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Old 02-03-2016, 07:23 PM   #1
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Is this a good 1st RV?

Hi all! Would you mind looking at this ad and telling me what you can about the motor, transmission, chassis, etc. I am a first time buyer with no experience RVing and very little mechanical knowledge. Not much that I am not willing to try though! I once changed the water pump in my Olds Delta 88 because I got mad at my now ex husband for dragging his feet on it! Anyway, thanks for any input!

We are selling our 1988 Coachmen Sportscoach Pathfinder. 31 ft long long class A motorhome. Approx 69,000 original miles. Rock solid 454 big block V8 motor with 350 turbo transmission runs great and was just completely serviced and inspected. AC blows freezing cold air, propane furnace will make you sweat! Water heater and water pump work perfectly. Generator needs tune-up, but we haven't gotten to it yet. 30 amp service. Roof and windows recently resealed. New pressure increasing shower head installed. New bathroom vent and fan. New door entry latch/lock installed. Propane tank has T-piece for additional tank or appliance hookup. New residential size queen mattress. 32 inch flat screen TV. CB radio works. New CD player/radio with AUX cord hookup. Tons of basement storage. Outside pull out table. Electric entry steps. Tires are approx 2 years old. No spare tire.
Inside was recently completely redone and redecorated (1980's mauve is loooong gone!). New vinyl wood plank flooring. New leather nail head futon, captain seat covers, subway tile in kitchen, all cabinets freshly painted. Split bathroom has separate toilet/shower room with vanity outside. $7500
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:47 PM   #2
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The transmission would be a T400 or possibly T425. Only way it would be a T350 is if somebody had replaced it with a T350, not very likely
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:01 PM   #3
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The transmission would be a T400 or possibly T425. Only way it would be a T350 is if somebody had replaced it with a T350, not very likely
thinking the same
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:05 PM   #4
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without seeing it, it's hard to tell. I do say, it sounds good as long as there isn't water damage from a/c or roof vents leaking. Hard to get something that does not need work for that price. Genny needing tune up might be more than spark plugs, points or wires. If it can start and at least power up things, that's a start
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:08 PM   #5
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I'm assuming it's this one?1988 Coachmen Sportscoach Pathfinder , Concordia MO - - RVtrader.com
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:13 PM   #6
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looking at the pictures I see a bad countertop rework and the flooring looks not so good either. Countertop would not be that costly to replace but, I wonder about the quality of the other repairs after seeing those
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:25 AM   #7
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The dog in the photos would be a concern to me. Does it smell like dogs? Maybe not on a dry day, but what about on a humid day? Or, after the RV has been closed up for a week or so?

Eliminating pet odors may be an expensive proposition depending on how/where the problem is.

Don't get me wrong. I like dogs and cats. It is just that different folks have different ideas of a clean smell. Allergies can be an issue as well.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:41 AM   #8
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Reminds me of my old Pace Arrow. Looks in good shape for its age, but as other posters have mentioned any RV of this vintage will have some issues.

I remember my Pace Arrow needed the exhaust manifold gasket replaced. If you go see it listen closely to the engine for a "tap, tap, tap" noise that changes with engine speed. Not a huge deal, but something to consider.

I have to wonder why people would put pictures of a huge dog in their ads?
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:36 AM   #9
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I am not experienced RV driver. I haven't been on this forum that long either, but.....I am VERY experienced vehicle buyer and seller (I owned two car dealerships in the past). I am also very experienced in mechanical/restoration work on different vehicles.

IF this RV looks appealing to you (only YOU can answer that question), there is NOTHING that can't be fixed mechanically, and/or cosmetically (if you are concerned about cosmetics).

I am seeing a rig that's "been ridden hard, and put away wet" if you know what I mean. Somebody tried to make it look better (after years of neglect), and slapped in (I use this term to describe unprofessional workmanship) some flooring, paint (on cabinets), and a makeshift countertop.

If the current owners consider this to be a "remodel", then I can only imagine how regularly it was serviced, and how thoroughly mechanical issues have been taken care off.

$7500.- doesn't buy much in the RV world, but if you look long and hard, you can find an older rig that has the original/undamaged cabinets, countertops, and flooring for about 10K. This one might look like a bargain at 7500, but the difference will be eaten up VERY quickly. Pictures don't even show water/mold damage, or oil/grease leaks underneath. You have no idea about the condition of the brakes/shocks/transmission........do I need to go on?

If someone wants to live on the cheap (with his/her dog) parked somewhere (and has VERY low expectations/self esteem), one can find cheaper shelter.

If someone wants to take this "on the road",.... rig like this needs to be "zeroed out" (meaning: EVERYTHING needs to be brought up to date), and that gets expensive quickly. To "zero out" something like this can add up to 10K or more (all services, brakes, shocks, tires, roof sealing, appliances in good working order,....and then.....REPAIRS!). And that's 10K AFTER the purchase price!

Do yourself a favor........WAIT. Look for one owner rig, that's been taken care off. One that has all the books, manuals, log book, and all services (documented!) performed as scheduled. You might have to pay a little more, but you will be saving money actually (not to mention saving nerves, gray hairs, and sleepless nights). Rigs like that can be found on RV Trader, Craigslist, and local adds. You need to go and look at least ten of them (just to learn what to look for), before you make a decision.

Stay away from any water damaged rigs, or any that don't have documentation. Once you pick what you want, pop on here and folks will help you.

Of course,.......IF this rig meets your expectations, and you plan to spend another 5-6K on bringing it up to date (services/mechanical), before you take it 2-3000 miles away,.......it's doable. All I see is poor attention to detail, "remodeling" on the "budget" (actually, "remodeling" it with no budget at all!), and neglect. Personally, I would not pay more than 2K for something like that (and that's being kind).

IF you want this one.......the smartest money you can spend is to contract an inspection service that specialize in RV prepurchase inspections, in your area (could cost anywhere from 2-600 bucks). Remember,......not your local mechanic shop,....."RV prepurchase inspection" is what you need to look for. They will go through the rig, and point all issues (and the possible cost to remedy them). If you start shopping/inspecting 10 rigs, inspection by itself will get expensive. You WILL either pay in repairs later (issues that were concealed from you by the seller), or in the cost of the rig (or multiple inspections) up front. There is no other way (unless one is very lucky, runs into an honest seller, or is VERY knowledgeable about the RVs).

Sorry.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:08 AM   #10
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The transmission would be a T400 or possibly T425. Only way it would be a T350 is if somebody had replaced it with a T350, not very likely
Agree with this ^^^^ T350 will not hold up if towing with this.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:17 AM   #11
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I would save up a little more and get something better. That looks like a lot of overhang behind those rear wheels. After having a P30 chassis I would never own another one.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:18 AM   #12
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. Generator needs tune-up, but we haven't gotten to it yet.

This really means, " The generator hasn't worked properly in years."

......just saying.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:23 AM   #13
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Do yourself a favor........WAIT. Look for one owner rig, that's been taken care off. One that has all the books, manuals, log book, and all services (documented!) performed as scheduled. You might have to pay a little more, but you will be saving money actually (not to mention saving nerves, gray hairs, and sleepless nights). Rigs like that can be found on RV Trader, Craigslist, and local adds. You need to go and look at least ten of them (just to learn what to look for), before you make a decision.

.

This is great in theory. The odds of finding a one owner sub 10k price range RV is not good to say the least. You may find one that is "someone's baby" but one owner, log book, records, etc......probably not.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:23 AM   #14
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The bread truck chassis would be more of concern for me and I am a Chevy man but don't like the p chassis if you get this one I don't care what your next one is it will drive better
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