Originally Posted by Murf2u
Funny, I just looked on RV Trader, there's pages and pages of diesel Ford and Sprinters. Surprising how many of them are only a few years old and listed for $35k to $50k, less than one third to half price in just a few years.
Not wishing to be a downer, but... The industry is flying high right now in the face of fuel prices that threatened to kill it for the past several years. This is because the current generation of retiring boomers are jumping into RVs. The boomer generation lasted perhaps five years. I'm on the tail end of that era.
So as the new RVers get tired of them, prices will probably collapse for all the brands that do not have features that set them above others. People come with all types of logic circuits which is why there are many successful brands. Dissimilar people looking at the same things will see, hear, and smell the same object with different insights.
You clearly service the "tinkerer" mind set. I'm of the type that prefers NOT to have to rebuild the errors of the manufacturer on a daily basis. FORD
= Fix or Repair Daily (a common joke, another is Ford built it first Chevy built it Right).
It's the job of sales people to figure out what is important to people.
An old Chevy for sure, service anywhere and plentiful parts, from many, many vendors, which means no being held for ransom by the OEM company because they have a monopoly.
Having received over $300,000 (for myself and others) in warranty compensation from US brands GM, Ford, Chrysler,as well as Honda and and others in "secret" and denied warranty on items which were often NOT covered according to the dealer I have a different perspective. Having placed many a call to the CEO of these corporations I trust the more venerable brands which dodn't make me waste my time in arguing over their defective products (like the 20 million GM series 200 transmissions, or the millions of Fords with the wrong sized pistons, or the defective transmission seals in certain Chrysler models and bad head gaskets, fenders, upholstery and wheels on some Honda models. All makers have their problems. Toyota has huge issues with poor customer service and a myriad of defects in design, particular unintended acceleration and erratic braking and in their Hybrids.
The OEM companies from my experience cannot always be trusted to provide a replacement part of equal quality. GM had quite a BATTLE (Ford and Chrysler benefited from this) with the industry suppliers because their cost of verifying the quality of those OEM parts was prohibitive. They essentially told their suppliers that if they didn't improve their quality and stopped shipping their defective parts to GM they'd go elsewhere (overseas) for parts. A typical box of SCREWS for example would generally contain 103 of these. Two of three might be missing their heads or the sockets would be unformed. We all know about GM's latest publicly revealed ignition switch issues. THE US makers are notorious for hiding and ignoring defects. The "foreign" makers are far better (but not guiltless as well at times).
Finding replacement radiators, starters, and other items from the (former) Big Three has often been a nightmare. I found that they seldom stocked any parts for products. A car I purchased around 1973 had 5 replacement engines (under warranty) but the real problem was it sat on the back lot of the dealer for 18 of it's first 36 months because there were no parts for it.
I don't share your enthusiasm for dealers of the bye gone era. One of the locals that I dislike the most is a Mercedes-Benz dealer
who has the most ignorant and sloppy service staff I have ever encountered. They once failed to service my car properly and returned it to me with a flat tire.
Case in point, the EXACT same HID headlight ballast is used in a Chrysler Pacifica, Volkswagens and Mercedes. If you buy it from Chrysler it's $162, if you buy it from Volksy it's $92, if you buy it from Benz it's $622.
Not unusual for many items across the market. The internet makes it easy to find out such things and public pressure on makers can affect the occurrence of pricing travesties. The Neiman keys I have in my pockets (one with the VW logo and in the other pocket one from Mercedes Benz, were at one time $620 each. They are still outrageous, but can be easily had, and programmed for 1/10 of that now.
I hope you still enjoy that M-B diesel after it's out of warranty.
I won't keep it that long. Although to be fair, since the printed warranty does not prevent defects from being covered under the implied warranty of merchantability I'd have no fear of manufacturer's defects being covered BECAUSE it's a Mercedes-Benz truck engine. I do not have the same level of confidence with the products of the Big Two or the Japanese because they have wasted so much of my time as I forced them to repair their mistakes. The BEST manufacturers I've dealt with over the past 40 years have been Volkswagen, and Honda. By the way, GM and Chrysler were both my customers. I walked the floors of their plants in Maryland and Delaware (and MB in Stuttgart, and Winnebago in Forest City Iowa).
