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Old 06-10-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
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Older 5er

I was looking at purchasing a 2001 Keystone Montana. I was wondering if a 11 year old 5er is still good for long distance travel. Do frames and such get aged and tend to crack? Are there roof issues in regard to older fifth wheels? thanks
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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I sold my 33' 2000 Skyline Nomad toy hauler last June when I bought my MH and it was in fair to good condition. There was normal wear and tear. The awning needed new fabric or repair, but it had good 16" Yokohama LT tires. There was no structural damage and everything worked. It all depends on how the PO maintained it. The roof did need patching on one edge.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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I've read to figure 12 years on a rubber roof if it hasn't been damaged and if it's been uncovered in medium weather. See also the post on re-covering a roof - it's doable with help if you're ok with walking on top the rig. The worst foe to frames is overloading; hard to check. Length is also a factor, as long distances from wheels to the hitch or to the rear (especially with a heavier rear kitchen) tend to create more flexes over time.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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A lot depends on the original frame and how well it was designed and how heavy the frame was built. We had a 1979 Silver streak and this year sold out 1989 Avion. Both of these were very well designed RVs and would hold up for the long haul.

Check the frame and suspension for wear and rust. The suspension bolts tend to wer because not too many manufacturers use a wet bolt suspension that you can lubricate.

Check the rig over for any water intrusion. Before you hit the road, pull the wheels and inspect the brakes, repack the wheel bearings, and check the date codes on the tires (5 to 7 years is the max for a trailer tire, never mind the thread depth).

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
check the date codes on the tires (5 to 7 years is the max for a trailer tire, never mind the thread depth).

Ken
If you have or had an ST trailer tire last 5-7 years, put a patent on it and buy a lottery ticket.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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This 2001 Montana trailer looks to be maintained really well. If I negotiate a new roof into the deal with the dealer, what should I figure is a ball park value of a re-roof? The trailer is a 30'.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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My guess is that it will cost you a lot more than it costs them. A lot more. No idea how much though. Never had it done.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:11 PM   #8
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To do a total recoat with edpm rubber, I had 3 full days labor preping and $600.00 material on a 27 with 1 slide. It was 18 yrs old and did really not need a recoat. Trailer outside on desert for 8 of the 18 yrs.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
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Inspect, inspect, inspect before you buy. If it is of any value: I purchased a used Fleetwood Wilderness. Was not pulled much so I am not sure if that contributed to the overall condition or not. It was kept in a very dry climate (Southern CA). Rubber roof is still in excellent condition even after 12 years of harsh sun. Everything looked great and everything factory still works like it did they day it must have been new. All I did was upgrade the inside to bring it up to date. All fluff. I have not had any issues with anything. Put upgraded tires and rims on it. Original electric breaks and bearing still good. Slides all work with no issues and all the appliances and air conditioning and heat work as they should. So age depends on how the rig was taken care of. If you can find a used rig like that I think you will be OK. Just inspect the heck out of it and make sure all the area's you can physically see are not compromised in any way. Good luck and get a second opinion from someone who knows RV's well if you are unsure. I lucked out. If you do not get the Montana good luck in your search for a rig. I picked the Fleetwood up for $6000. It was a steal. Family was desperate to sell because they lost their home. There was nothing wrong with the 5ver.. I just happen to fall into a great deal. I towed it 1200 miles with no issues at all and now I am vacationing in the Pacific Northwest with it and knock on wood all is still well.

Let us know how you make out ....
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:48 AM   #10
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Hope you enjoy your rv whatever you get.my 2 cents are my experience.I have an 03 coacchmen,it has probably 60k towing miles and still going strong,my suggestion is get the mechanics done or verified then maintain it well with good tires and brakess.We are on the road this yr with the first major trip at 7k miles.Last yr I came back in with brake issues,intermitant,so I replaced magnets brakes with the complete assembly,new plug ins truck and trailer.They work fine again.You can do this in your drive if you are a little mechanical less than a day with coffee brakes,replaced bearings and seals at same time.When you get done you will know what you have but to start get as good an inspection as you can then maintain your older rv.There are lots of them on the road.jeffp
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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Try asking your question on the Montana forum: Montana Owner's Club Discussion Forum - Powered by ForumCo.com - The Forum Company
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:58 PM   #12
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We are a young family in our 30's that needed a nice 5th wheel for week-end camping. I posed the question to our dealer that if I had x dollars to speand, on a trailer that fits my purpose, am I better to find a 10 yr old high end coach, or a newer middle end one. He didn't hesitate to tell me to buy the newer one because of newer appliances, AC ect. I took his advise and we found the rig in our signature with plastic still on the carpet. That being said, the folks traded a 1998 Alpenlite on their 2013 Montana. The Alpenlite was very solid, excellent craftsmanship, and we wouldn't hesitate to pull it anywhere....and because of the excellent condition...didn't last a week on the lot. For what we do we're happy with our coach. Maybe when the kids are grown we'll update to a higher end couples coach, but for now this works just fine.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #13
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It's not the years... it's the mileage. Rigs can be well maintained but with many miles you really have to disassemble the springs and shackles and pull the hubs and look for wear. Hubs can be out of true, or have bad brakes or magnets, bad bearings, springs, or even worn out shackle bolts. Trust me, nothing will ruin a trip faster then a folded up axle because a shackle bolt broke. You can live with a non working furnace, a light that's gone, or even a stove. Try living with unable to pull it and these problems can't bee seen in advance unless a look see is done.
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
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I have a 2002 Keystone Cougar on a Lippert frame. No issues with cracking, bending, anything with the frame or suspension (shackles, springs, etc.). I inspected the rubber roof this past week. Found one small tear, probably from a tree branch which would be my fault. This rubber roof and the one I had previously on a Fleetwood product seemed to last and wear well. Worse case scenario, I think, would be to use the rubber roof sealer if necessary. A complete new rubber roof would not be necessary IMHO.
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