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Old 05-21-2014, 07:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
What year Monaco were you looking at. I would agree this was a good idea to check any coach out, but if you were looking at a 10+ year old coach, it's going to have some issues.
The coach was 10 years old but water can find its way in even with newer coaches. Yes, you have to consider that older coaches, especially those with a few miles, will have some issues and I had actually budgeted for doing some repairs, but not $30,000 worth.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:26 PM   #16
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Not to minimize your experience, but I wonder how many rigs could pass a test where a moisture meter is jammed everywhere you can think of (those things are very sensitive.) I don't know anything about the unit in question and perhaps it was indeed a dog, but if there was no visible discoloration or damage present then the panel might experience a problem in 2 months... or 2 years... or 20 years... just like every other RV on the road. I would expect that the current owner of the vehicle could skip that '$25,000 repair' and be just fine. Similarly, I wonder how many RVs on the road today have lines rubbing somewhere, or some rust, or could use new airbags, etc.

Point being, certainly be aware and informed before you buy... but it's also true that if you look hard enough for reasons it would probably be easy to disqualify most all used vehicles on the road past a few years old, much less 10 years old.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:20 AM   #17
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I have always expected used to mean used. Especially ten years used. You find out whats wrong and price accordingly. I wouldn't turn down a mechanically perfect coach for a leak or two. The leaks always come up, eventually with all coaches. Finding a mechanically good unit that's been well maintained is the hard part. Of course I dont have un-limited funds to purchase a perfect coach either. Good find but not sure I would have passed. Might have gotten it for a steal after the report came out. Of course the dealer is going to tell you the most profitable repair for them as well. A $10 tube of caulk may have fixed it!
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:35 AM   #18
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My coach had some previous water infiltration on a side wall. It was repaired when it was discovered and it hasn't suffered any ill effects from that event. Like another said, a tube of caulk or some Eternabond may have fixed that issue forever.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by smiller View Post
Not to minimize your experience, but I wonder how many rigs could pass a test where a moisture meter is jammed everywhere you can think of (those things are very sensitive.)
Yes a moisture meter is sensitive but its readout is not the primary issue when identifying moisture incursion. You take a random reading in a location most likely to be dry, such as in the middle of a large expanse away from any seams, and not the readout. Then, you work around the RV looking for any significant variance. If the unit is dry, the readings will be similar all around.

Quote:
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I would expect that the current owner of the vehicle could skip that '$25,000 repair' and be just fine. Similarly, I wonder how many RVs on the road today have lines rubbing somewhere, or some rust, or could use new airbags, etc.
The current owner is an RV dealership and they dropped the asking price on coach even before I sent them an email canceling our purchase. Yes, I'm sure many rigs have maintenance and repair issues that require attention and I was not expecting to find a unit in "showroom condition", in fact I had budgeted up to $10k for repairs to bring it up to snuff. It is true that I could have renegotiated a lower price but my goal was to find a reliable rig, within my budget, for retirement travel. I was not looking for a make work project or an opportunity to review roadside assistance packages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smiller View Post
Point being, certainly be aware and informed before you buy... but it's also true that if you look hard enough for reasons it would probably be easy to disqualify most all used vehicles on the road past a few years old, much less 10 years old.
I appreciate and respect your feedback smiler, your points are all valid. If I have to look "hard enough" to find defects, the units is likely satisfactory but the exorbitant cost required to make this a good quality 10-year old coach was too much. There are lots of good quality 10 year old coaches out there so why would someone want to pay a similar amount for one that needs a ton of work?
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:35 AM   #20
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My coach had some previous water infiltration on a side wall. It was repaired when it was discovered and it hasn't suffered any ill effects from that event. Like another said, a tube of caulk or some Eternabond may have fixed that issue forever.
If I discover the problem after I had purchased it, I would likely have tried that as well but why would anyone buy a coach after finding it had a problem like this when there are many others for sale that are dry and whose exterior wall is not delaminated?
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:38 AM   #21
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Because I bought it $30,000 under book I have no outside delamination and only a bit of stained wallpaper on the inside. It was worth it to me.

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If I discover the problem after I had purchased it, I would likely have tried that as well but why would anyone buy a coach after finding it had a problem like this when there are many others for sale that are dry and whose exterior wall is not delaminated?
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:59 AM   #22
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I'm curious why you'd consider going 3,000 miles from home to buy a used MH.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
What year Monaco were you looking at. I would agree this was a good idea to check any coach out, but if you were looking at a 10+ year old coach, it's going to have some issues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_H View Post
The coach was 10 years old
Yes, you have to consider that older coaches, especially those with a few miles, will have some issues
Ron_H
You are definitely taking the right steps when coach shopping.

