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Old 08-19-2019, 04:21 PM   #1
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Looking for advice on a used 2012 Silverback 33REA ...

Hello! New here.. I am cross-posting this from another forum because a friend told me I should be here also.

I'm hoping some of you fine folks can help answer some questions before we pull the trigger on a used 2012 5th wheel......

Background:
Over the past 12 months, DW and I have migrated from a van to an Expedition (to get into RV'ing), borrowed a bumper pull, rented a larger one, decided what we really wanted was too long for my comfort on a bumper pull, so we progressed to upgrade the TV to a ram 3500 so we could get a fifth wheel. Whew!

Today:
Now we're finally back to RV shopping. Long story short, we're looking at a 2012 Cedar Creek Silverback 33REA. I'm having some amount of trouble finding terribly many posts about Silverbacks. Most are generally favorable. I don't see dozens of horror stories that I have seen regarding other brands. (Which is great!)

But we're looking at a 7yr old rig. We know it has problems. But it also seems to have "good guts" and the price is generally where we need it to be. I'll detail what we know so far. Then I'll ask some questions.

2012 CC Silverback 33REA:
Overall it looks in really good condition. It's obviously been stored OUTside. All-in-all it looks to be fairly well maintained. But -- since it's ~7yrs old -- it does have a few issues, and of course, "we don't know what we don't know."

We've put a deposit on it so it won't get sold out from under us, but we're far from having an agreement on terms (cost, repair items, etc). That should start up in earnest tomorrow, most likely.

1. Biggest most concerning issues -- some floor rot and sagging in the rear corners of BOTH driver and passenger side rear slides. From what we can gather, it looks like this water damage has been due to runoff down the sides of the slides and then slurping up and under the bottom to the wood. We can't find any evidence of water coming INSIDE either slide, just down the sides and up and around underneath to the floor (or at least, that's our guess). Is this common? Any wisdom on Silverback's or CC's owners that have dealt with this before? Is this acceptable or "run run run as fast as you can?" As I said we can't find anything that would indicate water running INSIDE the slides, but we don't know for sure..

EDIT: Sorry, I should clarify that the amount of floor damage is about a 2-sqft region on one slide, and about a 3-sqft region on the other slide. It's certainly not "the whole slide" by any means. Based on the replies I'm seeing on another forum, I may have mis-represented the issue. The rest of the floors across all slides are VERY hard and solid. It's just these two back corners that are a concern.

2. Second biggest question -- what kinds of common problems are these 2012'ish CC/SB's known for? Is this a money-pit waiting to happen based on others' prior experiences? We certainly don't mind doing some repairs (we certainly can't afford a new unit!), but if there are serious regularly-occurring issues that we should know about, we sure would be appreciative to know now before we pay them the rest. I've been scouring the web but don't see very many horror stories about CC SB's. I mean that's GREAT! But maybe I just haven't looked under the right rock?

3. The current bumper has no hitch in it. We have three kids, which means a total of five bikes. I've been using one of these on our vehicle (https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00R6SBMTW). We're not sure how to do bikes with the 33REA .. Five bikes weigh ..... a lot!

4. There are a few odds and ends like the bottom corners of the master and bathroom sliding doors are swollen like water damage (or maybe just humidity absorption?), but they're hanging doors so it's really confusing how that could have happened. There seems to be no moisture coming from the roof. It's pretty baffling! There are also some wasps that are coming in from SOMEWHERE. Not sure where.. A very few ants, but not many.. No signs of water under sinks or behind cabinets. No obvious concerns of water around toilet or shower. Several of signs of OLD water under the forward bedroom slide, but does not look to be wet any longer...

5. Looks like motorized levelers in the front (NOT an auto-leveler) and manual levelers in the back. We have borrowed and rented a few RV's in the past that were all manual, so I suppose motorized are better? Except that the two front feet look to be operated in unison, so if I'm on uneven ground then I suppose that I need to adjust one foot higher/lower than the other, and THEN put both down together. I guess that's how those work?

6. LP, I see no external hookup for an aftermarket outside grill. We thought about just dedicating one LP tank to the rig and the other to a stove (disconnect one from the Y connector hose). I assume there's got to be a better solution out there though?

7. Covers? We will have to store it off-site. Probably outside. Are there recommended covers to slow the aging process? The sidewall graphics are already cracking, but we want to continue keeping UV and Rain out once it's ours.

It needs a new awning and new slide seals for sure. The roof looks good but will probably need some resealing to be safe. We haven't yet put it through all the PDI checks yet, but expect to go back sometime later this week to go through all the systems to make sure they function properly (LP, water, heater, tanks, electrical, slides, levelers, etc etc etc), or to at least become aware of what doesn't work (and then negotiate repair/etc).

I should stop here. This is long enough.

Any and all advice is absolutely welcomed and very much appreciated. It may not be new, but it'll be new to us, and it's still a big investment (for us). We're very excited but don't want to be left "holding the bag" so to speak.

Thanks everyone!
..dane
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:42 PM   #2
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Bought our Cedar Creek fiver in 2005. Never left me stranded, never had an issue outside of routine maintenance in the 12 years we owned it. If my wifes health had not deteriorated we would still have it. At that age you do need to look closely for signs of water leaks. Any RV can have hidden water damage. I always advise people to go play house in any RV their thinking about. Make notes on likes and dislikes to compare with your S.O. Pick the one you both agree on as having the fewest negatives. There are some things you will want to take care of right away if you buy it. Keep my name and send me an email. Be glad to help you out.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:36 PM   #3
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Thought I would update everyone.

First, yes, I understand water is a concerning issue. Totally do.... And I'm happy to report that through the negotiations, the dealer has agreed to repair all slide seals, master bedroom door, awning, and both rear slides' water damaged floors. They also agreed to add slide cover/awnings to the two non-cathedral slides for a few hundred dollars each. We will probably come behind them and add lower drip guards to the side of the slides so water doesn't continue wicking up around the bottom edges as has been happening.

I spoke privately with another CC owner who said they had the same issue with their floors; absolutely no water issues inside, but wicking up around underneath the bottom edge of each slide's sidewall. They just had the corners of their floors repaired and added better drip guards also. It sounds very much like what we're seeing in this unit.

From what I gather looking at rvtrader and other places, it seems that the currently negotiated rate of approx $20k (plus tax) is a pretty fair price for a 2012 Silverback 33REA -- with the dealer repairing the slide flooring, replacing outdoor slide seals, and replacing the outdoor main awning.

I know there are plenty of folks who yell "run!" at any remote sight of water, and I can respect that. But used units always have issues and these issues seem to be easily repaired and mitigated (and NOT indications of major huge leaks). The hardware seems solidly in place, the workmanship seems better than a lot of the newer ones we've walked through. Roof isn't soft, central flooring isn't soft. Still need to do the final PDI check of all the subsystems (water, electric, heat, A/C, yadda yadda yadda).

Given the above agreed upon repairs, I no longer see any major red flags against this purchase.

cheers,
..dane
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