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Old 06-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #1
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We need advice in buying a used DP.

We're just starting our research on diesel pushers. What are some things we should look for in buying a used one?
We need to learn more than just our preferences in floor plans.
Appreciate any input.

Barb & Rich (ret. USAF)
34 ft. Class A 2008 Fourwinds Hurricane
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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Tire age
Engine/transmission service records up to date, on time and done correctly.

No records, pass on it unless you pay to have it checked out thoroughly by a professional.

And that's just a start.

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Old 06-27-2012, 07:30 PM   #3
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When we really looked, to be honest, we let floorplan drive everything -- with the exception that we knew for our needs we had to have a diesel generator.

But certainly you can consider basement space as well -- a lot of coaches don't have a full basement.

Side radiators are nice -- in the long run it'll always save you money because you can get at the engine very easily.

I would argue that any of the older setups with a 4 speed transmission aren't worth it.

Beyond that, I don't think it matters that much.

The Green Machine -- 2000 Mountain High Coachworks Summit (Spartan chassis / Cummins ISC)
...and F-Troop: Fearghus, Fiona, and Frankie (Cairn Terriers)
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
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Take it for a long test drive. Up hills on freeways at the posted speed. See if the trucks blow you all over the road.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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service records....service records....and more service records. Service is really pricey, so you're going to want to make sure the big stuff has been done, and that service is up to date. Also, tires are pricey, especially on 22.5 wheels

Power is important. Getting a large unit that only has say 250hp...isn't wise. Not that you're in it to win races, but a more powerful engine has advantages. There is also the matter of what type of engine. Cummins & Cat are the big players. I had a friend who bought a Cummins simply because he had a Cummins service center around the corner.

Tag axles. Make for a more stable ride, at the expense of added weight and reduced turning radius (not to mention more tires you need to replace in the future).

Mileage. Too low isn't always a good thing with older units. Diesels don't like short trips.

Leaks - As with any motorhome, look over every inch of it. Both for cosmetic strutural leaks, as well as the engine and trans for fluid leaks.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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When you find one you think you want to buy, have it inspected by a professional that has no connection whatsoever to the seller! You will pay $300 to $500 but it is money well spent. Also, as already stated, get all the service records if possible.
2001 Cruisemaster/300 Cat
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:11 PM   #7
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If I had it to do over I would buy the higher end coach first, upgrading at a later date can get expensive.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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Get a big motor, ISL if possible.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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Air suspension and brakes
if the coach is on a spartan chassis w/IFS, inspect the dust boots for deterioration (pricey to fix when necessary)
a big plus if the generator is on a slide (easier for maintenance)
side radiator is a plus
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:28 AM   #10
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I thought advertising your unit was not allowed in the forum?

Kathryn . . . still lurking and learning!

"Wise men still seek Him..."
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:02 AM   #11
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Go to eBay and search for motorhomes - diesel. Save the search... EVERY day check the 30-50 newly added diesels. In a year you'll be an expert regarding what you want and need (took us a year and a half).
PS - Continue to read iRV2 EVERY day.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:42 AM   #12
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Uh oh. I'm feeling a little queasy after reading this. We just purchased our first MH, and first ever diesel ( Mercedes CIC 182 engine) it has 28,000 miles on it and is a 2008. I can see that the tires are 5 years old by reading the sidewals. I know, I know, even though the tread is good there is always the dry rot. I do have the tire service plan so I will run them as is because frankly I can't afford to go out and by new tires right now.
More disturbing is the service records. Mine didn't come with any! Mea culpa, I should've checked. When I took it into the Mercedes dealership to have a blinking oil warning icon on the dashboard looked at he said it was just a sensor which they fixed, and that it was a good engine. They didn't do a full diagnostic test on it but is was at least reassuring to hear that. Time will tell.
Lastly, I have heard also that diesels like to run. Twenty eight thousand miles in four years certainly seems to be a fair amount of miles driven, right? Could you explain to me why short trips are bad for a diesel? Say trips of twenty five miles in a day to just take her out and warm her up.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:18 AM   #13
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Agree with all the posted information. Floor plan should definetly be in consideration, after all you have to live in the bus. Diesel is IMHO a must. Rule of thumb, 10 hp for every foot of the coach. When we bought our first coach, dp, we made sure records we on board. If you can afford it, tag axle, side radiator make life easier. Good luck, take your time and research your purchase thoroughly!
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:12 PM   #14
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I wouldn't be afraid of a low mile moho.
I certainly wouldn't be afraid iof aany 08 sprinter. Just do all the required 0 to 30k maintnenance now and call it good.

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