Keep in mind that every coach ages!
A 10 year old coach, (even one with relatively few issues that have not already been corrected), will be 15 years old in 5 years.
During that 5 years the coach WILL have many issues, some only minor and irritating, (and inexpensive to correct)... some major.

I have driven/used my 18 year old coach for 14 years, (105 k miles).
Based on my experience, one thing is perfectly clear to me... coach ownership is an expensive proposition!

Good luck with your search.

Mel
'96 Safari, 132k miles, (mine since '01)
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:33 PM   #24
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I'm curious why you'd consider going 3,000 miles from home to buy a used MH.
I have looked at many units much closer to home but I have simply not found the right unit at the right price nearby. This coach satisfied our needs and wants and to me, distance is an adventure not a hindrance.

I have purchased a number of motorcycles from distant locations and always enjoyed the ride home and the opportunity it gave me to become familiar with each of the bikes. I didn't see any major reason for a motorhome purchase to be any different. I figured by the time I drove home alone I would be more familiar with the coach than I would have been after several weeks of traveling around with the DW.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:49 PM   #25
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Remote Purchasing

I was quite intimidated at first of buying remotely, given the dollar values and all. After doing it the first time I'm quite pleased and you're right, driving it home afterwards you become much more familiar with it a lot quicker.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:39 PM   #26
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My wife and I thought we had found the right DP to purchase but It was located at a dealer more than 3,000 miles away. The dealer provided us with a 20-minute video tour along with over 130 photos of the unit and all the defects and blemishes, including the need for new tires all the way around.

After a great deal of difficulty I finally hired an RV inspector and diesel mechanic who I felt were qualified to do a proper inspection. Part of my pre-qualification of an RV inspector was to find one that used a moisture meter. This was both difficult and expensive, costing $400 for the 5-6 hour inspection and report time, plus $150 mileage charge as the inspector had to travel 130 miles to the MH location. The chassis inspection cost $180, the minimum charge for the mobile mechanical service contracted for the job.

It turned out that the moisture meter played a very important part as it uncovered water damage that the dealer was not aware of and even the RV inspector stated there were no visual signs of moisture penetration. The dealer and inspector videoed a re-inspection of the problematic area and no visual indicators were present. Other than that, the inspector confirmed that the coach was generally as advertised.

The chassis inspection turned up some additional surprises that were only evident from under the chassis and buried inside the engine bay. The underside of the engine battery tray was rusted to the point of requiring immediate repair to prevent the batteries from being dumped into the engine pulley system. Oddly, this was the only rust issue. There was also an exhaust leak that required attention, as it was a serious safety issue. The mechanic also listed a number of other problems that did not require immediately repair but would in the near future including, all new airbags, a water pump update common to the Cummins ISL, a number of brake and hydraulic lines either rubbing or nearing end of life.

More problems than I had expected but potentially still manageable on the mechanical end if the dealer and I could negotiate a new purchase price.

I then tackled the wall moisture issue by sending a copy of the inspection video to Monaco and asking for a repair estimate. The moisture was found in a 6 ft strip, about 12 at the top, running down the wall immediately behind the forward slide on the driverís side. Monaco quickly got back to me, advising that the complete sidewall would have to be replaced and that also meant a repaint. The cost, about $25,000, but the cost could be discounts somewhat if the repair was done during the slower winter season.

In summary, I was cautious and did the work required to do a professional inspection of the coach and chassis. I spent $730, which seemed to me to be greatly overpriced but ended up potentially saving myself tens of thousands of dollars and many sleepless nights. It sometimes takes care and hard work to do things the right way, but its can have a huge payback.

I retire in just a few days (end of May) and I had hoped to find the right coach by then but the search goes on and whatever I end up choosing will certainly have undergone a professional coach and chassis inspection.
What exactly is the moisture test ?
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:29 PM   #27
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A moisture meter is a probe that's used alot by home restoration and water-damage companies (ServPro) in order to find moisture behind wall surfaces.

It works by electrical connectivity as measured between the two probes, much like a continuity test with electrical items.

Basically, if there's continuity between the probes, then there's water/moisture where there shouldn't be.

Who, What, Why, When and Where are questions that are raised, not answered.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:07 PM   #28
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There are also pinless moisture meters that do not have probes and can be used to check walls without leaving pinholes.
Pinless Moisture Meter

I now have my own meter and used it before buying our recent acquisition. I figure it is not only good for checking out a coach before making a purchase but also for validating any suspected leaks that might occur. The real trick is in learning how to use it and how to interpret its information. The meter can alert you to moisture in the wall but the old time wall rapping is still needed to identify any delamination.
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