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Old 12-31-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
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Thinking about buying a 1998 National Tradewinds diesel

I'm new to motorhomes and I've been looking for some time, originally I wasn't set on getting a diesel but after speaking to some people I expanded my search. I've found a 1998 National Tradewinds for $29k which isn't a great deal but by far the best deal I've found considering condition. It has 98k miles and fully loaded with new carpet and a washer dryer combo.

Now to my questions, this RV is 600miles from me so the plan is to fly up there and drive it home. Because of this multiple inspections is impossible.

What questions do I need to ask?
What should I look for?
Any Maintenance I should make sure was done?
With 98k miles what maintenance should I be expecting soon?

Ay info in appreciated, from searching this forum I've come to the conclusion that it's a good coach to buy.

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Old 01-01-2013, 03:35 AM   #2
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Hello and We are glad to have you join us and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the website and forums. Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted.
If you don't mind me being blunt; I think you need to slow down and do your homework. You will want to know how you will use the coach to begin to understand how to find the right floor plan and chassis you will need.
There are many, many coaches on the market and will probably be even more this new year. There are certified technicians in many areas that will do inspections on a possible purchase. It will just take some researching to find them in a given area.
Maintenance performed on time will be what you are looking for and any RVer that has done it right will have the receipts and will gladly show them.
You can do searches on here (iRV2.com) of the very questions you have asked as they have been asked and discussed here in the forums many times. Tires are a big thing to check. They are not only expensive, can look ok and be the difference of arriving safe and having a blowout with devastating consequences. Enjoy the hunt and let us know how we can help.

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
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Hi and a second welcome. Lots of good coaches available, so you don't need to worry about letting one get away, as others will be available.

National Tropical are well thought of coaches, a solid C+ to B mid level coach. If I remember from when I was looking, these National used the CAT and Freightliner chassis in this era?

When buying remote, if it is from a private owner, ask them to copy and send/fax/mail you the maintenance history for the coach. If you get a good feel from these, then take the next step and pay for a private PDI. This will confirm or back up what the seller is staying, and the documentation has shown. Also have the person doing the PDI for you pull oil and trans fluids to send in for analysis.

This will give you a very solid baseline, and you will know what you are buying. If the tires, chassis and coach batteries, belts, hoses, air brake catridge, Lube Oil and Filters, Air Cleaner, Generator too in this mix - all need attention, you are looking at between $6-8K on top of the purchase to get the 'known to you' baseline complete. If the 'documented history (receipts, receipts, receipts)' is backed by the inspection, then - then you may be able to get in and go!

Best of luck on your search, but before taking the time to go look, I would arange a independent inspection as the next big step.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome!

As far as how the motor home will be used it'll be very casual, my wife and I rented on two occasions to test the waters and we loved it. We have a young child of 10 months and plan on doing family trips. As far as use I'd say 3-4x a year.

Ive done a lot of research and floorplans wasn't really a concern for me or my wife since we know this is a beginner rv for know it won't be a full time live in just nore of a way to take family trips. It's safe to say that every time we go outit'll be with hookups.

Good idea on the inspection, the mh is in salt lake city utah, anyone know of a good inspector?
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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Also its a dealer that is selling the mh. I'm having a hard time finding private party deals, seems most people either trade them in or don't want to hassle selling it.
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