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Old 09-25-2007, 11:46 AM   #1
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We are looking to purchase a 2001 National Tradewinds Diesel-pusher. It has been on a consignment lot for almost two years and hasn't been driven, very little, if at all.

I have heard a gas engine is more forgiving that a diesel that has been sitting a long time. Has anyone had experience with a diesel sitting for that length of time? I haven't driven or started it. What should we be aware of or expect? Would appreciate any comments from someone who has had any experience with this. (a long-sitting diesel).

Thank you.
Larry
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:46 AM   #2
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We are looking to purchase a 2001 National Tradewinds Diesel-pusher. It has been on a consignment lot for almost two years and hasn't been driven, very little, if at all.

I have heard a gas engine is more forgiving that a diesel that has been sitting a long time. Has anyone had experience with a diesel sitting for that length of time? I haven't driven or started it. What should we be aware of or expect? Would appreciate any comments from someone who has had any experience with this. (a long-sitting diesel).

Thank you.
Larry
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:33 PM   #3
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Larry,
Sorry I can't help with the diesel part, but a word about the tires: This rig probably has 7 year old tires on it, and no tire company will warrant their tires longer than that. Michelin states that after 5 years the tires should be inspected by a profesional every year. Tires that have set for two years is not a good sign either, they will not have been run enough to warm them up to let the waxes and other protectants surface so the ozone and UV light will have damaged them. Check the date codes on the tires, six 22.5" tires aren't cheap
Loren
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:26 PM   #4
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I can only relate from my diesel tractor ownership and maintenance but after talking to my FIL (long time CAT diesel guy), he said to do this at a minimum.

Change ALL engine fluids and filters including diesel fuel (drain the tank), oil, transmission, coolant (and possibly fuel injection pump oil if it requires it). All should have filters other than the injection pump. Use genuine CAT if possible or Baldwin or Wicks.

Change the air filter.

Lubricate the exhaust brake pivots and shaft (if it has one...but it should).

grease ALL zerk fittings on the tie rod ends and steering linkage, front axle king pins/knuckles, brake shaft pivots (not too much), driveshaft u-joints and slip spline and any others you find.

check the brake linings for wear, heat damage etc.

check the shocks for leaks and freedom of movement.

check the suspension bolts for proper torque as well as the lug nuts once the brakes have been checked.

If the tires were replaced while on the lot, check the mfr. dates stamped on the sides.

Most of this, if not all, is easy to do if you are mechanically inclined. If not, take it to a "qualified" motor home repair facility to perform this service. I see you are in the BIG "D". I am in So. Cal. but there is PPL motorhomes in Houston. BTW, I almost bought from them but found another in New Braunfels at Roman Holiday MH. PPL appears to have a thoroughly qualified service department but I have no personal experience.

I would make this thorough service a condition of the sale as well as a REALLY thorough Pre-Purchase Inspection. This would involve everything on, under and in the coach...period. Nothing is too insignificant...unless like I said before you are mechanically inclined and are getting a good deal.

In my case, I should have made the dealer do more but after I realized this, I took care of it myself. It was a bit of a PITA at times but I know my coach better now so I guess it was worth it.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:55 AM   #5
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Loren,Thanks for replying. This will be our third MH and I am aware that I will need to replace the tires. One of the first things I do when looking at MHs is check the age of the tires. This MH happens to have TOYO that were replaced 4 years ago because the owners were going to Alaska and did not want to have tire problems. I have a 2000 National Sea View and replaced the tires with Michelins when they were 5 yrs old with about 40K miles on them. I'm just not sure about a diesel engine that has been sitting a long time is the reason I posted that question.

Quikduk, Thanks a million. I really appreciate your advice. I just happen to be very mechanical and do all my maintenance, but I hope there is not a tank full of diesel fuel to drain. I was not aware of the other problems that you pointed out. This is a very nice coach and was owned by a FMCA director. Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly two years ago. One of the reasons I'm interested in this coach is that it is a National RV product and I have done all maintenance on my Sea View and fixed everything myself so would familiar with it.

Thanks for the heads-up on PPL and Roman Holiday. We have been to Roman several times and met John and Buzz - nice people. We're picky, but we know what we want. It will either be a Newmar or a Tradewinds if the interior is right. We have always leaned towards Newmar.
Thanks again for your detailed response.
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:26 AM   #6
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Ragman:

You are welcome and good luck.

Re: Buzz and John, they are definately very nice people and I would not hesitate to upgrade with them in the future.

Ken
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:01 PM   #7
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Several years ago I purchased a high milage Cummins out of a wrecked Dodge pickup that had sat outside for 3 or 4 years. I changed the oil and filters (lots of water, one bird's nest), replaced the lift pump (it wouldn't)and it has been pumping irrigation water ever since. My experience says to change the fluids and fire it up.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:35 PM   #8
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Ragman,

I've bought used city buses that sat for 2 and three years without starting at all (Detroit engines). Aside from making sure all the fluids are changed and the usual maintenance stuff, I never had any problems with them. They usually started after turning over 5 to 6 times.

In your case, I'm sure this vehicle was started several times, but just not run much. The only other problem I've seen is the oil bath wheel bearing seals sometimes leak with extended sitting. Although an agrevation, this is not an expensive show stopper. Personally, I wouldn't be afraid of it just because it mostly sat for two years.
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