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Old 07-28-2016, 01:19 PM   #1
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When shopping for used RV, due diligence, how far?

okay,
I've been virtual shopping for a month, and have determined my wish list min acceptable. knowing that some remodeling will be required, bla bla bla,,,

besides the hire an inspector, get fluid analysis, how in depth do you go?

How do you determine if all the recalls have been performed? Cummins has had a few depending model ISL, ISM, ISX, norcold has had a number, almost every model from a glance at the list at Recalls.gov

tranny? Aqua hot? the list can get demanding.... Or can we call the manufacture with vin to get this info?

Or do you just trust the seller? trust but verify? does the inspector get to this level of detail?

I was planning on determining info prior to making any offer...

kerry
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:48 PM   #2
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Hi Kerry! You're wise to do a LOT of research before buying an RV!

I would much rather buy from an individual than a dealer! Sales people will tell you anything to get your money! Of course, you can't trust all individuals, but I think the percentage is much higher!

Documented maintenance would be close to the top of my list.

Recalls would be way up there too!

Decide what floor plans you want or can live with, and don't take something that you won't be happy with!

Insist on testing every single thing on that RV!

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!


Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
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Well, if you were buying our coach, which is NOT for sale, I could hand you a folder of every maintenance task/annual maintenance performed on the coach! That includes engine, Onan, oasis, chassis AND every other maintenance task that's been performed on the coach... If I were buying and that sort of folder wasn't available I would walk!
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:14 PM   #4
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Check every thing you can,leaks are one of the worst.Their will still be things you over look,but look at how much you will be saving compared to a new one.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:16 PM   #5
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Yes check for recalls at Recalls.gov if they don't have the paper work showing it was fixed then assume that it hasn't been done no matter what they say.
Good Luck
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:26 PM   #6
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Cummins has stopped short on recalls on the ISX models!! There should be some out there for the 2007 EPA model CM871's that break valves off in #6. Ours has done it twice in 45,000 miles, three turbos and two DPF's. If the original owner hadn't gotten some of the work done under warranty that would be close to $75,000 in repairs!
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:41 PM   #7
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If it's a recall that has anything to do with safety, generally they're not hard to get done after you buy it. They wouldn't be that big a deal here. It's service bulletins that might be more challenging. They're not always well advertised, often because the issue isn't that widespread (yet?). Once you settle down on a particular coach, you could post your make/model/year/chassis/engine/trans combo info and ask about it specifically here.

Regarding due diligence, if you haven't touched it with your own hands, smelled it, looked it over closely with your own eyes, you aren't done yet.....

Inspections should include 2 of them. One for the chassis, and the second the coach. Many experienced RV'ers are capable of (will likely want to) doing their own coach inspection, but the chassis is generally left to a pro.

An owner could have a stack of documentation a foot high, but I would still go through pretty much the same steps I would without that stuff. The BEST documentation only tells you about where the coach is at regarding maintenance. The problems can easily start where matters of unscheduled maintenance become apparent - like water intrusion issues for instance! Point being, documentation is great, but it's no free ride if it exists. Worst case, without documentation, you'll need to bring it up to snuff on your own dime. Not too huge a deal, but a complete liquid change, ALL of them, can get expensive. After that though, you know right where you're at and can continue from there.

I don't trust a dealer further than I can spit. A private individual may be great - but that certainly not something I would bet this amount of money on.

Last, if you're paying for an inspection, and issue become apparent during that inspection, make sure your inspector understands you want pictures (as many as necessary) to document them. Those will often become important in judging the cost of repairs, and if the owner is not in attendance, proof for him to see that there IS an issue. It's not just something the inspector is making up to earn his keep.

OK, one more "last" thought. You might want to inquire about the title. If it's not in the sellers name, or free and clear, you might want to know more about it.

Best of luck! -Al
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:49 AM   #8
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^This!

I inspected ours three times, with flashlight. Maintenance paper work is nice, but, there is no substitute for a detailed physical inspection. Even with that there are some things that won't show. Further, if you're next in line for a turn in the barrel, have your check book ready. Rving is not for saving money it's for enjoying your money.
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
If it's a recall that has anything to do with safety, generally they're not hard to get done after you buy it. They wouldn't be that big a deal here. It's service bulletins that might be more challenging. They're not always well advertised, often because the issue isn't that widespread (yet?). Once you settle down on a particular coach, you could post your make/model/year/chassis/engine/trans combo info and ask about it specifically here.

Regarding due diligence, if you haven't touched it with your own hands, smelled it, looked it over closely with your own eyes, you aren't done yet.....

Inspections should include 2 of them. One for the chassis, and the second the coach. Many experienced RV'ers are capable of (will likely want to) doing their own coach inspection, but the chassis is generally left to a pro.

