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Old 05-06-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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Mileage on a used DP

My wife and I are looking at a tag axle DPs and may place an offer on one tomorrow. I retire at the end of tbhis month and my wife will be joining me in the post workday world in August. We plan to travel the US and Canada travelling about 9 month of the year for the next five or so years.

The unit we're looking at is a 2004 Monaco Dynasty 42 ft, with a Cummins 400 ISL and 4-slides. It appears to be in reasonable condition but it has 91,000 miles on it. If we make an offer, it will be contingent on having an RV Inseption service check it out and it receiving a clean bill of health, other than the items already disclosed by the dealer.

So... what are your opinions on the age and miles? The closing price would be below the NADA Low Retail.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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Miles are basically never an issue with a diesel pusher. Lack of miles is probably worse, because that means it's been sitting and not used. A Cummins ISL is good for hundreds of thousands of miles.

There are lots of good 2004 units out there, if they've been well maintained. If the inspection checks out, I think you're probably fine.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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Mileage isn't even a factor in NADA valuation for used DPs. That engine is hardly broken in, if it has been well-maintained. That's the most difficult thing to evaluate.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:27 PM   #4
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its not the milage on the engine or trans. x amount of miles means twisting and racking of the house portion. no way to get away from it. more miles more loosening.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:16 PM   #5
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Due diligence on engine oil and trans samples. Full review of the documented maintenance. (Documented with receipts, not just a log or spread sheet.) (Unless it's a private seller, and you get a good vibe about the condition of the coach and pride of ownership. Even then, validate anyways with engine and trans samples. As those that are looking for our money, walk amongst us!) (Documentation, did I mention documentation? Documentation of maintenance is king - and worth paying a bit for, if the coach condition and layout satisfy you...)

I'd also drop into the Monaco section, and ask for specific 'what to look out for's' on that specific year and model coach. Side radiators were a problem in 2004 for many manufacturers, with an aluminum problem proned unit. Is just one thing to ask about.

Also, validate if the ISL is a CAPS or the next generation with the Variable Geometry Turbo. Not a deal killer, but the 2004 model year could have a 2003 CAPS era ISL very easily. And that would be a bit of a bargaining item to use.

Miles? If properly maintained, agree the engine and trans have lots of life ahead for you... And also agree, that many nice coaches exists - so don't be afraid to move onto another rig if you feel any concerns at all...

Please let us know what you find, and best of luck to you,
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Miles are basically never an issue with a diesel pusher. Lack of miles is probably worse, because that means it's been sitting and not used. A Cummins ISL is good for hundreds of thousands of miles.

There are lots of good 2004 units out there, if they've been well maintained. If the inspection checks out, I think you're probably fine.
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Mileage isn't even a factor in NADA valuation for used DPs. That engine is hardly broken in, if it has been well-maintained. That's the most difficult thing to evaluate.
X3

I think the point about NADA not even allowing you to enter mileage when calculating the value of a DP is pretty telling.

Best of luck.

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Old 05-06-2014, 07:34 PM   #7
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I agree, the maintenance is more important than the mileage.
91k on a well maintained diesel is negligible.
91k on a neglected diesel could get expensive.......
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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Oil samples will tell you nothing. I can change the oil, go home and park it waiting for someone to purchase. When they demand a oil sample, I say sure and do it. Seeing as how I just changed the oil, there aren't enough contaminants in it to give a good indication of the motor.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:25 PM   #9
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Service Records No Need

A well known trucking company with 100's of trucks, located here in Iowa bought new trucks and never changed oil for 3 years, then traded them off with 300-400,000 miles on them. Maybe not the best maintenance program, but it does show, that you can get a lot of miles on a diesel and not be so worried about maintenance records.

When truckers buy a used truck, they only do two things. 1) put it on a computer, which will tell you almost everything. 2) they do an oil analysis which will tell you everything you ever needed to know about wear and the condition of the engine.

Do the same with any motorhome you are considering buying. Mostly look at all the other equipment, air conditioners, refrigerators, furnaces, inverters, batteries, tires, paint and glass, because that is what you will work on, not the chassis.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:59 AM   #10
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If it's been well maintained then 91,000 is no problem!
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:43 AM   #11
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91,000 miles is barely broken in for a diesel. It is the rest of the systems where you could have problems. Have an inspection done, and if the coach has been well maintained you will have found your "gem". Good luck with your search!!
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:52 AM   #12
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I would buy that one over a 2004 with 8000 miles every time. When it has 91000 miles it has been used and likely all systems were kept in at least operable condition. Who knows how long a super-low mileage rig has been sitting. Stuff that sits deteriorates and it will break when you need it most.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_H View Post
My wife and I are looking at a tag axle DPs and may place an offer on one tomorrow. I retire at the end of tbhis month and my wife will be joining me in the post workday world in August. We plan to travel the US and Canada travelling about 9 month of the year for the next five or so years.

The unit we're looking at is a 2004 Monaco Dynasty 42 ft, with a Cummins 400 ISL and 4-slides. It appears to be in reasonable condition but it has 91,000 miles on it. If we make an offer, it will be contingent on having an RV Inseption service check it out and it receiving a clean bill of health, other than the items already disclosed by the dealer.

So... what are your opinions on the age and miles? The closing price would be below the NADA Low Retail.
This is one of my favorite topics. Fellow airline pilot, retired Captain Joe Mitchell, owned around a dozen various motorhomes during his career and points out that the worst one he ever had was a Blue Bird with low mileage.

Consistent maintenance is the key; mileage becomes merely a part of the larger picture. I owned a former NASCAR bus, took it from 84,000 to nearly 100,000 miles in two years of ownership. I pointed out to dealers that the NADA specifically exempts mileage from valuation in its book for DPs; they countered that no matter what the book says, the market reacts badly to odometer readings on RVs. I'll give 'em that: buyers are frequently overwhelmed, make bad choices.

'Turns out, I traded my rig at a dealer who already had a savvy buyer lined up. Not only did I get full trade-in value for my Fleetwood, they offered me the position of maintenance manager after they drove my rig!

Sure, they might've been kidding; but, the message was loud and clear: a well-maintained rig with many miles beats the daylights out of one that has been parked much of its life, with low mileage and nominal care.

I'd only take mileage into consideration insofar as potential buyers make the mistake of rating RVs like they do automobiles when it comes to miles. In reality, miles might not matter.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:47 PM   #14
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Thanks for your postings, comments and advise all.

In a continuation of this odyssey, I came to terms on closing the deal on this unit, subject to inspection and I have started a new threat seeking recommendations for an RV inspection service.

RV Inspection Required in Central Florida

Retirement is now a short three weeks away and it looks like I may have found the doorway to the next chapter of our lives.
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