise to clean out the radiator but also to test and change the coolant when required. It is a lot cheaper than replace an engine.
The more you work on your MH the better of one is. Have fun, learn as much as you can and be careful.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:50 AM   #9
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This thread caught my attention since we just bought a new to us 2000 American Eagle that was owner maintained for the last 5 or 6 years and I agree that this was not a good situation. I knew I would find some issues but the list is getting pretty long!!!!!

I am a retired furniture builder but I have had the pleasure of driving truck for a few years and while running my own shop I learned to deal with all kinds of machinery so this is now helping me, but still it's hard to find the right workshop manuals for these rigs! especially the Spartan.

Talking to the previous owner he did not even know about the air dryer and neither did he know about the drain cocks on the air tanks in the system that should be drained of water accumulation! I think some had never been touched.
I understand that some coaches have draw strings that can be pulled from convenient places to do this job!

I still have to do the air dryer so I may see some red too before this is over.
I know I have two leaking levelling legs, a broken odometer, a broken sat. dish, a bunch of basement locks that don't work properly, and more.
Don't get me Wrong I knew about most the big stuff, and we've already fixed 100 little things and the wife spend 40 Hrs cleaning. We still feel we got a good deal and it will be a beautiful coach when we're done! which will include some new leather furniture! and a new compost toilet! no more Black tank!!!

regards,
Ed
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:27 AM   #10
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As someone else has mention , I think the original owner was probably taking his coach to someone else for maintenance.. I would think 80% of MH owners
Take theirs somewhere for maintenance.

That being said, I have had mine to two different places for oil and filter changes. And, no one has ever mentioned an Air dryer unit. I, myself have never heard of one either.

So now I have something else to go look for. LoL
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:14 AM   #11
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Your CAC will probably need a good cleaning and a extension needs to be put on the slobber tube.

Front Hubs fluid change.
Power steering fluid change.

Add a low pressure warning light for the lift pump.
To help keep the much more expensive V44 pump from going out.

Any other problems you can get help at Discovery Owners
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:56 AM   #12
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don't mean to steer away from this thread, can anyone explain a bit what the air driver does? i have done many of the regular maintenance such as oil, tranny, airfilter etc, but never touched this air driver nor known where it is located...
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
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don't mean to steer away from this thread, can anyone explain a bit what the air driver does? i have done many of the regular maintenance such as oil, tranny, airfilter etc, but never touched this air driver nor known where it is located...
This explains a lot of the maintenance service, hope it helps. Your engine and chassis may be different but a lot of the systems are the same... Air Dryer is part way down the page...
How to Service Your Diesel Pusher RV
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:33 AM   #14
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My coach had all of the filters dated with a permanent marker when we purchased it. I've kept that tradition going when I had everything recently changed. I can't actually "prove" they drained and added new fluids. But I know that every filter was changed.
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