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Old 10-23-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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Looking at a 96 Coachmen Santara....

Good morning all! I am new to the RV community, and whatever RV I purchase, will be my first!

I am wanting to purchase a RV that I will use a couple times a year, but also to have on my property for guests throughout the year as well.

I found a 96 Coachmen(pictures link below!), asking price of $10,500. 1996 Coachmen RV Santara 321SO, 32' Fully Loaded. Low miles. under 37,000 miles. Hydraulic Leveling Jacks, 8 ' Electric Slide Out Room, Excellent Condition, New Sound System $10,499 / Reduced Price to Sell

I am currently speaking with the mother of the owner now, and she is getting me more pictures. She has stated that her son just got a nasty divorce and wants to sell everything. She also has stated that the insurance company did replace the roof 5-6 years ago.(branch that hit roof but did not go all the way through, so I am a little suspect)

She also says the roof AC will have to be replaced.

If all of the pictures look alright, I will take the drive to go see the unit. If it looks ok, I will go with an inspection if I do want to make an offer.

With the E350, will I be able to tow my Honda Element or Toyota Corolla?

Opinions? Thoughts? Thanks again everyone!

PICTURES: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/me7qyuvou...mfft-uHHa?dl=0
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:45 AM   #2
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There is some serious delamination going on with that unit. You can see it in this pic:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/me7qyuvou...river.jpg?dl=0

That shows that water is leaking into the sidewalls. Water is the death of RVs.

Also, I'd want to know if they stored a dead body in the fridge, I've never seen one turn yellow like that.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:03 AM   #3
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I now see it Mark, thank you. So what you're saying is run from that one?

If so, what are your thoughts on this unit? 2004 Thor Motor Coach Chateau 28a, Atlantic Beach FL - 113170606 - RVTrader.com
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:14 AM   #4
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I would. The Thor looks pretty clean and I don't see any glaring problems other than a few boo-boos in the body. With any C class motorhome, check the overcab bunk thoroughly for leaks. That's usually where they occur in a C class and that can be a big problem. If all the systems work well and the body and roof don't show any signs of leakage or soft spots, it may be a great unit.

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I now see it Mark, thank you. So what you're saying is run from that one?

If so, what are your thoughts on this unit? 2004 Thor Motor Coach Chateau 28a, Atlantic Beach FL - 113170606 - RVTrader.com
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
I would. The Thor looks pretty clean and I don't see any glaring problems other than a few boo-boos in the body. With any C class motorhome, check the overcab bunk thoroughly for leaks. That's usually where they occur in a C class and that can be a big problem. If all the systems work well and the body and roof don't show any signs of leakage or soft spots, it may be a great unit.
Thanks Mark. Here are even better, larger pictures of the Chateau RV:

Here are better, larger pictures of the Chateau RV:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ex4b6dcg7...PhSGx1fka?dl=0
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:50 PM   #6
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A couple of things. There is a bit of damage near the left rear corner, so check that thoroughly. Also, I'd plan on replacing the blinds, they look pretty bent, which would make me want to examine other things a bit deeper. Maybe they had kids or unruly dogs? Also, check out the awning, near the back side the material looks a little wrinkled, it may just not be rolled up correctly, or there could be a problem with the awning.

Of course, check all system and the tires, roof, appliances, etc. Oh and
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
A couple of things. There is a bit of damage near the left rear corner, so check that thoroughly. Also, I'd plan on replacing the blinds, they look pretty bent, which would make me want to examine other things a bit deeper. Maybe they had kids or unruly dogs? Also, check out the awning, near the back side the material looks a little wrinkled, it may just not be rolled up correctly, or there could be a problem with the awning.

Of course, check all system and the tires, roof, appliances, etc. Oh and
That left rear corner looks pretty bad, the basement door there is being held shut with a makeshift arrangement. Looks like the door may have been forced open-one of the locks is missing. The front left corner of the coach portion has taken a hit also and spray painted over.
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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Thanks again everyone. That one sold. I am now looking at this one, and will hopefully get to go see it in person today. If so, I will take more pictures and show them to everyone when I get home.

Class C Gulf Stream Conquest Ltd, All NEW
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:15 PM   #9
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Just came home from viewing the RV. My wife and I really did like it, since it was all custom, but we are not sure of the quality of everything. I have posted my dropbox link which shows more pictures I took while we were there, and the craigslist link as well.

The guy spent A LOT of money. The story: He bought the RV off of EBAY, and never had an inspection done. Once he got it home, he discovered leaks in the roof, and decided to basically redo most of the RV.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cehnxa0gs...mbnSMVGba?dl=0

Class C Gulf Stream Conquest Ltd, All NEW


What does everyone think? If its positive, I am thinking about finding a person or company to do a complete inspection. Thanks again for everyones help and opinions!
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:28 AM   #10
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It looks fairly nice from the pics, but I note that he is asking over retail:

List Price Low Retail Average Retail
Base Price $61,739 $17,450 $21,020

If it were me, I'd want to be under that $17,450 and even moreso since it at one time had leaks. The new stuff doesn't add that much value and may take away from value because things become questionable.

Remember, that NADA is strictly a guideline, but it is what a bank will look at if you're trying to finance.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:57 AM   #11
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I agree that he's probably asking too much. He may or may not be highly motivated though.

It looks like the owner is proud of his RV and would probably show you everything working. As long as everything works and the roof looks decent I think it's great. Low hours on a generator is not a good thing IMHO. I would pick up a Kill a Watt meter from harbor freight (20 bucks). Have the owner show you the generator running with the AC on. Plug the meter into an outlet in the coach. Should still have about 110 volt and 60 hz with a load.

Another area that is often overlooked is the house batteries. Many people only use their RV on shore power. If you want more negotiating power than you could check the batteries.

We have a 1996 and I spent about 1hr with the owner before we bought it. He was also proud of his RV. New roof (hail damage). New awning. I did have to fix the Onan generator myself. ( That's a whole different story but I knew it wasn't working when we bought it ) We have used the coach for family members to stay in as well. We got the RV cheap and we've even let a family from work use the RV at a local campground. We love it and you will love yours.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:04 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. Since I posted this information on the forum, the owner just lowered his craigslist AD price from $24,900 to $19,800....... So was it just overpriced? Or is he really just want out of this thing? Or did he find something else that costs a TON of money?

I am considering paying a local RV expert $150 for an inspection and if it comes out ok, maybe offering $15,000?

I am worried about the weight load on the chassis with all of the custom work though. I'm not quite sure how a RV inspection would tell you if its over or close to the weight restriction.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:17 AM   #13
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Take it to the truck scales and have each axle weighed, then compare that weight with what is on the stickers for the unit. That will tell you how much carrying capacity (if any) you have.

I think $15,000 would be a fair place to start. He's not running a stealership.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:36 AM   #14
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I don't know if it's possible for you, but I would see if you could get a qualified RV service professional to inspect any unit that you get serious about. I doubt that you'd find such service at a place that sells RV's, but maybe if you can locate a mobile RV service guy, he could help. It will cost a couple hundred dollars, but it would be money well spent IMHO.

Also... since you are considering buying directly from sellers, you may want to consider a used-RV warranty. I am no expert on those, and some get bad press, but I would probably consider it given the big dollars that can add up if you have problems. Think about even one thing--the refridge. Those units are pricey, and to remove and install a new one sometimes involves removing the windshield or door. Labor costs add up with something like that.

Just my 2-cents. Good luck!
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