As I mentioned before, or maybe I didn't, at least $200,000 of warranty work that I had done for myself and others was on vehicles where the owner was told by the Dealer that the damage was not covered by warranty. A woman who worked with my wife had a camshaft break in her Ford Mustang (another common problem, they broke and wore off the cam lobes by the tens of thousands). I found out that she had paid a local Ford dealer over $400 to replace that defectively sourced OEM
cam. I called her, advised her on the proper LEGAL procedure for seeking a refund (she should NEVER have paid in the first place). She had her money back in 3 days.
Same with numerous series 200 GM transmissions, Ford pistons, Chryslers, Hondas, and others where I helped people (and myself with 5 Chevy S5 transmissions, 5 Olds V8 Diesels, Ford pistons etc. etc.) The Chrysler Minivan is notorious in that era you talk about for burning oil due to valve stem seals. I also helped a friend get back his $400 for a Harley-Davidson repair where the dealer told him the problem with the clutch was a factory defect and they still charged him.
I had several automobiles that sprung radiator leaks. I had others that the radiators clogged up with sand because the maker was sloppy in not cleaning that sand out of the blocks after casting. Detroit Diesels, for example (I had dozens of these) painted the INTERIOR of the blocks to retain sand that could ruin a radiator.
The most frustration that I experienced over the years were in electrics. I was seldom able to replace a starter that was as good as the OEM. I spend $10s of thousands on stater and radiator repairs, cracked blocks, worn cylinders and broken pistons because of the lack of quality of OEM parts, in that same era where you have such a nostalgic feel for.
What is happening here is quite common. (some) Dealers are well aware that many of the constant stream of defects are covered under warranty. They get a constant stream of service advisories. So they file for and obtain compensation, prescribed labor, and cost of parts to repair these items, and then charge the customer a 2nd time. This double dipping occurs only because the buyer in general is uninformed.
I wouldn't buy any vehicle that I don't believe that I can get good service work done on it. When my MB warranty is expired, and particularly if I sense any reluctance on the part of the MB/Freightliner dealer to honor warranty issues my Winnebago will be long gone.
My 2nd car spent half it's life at the dealer (GM) The first one, was a piece of junk (GM). The third one was an AUDI, and was ruined by that Same MB dealer I mentioned. My brother, against my advice, had 2 cars from that dealer that was badly serviced and which he dumped on the same day after 18 months, as I expected was going to be the case.
My brother had a unique experience. His GM Sierra lost all four wheel brakes when he pressed the brake pedal one day. GM had a problem (not long ago) with substandard quality of materials in brakes lines and they rusted through, just like their rocker panels did for many decades until they followed the Europeans and Japanese and spent more money on whole body rustproofing.
I am not tolerant of the behavior of low grade dealers or manufacturers. All makes suffer from some of these, even with a Manufacturer who is trusted.
As I said before, I don't buy toys like these if I cannot afford to lose 100% of the cost of them. I really don't trust the automotive industry. They require a lot of work to receive good value and justice from. German toys can be particularly bad. VW replaced the wiring harness in my wife's Diesel under warranty at 76,000 miles. They then gave me $1500 back to apply to the next sale.
You may not be aware that Chinese made counterfeit parts are plaguing the replacement parts industry. They look exactly the same, but are often bogus. I seem to recall that a DC10 crashed in Canada killing 250 soldiers because of this (or maybe I am wrong on that).
That being said, many of those OLD problems have been resolved. If I wanted one, I'd buy a Sierra Pickup truck even with all those old issues because I am confident I can get the issues resolved to my satisfaction.
Not so with old out of warranty products. I am successful at managing a fleet of automotive products, indeed I just retired partly as a result of this.
So while I bring up many disgusting and distasteful items of history, statistically things today are much better. As an assertive consumer I am confident in properly made MODERN products. Before I retired ASE was also one of my customers.
Enjoy your cheap "OEM" parts. (This is not meant to be nasty) I hope you really do enjoy that which you feel confident in. I do.