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Old 05-24-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
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first time buyer some questions please

Hi there fellow RVers

i am about to embark on the biggest journey of my career. i am a full time Deaf illusionist/magician.

for my upcoming 10 month tour i have decided to purchase an RV. specifically Class A DOLPHIN Series M-6320LX WRKHRS.

after doing A LOT of research on RVs i felt this brand is good for the money.
while i found some other brands to be a bit better they for the most part were out of my price range or were pretty crappy in appearance for what private sales or dealers were selling them for.

ok here are my questions.

i am choosing this RV due to it being super clean and really low mileage.
its a 2003 and only 20,000 miles.

i am about to put 30,000 on it during this tour. maybe more.

i have read that national is out of biz.
i have read things about hard to find parts.
but my biggest question is how well they hold up and is there anything i should be specifically looking for with this particular model and year.

i am taking it out for test drive on tuesday right after memorial day.

thanks for any info, input or thoughts.

cant wait to get on the road.

sam
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #2
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National built a good product and since they are out of business you should be able to get one at a reasonable price. When comparing my present coach to my previous 04 National Tropi Cal in many ways I wish I still had my National. As far as the company being out of business about the only problems that causes will be if you need body parts. Almost everything else on the coach was built by a supplier who is still in business. If it drives good and you like it don't hesitate to buy just because the manufacturer is out of business.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:24 AM   #3
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Fully agree with bdpreece. Find an RV tech to go over the rig with you, looking for problems, or anything not working.
Then go have fun
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:48 AM   #4
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Also agree with bdpreece. We bought our low mileage 99 Dolphin several years ago and love it. I've done some very minor repairs and a whole lot of upgrades to the interior, appliances and various systems. Never a problem getting parts. Can't imagine needing or wanting to upgrade to a newer coach, but if we did, it would be a another National.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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Sam.

I think I read that some company in TX bought the dies for the body parts.

What you should be looking forward to... is missing out... if you don't buy it. If you've read other peoplesí and my previous posts about National, they are very well built and good quality for the price.

I've only read one bad post about a National, and he was from a different planet, and was very and was a baby.

If it ever sets a "Lean" code, get it in immediately and get the fuel pump, or at least the filter replaced. It cost my extended warranty company >$10K to replace the motor and some other un-related items. Being an LX, it's probably on a WH chassis, so I don't know if they can check the fuel pressure.

Funny, I bought mine the day before Memorial day `11 (asking $35.9; we settled on $32.9). After a complete service, including the Onan 5500, I picked it up two days after the holiday. (Make sure that is included by the Stealer. .)

By the designation, it sounds like you are getting a 32'er. Mine is ~32 also and in blue.



Guard `mingos.





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Old 05-25-2013, 07:29 AM   #6
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Make sure every thing works.
Check to make sure brake recall was done if is between 2000&2007.
Check the born on date on the tires I got 10 years and 38K miles out of mine but that was realy too long to keep them.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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thanks for the replies. you are confirming my thoughts and research.

this is the 34' and fully loaded with so many upgrades such as flat pannel tvs leather interior and so much more. once i get it i will have to post pictures.

ok one more question.
while i am well versed on travel i have never traveled with an RV. being a Newbie is there any place to go and learn about the workings of things like filling the water, dumping the crap etc. maybe you think it is simple but part of my problem is the owner is not well and can not spend the time to explain everything.

hi wife has been wonderful explaining the interior and all the workings. she was amazing actually. but her husband who is not well delt with all the outside stuff.

so where does one learn the workings. should i try to find a fellow RVer locally and ask them to come look at it or take mine to them.
i am not stupid here LOL i am a quick learner but when it comes to this new stuff i want to do it right and want to it right from the get go.

thanks again for your comments.

sam
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:41 AM   #8
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Right here in the National forum is the perfect place to ask questions for this and particulars on your coach. A local experienced RVer sure wouldn't hurt to have around.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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The nice thing about RV'rs is all you have to do is pull into a campground, go outside and open a compartment, stand around and scratch your head and in a few minutes you will have collected a crowd of helpful people. Of course some of them may be the same ones who attempted to help Robin Williams in the movie RV!
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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You can still get body parts for Nationals here RV Parts | Ortega Manufacturing
I had to buy a rear Cap and one bay door about two years ago and they came through for me. It takes about five weeks from order to shipment because they build them on demand. The parts I got were quality and fit perfectly, no reason they shouldn't really because Ortega was the supplier to National and bought the tooling at the Bankruptcy Auction.

