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Old 01-12-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Baker City, OR
Posts: 6
Looking for assistance...

I am a first time motorhome buyer and am looking at a 2001 Holiday Rambler Admiral. The coach is immaculate inside and out. It's on the Ford F53 chassis I believe and has the V-10 for power. One owner....34,000 miles. As I am not all that familiar with motorhomes, is the Holiday Rambler a solid unit? I think I can pick it up at a very fair price but just want some assurance that it will be a good purchase for us. We won't be full timers.....probably mostly shorter trips......no more that 1000 miles round trips for now. Rubber is good, tires replaced in 2008 with about 80% tread left. Functionally everything seems to work fine.....slides, jacks, generator, water pump, etc.

Anything in particular I should look for before I close the deal?

Also, we will be pulling our ski boat some with it. Our boat weighs about 5000 pounds with all the gear in it. Is that too much for the V-10? The hitch is 5000 lb and I plan to make sure it is reinforced as much as possible before towing the boat.

I appreciate all input!

Thanks!!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hither & Yon
Posts: 39
Hi-
Let me say at the beginning I do not have personal or anecdotal knowledge of your prospective purchase.

The Holiday Rambler brand has a long and exemplary history is still churning out RV's and therefore has parts and a service network across the US. The Ford F-53 is the same.

Like anything made by imperfect humans, you will hear many opinions, positive and negative stories, and just plain wild conjecture on any given make/model of m/h. You'll have to decide how to separate fact from fiction.

Having said all that, you should pay close attention to the chassis for excessive corrosion, things that are hanging and dripping, prior owner modifications (the bane of buying a used vehicle of any type, particularly those "modifications" to electrical systems).

Like any heavy duty vehicle, have the operating systems thoroughly checked: brakes, batteries, generator, electrical distribution, hoses, clamps, belt(s), fluids, etc. Pay particular attention to any available service records on the drivetrain (transmission service, cooling system service, lube, oil changes, filters, etc.)

Look for indications on the undercarriage and chassis of tire failures, fatigue cracks, loose/missing bolts, fiberglas cracks/damage/repairs.

One you're happy with the skeleton, heart, and lungs, then the condition of the coach itself comes into play. And you'll be happy to remember that there are far less manufacturers of appliances than there are of motorhomes. This means that regardless of who sells the coach, most of the "guts" are non-denominational and parts/repair/replacements can be found at most reputable parts houses and service centers, even if they don't sell the HR brand.

So, as my uncle used to say: "Make haste slowly". Make a long and dispassionate inspection of your prospect, makes lists of questions for the seller, get professional opinions if you don't feel qualified to make technical evaluations yourself. In short (too late, I know) it's a big used car. Proceed accordingly.

As to towing...you didn't say where you will normally operate. 5000lb is a hefty tow-load on any vehicle, but if you're operating a non-turbo powerplant in mountain country (or even steep foothills found around major river valleys) you may become frustrated with the load you're hauling. If it were me? I'd think about a lower calorie boat or a higher calorie powerplant (turbo diesel).

But that's just me.

Best of luck and happy trails
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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Location: Merritt Island, FL
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Hi

I agree with the above. Check it out as best you can.
Tires should be a concern. They are 5 years old. Even though you have a lot of tread, make sure there are no cracks in the side wall and no dry rot. I won't drive tires more than 5 years. I don't need a blow out. No matter how much tread is remaining.
Good luck
Rick
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggie View Post
Hi-
Let me say at the beginning I do not have personal or anecdotal knowledge of your prospective purchase.

The Holiday Rambler brand has a long and exemplary history is still churning out RV's and therefore has parts and a service network across the US. The Ford F-53 is the same.

Like anything made by imperfect humans, you will hear many opinions, positive and negative stories, and just plain wild conjecture on any given make/model of m/h. You'll have to decide how to separate fact from fiction.

Having said all that, you should pay close attention to the chassis for excessive corrosion, things that are hanging and dripping, prior owner modifications (the bane of buying a used vehicle of any type, particularly those "modifications" to electrical systems).

Like any heavy duty vehicle, have the operating systems thoroughly checked: brakes, batteries, generator, electrical distribution, hoses, clamps, belt(s), fluids, etc. Pay particular attention to any available service records on the drivetrain (transmission service, cooling system service, lube, oil changes, filters, etc.)

Look for indications on the undercarriage and chassis of tire failures, fatigue cracks, loose/missing bolts, fiberglas cracks/damage/repairs.

One you're happy with the skeleton, heart, and lungs, then the condition of the coach itself comes into play. And you'll be happy to remember that there are far less manufacturers of appliances than there are of motorhomes. This means that regardless of who sells the coach, most of the "guts" are non-denominational and parts/repair/replacements can be found at most reputable parts houses and service centers, even if they don't sell the HR brand.

So, as my uncle used to say: "Make haste slowly". Make a long and dispassionate inspection of your prospect, makes lists of questions for the seller, get professional opinions if you don't feel qualified to make technical evaluations yourself. In short (too late, I know) it's a big used car. Proceed accordingly.

As to towing...you didn't say where you will normally operate. 5000lb is a hefty tow-load on any vehicle, but if you're operating a non-turbo powerplant in mountain country (or even steep foothills found around major river valleys) you may become frustrated with the load you're hauling. If it were me? I'd think about a lower calorie boat or a higher calorie powerplant (turbo diesel).

But that's just me.

Best of luck and happy trails
Well said!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: Hither & Yon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olddawg52 View Post

Also, we will be pulling our ski boat some with it. Our boat weighs about 5000 pounds with all the gear in it. Is that too much for the V-10? The hitch is 5000 lb and I plan to make sure it is reinforced as much as possible before towing the boat.

I appreciate all input!

Thanks!!
A quick PS (and shame on me for not mentioning it before ). Take a look at the data plate/owners' manual for your prospective purchase. Pay close attention to the "Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating" (CGVWR) specified by the manufacturer. This is the maximum combined gross weight of your motorcoach (loaded with fuel, propane, water, food, pets, people, toilet paper, etc) and your towed vehicle weight including all its additional items (fuel, skiis, safety equip, etc.)

The fact that the hitch may be rated for 5000lb doesn't necessarily mean you can safely or legally tow that much weight when the coach is loaded. The only way you can determine those weights is to actually scale the vehicle when you have it configured for your proposed trip. Naturally this is difficult for you as a prospective buyer, but you can ask the seller if he/she has ever scaled (weighed) the m/h fully laden.

In researching these weight limitations, you may be surprised to find that the weight margins between "curb weight" (empty) and maximum weight can be very small. Then when you add a hefty tow load, it's pretty easy to exceed the manufacturer's combined gross vehicle weight recommendations. Should that happen on a regular basis, best case will be severe wear on drivetrain, brakes and chassis. Worst case will be wreckage at the bottom of a grade...

Caveat emptor

Regards
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