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Old 01-10-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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What starts to die at 10 years?

We are expecting to graduate from a tow-behind travel trailer to a Class A diesel that is about 10 years old. I'm learning about how financing and value changes at that age. I also know about watching for tires and batteries that usually die before they are 10 years of age, regardless of amount of use. Likewise, in tow-behinds the appliances seem to start failing at about six years or so.

But on another thread I read that there are other items that start to fail at around ten years. I didn't want to hijack that thread, so I decided to start a new one in this section. Can you share what you have experienced or heard about items that tend to begin failing at about 10 years of age? Could be interior systems, body of the coach, suspension, drive train or anything else.

I have learned so much from this forum already, and really appreciate the willingness of experienced owners to help me come up to speed on this new chapter in my camping life.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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I would think most of the rubber products have severe deterioration after 10 or more years, on my 98 model the epdm rubber roof has cracking, belts squeal, putty tape around windows is not sealing so well, and I figure the hoses in the cooling system are about due for replacement as well, day/night shade strings are getting rotten. So far the systems have been relatively trouble free.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:17 PM   #3
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ProjectPro.... i am a stickler to maintenance and that "BUYERS Checklist" is a good objective goal to achieve when evaluating a potential RV Purchase. It is in the FILES section of this Forum.
I am a top down approach person....Roof....AC...vents....windows and slides...interior...water system....bays....tanks....tires....under chassis....tires again....pull a wheel....bearings and brakes.....engine and tranny. Make sure everything is working ....fire it all up. Pump water thru it....flush toilets...heat water....evaluate the driving and handling (are shocks old) ....IF POSSIBLE and VERY COOL....pull the engine codes from the engine access port (see if there is any lingering code).
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #4
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I have a 2003 Fleetwood Storm 32' and the rubber roof is in excellent shape, keep all the penetrations caulked and sealed.

The roof is designed to last for 20 years without issue if it is maintained. My coach is 11 years old and is not having any issues except I may be changing out the slide seals in a couple of years. Right now they are watertight, but I imagine it would be good to change them out as they do look kind of flattened, but, as I say, are still watertight.

It all depends on the maintenance over the years. If the coach was ignored and no maintenance on it, there are a lot of issues that can happen before 10 years. But prior posts here give a good indication of what to watch for.

Also, my window seals all are in great shape, as well as cargo bay seals, etc. My chassis belts and hoses are all in excellent shape as well. I was fortunate the previous owner was very meticulous with it.

The only thing I could complain about is the LP tank has some blemishes and I'd like to get it re-painted and a few places on the graphics are weathered, but the Poli Glow stopped that weathering and I'm happy about that....
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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The fridge is often a problem at around 10 years. The original equipment fridge in our '02 Georgetown (Dometic, made in Sweden) went belly-up last spring due to a failed cooling unit. We chose to have the entire fridge replaced because the difference in price was only going to be $100 more than pulling it out, replacing the cooling unit and re-installing the fridge, and the rest of the fridge would still have been 11 years old!

We're having problems with the Onan 5500 generator also, but that's self inflicted through not exercising it regularly while I was out of action due to cardiac problems. The generator is at the top of this season's do-list.

Our rig was very gently used by it's original owners, who sold it to us. It only had 12,000 miles on it after 8 years.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:56 PM   #6
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Lot's of stuff is similar to a house in longevity ... I assume the reefer, hot water heater, faucets, carpet, mattress, and maybe the toilet are due for replacement. Lot's of items are just technologically questionable (vcr, tv, satellite system, etc.). Many things are just no longer "pretty".
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:19 PM   #7
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Air Conditioners in my opinion. Good news new ones are fairly easy to replace and in the grand scheme of things are not that expensive. I replaced both of the 13,000 BTU Domestics on my 2005 class A Coach with 15,000 BTU Domestics and they will cool things down even in our hot Texas summers,

Plastic knobs, hardware starts to break and crumble from sun and heat as well.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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Mine is a twin to Bruce's coach (above), and my appliances are all original, working well, without a single issue. Thinking some of that could be luck? He does hint at the fact the coaches were originally equipped with CRT type TV's? If those are still there, you'll want to deal with those right away I would imagine.

