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Old 12-04-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
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Is this a good unit?

I am able to buy a 2002 Fleetwood Fiesta with a 8.1 l Chevy on a Workhorse chassis, and a GM trany. The MH has 42000 miles on the clock and was used as campaign vehicle for the Rep Candidate for Minnesota Governor. Because of this, it looks a little "rough" inside (too much male bonding probably), but the Generator and fridge, and the bed are hardly used. The tires and batteries were replaced early this year. The unit has a rear view and two side view cameras as well as hydraulic leveling, and all the other standard things. However, he unit has a front damage from hitting a deer! The lower bumper is broken and one headlicht is gone. These would need replacement, which we would do ourself (our son is an ASE Certified Master Mechanic). Beside this, and probably new covers for the couch and dinette and new carpeting, everything seems to be in fine working order.

They want $16000 for the thing, is that a fair price?
Is this motorhome a good unit or shall I look more before I buy one? We don't need it this year, but I would buy it if it is a good deal.

Can you help me out with a little guidance, since this would be our first motorhome?
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:37 PM   #2
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I took a quick look at Fleetwood Fiesta's. They are Class A, with no slides in the 2002 version Is this correct?
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:20 PM   #3
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I took a quick look at Fleetwood Fiesta's. They are Class A, with no slides in the 2002 version Is this correct?
Yes, the unit has no slides!
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:16 AM   #4
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Sounds a bit high in that kind of shape, however; the price may be set for it's "possible" historical value, if any. Get what you can pay for, afford and need. Enjoy once you get something, this life is the best
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:04 AM   #5
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I have owned a Southwind Storm 34ft. 1998 model for 9 years, just traded it in for a new diesel motorhome. The one thing I really liked about the former coach was the slide, it was only 18 inches deep but when you opened up the slide it really made a difference in living area. My Fleetwood served us well.

I have heard that the Ford Chassis was more reliable than the Chevy 454 engine. Mine had the 460 engine but the next year the V10 came out and it appears to serve the owners well. The Chevy 454 had a problem of over heating.

$16,000 is a fair price but there are a lot of very good used coaches out there, and it appears you have time to look so I would do just that. Jan and Feb in the north is a good time to buy a used coach.

My wife and I were lucky with the purchase of the Southwind Storm coach, it was the only used coach that we looked at and it served us well but we were lucky. On the new coach I did a lot of research and bought a 2010 model after the 2011 models were out so got a very good discount.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:19 AM   #6
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Would you be buying it in a private sale or through a dealer? We have bought both ways. With a private, you get what you get, and you can't go back if it doesn't work. With a dealer, at least you have 30+ days to check the items. You can get mechanical insurance through both, at least.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:37 AM   #7
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I have heard that the Ford Chassis was more reliable than the Chevy 454 engine. Mine had the 460 engine but the next year the V10 came out and it appears to serve the owners well. The Chevy 454 had a problem of over heating.
The unit I am looking for is equipped with the newer 496.0 cu in (8.1 Liter) Vortec engine, and not the older 454. This engine is the same engine that U-haul uses in their largest truck, the 26' unit.

My son (a Chrysler mechanic) feels that this is the best "big" engine around (his very own opinion that is not really based on any statistics )

I should mention that we are purposely not looking for a slide out, because we do not plan to live in the unit for any extended time. We want to use it as a rolling bed and bathroom when we visit friends and relatives. We thus want to avoid the additional weight and complexity of a slide out.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:45 AM   #8
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Would you be buying it in a private sale or through a dealer? We have bought both ways. With a private, you get what you get, and you can't go back if it doesn't work. With a dealer, at least you have 30+ days to check the items. You can get mechanical insurance through both, at least.
It is a RV rental place. I priced the unit out in NADA and without the mentioned damage it would be low priced at about $20000 and high priced at about $24000. I will try to deal it down to $15000 or $15500.

My major concern is, how good is Fleetwood and how good would be the combination of this chassis we the body on it. I checked for comparable Diesel Pushers, and they are at least $10000 to 15000 more than this MH. This big price difference and the almost 40 cents more for a gallon of diesel fuel seems to make diesel powered MH to be a rather poor deal.

Please correct me if I am wrong here.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:53 PM   #9
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The 8.1L engine is a excellent one and the Workhorse chassis generally pretty good too. You must have the W20 chassis, since in 2002 the P30 has the 454 V8 instead of the 8.1L. There is a brake recall on that chassis, so make sure it gets done.

$16k sounds too high for that much body damage plus a lot of wear and tear. You should be able to find some nice rigs in that class for around $20k and not have to do a lot of re-work.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:57 PM   #10
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We've had/have 2 fleetwoods and been happy. Workhorse recall and our nearest repair center is 1 hour away. Something to look for is where parts can be repaired, truck facility, etc. We don't have a mechanic in the house, so you are one up on us. Are you planning on towing, and if so, look at the specs on both your tow vehicle and the RV. DP's can tow higher weight limits.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:37 PM   #11
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We've had/have 2 fleetwoods and been happy. Workhorse recall and our nearest repair center is 1 hour away. Something to look for is where parts can be repaired, truck facility, etc. We don't have a mechanic in the house, so you are one up on us. Are you planning on towing, and if so, look at the specs on both your tow vehicle and the RV. DP's can tow higher weight limits.
Yes, I plan occasionally to tow a vehicle that weights about 4000 pounds.

We have two facilities here, both in a distance of one to two hours.

However, we have a fully equipped shop (but the motorhome is too big for it), and can do almost any kind of mechanical and electrical work (I am an electrical engineer)
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:49 AM   #12
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If you are primarily looking for a traveling bed and bath, what about a class "B" unit? Then the MH can fit into your bay, it's small enough to go anywhere, and it has a bed and bathroom? Togetherness... aah... I think if we didn't have the kids and the dogs we would consider it - I don't know what their tow capacities are, however, just that they are more mobile than the larger MH's.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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If you are primarily looking for a traveling bed and bath, what about a class "B" unit? Then the MH can fit into your bay, it's small enough to go anywhere, and it has a bed and bathroom? Togetherness... aah... I think if we didn't have the kids and the dogs we would consider it - I don't know what their tow capacities are, however, just that they are more mobile than the larger MH's.
My wife does not like them, the inside is too small for her taste. Her parents used to have one in the 80's and 90's.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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Get an estimate for the body damage as it can easily be $3-5000. Has the body damage allowed water to enter? That could get expensive real quick.

Since the mh has been in a rental fleet...I would have it checked by a good RV tech and also a good mechanic. I would think the rental company would have maintenance records also. If they don't it would make me believe very little if any maintenance was done. As Gary said, you would think a rental company had had the brake recall done...again paper work can prove this.

Good luck and as someone said earlier, your looking at a good time so no need to get in a hurry.
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