Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-23-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6
Urgent PDI Question from Noob

Hi. I go by Bill, or Mild Bill (since the Army in 1977). I am 100% new to RVs but retired early and am jumping in with both feet.

Friday I am scheduled to evaluate and buy a super clean, three axle, single slider, 1994 37' Newmar Mountain Aire w/62k miles. It has the Banks Power kit and drives great. My mechanical skills and toolbox is "not bad" but a disability limits me.

My first of many questions for the forum:

Does the rig need a professional evaluation for RV systems and/or the Ford drivetrains and chassis?

Or is it enough that I personally follow the wonderful and very thorough PDI Checklist listed on the FAQ page?



Sorry for the rush but I thought I posted this days ago.

HisMildness is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-23-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
jacwjames's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 3,587
Since you indicate you are new to RV's I would be hesitant to fly solo on this. An older RV will have specific things that need to be looked at to confirm condition. In particular brakes and drive train, these would cost you the most if they failed. I would recommend an oil analysis on both engine and transmission, and possibly the coolant. These could tell you of significant problems that are hidden to the eye.

Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
jacwjames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 01:16 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2
Bill, do you have an experienced RVer and friend who can walk through your RV with you? If this experienced friend is also an automotive mechanic, that would be a God-send.

Most definitely do NOT go through this process without someone(s) who have a lot of experience and expertise in RVs and automotive systems.
TxCowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 01:42 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6
No local mechanical friends.

$650 to check out RV items.
Calling for price for Ford drive train evaluation.
HisMildness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 02:23 PM   #5
Senior Member
oakcreekeric's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Oak Creek, WI
Posts: 788
I think based on the fact you have a tool box... You should be fine to evaluate the "chassis" part of the equation..

Basically, if you're competent enough to buy a car, you shouldn't have too much of an issue purchasing an RV with a gas chassis.. if it were diesel.. well, that's a whole 'nother set of rules..

As for the "coach" portion... The number one question I would ask; when was the last time the RV was used on an extended camping trip? I think this is a pretty valuable piece of information..
  • If the answer is a year or longer.. well, you better bring out your Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass and go over that rig with a fine tooth comb... Having any system sit for extended periods of time is not good.. without having a good working knowledge of RV systems, you may want to get a professional involved
  • If the answer is less than 6 months.. I would think having the current owner go thru each system and actually demonstrate it working could be good enough..
That means:
  • Running the generator with load (AC units) - let run for more than 5 minutes if possible
  • Running everything electric - both via shore power and generator
  • Running water thru the system (Both city connection and holding tank operations)
  • Turn on and run the stove burners/microwave/convection oven/oven
  • Toilet operations - flushing clean water is fine - let him "dump" all that clean water in his lawn to show you there are no issues in the wet bay
  • Running the furnace
  • Go onto the roof and check all seams and caulking.. look for any damage
Basically... run everything the RV has to offer both on generator and shore power.. run water to every faucet and/or shower.. and if you're a complete newbie.. video tape the current owner doing it so you have a reference on how to do something.. spend specific time on the wet bay.. how to run water from the city, how to run water from the holding tank.. While doing this portion... try to be on clean dry pavement so you can see if any water is leaking underneath the RV while testing all water systems..

Obviously on the chassis part.. ask for records.. belt changes, filter changes, tune up's... anything you'd ask if you were buying a new car.. and don't fall for the "mileage" answer.. all the above need to be changed based on mileage AND/OR time... usually its "time" with RV's..

MOST IMPORTANT ---> find date codes of the tires (even check the inner duals of the rear)... If they are past 5 years, you may be able to use that as a bargaining tool.. they will need to be replaced soon and that is no cheap date... and it doesn't matter how good they look.. or how few miles are on them.. the UV rays ruin RV tires, not mileage..

Finally... I didn't notice your location.. maybe if you let people know where you're at, someone from IRV2 will spend a couple hours free of charge.. I know I would if you lived in my area (Milwaukee, WI)..

Finally.. keep in mind.. you are buying a 20yr old house and car.. no matter how well you inspect it.. things will go wrong.. it's inevitable.. especially when you start driving it and it bounces down the road... don't be discouraged.. just make sure you have a "warranty fund" you can dip into should the need arise..

Good luck !!!
Eric & Denise
2012 Itasca Sunstar 35F
2010 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited
oakcreekeric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 02:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 3,766
X's 2 what oakcreekeric said,
That was an excellent response. Heed what he said. Great information.

You can see from my signature my location. I'm a certified technician and retired automotive teacher. I'd help if you are even somewhat close. Just put out the word.

TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 04:39 PM   #7
Community Moderator
"007"'s Avatar

Nor'easters Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 24,427
Welcome to the world of RVing and irv2, Bill.
Here is the Newmar PDI for a new coach and here is one for a older coach.
Here is information for your third axel and braking system.
1994 MACA Brochure
Good luck with your PDI.
98KSCA, 99MACA, 03 KSCA-3740- 8.1 Chev-- ALLISON Trans, now in good hands
"007" is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 05:23 PM   #8
Senior Member
Commercial Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 577
Urgent PDI Question from Noob

While you may feel the cost of a professional inspection is high, compared to the cost of repaired of things missed by a newbie it could pay for itself.

The initial cost and any findings could be negotiated in the final price if you decide to buy.

I suggest you check or call http://nrvia.org for a professional third party inspector.

Sent from my iPad using iRV2 - RV Forum
TravellingRVDoctor, LLC
shiggs68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 05:54 PM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6
Thanks guys. Especially of course oakcreekeric!!!

The RV is in Selma Ca. I will be in Sacramento after that for a few days.

I own a 100+ year old apartment rental so basic plumbing, electricity, etc so I the basics will be an interesting puzzle.

Doing the Ford evaluation and self PDI the coach (w videocam in hand).

HisMildness is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery and Power Question rrthor Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 31 07-12-2015 07:05 AM
A/C & Gas Heater Maint Question Bilgerat Fleetwood Products Owner's Forum 0 03-11-2015 06:46 PM
Headlight question plus bonus dash NAV fuse question jbmoberly76 Newmar Owner's Forum 3 02-07-2015 04:19 AM
I think I have a noob question, do TTs not come with generators? ie2special Travel Trailer Discussion 20 04-04-2014 02:03 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.