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Old 04-15-2021, 07:55 AM   #1
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Buying 2014DS- What should we check on the coach?

Hello All,
We are in the final stages of purchasing a 2014 DS 4369 and would like some advice on what to check during our final inspection of the coach.

I'm fairly handy, so I can take care of "small" issues inside a coach.

I'm mostly concerned about major breakdowns / issues.

Are there any problem areas with this series of coach that we take a close look at before finalizing this deal???
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Roof - Any structural or leak issues?
  • Slide outs - how to test for issues?
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • etc..
Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:42 PM   #2
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Newmar NB: Welcome to the forum and your first Newmar!

You didn't state your overall RV experience level, so I'll apologize in advance for posting perhaps too many details.

The process my wife and I use is that we arrange with the seller (we have only purchased from dealers, but would be the same if private) to have at least a 1/2 a day to literally crawl through every single item on the coach. She takes the inside and I take the outside.

On the inside, she is testing function of everything. We even bring a DVD to test the Entertainment system functions. All electronics. All appliances. Refrig should be running to show it is cold. Drawer and cabinet functions. Overall condition. Any signs of water leakage anywhere? Look INSIDE the cabinets that are against the ceiling. Go to floor level and feel around the walls at that level as much as you can...any soft spots? We want water in the tank and we test the pump and all faucetts/toilets. AC, heat. Are all the options claimed actually there and working (dealers are good ones to have a list that may not be completely accurate). Lights working? Slideout function (we do that together so I'm not under the coach). Fogged dual pane windows?

I bring coveralls and go under end-to-end. I'm looking for leaks, grease points that look like they've never been touched, etc. Tire date codes...how old are they? RV tires generally don't wear out, they age out. A 2014, perhaps built in 2013 would have tires ready to be replaced if not done so already. BIG cost. I check in all the bays for anything broken, excessive wear, water damage, etc. I check the genset function. I like to have oil and coolant analysis for the coach engine as well as the generator engine. Samples can be taken and sent to a lab. I'm checking to see if the engine compartment is clean and cared for. With the engine running I'm listening to anything unusual. Do all the exterior lights function (Headlights, running lights, turn signals, backup lights). Awning function (main awnings and windor/door awnings). Sealant condition on all the sidewall items (windows, vents, along the separation between the coach and the basement, etc. Leveling jack operation. I get on the roof and do a complete inspection of sealants. You'll know when you get on the roof if the coach was cared for top to bottom. Uncared for roofs are pretty obvious with filth buildup, debris, cracked sealants, etc.

Of course there is the test drive.

I'm sure I missed things, but you get the jist. We try to take nothing for granted and check everything we can see.

In addition, because of reviewing hundreds of posts here, I also checked these things when I purchased my current 2013 Newmar two years ago:

1. Slide out bolts and brackets.
2. Lubricant level in the engine fan gearbox....the prior owner had not installed the breather tube extention "fix" and on my coach the lube level was quite low. I took a chance on it since it wasn't leaking and sounded good, but I drained and replaced the old lube (75W 90 Synthetic gear lube) first thing and all has been fine.
3. While you are back by the fan cage, and if a Freightliner, what kind of support system does it have? Is it just a couple of metal "tubes" attached or does it have a more robust structure holding it on. I cannot remember when the problem with that occurred, but at some point freightliner "cheapened" the support structure for the engine fan and they were breaking and causing material damage when fan parts flew around.
4. Ours has the Girard Awnings and, as I had read on here can happen, when retracted the front of the forward awning was sticking out about 1 1/2" while the back was completely tucked in. It's just an adjustment, so not a big deal, but something you don't want to run around with for a long time.
5. READ on this forum and make a list of specific items. One more I can't remember all the details on (model, year, or chassis mfg) was front axle overload.

I may have missed some items but I can state this...many of the items I had read about that were applicable were present to some degree on the coach I bought. They weren't at critical stage yet, but it allowed me to assess and quickly take action on them. Kudos to everyone here that helps all of us understand and be aware of these various issues.

If you don't feel you can do this kind of inspection, then hire a competent RV inspector to do it for you. These a big complex machines with lots that can go wrong, especially if not maintained properly. It's not something to be afraid of, but certainly something to verify and try to know about in advance. If things are found it give fodder for your price negotiation.

Again, not a comprehensive list, but hope it helps.
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:48 PM   #3
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As noted above there are a lot of systems. I would hire a competent rv inspector.
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Old 04-15-2021, 04:37 PM   #4
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I'll add one more "test" I did on advice of my Son-in-Law who runs the shop for an OTR trucking firm and is a Diesel Mechanic. He told me to take a paper towel in hand and put my hand/arm up into the tailpipe and wipe it around. With the new systems, he said it should come out virtually clean. If not, it could be a sign that those expensive systems are failing. I thought he was pulling my leg on "virtually clean" but I was AMAZED at how clean that paper towel came out. I thought I'd have a black paper towel, hand, and sleeve based on the two previous older diesels I owned. As he said....virtually nothing. I think this is a worthwhile check when considering a DP with the new emission systems on them.

Well, another I just thought of...see recent posts on Bay Doors coming open. All the details are in them.

Oops, another: If Girard Awnings...on the long front one...did they mount the center support bracket correctly? There have been issues where Newmar just centered the bracket when it should be right behind the middle support arm, if there is one. The middle arm is usually offcenter where it attaches and without the support bracket behind it can cause issues.

BTW....these problems may be common across brands. Many of these aren't "Newmar" caused problems, but they might be on your Newmar and many others.
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:46 AM   #5
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Thank you for all the suggestions.
We are planning on spending a day or 2 going over the coach before we finalize the deal.
I already checked the tires and they were replaced in 2020..
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmar NewB View Post
Thank you for all the suggestions.
We are planning on spending a day or 2 going over the coach before we finalize the deal.
I already checked the tires and they were replaced in 2020..
Sent you a PM
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