The rest of the parts are OEM and for the most part are still available. Some things like the Dometic 4 Button Comfort Control Center (Thermostat) have been changed and are out of production, but that is the case for any brand you buy that used them.
Here is a link to most of the documentation I got with my 99 Tradewinds. https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=ae67f...2766057%212101 the engine and chassis will not apply to you but National used a lot of common parts for years, so some of this stuff you will find in a Dolphin.

Just for grins here is a link to the wreck https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=ae67f...2766057%212596 and one to the repair https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=ae67f...2766057%212643 These two links are pictures. The wreck was all my fault BTW, I just didn't see that low post in the filling station.

A couple years ago I wrote a document for a guy about buying a ten year old Coach and although some of the info is Tradewinds specific a lot of it applies in general. It may be worth reading. It never hurts to know as much as you can before a major purchase. https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=ae67f...39&app=WordPdf

Good luck on you venture and keep a little something up your sleeve when dealing with a salesman be it a dealer or a private party. I've heard they have a problem telling the whole truth.

Dick
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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How to

Quote:
Originally Posted by illusionist View Post
ok one more question.
while i am well versed on travel i have never traveled with an RV. being a Newbie is there any place to go and learn about the workings of things like filling the water, dumping the crap etc. maybe you think it is simple but part of my problem is the owner is not well and can not spend the time to explain everything.

so where does one learn the workings. should i try to find a fellow RVer locally and ask them to come look at it or take mine to them.
i am not stupid here LOL i am a quick learner but when it comes to this new stuff i want to do it right and want to it right from the get go.

thanks again for your comments.

sam

Hi -

I am such a newbie that I haven't bought my 5th wheel yet. I have to tell you that this forum is full of great information.

I also found out, quite by mistake, that (believe it or not) - You Tube has some great videos. There's a rather long, very detailed video of how to dump your black water tank. The most detailed is at If you do a search, you'll find many videos - some worthwhile and some ridiculous. I spent hours there one night. There are videos on how to drive an RV, how to back one up (search for "the scoop"), etc. There's nothing like watching something to learn how to do it.

Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
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Here's some tricks you might want to add. I did most these things to my National Sea Breeze:

Brake controller, mini-vacuum, shelf liner, Lazy Susan in one of the cabinets for often used cleaning products, compressor, air hose and tools to reach my 20' enclosed trailer, dash cam, gas pump cam (I travel alone). I moved the worthless passenger seat furnace vent from behind the seat so it now points toward the dinette to keep my feetsies warm at night and capped off of one of the furnace feeds to the basement for more hot air flow to the others (I live in AZ and only travel to the Yuma dunes), added carpet tiles to the entrance steps, TPMS with flo-thru sensors and fixed a few minor problems.



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Old 05-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #13
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Lazydays RV has some very good video's on RV Driver Confidence here RV Driver Confidence Course: Part 1 - Better RVing
They have many more video's about RV life on their web site.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:12 AM   #14
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you guys are awesome thanks for all the help

yes found a few videos but did not do an exhaustive search this is very good thanks.
the bummer is that i am deaf so anything they say i cant hear. but i can easily see the video and understand pretty much what they are doing.
i do plan to visit the local RV park near me and talk with some of the RVers there.

i plan to offer a mini magic show in trade for knowledge! LOL

thanks again for all your help.

i test drive and make an offer this Tuesday. i think it will all work out.
i am very confident this is the right RV for me.

meets all my needs from budget to my wants.
i was bummed there was no oven but i plan to start a new thread about cooking in RVs

thanks again all.
keep the info coming as i really want to do this right and be able to enjoy a long prosperous 10 month tour on the road with my daughter!!
sam
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