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Old 03-13-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
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Purchase advice please! Hold the salt!

I am about to purchase our first coach (2008 32' class C) next week. I have a short list of three to choose from, one in Florida, one in Texas and the last one is in Michigan. All things considered equal, should I take my mechanics advice and stay away from the coach that's been in the salted road environment up north? It happens to be my personal favorite but I'd be happy with the others as well. Is chassis corrosion a significant issue? I've not any experience with this, we don't salt much in Louisiana! Except our crawfish.......
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:13 PM   #2
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No salt!!!! If it's been close to any salt water in Florida or here in Texas the shinny parts will have corrosion!
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:21 PM   #3
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For the most part most RVs usually wait out the winter months, in the north, in storage. I don't know many that take them out on salted roads. It should not be an issue as it would be with a car.

Good luck with your choice. Keep us posted and Happy Trails!!
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:31 PM   #4
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Avoid the salt. It's a cancer that cannot be cured.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:49 PM   #5
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Agree with pp probably never have been driven in winter up north. Florida from ocean salt another issue. I would go with the one you like your going to be spending time in it. I would also make sure you have studied the floor plan, corner beds for us were terrible corner cut off hard in/out making bed..just saying. Like the floor plan and if you can't feel it or touch it hire a pro to check it out. Good luck let us know what you get.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:10 AM   #6
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Ask for chassis pictures, you can't really hide a rusty chassis.


If you get really horrible pics (dark, blurry, taken from across the field, etc..) in return, then you have your answer.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:47 AM   #7
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For cars, driven on salty roads for months on end, the calcium chloride is a cancer but for RV, seldom driven on salty roads, moisture is a far more insidious and invasive demon.

While looking for our current coach I made a deal on what seemed like a great coach in central Florida. It was bought in Florida and was never driven in the salty northern winters. With that coach being a great distance away, I found and hired both a RV inspector and a heavy duty diesel mechanic to examine the rig. To my amazement, the mechanic found rust so pervasive that the battery tray was virtually ready to drop and the RV inspector found delamination in one of the walls that was undetectable with the naked eye. Fortunately the purchase agreement I entered into had a clause allowing me to backout if the inspection uncovered any major flaws and back out I did.

I later heard comments by a number of RV sales people stating they did not like to take trade-ins from Gulf Coast states and preferred buying ones from northern states and Canada where internal moisture was less of an issue and more visibly evident when present.
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:51 AM   #8
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My motor homes have never been out on Michigan salty roads. Mostly here we put them in storage prior to snow and roads needing salt. And don't bring them out until spring, after the snow has melted, with a few spring showers to wash the roads off. Like other people have said, I'd be more worried about ocean salt.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:16 PM   #9
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I'm on coach #4 now, the first three all had spent time in IN, OH, and all three had significant rust damage... all worse than I thought even tho I examined underneath prior to purchase... and one of those I purchased in FL. Many people don't care about rust, but I don't need the anguish!!
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:43 PM   #10
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Hi geardown,
An onsite inspection by you or a professional will provide the answer about corrosion. Per the previous posts, the inspection needs to look at the entire coach. roof to suspension. Ocean salt is also bad for a coach, just in different places than road salt.
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:10 PM   #11
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I wouldn't eliminate an RV for purchase because it's presently located in the north. I purchased an RV from Wyoming. I did a Carfax before purchase and found it has spent time in Georgia, Arizona, etc. Also, as has been said, RVs are seldom driven in snow or ice (salted roads) so it shouldn't be a major factor. Pick the unit that makes you happy after a close inspection, not it's present location.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:43 PM   #12
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Just traded my class C in Grand Rapids (Winne Access 31) lived its whole life in MASS. never been in salt. Garaged all winter. Check and see where it came from.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:50 PM   #13
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You have to thoroughly inspect any RV, regardless of where it comes from.

One trip over salted roads, or a day parked on a beach is not alot of difference. One trip out and the rig not rinsed off can cause alot of damage.

Humidity can be a big problem as mentioned above. So every region has it's issues, as well as if someone was diligent with cleanup and maintenance. Sadly, few are.
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:06 AM   #14
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thank you for your help! how did the rust damage present itself, through corroded fittings or wiring? Was it expensive to correct? I'm just curious where, on the underside, I should be focusing during my inspection. Again, Thank You!
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