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Old 09-14-2017, 01:58 PM   #1
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Buying used- any resource for service records?

Hello again!

We are in the process of buying a used unit. The owner has a gap of a couple of years where he has no service records. I am sure there has got to be a free or pay for service where you can enter a vin number and get the service records on that number, no matter where they were performed, isn't there?

I know my vin number is posted on every car record I have.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:16 PM   #2
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If the prior owners did not keep track of maintenance/records you can be certain it was not done.
My list is so long it would bore you.
And many don't know where the fuse box is. The most essential electrical item. There is a posting here lately " where's my hot water heater?"
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:23 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, no. Since there is no nationwide database to track and record those services, a person or business performing such service isn't required to report anything to anybody. Plus, many of us do routine maintenance ourselves so, again, there isn't any requirement or even a place to report the maintenance we've performed.

Unless the owner keeps his own records, receipts, etc., there is absolutely no requirement that anybody performing services on that motorhome report or record those services.

The only exception might be if the owner had the services exclusively performed by a factory authorized service center. Example, if the owner of a motorhome with an FCCC chassis had all services done at a Freightliner Custom Chassis factory-authorized service center, there may be a record by VIN number of the services performed.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:29 PM   #4
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No but you could have them do fluid Analise on motor and transmission before you buy it. It would tell if it has damage or over wear on them.. Or hire a good diesel shop to test and look it over for problems such as leaking gaskets or turbo damage ..
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:56 PM   #5
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Thanks! We are planning to do a fluid analysis of the oil and transmission fluid. They have all but those 2 years. We are comfortable with all other things. We have the checklist that I found on a link from this group. I appreciate all of your experience and input. this is our first class A but we have been rv'g for 15 years
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:14 PM   #6
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:59 PM   #7
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If they have all but 2 years I wouldn't be worried. I do all my own service and keep no records, I can remember in my head what I have and haven't done
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, no. Since there is no nationwide database to track and record those services, a person or business performing such service isn't required to report anything to anybody. Plus, many of us do routine maintenance ourselves so, again, there isn't any requirement or even a place to report the maintenance we've performed.

Unless the owner keeps his own records, receipts, etc., there is absolutely no requirement that anybody performing services on that motorhome report or record those services.

The only exception might be if the owner had the services exclusively performed by a factory authorized service center. Example, if the owner of a motorhome with an FCCC chassis had all services done at a Freightliner Custom Chassis factory-authorized service center, there may be a record by VIN number of the services performed.
When we bought our used RV, we asked the dealer for a CarFax report. No problem as long as the prior owner has work done at a shop that reports it to CarFax. We got very good detail from the time the chassis was built until our purchase.

We had it serviced at a local shop that does not report to CarFax, so our purchaser did not get that history. He did ask our mechanic a few questions since we had parked it there for the sale.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:09 PM   #9
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When I bought my coach the owner did not have all his service records, or those from the first owner. But he knew where he and the previous owner has servicing done. A couple phone calls and I had copies in hand. Additionally the owner had an extended warranty - a call there and I had details of what they had handled. So with a little legwork I was able to have all the periodic service records and partial repair records. Maybe you can do similar.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:18 PM   #10
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When we bought our used RV, we asked the dealer for a CarFax report. No problem as long as the prior owner has work done at a shop that reports it to CarFax. We got very good detail from the time the chassis was built until our purchase.

We had it serviced at a local shop that does not report to CarFax, so our purchaser did not get that history. He did ask our mechanic a few questions since we had parked it there for the sale.
I think you are the exception and were lucky to have had access to those records. I know in past threads both on this forum and other RV forums, most consider Carfax very limited in its use regarding maintenance on a motorhome. Since it sounds as if the OP is purchasing from a private party rather than a dealership, I'm thinking that Carfax will be of little use to them.

Again, no mechanic, RV or otherwise, is required to report to Carfax. It's mostly dealers, larger shops, and some chains. From what I am gathering, however, is that few independent RV and truck repair shops will report routine maintenance services on a motorhome to Carfax.

Even when mechanics do report to Carfax, those reports are often brief and lack detail. Sure, that's better than nothing but sometimes (from what I've heard) crucial things may be missing, i.e., correct mileage, type of parts used, type of oil used, and even sometimes the date is incorrect.

Therefore, I still think that there really is no reliable way to find missing service records since there is no required database that all must report their maintenance to. Short of the government requiring this (I'm one who doesn't want to see that kind of government regulation), I don't think we'll ever see such a reliable service database kept on each and every vehicle on the road here in the U.S.


eta: annandalex, on all the cars I've owned, most have never been back to the dealership other than for a recall issue. I either do the oil changes and routine maintenance myself or have a very small independent shop do them and any other repairs. I'm assuming if a Carfax report on any of my vehicles VIN's that I've owned through the years will not turn up much of anything. And I'm really lucky as I'm in my late 60s and have never used a body shop as I've never been in any type of major accident (yes, I"m definitely knocking on wood as I write this) so as I say, any vehicle I've ever owned, car or motorhome, will not have much on its Carfax report.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:30 PM   #11
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No but you could have them do fluid Analise on motor and transmission before you buy it. It would tell if it has damage or over wear on them.. Or hire a good diesel shop to test and look it over for problems such as leaking gaskets or turbo damage ..
Good idea but it won't catch something like a valve about to break. Had an oil analysis run, nothing but a little high on the iron. Cummuns said it was due to storage. 2,200 miles later a valve broke. $33,000 in repairs.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:45 PM   #12
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Carfax has limited abilities with a coach. As with any other vehicle, it will only show things that are reported by government agencies such as title transfers and crashes. If a tree falls and knocks the overhang off in your driveway, that won't be recorded.
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