An owner could have a stack of documentation a foot high, but I would still go through pretty much the same steps I would without that stuff. The BEST documentation only tells you about where the coach is at regarding maintenance. The problems can easily start where matters of unscheduled maintenance become apparent - like water intrusion issues for instance! Point being, documentation is great, but it's no free ride if it exists. Worst case, without documentation, you'll need to bring it up to snuff on your own dime. Not too huge a deal, but a complete liquid change, ALL of them, can get expensive. After that though, you know right where you're at and can continue from there.

I don't trust a dealer further than I can spit. A private individual may be great - but that certainly not something I would bet this amount of money on.

Last, if you're paying for an inspection, and issue become apparent during that inspection, make sure your inspector understands you want pictures (as many as necessary) to document them. Those will often become important in judging the cost of repairs, and if the owner is not in attendance, proof for him to see that there IS an issue. It's not just something the inspector is making up to earn his keep.

OK, one more "last" thought. You might want to inquire about the title. If it's not in the sellers name, or free and clear, you might want to know more about it.

Best of luck! -Al

Excellent advice Al!
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:33 PM   #10
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I guess I wasn't clear in seeking some advise, or 'normal' practices, (not that that would really make a difference) I think before I'd make an offer I would call the coach manufacture with vin and see if they have records. I'm assuming that I could do that for the engine as well...

should I do that for norcold, aqua hot, what other major things should I consider.

kerry
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
If it's a recall that has anything to do with safety, generally they're not hard to get done after you buy it. They wouldn't be that big a deal here. It's service bulletins that might be more challenging. They're not always well advertised, often because the issue isn't that widespread (yet?). Once you settle down on a particular coach, you could post your make/model/year/chassis/engine/trans combo info and ask about it specifically here.


OK, one more "last" thought. You might want to inquire about the title. If it's not in the sellers name, or free and clear, you might want to know more about it.

Best of luck! -Al
Thanks for the advise, when I get close to an offer stage I will seek additional wisdom. Unfortunately, not all future problems can be predicted, but trends on some issues are a tell tell signs to run away / or accept the potential to repair.

I did discover from other posts to avoid rebuild or salvage titles. Insurance is extremely limited... It is a easy question to get out of the way when looking at private sellers... Some good deals are due to title issues... No thanks for me.

kerry
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:43 PM   #12
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You mentioned you've "been virtual shopping for a month." I did over a year's worth of research before I started shopping, virtually or otherwise. I had never even stepped foot inside an RV before we decided on this lifestyle, so I wanted to know everything I could find out about every system on an RV.

You maybe have more experience starting out than I did, and that's great, but what all that research taught me was what to look for. By thoroughly researching every system and every component, I learned what things commonly (and uncommonly) went wrong, what the signs are and how it would need to be fixed.

I started with the engine and transmission, naturally, and expanded my research from there. I'd search many different forums (and this one primarily) and focus on one specific area at a time, looking for anything I could find on the chassis, water systems, heating and cooling, electrical systems, brakes, generators, water heaters, plumbing, tanks, etc, etc, etc.

Invariably, one avenue of research would lead me to another and I eventually ended up with a fairly solid knowledge base of what I should be looking for. As a bonus, it also showed me which brands or models to concentrate on and which ones to avoid - they'd pop up with problems more than the others. Arming myself with all this research boosted my confidence greatly to the point that I didn't have to cross my fingers on maintenance records and completed recalls... they're important, of course, but they rarely tell the whole story.

Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryvan View Post
okay,
I've been virtual shopping for a month, and have determined my wish list min acceptable. knowing that some remodeling will be required, bla bla bla,,,

besides the hire an inspector, get fluid analysis, how in depth do you go?

How do you determine if all the recalls have been performed? Cummins has had a few depending model ISL, ISM, ISX, norcold has had a number, almost every model from a glance at the list at Recalls.gov

tranny? Aqua hot? the list can get demanding.... Or can we call the manufacture with vin to get this info?

Or do you just trust the seller? trust but verify? does the inspector get to this level of detail?

I was planning on determining info prior to making any offer...

kerry
kerryvan
You have to check everything.

I just read a post where a purchaser said he wrote a check for "more than most houses cost", (his words), and took possession of a brand new coach before he discovered he didn't like the color of the $13,000 awnings.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryvan View Post
I guess I wasn't clear in seeking some advise, or 'normal' practices, (not that that would really make a difference) I think before I'd make an offer I would call the coach manufacture with vin and see if they have records. I'm assuming that I could do that for the engine as well...

should I do that for norcold, aqua hot, what other major things should I consider.

kerry
I suppose it wouldn't hurt, but asking the builder/manf if they've had any trouble with a certain vin is not going to yield much in the way of useful info in my experience.

For instance, I doubt seriously Norcold is going to tell you about how many fires that have started in the vicinity of one of their refers that they know about....

Regarding the offer, depending on what you're looking at, if you educate yourself to the point you're confident about recognizing a good deal when you see one, there is not a lot of time to mess around. If it truly is a good deal, it's a safe bet others are checking it out as well. You'll need to make a commitment pretty quickly. Just make sure you make sure the commitment is refundable, contingent on successful inspections.
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