What I wanted to add, is that I'm fairly sure you've heard all about scheduled maintenance? What's not discussed so often is UNscheduled maintenance! On a 10 year old coach, this is what separates the nicer coaches from those that you shouldn't be interested in. There's ALL sorts of unscheduled maintenance that needs to be done. This includes everything from keeping the coach waterproof, to making sure wire harnesses aren't dragging on the ground? As this sort of thing isn't on a lot of lists, it requires an ever vigilant eye for "stuff" that needs to be done? Other examples might be a rusting bolt that's holding the awning on. It should be taken care of prior to leaving a rust streak running down the side of the coach? Or a weather cracked windshield gasket? A corner of the windshield sticking out a little more than it used to? Point being, there's an endless list.... of UNscheduled maintenance you should be looking at/for when shopping 10 year old coaches. Scheduled stuff is the easy part.

Make sure you are able to recognize water damage, any kind of water damage. If you aren's sure you are, make sure you have somebody (3rd party!) that knows what they're doing have a look at that coach for you. Any damage is good cause to walk away from a coach.

The good ones are out there, but you're going to look through lot of junk to find one! Happy hunting!
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
Mine is a twin to Bruce's coach (above), ....

The good ones are out there, but you're going to look through lot of junk to find one! Happy hunting!
My original answer to "what starts to go at 10 years?" was ...

My Mind ...

































'
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:54 PM   #10
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Our 2001 Winnebago Adventurer was 12+years old with over 100,000 miles on the odometer when we traded it in last year. In all those years an all those miles we very few problems.
1. New brake pads all around 75,000 miles.
2. Basement AC Fan bearings 60,000 miles
3. Onan generator repair 89,000 miles
4. Water heater temp sensor & fitting 37,000 miles
5. New house Batteries 4 years & again at 12 years
6. New Chassis Battery 8 years
7. New shock absorbers 22,000 miles
8 New kitchen faucet (upgrade) 8 years
9. New shower control (upgrade) 6 years
10 New passengers side dual pane window 89,000 miles.

Other than that it was just scheduled maintenance. No new belts & no new hoses. Everything was inspected quarterly by either myself or the local Ford Garage if I had them do the service work. We were very pleased with the fact that there were no nasty surprises during the entire time we owned the coach.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
Our 2001 Winnebago Adventurer was 12+years old with over 100,000 miles on the odometer when we traded it in last year. In all those years an all those miles we very few problems. 1. New brake pads all around 75,000 miles. 2. Basement AC Fan bearings 60,000 miles 3. Onan generator repair 89,000 miles 4. Water heater temp sensor & fitting 37,000 miles 5. New house Batteries 4 years & again at 12 years 6. New Chassis Battery 8 years 7. New shock absorbers 22,000 miles 8 New kitchen faucet (upgrade) 8 years 9. New shower control (upgrade) 6 years 10 New passengers side dual pane window 89,000 miles. Other than that it was just scheduled maintenance. No new belts & no new hoses. Everything was inspected quarterly by either myself or the local Ford Garage if I had them do the service work. We were very pleased with the fact that there were no nasty surprises during the entire time we owned the coach.
That's awesome. Hope where hoping for this but already have you beat in just are first week of ownership. Maybe once these things are fixed we will be almost problem free.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:26 PM   #12
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Big variables are maintenance, how/where stored, area of the country most tome spent, etc.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:49 AM   #13
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I just sold my 11 year old Travel Supreme and these are the items that we stating to show age when I sold it.

The MH was kept inside since new and was in perfect condition as for exterior wear, no dry rotted window or slide seals.

The drive line on a DP is good for 250,000 miles before even worrying about the brakes or drive line. Hopefully the transmission will have be changed of to Trynsend, if not that will need to be done.

The step motor went out while it was up for sale.
Both slide topper awning were replaced.
The cooling unit on the NOcold was starting to rust and I imagine it was short for this world.
The washer and dryer were starting to look bad, but still worked fine.
Front window curtain was showing sun damage.
Closet door rollers were wearing out.

Items I updated
Old CRT TV that will be need to be updated to HD to receive OTA channels.
Also a 10 year old Satellite system will be outdated and most do not work any longer.
Roof seams will be old and shrinking . I had mine covered with Eternabod Tape and never had a problem.

Finding a unit that has been stored inside vs one that has not will make all of the difference in the world.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:23 AM   #14
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While your question is legit, I don't think the ten year mark gives predictable failures. Basically in 10 years, the things that start to fail are things that are made poorly. This can be fairly random. Yes failures occur, but to predict what will fail after the ten year mark is difficult. You may start to see mileage based failures, such as shocks, and brakes - wear items that are designed to be replaced. But beyond that, failures while they do occur, are pretty random.

I think were the failures get much more predictable is between the 15 to 20 year mark. That is were you arbitrarily replace all the rubber components. This often includes suspension parts that are rubber based. You start seeing electrical failures - poor connections, things that age due to non use.
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