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Old 05-30-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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1997 Dolphin - should I be concerned?

I am a newbie to the motorhome experience. I have owned a small popup for years and now we are considering a class A. Looking at a 1997 Dolphin and I have a some concerns. First, should I be concerned about the fact that National RV is out of business? I plan on having a mechanic check out the coach but is there anything in particular I should look at or be concerned about? This forum is awesome and you guys are great with all your help! Thanks in advance!!!!
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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We like our 95. Look it over good. if price is right go for it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:44 PM   #3
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We sold our 1995 Dolphin about a year ago and got a newer Dolphin. We loved our 95. Bought it new on 96. It was a great motor home. As long as the maintenance has been kept up I'm sure it still has lots of life left in it. Don't worry about National being out of business as everything in the rig is far out of any factory warranty.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:21 AM   #4
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We have a 1997 that we have owned for 5 yrs. First, the unit is 14 years so check the roof for condition and the sides for any delimination. Have someone who has owned MH's help you with this. Check for water damage inside. You can expect various minor problems, because of age. (However, friends that have newer units have problems also.) You did not say what chassis ... our is a Ford F53. Some problems with the Fords, fuel pumps - has it been replaced with the never style? Does the unit have a manifold or headers (Banks)? The manifolds are prone to breaking bolts. I lost a transmission at 60,000 miles, but this seems unusal from what others have said. We do enjoy our unit and would do it again.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:19 PM   #5
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I have 1997 36' Dolphin Picked it up in 1997 and still have it.
I would recommend that you be sure and get your hands on the M.H. manual and don't forget to get the one that covers the engine and the running of the motor home on the rood.
Just a thought.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:19 PM   #6
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Not to worry

National as a coach builder is not around anymore, but, the chassis builder is, the major components were not made by National, and are all either repairable and/or replaceable. No part of the motor home would be covered under warranty by any coach manufacturer at that age. Most coach parts can be repaired, found through salvage, and or fabricated.

Had same thoughts when I bought mine, but no concerns now. Very well made coach.

Nothing stays around forever, think Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth...
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:52 PM   #7
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Are there any service records for you to see ? Also, CarFax could have some records...not a sure thing, but maybe. You would want a mechanic look at the engine and trans. A mobile RV tech or other outfit to look at the coach and everything inside.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:59 PM   #8
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Doesn't really matter. Getting any body parts for any older coach is a problem if IF the manufacture is still in business. I bought a National Dolphin because I think they built a quality coach. I'm very happy with my 03 Dolphin.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trode View Post
  • Major components were not made by National, and are all either repairable and/or replaceable.
  • Most coach parts can be repaired, found through salvage, and or fabricated.
  • Very well made coach.

    Nothing stays around forever, think Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth...
  • Keep the water out- look over the roof, windows seals etc. drive train is bullet proof if maintenance has been kept up. If a 460, use Rotella 10w30 oil that has zinc for the flat tappet cam lifters. Motor / transmission are good for 200k miles easy. replace shocks for sure later on down the road. major improvement if you are going on long trips.
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